All companies spending at least £10,000 in their accounting year on qualifying R&D are entitled to claim a deduction when calculating their taxable profits of:
175% of qualifying expenditure for SMEs in respect of expenditure incurred on or after 1 August 2008 rising to 200% from April 2011 and 225% from April 2012, subject to EU approval under the State aid rule
130% of qualifying expenditure for larger companies until 31 March 2008
Under this scheme, for a limited period and subject to meeting certain conditions, new businesses may qualify for a deduction of up to £5,000 from the employer NICs that would normally be due – for each of the first ten employees they take on.
The National Insurance contributions (NICs) holiday is available to new businesses that start up during the period from 22 June 2010 to 5 September 2013.
The types of business that may be able to apply for the holiday are:
a sole trader, company or partnership that begins to carry on a trade, profession or vocation
a property business or investment business
a new trading charity whether or not it is carrying out activities with a view to profit
Managed Service Companies do not qualify for the holiday.
If you have recently started a new business its well worth finding out if it will qualify.
Whether you are changing systems or just want a fresh start with the latest version its worth trying the Sage Templates to upload data.
Once you have loaded Sage, click on Help, then About then Program Directory and you will find a folder called Import Templates, in that folder are Templates for:
Audit Trail Transactions
Fixed Assets Record
The templates are excel files and on the top row are comments on the content required. If you are already using Sage you can export the data, clean it and then re import it.
Basically as a minimum you will want to import outstanding customer and supplier transactions (using the audit trail), static data for customers, suppliers and nominal and unreconciled bank transactions. The opening trial balance can be entered using the Audit Trial import.
Use the Practice Company on Sage until you are confident you know your imports will work.
It takes a bit of time to get the imports correct but once its done it works really well.
Its often worth having a Tax Group even if you don’t have Group Accounts ie you have multiple businesses under common control but that are not directly owned subsidiaries. The reason for this is to offset profits and losses to reduce the total tax payment.
Generally this means completing a special extra return, the CT600C, unfortunately, this form is not available from HMRC to file on line.
There is a solution regulation 6 SI199/2975 (CTM97690) allows you to write to HMRC and explain which companies make up the group and ask for a simplified arrangement – meaning HMRC will automatically net off the returns with out the need for CT600C returns.
By doing this you can file the CT600’s on line for free with HMRC.
Rosie Barfoot sent me a comment yesterday about Workbooks, they offer a totally free 2 user version of their software http://www.workbooks.com
I have signed up and downloaded a copy today, looks pretty good, CRM, Quotation Management, Products, Contracts, Invoicing, I need to get my head round how to use it but it seems pretty comprehensive. Its 100% web based, it can link to Sage and Outlook (not sure if thats in the free version), you can customise it and create templates, sounds ideal for a start up business.
I asked some of my Linked In buddies what they recommend for Free, here is what they said:
Tony Croft (4 Networking) said:
Can I recommend ‘Free Fundraising’ with Simply Fundraising.
Let somebody else make donations to your cause/s when you shop, put petrol in the car, eat out, etc and get free flights as a reward for doing it.
Can you beat that? http://www.simplefundraising.co.uk/
Marco Tomat (4Networking) said:
I would like to recommend Microsoft’s free anti-virus software called Security Essentials, you must have a licenced copy of windows of course, it’s much faster and less bloated than the new free AVG 2011 which is causing older or low spec. machine to slow down. If you are a teenager who likes downloading stuff then you need to buy one of the mainstream products! http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/security_essentials/default.aspx
Paul Driscoll (CIMA) said:
Fed up with the increasing cost of Microsoft licences some years ago, we implemented Open Office ( http://www.openoffice.org ) to replace Word, Excel etc.. All working well and would not now go back to MS.