A Year out

In 1995 my husband and myself decided to take a year out to travel around the world.

At the time I worked for British Telecom who were kind enough to give me the time off, which meant I had a job to come home to. My husband gave up his job but he did have another job offer for when he came home. We both had two jobs and worked all the hours we could to save up the money for our trip.

When I told my dad I remember he wasn’t very impressed, we had a house, he said we should be settling down to start a family not travelling the world.

We sat down and worked out a rough itinerary of where we wanted to go then went to a travel agent. We said want to go here, here, here and here – what flights can they do for us. A couple of places we were going to involved flying in to one place and travelling over land to fly out from somewhere else.

September 1995 – We were dropped off at Heathrow ready for our adventure, one backpack each with roughly what we thought we might need, and our round the world plane tickets.

The first place we were heading to was Delhi, India, we had no accommodation booked, my dad would have gone nuts if he had known so we didn’t tell anyone. We used the Lonely Planet guide which they call the travellers bible, it is, it has everything you need to know, people who have travelled write it so it has alot of information about things you probably wouldn’t know about.

The places we visited after India were Nepal (Annapurna range Himalayas), Kashmir, Singapore, Taman Negara National Park, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, China (Xian, Yangtze River, Tiananmen Square), Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii (Pearl Harbour), Los Angeles (where we had some friends arrive from England to finish our trip with us), New York, Washington D.C, Chicago, Alaska (Denali National Park), Canada (Jasper and Banff National Park), San Francisco, Mexico, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

We ended back in Los Angeles were we sold our car, said goodbye to our friends and then made the long journey back to the UK, back to our home and jobs.

It was great to see everyone when we came home because you do miss people especially when it is someone’s birthday or Christmas. We absolutely loved our year out, I think it taught us a lot about ourselves, when visiting other counties you learn to appreciate what you have at home and are grateful for it, you have to learn to be organised with travel, accommodation everything really. You also have to learn respect for other country’s beliefs and cultures.

I found it quite difficult to settle back into normal life after such an amazing year out, but I can honestly say I would recommend it to everyone, it was definitely worth the experience. I learnt a lot which I think I still use today, patience, understanding, caring, being organised, being respectful and listening to people.

Linda Sampson, Credit Control thailand-national-park-2-1386659.jpg

We like to think we’re not your average accountants.

At Torr Waterfield we pride ourselves on steering away from the typical stereotype of ‘old boring accountants’.

Elbert Hubbard, the American writer, publisher, artist and philosopher is credited with this quote:

“The typical accountant is a man, past middle age, spare, wrinkled, intelligent, cold, passive, non-committal, with eyes like a cod-fish; polite in contact but at the same time unresponsive, calm and damnably composed as a concrete post or a plaster of Paris cast; a petrification with a heart of feldspar and without charm of the friendly germ, minus bowels, passion or sense of humour. Happily they never reproduce and all of them finally go to Hell” 

We think Elbert Hubbard is wrong!

For one, our team is certainly not dominated by middle aged men. We have an ever increasing team of 35+ people with male and female at an almost equal ratio. We have a mixed bag of ages including, yes, your middle aged man, but we have trainees and apprentices also. This summer we took on two apprentices in business administration and have had two new trainees join the accounts team recently.

We like to socialise at Torr Waterfield whether it be a cheeky pint in the pub on a Friday or one of our many team building activities. We aim to all go out together quarterly and have previously been to laser quest, virtual golf, held a bbq and most recently we went to Nottingham dog racing.  These activities really help our office work as a unit and allow staff to communicate with each other more than just on a day to day basis.

We love Leicester!

We’re also Leicester lovers, whether it is Leicester City Football Club or Leicester Tigers and even local bands like The Moderators. The team were thrilled that Leicester won the premier league and we celebrated by all attending the Parade and wearing blue in the office. When local band The Moderators perform it is always a date that goes in the diary for many of the team. Mark Cunnold is an avid follower and loves nothing more than having a good old mosh at their gigs.

Want to know even more about us?

On our website we have a meet the team section.  Click here and see which director used to get paid £10 a night to body bop and break-dance in a Blackpool nightclub in the summer?

Hollie Crown, Office Manager

Hollie Crown 2 April 2012 

‘The Windermere Way’ – Torrwaterfield’s Team Challenge for 2016

The Windermere Way is a 45 mile walk around England’s largest lake, including a total ascent of 7,300ft.

15 members of Team Torrwaterfield took part in the challenge this year, to raise money for http://www.lampadvocacy.co.uk , our charity of the year.

The challenge was every bit as tough as we expected; we had sore feet, aching muscles and lots of blisters all round.

Thanks to everyone that sponsored us – we smashed our £2,000 target and are currently just short of £2,500.  It is not too late to show your support using our sponsorship page https://www.givey.com/tw2016lwc

We are now looking for suggestions for the 2017 challenge!

Here are a few photos from the 2 days:

The Start: 

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Great Views: 

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Start of Day 2:

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Go on Tom:

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Top of Wansfell:

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Overlooking Ambleside: 

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The Lake:

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The End: Completed ! 

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Stuart Caney, Accounts & Tax 

Could you and your employees save money through salary sacrifice?

Salary sacrifice is an agreement between an employer and employee to reduce the employee’s cash salary entitlement, usually in exchange for a non-cash benefit – think of it as swapping salary for something else.  This happens as part of a change to the employee’s contract.

How does this save money?

Shifting remuneration from cash to non-cash benefits can remove the PAYE and National Insurance (NI) liability on the amount shifted.  The employee saves tax and NI, and the employer saves NI – there are savings for both parties, which can be substantial and are certainly not to be too eagerly dismissed.

What types of benefits can currently be effectively provided through salary sacrifice?

Common types are:

  • Employer supported childcare (see our recent blog on this specific subject here)
  • Pensions
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Mobile phones
  • Car parking

Is this too good to be true?

My Dad always used to say to me “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” – in this case it’s “yes” and “no”.  The Government are aware that salary sacrifice schemes have been used in the past for all sorts of things that aren’t really the intended use.  They are currently consulting on removing the tax and NI advantage for certain salary sacrifice arrangements.  They want to encourage employers to provide certain benefits, therefore the proposed changes are not set to affect employer provided pensions, employer supported childcare, or cycles/cyclist safety equipment – these are set to stay for the foreseeable future.

Things to consider

  • A salary sacrifice arrangement can’t reduce an employee’s cash earnings to below the National Minimum Wage
  • Earnings related payments, such as overtime rates and payrises etc can be based on the notional salary or the new reduced cash salary – this must be made clear to the employee
  • Salary sacrifice reduces the amount of pay that is subject to NI and could affect an employee’s entitlement to contribution-based benefits such as Incapacity Benefit and State Pension, statutory pay such as Statutory Sick Pay and Statutory Maternity/Paternity/Adoption Pay and tax credits
  • Check with your pension provider or financial advisor that your workplace pension scheme allows salary sacrifice

For more information on salary sacrifice, just click here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/salary-sacrifice-and-the-effects-on-paye or contact us on 0116 242 3400.

Katie Kettle,  Technical Manager Katie Kettle Colour

How much will your business rates be in 2017? — Steve J Bicknell

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, like: shops offices pubs warehouses factories holiday rental homes or guest houses If your property has a rateable value below £18,000 (£25,500 in Greater London) you’re considered a small business. Even if you don’t qualify for small business rate relief, your business rates will be calculated using […]

via How much will your business rates be in 2017? — Steve J Bicknell

Tax Reminder

The following Tax Events are due on 19th October 2016:

Business Tax Events

PAYE quarterly payments are due for small employers for the pay periods 6th July 2016 to 5th October 2016

This deadline is relevant to small employers only. As a small employer with income tax, national insurance and student loan deductions of less than £1,500 a month you are required to make payment to HMRC of the income tax, national insurance and student loan deductions on a quarterly basis.

Where the payment is made electronically the deadline for receipt of cleared payment is Friday 21st October 2016 unless you are able to arrange a ‘Faster Payment’ to clear on or by Saturday 22nd October. In year interest will be charged if payment is made late. Penalties also apply.

PAYE, Student loan and CIS deductions are due for the month to 5th October 2016

This deadline is relevant to employers who have made PAYE deductions from their employees’ salaries and to contractors who have paid subcontractors under the CIS.

Employers are required to make payment to HMRC of the income tax, national insurance and student loan deductions. Contractors are required to make payment to HMRC of the tax deductions made from subcontractors under the CIS.

Where the payment is made electronically the deadline for receipt of cleared payment is Friday 21st October 2016 unless you are able to arrange a ‘Faster Payment’ to clear on or by 22nd October 2016. In year interest will be charged if payment is made late. Penalties also apply.

Tax and NI due under a 2015/16 PAYE Settlement Agreement

This deadline is relevant for employers who have entered into a PAYE settlement agreement to pay tax and national insurance in respect of benefits in kind for their employees for the year ended 5th April 2016.

Where the payment is made electronically the deadline for cleared receipt of cleared payment is Friday 21st October 2016 unless you are able to arrange a ‘Faster Payment’ to clear on or by Saturday 22nd October 2016.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail then please get in touch here.  

 

LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP (LLP) – DID YOU KNOW?

An LLP exists as a legal entity separate from its members.

An LLP is fully liable for its own debts.

The liability of a member of an LLP is limited to the amount of capital they contributed.

A member of an LLP does not have a contract of employment.

The members of an LLP would normally have an agreement between themselves which sets out their respective rights, rewards and responsibilities.

An LLP is treated as a partnership for tax purposes with members taxed on their share of the taxable profit.

A member of an LLP is self-employed so there is no liability to Class 1 Employer’s national insurance.

An LLP is often used as a cost-effective means of rewarding a business’s key individuals.

If you consider we may be able to assist either with the operation of your LLP or in your decision as to whether an LLP would be appropriate for you please contact us. 

Richard JefRichard Jeffreys April 2012freys, Senior Audit Manager