How Boost your finances ahead of the Year End Reply

With the end of the tax year fast approaching, now is a good time to review your business and personal finances to ensure that they are as tax-efficient as possible.

We can help make sure that you don’t miss out on any money-saving opportunities.

Please take some time to read through our 2020/21 Year End Strategies Guide, which contains practical guidance and ideas to implement before 5 April 2021.

With our useful tips and expert assistance, we can help you and your business to increase your profitability and minimise the tax burden.

steve@bicknells.net

Summer Economic Update 2020 – Is there a give away for you? Reply

Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented the Summer Economic Update against a backdrop of economic uncertainty caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

 

Our summary of the Summer Economic Update provides an overview of the key announcements arising from the Chancellor’s speech. Measures include a new Job Retention Bonus to support the phasing out of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), a VAT reduction for businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector and a temporary increase to the nil-rate band of residential Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

 

Additionally, throughout the Summary you will find informative comments to help you assess the effect that the proposed changes may have.

 

If you would like more detailed, one-to-one advice on any of the issues raised in the Chancellor’s speech, please do get in touch.

 

steve@bicknells.net

Are you paying too much tax – Tax and Financial Strategies 2020-21 Reply

Forward planning is essential if you want to ensure that you are on course to achieve your business and personal financial goals, and this is even more the case in times of ongoing economic uncertainty.
Using strategic planning tools, we can suggest methods to maximise both your business and your personal wealth, while also helping to keep your tax liabilities to a minimum.

With this in mind, click on the image below its our 2020/21 Tax and Financial Strategies Brochure, which explores some of the key planning opportunities that could help to protect and make the most of your finances.

Please take some time to read through the Brochure, which offers advice and information on all of the key aspects of business and personal taxation.

Contact us if you want to discuss your options.

 

steve@bicknells.net

My Bank gives Rewards – how are they taxed? Reply

It seems crazy to me that banks give rewards and charges at the same time, wouldn’t lower charges be better?

The rules for Interest are covered by https://www.gov.uk/apply-tax-free-interest-on-savings

These rules include the Personal Savings Allowance and means (provided you aren’t an additional rate tax payer) you could get up to £1000 tax free (£500 for higher rate tax payers).

The problem with rewards is that it depends on what they are as to how they are treated

  1. If the reward is interest (calculated as a rate on the balance) then it should be paid gross, it will be savings income and eligible for the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA)
  2. If its a reward for depositing a certain amount each month or other activity then its not savings income and the bank should have deducted 20% before paying it under the annual payment rules. You will need to report this on your Self Assessment or R40 to reclaim the tax, this income is not with the PSA rules.
  3. If there is reward not related to the balance and there are also charges and fees on the account, it won’t meet the criteria for an annual payment and the bank won’t deduct 20% at source. You will need to declare it as ‘Miscellaneous  Income’ on your self assessment return

steve@bicknells.net

 

Property Tax Webinars for Accountants Reply

Following the success of my Making Tax Digital Seminars and I am making 3 filmed webinars for MBL on Property Tax

Furnished Holiday Lets & Serviced Accommodation – Tax Matters

http://www.mblseminars.com/Outline/Furnished-Holiday-Lets-_-Serviced-Accommodation—Tax-Matters—Webinar/9685

Using a Company Vehicle for Property Investment – A Guide for Accountants

http://www.mblseminars.com/Outline/Using-a-Company-Vehicle-for-Property-Investment—A-Guide-for-Accountants—Webinar/9690

Option to Tax on Commercial Property Conversions – A Guide for Accountants & Tax Advisors

www.mblseminars.com/Outline/Option-to-Tax-on-Commercial-Property-Conversions—A-Guide-for-Accountants-_-Tax-Advisors—Webinar/9684

These are a useful guide to current tax and accounting rules and include tips on how to avoid problems.

steve@bicknells.net

How much extra tax do Property Investors pay? 2

Recent tax changes such as Clause 24 Interest Restrictions, 3% extra SDLT and 8% extra Capital Gains Tax have hit landlords hard and these NLA videos explain the full impact

http://nla-video-graphic.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/

The NLA predict that the changes will mean that 20% of Landlords will sell their portfolios.

Since September lenders to Portfolio Landlords have been required to look at the whole portfolio before lending and this has lead to 70% of landlords with four or more properties saying that they have found it hard to obtain finance.

Overall Residential transactions have seen a slight decline in activity

Since 2015 more and more landlords have been using Limited Companies to purchase property investments even though mortgage interest rates are a around 1% higher there are many advantages:

  • Clause 24 Interest Rate Restrictions don’t apply to companies
  • Lenders can take a specific change and a debenture over a company and this is why separate companies for each investment can be an advantage
  • If you sell the company shares rather than the property the buyer will pay 0.5% SDLT on the shares, the capital gains tax on shares is 8% lower than on residential property and the potentially the company purchaser can takeover the existing debt without needing to refinance
  • Corporation Tax is 19% where as Landlords pay Income Tax rates, which means companies can help you to build a portfolio quicker as you retain more profit

steve@bicknells.net

 

 

Why do we leave Self Assessment Returns until the last minute? Reply

It seems to me that there are basically two types of taxpayer and the split is pretty even.

The first type are ‘Organised Planners’, they prepare things as early as possible, work out what tax might be due and how they will pay it, look at ways to change things and file early. They will always pay less tax because they have had a chance to consider their options – Pensions, Gift Aid, SEIS, EIS and other things that reduce tax – they also tend to have a full set of records neatly posted on their accounting system.

The second type are ‘Just in Time’, whatever the deadline, they put things off. The problem with this is that often this means things get forgotten and paperwork gets lost, there is no time to prepare or plan and the tax will be payable immediately.

The added problem this year is that Credit Card Payments are no longer an option

In 2016, personal credit card payments for tax numbered 454,000 making of total of £741 million and resulting in £3.2 million in bank fees.

These payments were largely made by small businesses, looking to manage bulk payments by putting them on a credit card that could then be paid off over time.

Below are some statistics from HMRC from 2012, but I think that little has changed and the statistics will be similar this year.

I don’t think anyone would say they enjoy paying tax or filling in forms, so in some ways you can understand why some people put it off and do it ‘just in time’.

Last year HMRC reported

29 January was the busiest day with 513,271 returns completed – that’s more than 21,386 returns received per hour. The busiest time was between 14:00 and 15:00, with 50,358 customers – 14 per second – clicking submit.

If you haven’t done your return, do it now, don’t wait till 11.59 on 31st January.

Steve@bicknells.net

 

Now HMRC are stopping Post Office tax payments! Reply

On the 15th December 2017 you will no longer be able to pay tax at any Post Office Branch, fantastic timing! just in time for the January self assessment payment rush

The contract with Santander which allowed this method of payment expires on that date and Santander and HMRC have not reached agreement on a new contract.

To make things worse from the 13th January 2018 you won’t be able to pay by Credit Card either!

So your options will be

  • Debit card
  • Online Banking
  • Cheque in the Post
  • Direct Debit

These changes are likely to come as shock to many taxpayers and any reduction in ways to pay can only be bad news for taxpayers!

steve@bicknells.net

If a company owns CryptoCurrency how are gains taxed? Reply

In a company Capital Gains and Trading activity are both taxed at Corporation Tax Rates.

The downside to holding CryptoCurrency as an investment is that if you have a trading company it could put your trading status at risk for entrepreneurs relief if more that 20% of the business becomes investment related.

The best known Virtual Currency is Bitcoin and since 2014 there have been calls for tighter control of these currencies.

The European Banking Authority, the EBA, called on national supervisory authorities to discourage banks and credit institutions from buying, holding or selling virtual currencies.  It called for regulation of market participants at the interface between conventional and virtual currencies. Over the longer-term, the EBA is calling for a ‘substantial body’ of regulation to be applied to virtual currency market participants, including the creation of ‘scheme governing authorities’ accountable for the integrity of a virtual currency scheme and the imposition of capital requirements.  In the short term, the EBA is calling for national authorities to ‘shield regulated financial services from virtual currencies’.

 

Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part.

steve@bicknells.net