National apprenticeship week – 14th to 19th March

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ApprenticeshipThis week sees a nationwide celebration of apprenticeships, including those in accountancy which we have offered at Morrell Middleton.

In recent years, Tom has successfully passed his Association of Accounting Technician (AAT) qualification, and is now starting on his Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) exams. Beth and Joe joined us during 2015, and are doing well attending York College one day a week studying towards the AAT qualification, with their time in the office learning a range of skills and gaining practical skills.

Auto-enrolment – £600,000 of penalties issued in last quarter

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FineWith up to 500,000 small and micro employers due to join the auto enrolment regime in 2016, The Pension Regulator (TPR) has announced that in the 3 months to December 2015, they have issued nearly 1,500 fines of £400 each. In a statement from TPR they commented that:

“Our research shows that most employers want to do the right thing by their staff but that smaller employers are more likely to leave things to the last minute. They therefore need a “nudge” to encourage them to meet their duties.

A minority still don’t comply after receiving a notice of non-compliance, but many do after receiving a fixed penalty of £400.  As we deal with smaller employers, it is expected there will be more who, despite the message to prepare early, leave it too late or don’t act at all.  We take this very seriously….

Clifton Moor Business Association welcome Morrell Middleton to present on 17th March 2016

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CMBAWe are delighted to have been invited to present to the March meeting of the Clifton Moor Business Association (CMBA), which takes place on 17th March 2016.

Martin Poole of Morrell Middleton comments “This is an exciting opportunity for us to share our knowledge of upcoming changes and develops to the financial landscape with the local business community. Our focus will be on the known changes, some of which don’t come into force until 2020, however we can start planning now to manage and minimise the impact.”

For more details click here

Chancellor targets buy-to-let and second property purchases from April 2016

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osborne_front_2_3235919b-2From 1 April 2016, the purchase of a buy-to-let or holiday property will be subject to an additional 3% stamp duty (SDLT).

This is a further additional tax on those who wish to invest in property as an alternative vehicle for saving, given the historically low levels of interest rates available on keeping wealth as cash.

The announcement of this change in the Autumn 2015 spending review comes hot on the back of the announcement on the restrictions on claiming tax relief for mortgage interest announced in the July Budget.

45p mileage allowance – per person or per vehicle?

Accounting, Businesses, Personal Tax, Uncategorized l

car on coinsOne way of paying for travel by private car is for a claim for business related mileage to be made, at up to 45p per business mile for the first 10,000 per annum and up to 25p per mile thereafter. This is typically using your own car, but it could be a hired, borrowed or shared car too.

A question which has recently arose is whether the 10,000 miles per annum is per person or per vehicle.

Congratulations to Martin!

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CMBAWe are delighted to announce that Martin Poole from our team has been appointed to the board of directors of the Clifton Moor Business Association, of which Morrell Middleton are long standing members.

Clifton Moor Business Association has been established over 15 years with the vision of creating a forum where the views of businesses on Clifton Moor could be represented and to encourage mutual business between companies based on the estate.

Hoax directory warning – “The Publication of Companies and VAT Registration Numbers”

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FraudTrading Standards have been made aware of a letter being sent to local businesses entitled “Publication of Companies and VAT Registration Numbers in the UK Corporate Portal 2015”, which urges businesses to update their VAT registration details.

The letter, which has a return address in Germany, claims the updates are a legal requirement of changes to the EU Economic Package, but the small print contains a hidden scam.

Are you claiming all the available tax relief on your commercial property?

Accounting, Businesses, CGT, Corporation Tax, Investments, Personal Tax, Property, Uncategorized l

Cartoon-SkylineMost business owners assume that their accountant will ensure that the tax bill each year is minimised – that’s what you pay our fees for isn’t it?

Unfortunately, with commercial property, many accountants do not make all the tax claims available as they don’t have the expertise to obtain the necessary information to make the claim in house. This means you could be missing out on accelerating how quickly you get tax relief for your investment, leaving the claim for your purchase cost until you sell the property which is likely to be years if not decades away. Under the current tax rates this also means that you could be obtaining tax relief today at up to 45%, compared to only 10% upon sale.

Fraudulent penalties warning from Companies House

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FraudThe below has recently been issued by Companies House regarding fraudulent claims of penalties being due which are being received by UK businesses:

“Companies have been contacted asking for payment of a late filing penalty over the telephone.  The caller says they will accept a payment of £5 by credit or debit to place a hold on any further action being taken.

Companies House will not contact you for immediate payment of a late filing penalty or request payment of a nominal fee to place a hold on any recovery action.

No Employer’s NIC for employees aged under 21

Accounting, Businesses, National Insurance, Payroll, Uncategorized l

under21With effect from 6 April 2015 employers with employees under 21 years old will no longer have to pay Class 1 secondary National Insurance contributions (NICs) on earnings up to the Upper Secondary Threshold (£815 per week) for those employees.

You will need to record a different NI category letter for any such employees. Current category A will be replaced by category M until the employee’s 21st birthday.

There is no effect on the NICs payable by the employee.

Annual ISA allowance

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ISAYou can save up to £15,000 tax free each year into an Individual Savings Accounts (ISA). The payments must be made before the end of the tax year (5 April) but this year due to Easter, this is likely to be Thursday 2 April, with advisors closed for the long weekend.

Following the changes made in the 2014 Autumn Statement, your spouse/Civil Partner can now inherit your ISA and no tax will be paid on gains, adding to the benefits of using ISA’s.

Electric vehicles start to be “attacked” by HMR&C

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Electric CarIf you are considering buying an electric vehicle into your company, you need be aware that the current tax benefits will start to be eroded over the next 5 years, and you may be financially better off with a low CO2 emission petrol or diesel vehicle.

The main change is in the benefit in kind rules for electric cars and vans, which will impact on both the company and the employees.

Our top 10 tips for writing a winning business plan

Accounting, Businesses, Growth, Property, Shares, Uncategorized l

Business PlanWe’ve been helping organisations to prepare business plans and forecasts for many years. Without exception, it seems like a daunting task for the management team, but it’s really crucial to your success whether starting a new business or wanting to develop an existing business, to have a clear plan and that it can be articulated to the people who can help you make it happen.

“A lack of clarity could put the brakes on any journey to success.”

Steve Maraboli – Behavioral Scientist

Here are our top 10 tips for writing a business plan: