Moore Accountancy Team Expansion

Manchester based Moore Accountancy have taken on new staff members to support their existing small business clients.

AAT Trainee –

AAT Trainee

Aiden Berry

After months of searching and interviewing we have found a new team member – Aiden Berry.

Aiden will be studying for his AAT at Trafford College from September and combining the qualification with his work at Moore Accountancy.

Outside of the office, he spends a lot of time with his family watching football, cricket and occasionally playing. When not working he enjoys going to the gym with his girlfriend.

Over the forthcoming months Aiden will become the primary port of call for our Payroll and VAT clients, as well as assisting Sid and Katie with other client work.

 

Office Administrator – 

Laura Johnson, started as our part time office administrator in May.

Moore Accountancy Accountants Office Administrator

Laura Johnson

She will be supporting Sid and Katie with administration and using her extensive office experience to ensure the back office functions continue to run smoothly allowing the rest of the team to focus on providing a great service to clients.

Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, yoga and socialising with friends.

There is also a big birthday coming up in July; so there is lots of fun in planning a party!

Client Self Assessment Checklist – 16/17

All Moore Accountancy clients who require a Self-Assessment Tax Return should download, complete and return the attached Self-Assessment Checklist.

This will enable us to include all sources of income in your tax return and to help you gather the information needed from third parties which you will need to provide to us.

If you are unsure about any of the questions, then don’t hesitate to call us on 07542299247 or email us at info@mooreaccountancy.co.uk.

Self Assessment Tax
Checklist 2016/17

CLIENTS – Click here to download our
2016/17 checklist for completion

Below are also some key Self-Assessment dates for 2016/17 & 2017/18

05 April 2017          – End of the 2016/17 tax year

06 April 2017          – Start of 2017/18 tax year

31 July 2017            – Second payment on account for Self-Assessment. Ensure funds available at this time.

31 December 2017 – Due date to submit Self-Assessment if requesting tax underpayment for 2016/17 to be included in PAYE code if amount under £3,000 and still in employment

31 January 2018    – Deadline for submission of 2016/17 Self-Assessment and payment of any amounts due to HMRC for 2016/17 and first payment of account for 2017/18.

#SageSummit – The Moore Accountancy Learnings

Last week I took two days out of Moore Accountancy to head down to London for #SageSummit UK – the first conference held by them in the UK and part of the Sage Tour across the world.

I attended as a Sage Business Expert and Influencer and learnt lots about both Sage products and business development.

 

The Sage staff I met were knowledgeable about the various branches of Sage. The passion with which they had for their various service areas was obvious and created a great vibe at the event.

 

As an accountant, I had only really considered the Sage accounting products as “the thing they did”, but after two days with them I discovered a whole lot more.

  • They are great believers in getting to know a business and offering support to grow them using their accounting, HR solutions and Business Management tools. These include £3 trillion payments processed each year!

 

  • Philanthropy – At the event, the “Big Give” was held where 3 charities pitched to everyone to secure funding from the Sage Foundation. Sage staff can also donate their time each year to worthwhile causes and whilst maybe not every member of staff can go abroad to do this (like Alan Laing), it made me realise that Sage think about developing people and businesses from the inside and are not just about selling product.

 

Key highlights for me were the inspirational talks from entrepreneurs.

There were many comments by the great line-up of key note speakers which gave me food for thought.

Deborah Meaden (Dragons Den), Martha Lane Fox (founder of lastminute.com) and Sahar Hashemi (founder of Coffee Republic) had insights about their own business growth and failures; including:

“focusing on the right user need”,

“enabling diversity and inclusion”,

“delighting your customers by seeing things through their  eyes”

and my favourite from Sahar Hashemi is to be

“100% authentic and be yourself”.

These are all learnings which I will be trying to develop within myself and the team at Moore Accountancy.

 

Diversity and the Gender Gap

As a female business owner hearing these speakers and also Kelly Hoppen talk about diversity in business and the workplace was important. It brought to mind the gender gap issues across the “developed” world and how much further we have to work to minimise it.

One of the stats produced stated that a woman starting university now, would be 81 years old before the pay gap closes – as a mother of 3 girls that is truly shocking and has made me realise that not enough is being done to highlight this #GenderEquality issue and it is something I shall be researching more of from a personal perspective.

 

On a more positive note, I met a really great bunch of people, enjoyed networking with other small business owners, talked the ear off the poor guy from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and had quite a few Sage Mocktails from the bar.

 

Did I benefit from attending Sage Summit? Definitely

Can I bring what I learnt to Moore Accountancy? For sure!

Would I attend if it was held again? Without a doubt….and so should you if you get a chance 🙂

Sage Summit UK – London – April 2017

#SageSummit

As a #SageBusinessExpert I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to London by @SageUK to visit #SageSummit.

2 full on days of speakers, breakouts, insights and networking – I am very excited!

 

Now taking 2 days out of Moore Accountancy client work is a big deal for us, especially as it falls over the tax year end so I am hoping to make the most of this opportunity and focus on three key things.

 

Hearing top speakers

The line-up of speakers includes Martha Lane Fox, Deborah Meaden, Sahar Hashemi and Kelly Hoppen. This bunch of entrepreneurs, ambassadors, Dragons and downright interesting people will kick off each day with their inspiring stories. See here for more information about them.

Moore Accountancy are a micro practice, but hearing these speakers will hopefully give us the motivation and encouragement to look at our business in a new light and come back with new ideas which will help our service provision to clients.

 

Technology

Sage Summit is not just about Sage products such as Sage One or Sage 50, but about the changes in the industry as a whole. I’m really excited about learning more about Sage and what it can do for our small business clients and also about the Cloud in general, Bots and AI Security. There is a whole area dedicated to this which I will be getting to know very well, especially with Making Tax Digital (MTD) happening over the next year.

 

Networking

There will be lots of breakout rooms and communal areas where I can meet other business owners from a variety of industries and both engage and learn from them as well as pass on our small business accounting knowledge to them – win: win!

 

If you are in #London then pop over to ExCel on Thursday 6th for a day of learning and networking, or if you can’t make it then follow our twitter page @sidmooremanc and look for #SageSummit to get our regular updates and top tips from the speakers.

 

Budget 2017 and the changes for small business

Moore Accountancy were not overly enamoured about “Spreadsheet Phil’s” Budget and it’s effects for our small business clients.

Positives included no negative changes to pensions, £2bn more for social care and a delay in Making Tax Digital (MTD) for small self-employed businesses under the VAT threshold.

Negatives include the increase in Class 4 NICs from 9% to 11% by April 2019 and the reduction of the 0% dividend band from £5k to £2k.

Some of these points are further discussed in our Budget newsletter which can be read here –Tax-Newsletter-UK-March-2017.

If you wish to discuss anything from the budget then please drop us an email at info@mooreaccountancy.co.uk

 

Flat Rate Scheme VAT changes from April 2017

Proposals were made in the Autumn Statement to amend the Flat Rate VAT Scheme (FRS) which have now been finalised by HMRC and will affect our clients who have a very low cost base.

 

The definition of a limited cost trader is a business that spends less than £250 or 2% of its sales on relevant goods (note not services) in a VAT quarter. Goods include stock to sell, ink cartridges and stationery and gas and electricity which is used exclusively for the business.

The following will all be excluded from the relevant goods calculation:

  • Any services – which is anything that isn’t goods
  • Food and drink for employee consumption,
  • capital purchases,
  • vehicle costs including fuel unless you’re in the transport business,
  • using your own, or a leased vehicle
  • rent, internet, phone bills and accountancy fee
  • training and memberships
  • promotional items
  • advertising
  • digital subscriptions
  • expenses like travel and accommodation
  • If clients meet the limited cost trader definition then they must pay over 16.5% of their gross turnover each quarter instead of the 12-14.5% most pay now.

Options for clients include:

  • Deregistering for VAT if turnover is below £81,000
  • Moving to the “actual” method instead of FRS
  • Remaining at FRS but paying over 16.5%

Note that the 1% discount will still apply if you are in your first year of VAT registration.

There is now an online HMRC checker (still in beta as at 1/3/17) which you can use to assist in deciding if you are a low cost trader or not. 

This takes effect from 1/4/17, so please contact us to discuss things further if you think you will be affected.

Apprentice Accountant in Practice – Moore Accountancy are hiring!

Moore Accountancy are hiring!

Apprentice Accountant in Practice

This role is to help with clients accounting but to also help with the general running of the small company. The day-to-day activities will be varied and focus on both the finance administration of the company and working with client records.

 

 

Part of a small team and based within the home office of this Altrincham practice, the Apprentice will be responsible for supporting the Practitioner in a variety of tasks.

Programme Duration: 12 – 18 months

Duties/Areas of Responsibility:

The role includes:

  • Filing duties
  • Basic company secretarial work
  • Bookkeeping
  • Monthly payroll
  • VAT returns for clients
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Computerised accounting (over a number of platforms)
  • Data entry
  • Creating sales invoices in word and Xero
  • Chasing debtors
  • Basic business/office admin tasks (including opening post, scanning, telephone answering)
  • Client assistance (including on-site support if required)
  • Maintaining business database and CRM
  • Setting up new clients and all related internal procedures
  • Reviewing internal systems and updating technical notes
  • Any other related ad hoc tasks may be required

As experience and knowledge improves the role will develop into the preparation of accounts and tax for sole traders and individuals.

Note that we are a small home based office and everyone does their turn of answering phone calls, filing, etc. As such the job will vary weekly but encompass all of the above.

Personal qualities and skills required:

  • Punctual, reliable, honest and hard-working
  • Ability to work closely with other team members but also to work under own initiative at times
  • Smart, personable and polite as client service is essential (communicating with them in person, by telephone and by email)
  • Willing to apply themselves and learn
  • Organised with an ability to work well under pressure, prioritise and take instructions
  • Enthusiastic, friendly and helpful
  • Good understanding of confidentiality
  • In addition to the above, you will need to be a quick learner, have high attention to detail and be proactive with your daily tasks
  • Also, you will need to have a genuine passion to work within an accountancy role
  • Computer literate (good working knowledge of Microsoft Office incl. Word, Excel, Outlook)
  • Basic understanding of double entry bookkeeping, T accounts and trial balance
  • Effective oral and written communication skills

Qualifications required:

  • 5 GCSEs minimum grade C or above including at least a B in Maths and English.
  • AAT Level 2 or a relevant qualification is desirable

Please contact Sid via hello@mooreaccountancy.co.uk if you are interested and we can direct you to the correct external agency monitoring the recruitment.

Moore Accountancy is an equal opportunities employer.

Autumn Statement Update 2016

Business Matters_Steve Woods via Dreamstime

Business Matters_S Woods (Dreamtime)

It was Phil Hammond’s first Autumn Statement since becoming Chancellor and it will be his last, as the usual spring budget is moving to the autumn from 2017.

There was lots of talk about productivity and where our gross debt is at present, but for you – our small business and individual clients, here are Moore Accountancy’s main highlights:

Increase in Personal Allowance (PA) and Higher Rate Tax (HRT) threshold

For 2016/17, the PA is £11,000 and the HRT is currently for income levels over £43,000.

Next year (2017/18) this shall rise to £11,500 and £45,000 and the eventual aim is to ensure that the PA increases to £12,500 and the HRT to £50,000 by 2020. After this point the PA is planned to rise in line with the Consumer Price Index.

An increase to these allowances is always good news for both individuals and small business owners.

 

National Living Wage

This was introduced last year and is separate to the National Minimum Wage. This will go up from £7.20ph to £7.50p from April 2017. Read our previous article about the differences between the two.

This is a positive thing for the country and should boost the flow of cash in the economy, although it will be an added burden for micro businesses.

Salary Sacrifice Schemes to be removed

From April 2017, any salary sacrifice schemes (aside from schemes relating to pensions, cycle to work, low emission cars and childcare) will be abolished. These include gym memberships, school fees, private health insurance, accommodation, company cars and car parking.

This does not affect many of our owner managed businesses, but if you are an employee of a large organisation, then we suggest you take up salary sacrifice schemes before April 2017 and benefit for a further year of reduced NIC and tax. After April 2018 these will no longer be protected.

 

Savings

Those individuals who have been prudent over the years and saved their pennies have been hit hard over the last couple of years with interest rates at a record low.

The government will be launching a new National Savings & Investment bond which allows savers to save up to £3000 over a 3 year period. It aims to offer a market leading rate. It should be launched in the spring.

In addition to this, those savers who are basic rate with more than £1,000 worth of gross interest, or higher rate with more than £500 worth of interest should continue to look at utilising ISAs. The threshold has been increased to £20,000 per annum effective from 6/4/17.

 

Corporation Tax rates

The chancellor confirmed that he would not change George Osborne’s plans to reduce Corporation Tax from the current rate of 20% to 19% (from 1/4/17) down to 17% (from 1/4/20). This is welcome news for all businesses in the UK as it shows that the Government’s plan to have the lowest tax rate in the G20 is still on the agenda.

 

VAT changes

Many small businesses have been using the Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) as a simplified way of accounting for their VAT liabilities each quarter.

Unfortunately from 1/4/17 a new VAT rate of 16.5% will be introduced for many labour only businesses who have limited costs (to be known as a “limited cost trader”) and we understand that this will supercede any existing rates which may have been used by existing VAT registered businesses.

The details have not yet been finalised but we believe that a trader whose VAT inclusive expenses on goods (not services) are < 2% of their VAT inclusive turnover or <£1,000 will fall into this category. Note that the expenses used in the calculation will also exclude: capital expenditure, food and drink consumed by the business and vehicle and fuel expenses.

This will affect many of our smaller VAT registered clients, so please ensure you contact us to discuss this further for your specific situation.

 

Making Tax Digital

This is the Government’s current plans to move all small businesses and Landlords to a quarterly reporting and filing regime and away from the current once a year filing.

Many bodies, including the ICAEW have contributed to the consultations which have taken place over the last few months to discuss what HMRC and the Government want from businesses and how they expect businesses to cope with the onerous requirements.

The Government intend to publish its response to these consultations in January 2017 and we shall of course update our clients as to what it will mean for you at that point.

 

More support for Research and Development (R&D) and finance for growing firms

The Government plan to provide a further £400m boost for venture capital funds.

They may also review the tax position of companies who undertake R&D in order to make the UK more competitive in this area.

Many companies may be eligible for R&D tax relief, and whilst this is not a speciality of Moore Accountancy, we have contacts we can pass you on to for further guidance, so please get in touch if you think you may benefit.

 

Letting agent fees

These have been banned which is a cash flow benefit for many renters as it will reduce any up-front costs required when taking out a tenancy.

For landlords however, agreements with agencies should be reviewed to see whether the costs will now be passed onto landlords instead. It will therefore be necessary for landlords who use agents to review their income and costs to ensure they are not disadvantaged significantly.

If you wish for a more thorough review then please read our newsletter update.

Please contact Sid at Moore Accountancy (info@mooreaccountancy.co.uk) if you think any of the above changes will affect you and we can arrange a call or meeting to discuss any tax implications.

Dividend tax for small business owners

The changes effective from 6/4/16 to dividends have adversely affected almost every company business owner.Tax magnifying glass

There is now a new nil rate which applies to the first £5,000 of a person’s dividend income each tax year.

UK residents will now pay tax on any dividends received over the £5,000 allowance at the following rates:
7.5% on dividend income within the basic rate band;
32.5% on dividend income within the higher rate band; and
38.1% on dividend income within the additional rate band.
Dividends received on shares held in an Individual Savings Account (ISA) and pension funds continue to be tax free.

Individuals in receipt of dividend income who will fall into the self-assessment regime for the first time, will need to notify HMRC accordingly. Self-Assessment returns for the 2016-17 tax year need to be submitted by 31 January 2018.

The introduction of the new allowance was designed to help the Government with its plan to reduce the corporation tax rate over the coming years from its current rate of 20% to 17% by 2020 and to avoid tax based incorporations.

The overall idea is that only those with significant dividend income, or those who are able to pay themselves dividends in place of wages, will pay more tax. It is estimated that around one million individuals will pay less tax on their dividend income due to the new dividend allowance. These are likely to be individuals with modest share ownership.

In calculating into which tax band any dividend income over the £5,000 allowance falls, savings and dividend income are treated as the highest part of an individual’s income. Where an individual has both savings and dividend income, the dividend income is treated as the top slice.

Worked example 1 – low salary, higher dividend

Non Savings Savings Dividend Total
Salary 8,000  8,000
Interest   500     500
Dividend 41,000 41,000
Personal Allowance (8,000) NIL (3,000)
Total income        49,500
Taxable  NIL   500 38,000
PSA (500 @ 0%) NIL
BR ( 5,000@ 0%) NIL
BR ( 27,000 @ 7.5%) 2,025
HR ( 6,000 @ 32.5%) 1,950
Total Personal Tax    3,975

Worked example 2 – high salary, lower dividends

Non Savings Savings Dividend Total
Salary 40,000 40,000
Interest 500     500
Dividend 9,000   9,000
Personal Allowance (11,000) NIL NIL
Total income        49,500
Taxable  29,000  9,000
PSA (500 @ 0%) NIL
BR ( 29,000@ 20%)  5,800
BR ( 3,000@ 0%) NIL
HR ( 2,000@ 0%) NIL
HR ( 4,000 @ 32.5%) 1,300
Total Personal Tax       7,100

More HMRC worked examples are available here.

Note that there are other tax implications such as employees and employers NIC on salary, as well as the corporation tax charge of 20% prior to any dividends taken from the company, so please ensure you take advice before extracting funds from your limited company business.

Moore Accountancy can help with providing advice to owner managed businesses. Contact us on 07542299247 or at info@mooreaccountancy.co.uk

Residential landlord? Read up on the changes

Many of our Moore Accountancy clients are buy to let landlords.

Some have become landlords due to circumstances (aka Accidental Landlords) where properties are being rented as they have been unable to sell or have been inherited; whilst others are intentional landlords who are purposely investing in bricks and mortar for further annual income or as an alternative pension fund.

Recently there have been a number of changes to the tax rules relating to what expenses are allowable for buy-to-let landlords when furnishing and repairing a property. It is therefore important to be aware of what can and cannot be claimed so that you don’t lose out.

Old Allowances

Previously, buy-to-let landlords had been able to opt for either a “wear and tear allowance” or, by HMRC concession, the “renewals basis” and this would depend on whether the property was fully furnished or part/unfurnished.

Wear and Tear Allowance

The landlord claimed 10% of the rent as a deduction to cover the cost of replacement of items in the property. This was only available for properties let fully furnished though.

Renewals Basis

The landlord would be allowed a deduction for replacement items of furniture. The initial purchase cost was however not allowed. This relief was available on all properties and was therefore beneficial where a property was not rented as fully furnished.

After 6/4/13 this was removed but landlords could still claim a deduction for replacement ‘tools’. . These could include cutlery, crockery, bedding, bed linen etc. but not carpets, sofas, beds or free-standing ‘white goods’.

New Allowances

From 6/4/16, both the 10% wear and tear allowance and the renewals allowance was replaced by a new relief which allows all landlords to deduct the costs of replacing furnishings in a property. The relief will still not be available for the initial cost of furnishing the property (similar to the old renewals basis).

The new relief will cover the costs of replacing items such as:

• Moveable furniture and furnishings e.g. beds and sofas
• Fridges, freezers, freestanding cookers
• Carpets and floor coverings
• Crockery and cutlery
• Curtains and bed linen

Replacement of integral fixtures (ie items which are not normally removed by the owner when the property is sold) are not included. These would include fitted kitchen units, boilers and baths. Note it may be possible to class the replacement cost of such items as a deductible expenses (as a repair to the property directly).

General repairs such as painting and redecoration will still be allowed as a deduction from rental profits, as will replacement of double glazing windows and doors to a property.

These changes will primarily affect landlords who generally have low repairs and maintenance costs. They will have previously had the benefit of the 10% wear and tear allowance but now will have a much lower level of expense to declare and this may increase their tax liabilities.

There are also further changes to the interest allowable on residential properties, which will be covered by a separate blog post.

If you want to discuss anything further then please get in touch with Moore Accountancy via email (info@mooreaccountancy.co.uk) or phone (07542 299 247).