5 tax planning points to consider before the new tax year

5 tax planning pointsFollowing on from our last blog on New Year Tax Saving Resolutions (click here) and with a few weeks to go until the end of the 2017/18 tax year here are 5 things to think about doing before then:

There is a £20,000 limit for ISAs in 2017/18 which can be invested in cash or shares. Any income via interest or dividends from these will be tax free as well as any gains within a share portfolio.

The interest rate is often not the highest and there is an argument that with the savings allowance (£1,000 for basic rate payers, £500 for higher rate tax payers but £0 for additional rate payers) that there is no need for ISAs. However, if you have interest from a director’s loan account, or significant savings then these are still a worthwhile consideration.

The fact that all income and capital is kept within a tax-free wrapper for future years (until you withdraw it) makes it a tax saving vehicle worth using.

Making pension contributions remains a tax-efficient way of saving for retirement, with tax relief given at your highest marginal rate of income tax.

The relief is restricted to the lower of the annual allowance, currently £40,000 for most people, or your net relevant earnings (which is something to consider for additional tax rate earners).

There may also be unused annual allowance from the three previous tax years which can be utilised.

If you are a business owner, your company can make contributions on your behalf directly into a pension scheme, which will also reduce its corporation tax bill.
Note that the maximum relief (e.g. £40,000) is ALL pension contributions in a tax year (from both an individual and an employer).

Things to be wary of are the net relevant earning for higher earners, a lifetime cap if your value of pension pot is nearing £1,000,000 and reviewing your carry back pension position.
Talking to your IFA is recommended for pension planning.

Charitable Donations
Gift aid donations to charity give tax relief at your highest marginal tax rate.
Regular donations are easy to note from your bank statements but any adhoc donations to charity can also be claimed.

With the Manchester and London marathons coming up soon and many other charity events arising, it is a good time to gift aid money.
If this is done by Just Giving, Virgin money giving or other similar sites, then you usually receive an email or can logon to your account and see what donations you have made in the tax year.

Any donations made before 31 January of the following tax year, or the date of the submission of your tax return if earlier, can be carried back to the previous tax year. Cash donations made before both 31 January 2019 and the submission of your 2017/18 tax return can be included on your 2017/18 tax return.

Inheritance tax
Gifts of £3,000 can be made annually with no impact on the nil rate band of £325,000 or inheritance tax charge. If you don’t reach the £3,000 limit in one tax year, the balance can be carried forward, but only for one tax year. So, if no gifts were made in 2016/17, you can make £6,000 worth of gifts before 05/04/18.

In the 2017/18 tax year, there will be a new transferable Inheritance Tax (IHT) allowance called the ‘Residence Nil Rate Band’ (RNRB), worth £100,000, for those that want to pass on their main home to their children.
The new band will sit on top of the existing IHT Basic Nil Rate band of £325,000 (£650,000 for married couples/civil partnerships). The maximum available amount will go up yearly.

For deaths in the following tax years it will be:

£125,000 in 2018 to 2019
£150,000 in 2019 to 2020
£175,000 in 2020 to 2021

The change means individuals passing on a main residence may get a tax-free threshold worth £425,00 and couples may be able to pass on estate worth £850,000 without attracting the 40% IHT tax charge.

There are also reliefs on small gifts to any one person of up to £250 annually and gifts out of the transferor’s surplus income, although various conditions must be met such as ensuring the gifts are not putting the donor in a position where they cannot maintain their current standard of living.

Capital Gains Tax
There is an annual exemption for CGT of £11,300 for 2017/18 for individuals.

Spouses or civil partners may consider transferring assets to ensure that they both utilise their annual exemption. It may also be worth considering how any gains above this are being taxed, to make maximum use of any unused income tax basic rate band if one of them is a higher rate taxpayer.

The timing of asset disposal is also important so that the annual exemption is utilised each year rather than disposing of a multitude of assets in one tax year and not utilising the next years allowance.

If you would like to talk to the Moore Accountancy team before the end of March to discuss any of the above, then please contact us at info@mooreaccountancy.co.uk.


New Year Tax Saving Ideas

New Year Tax Saving ResolutionsMoore Accountancy Altrincham Tax Ideas

At the beginning of every year we often think about New Year’s resolutions and these often relate to finances.

Whether it is saving for a big holiday, a new home or thinking about future retirement – good financial planning can help.


An easy tax planning point would be to maximise your ISA allowances of £20,000 for the 2017/18 tax year before 05/04/18.

Every basic rate taxpayer can earn upto £1,000pa in interest before paying tax but this reduces to £500 for a higher rate taxpayer and £0 for an additional rate taxpayer, so if you are likely to exceed these levels then an ISA is a must.

Consider also what will happen if interest rates rise – saving in an ISA now could protect you from tax in the future.



The majority of taxpayers can have up to £40,000 of pension contributions (in total across employer and employees) each tax year. This annual allowance may be reduced if your earnings exceed £150,000, but there is other criteria which will influence the tapering reduction. These taxpayers will still have at least £10,000 allowance each year.

If you are in the position of utilising your annual allowance then you should ensure that your unused allowances from the previous 3 years have been utilised. If they are not used then they are lost.

It can be tax effective for directors of their own limited company to make contributions direct from the business to the pension fund, and this should be looked into with your IFA.



New inheritance tax rules came into play in April 2017 regarding the family home. The rules are quite complex and should be reviewed with your solicitor. However more simple inheritance tax planning can be done by making regular gifts out of surplus income.

These regular gifts (maybe by Standing Order) can be outside the scope of inheritance tax provided they are paid out of “surplus income” and not capital. You will have to demonstrate that you are left with sufficient income after tax and living expenses to continue your normal lifestyle.

There is no monetary limit on these regular gifts provided the above conditions are satisfied.

In addition to this is the £3,000 annual inheritance tax allowance where you can give away up to this amount each tax year, without it being added to the value of your estate.

You can carry forward any unused annual exemption for one year, so if you did not gift anything in 2016/17, do so now to avoid losing the exemption.


There are other ways of saving money such as cashback sites (topcashback and quidco are two popular ones) and some banks now allow you to “save your change” when making a payment by rounding up to the next £.

A key point is to create a tangible goal or vision, as this is more likely to make you consider your future and encourage saving.


Moore Accountancy are unable to provide specific financial advice, but can direct you to an IFA if you want to discuss any of the above in more detail.

Budget 2017 – Key points update

Budget 2017

Hammond has delivered his second Budget and whilst not an extensive budget has some key points which we think will affect our clients:

Business Tax

  • For employers note that the following changes to the national living wage and national minimum wage from April 2018:
    • Aged > 25        £7.83ph from £7.50ph
    • Aged 21-24      £7.38ph from £7.05ph
    • Aged 18-20      £5.90ph from £5.60ph
    • Aged 16-18      £4.20ph from £4.02ph
    • Apprentice       £3.70ph from £3.50ph
  • VAT threshold is not to be reduced as commentators thought, but is to remain at £85,000 for next two years
  • However, there are to be new measures to take non-registration and payment of VAT by online digital traders
  • Business Rates will increase in line with CPI rather than RPI which is a positive step and any businesses affected by the “staircase tax” (where they have two or more ‘offices’ which are accessed by communal stairs or corridors) will have their previous rates value reinstated
  • For freelancers and contractors no plans were stated about IR35 reforms to the private sector (as happened with the public sector from April 2017) – however a proposed consultation is mentioned in the chancellor’s “red book”, so may well occur in the future
  • £500m is to be invested in 5g mobile networks, artificial intelligence and full fibre broadband
  • Further investments to support electrical cars and charging points, including confirmation that if staff use electrical charging points at work; it will not be classed as a benefit in kind (BIK)
  • From 1/1/18 an additional £2.3bn will be available to fund an increase in the research and development tax credit (from 11% to 12%) for large companies – unchanged for small companies

Personal Tax

  • An individual’s tax free personal allowance will increase from £11,500 to £11,850 in April 2018
  • Correspondingly the higher rate threshold increases to £46,350 (from £43,500)
  • The planned fuel duty rise in April 2018 for diesel and petrol cars has been scrapped
  • For clients with diesel company cars, the supplement in the BIK calculations is to increase by 1% furthering the expense of having a company car
  • The weekly state pension rises to £125.95pw from April, and those under the new state pension will see a rise to £164.35pw.
  • The pensions lifetime allowance will increase from April 2018 to £1,030,000
  • The capital gains tax exemption threshold for 2018/19 will be £11,700 from £11,300.


  • Councils will be given powers to charge a 100% council tax premium on vacant properties – no criteria has been issued yet, but this may affect our landlord clients with properties that are empty.
  • New taskforce for homelessness – potentially benefits or grants for landlords who may take use their properties to house disadvantaged persons.

For Moore Accountancy’s more local clients – there is further devolution of powers to Greater Manchester meaning the GMCA has more autonomy to help the needs of the people in the area.

And finally, with the start of the Christmas season it is good to know that duty on beer, wine and spirits will be frozen – worth raising a glass for (or for drinking whilst you read the OOTLAR – the technical detail of each tax policy measure announced….)


If you have any questions or concerns after this budget update then please give the team a call on 07542299247 or email us at info@mooreaccountancy.co.uk

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


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.



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.



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.