The Training Continues

With just under 3 weeks until the 40 mile walk around Rutland, I completed my first practice walk. The walk will take place on the 27th of October and should take around 16 hours to complete. The team will be completing the walk for the chosen charity Coping with cancer. For previous updates read the blogs before.

We started just after 9am starting at Bradgate and finished at around 4:30 which calculates to 7 and a half hours including a pub stop. We visited the three peaks, the first being Bradgate park then Beacon Hill and Bardon Hill. The views from the three peaks made the walk worth it. All together I think we walked just under 18 miles. I’m sure the challenge leader took us the wrong way so I think we walked a bit further than planned.

The weather was perfect for the practice walk and thankfully it didn’t rain. I’m not too sure how difficult the 40 mile walk will be because it’s through the night and in the dark. The worst part was the hills which seemed like they didn’t end but hopefully there won’t be any in Rutland were the 40 Mile walk will take place.

I personally found the 18 mile walk possible but I’m not too sure I could do double the amount. Even though I’m going to give it a go and hopefully complete it all. It’s easier to walk when listening to someone tell stories and time does fly and you don’t realise how far you have actually walked.

The team will have to prepare for the walk over night with head torches and plenty of food. At least the walk will be a challenge and I’m looking forward to see how many people take part.

If you would like to show support and sponsor us no matter how small or large you can do so by donating on our Total giving page here. 

Sage Wilkins, Bookkeeper 

Self-employed Class 2 National Insurance will not be scrapped

The government has decided not to proceed with plans to abolish Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from April 2019.

Class 2 NICs are currently paid at a rate of £2.95 per week by self-employed individuals with profits of £6,205 or more per year. The government had planned to scrap the Class 2 contribution and had been investigating ways in which self-employed individuals with low profits, could maintain their State Pension entitlement if this inexpensive contribution had been abolished.

In a written statement to MPs, Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, stated that:

‘This change was originally intended to simplify the tax system for the self-employed. We delayed the implementation of this policy in November to consider concerns relating to the impact on self-employed individuals with low profits. We have since engaged with interested parties to explore the issue and further options for addressing any unintended consequences.’

‘A significant number of self-employed individuals on the lowest profits would have seen the voluntary payment they make to maintain access to the State Pension rise substantially. Having listened to those likely to be affected by this change we have concluded that it would not be right to proceed during this parliament, given the negative impacts it could have on some of the lowest earning in our society.’

If you want to discuss any of this further please get on touch, 0116 2423400 or info@torrwaterfield.co.uk 

Training has now started for the Rutland Plod

As you may well know we are planning to walk 40 miles around Rutland water and surrounding villages, starting at 10pm on Saturday 27th October and finishing hopefully at 3pm Sunday afternoon. Please read our previous blog for more info here. 

Last weekend I plotted a 15 mile practice walk around Charnwood ,including Bradgate Park, Beacon Hill and Bardon Hill.  According to Heather’s app, the actual distance was 17 and a quarter miles.

It was a lovely sunny day for walking, so of course we stopped half way in a beer garden to refuel.

The 17 (and a quarter) miles took 7 hours (including the pub stop).  So by my calculations, the 40 mile challenge will take about 16 hours… great!

I have to say, when we got back to the Bradgate Park carpark, the thought of going round again (and a bit further) sounded like a stupid idea.

But hopefully with a bit more training over the next 3 weeks, we will all get round and raise lots of money for Coping with Cancer, our charity of the year.

Please help us reach our target and sponsor us. No matter how small or large you can do so by donating on our total giving page https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/torrwaterrutland18

Stuart Caney, Challenge Leader

The Rutland Plod – TW Challenge 2018

Last year the team, friends and family took part in a 2 day challenge, walking 23 miles per day along The Llyn Peninsula. This year we are challenging ourselves even further by trekking 40 miles around Rutland overnight. This means no time to rest as the team begins the challenge at 10pm on Saturday 27 October and will continue non-stop (except for a few pub breaks!) through into the late afternoon of Sunday 28 October, taking a total of 16 to 18 hours to complete.

After parking our cars Mike Waterfield and Stu Caney will lead the team along the south end of Rutland Water before walking up the west side. This will be a good starting point as it will prevent the group from getting lost in the dark as Rutland Water will be on our right hand side for a couple of hours (around 6 miles).

Shortly after midnight and a short break to recharge, we will cross over the River Gwash, pass through Braunston in Rutland and then make our way south whilst the sun rises. The clocks will have gone back by this point which means we have an early finish! Matt Smith and other members of Torr Waterfield will be meeting us once we reach Morcott at around 9am, when we will then follow the River Welland from Barrowden after breakfast for 6 miles. This will lead us to the built up village of Ketton where we can stop for a bite to eat at around 1pm before eventually getting back to the starting point for 3pm.

We will also be meeting a few others in Ketton who were not able to join us for the whole 40 miles. They will be walking the last 5 miles with us and celebrating the success of completing the challenge!

For any long distance walking challenge there is only one form of training that will ensure you perform well – walking! So in the lead up to the challenge we will be doing a number of training walks to ensure we can endure the whole 40 miles! Our first training walk was last Saturday starting from Bradgate Park and walking 15 miles which took around 6 hours.

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Over the coming weeks we will be posting other blogs to keep you updated on how our training is going and once we complete the challenge we will let you know how tough it was and how much money we raised in total.

The money we raise will be donated to our charity of the year, Coping with Cancer. To find out more about them you can look at our previous blog https://torrwaterfield.wordpress.com/2018/02/28/our-charity-of-the-year-coping-with-cancer/ or visit their website https://www.c-w-c.org.uk/ 

If you would like to show support and sponsor us no matter how small or large you can do so by donating on our just giving page www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/torrwaterrutland18    

Amy Fisher, Fundraising Lead – 0116 2423400

‘No deal’ Brexit guidance

The government has issued some ‘no deal’ Brexit technical notices, with the aim of helping both businesses and individuals to prepare in the event of a UK-EU agreement not being realised.

The government has published the first 25 notices. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was keen to emphasise that reaching a deal remains the ‘overriding priority‘. However, until a Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by the UK and European Parliaments, the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019 remains.

The 25 documents cover a range of different areas, including VAT and trading, financial services, farming and workplace rights.

Josh Hardie, Deputy Director General at the CBI, said:

‘It’s right and responsible that the government has supplied information to businesses on issues from financial services passporting to food labelling, all of which will help lower the risks of the harshest outcomes from a ‘no deal’ Brexit.’

The government has confirmed further technical notices will be issued in September.

For more information please visit: GOV.UK no deal brexit collection

If you would like to discuss any of this further please get in touch on 0116 2423400 or info@torrwaterfield.co.uk

Have you taken advantage of the Marriage Allowance?

A married couple or civil partnership can apply to transfer 10% of the income tax personal allowance from one to the other. Although called the marriage ‘allowance’, it is a transfer rather than an additional allowance.

To qualify for the allowance, neither of the partners can be higher rate taxpayers and cannot be claiming the married couple’s allowance. To benefit as a couple, one person should be earning below the personal allowance (£11,850 for 2018/19).

The maximum tax saving in 2018/19 is £237.00 (10% of the £11,850 personal allowance at 20%).

 

How to apply

 The application for the transfer is made by the person who wants to transfer part of their allowance to their partner. It is absolutely fundamental that the recipient of the allowance does not make the claim.

If your income is predictable, you can apply during the tax year here. If you apply during the tax year, the claim is in place until withdrawn or through either death or divorce.

If your income is unpredictable, because you are self-employed for example, you can make an application after the tax year on your Self-Assessment Tax Return. This claim must be done each year – it does not remain in place for future years.

 

Backdated claims

 Currently, you can backdate marriage allowance claims to include any tax year since 5 April 2015 if you were eligible. This means you could claim back as much as £662 if you can claim for 15/16, 16/17 and the 17/18 tax year.

 The Married couple’s allowance

 If either you or your partner were born before 6 April 1935 you may benefit more from the Married Couple’s Allowance instead, which you can read more about here.

For further information or help on the above, please call the office on 0116 242 3400 or email us at info@torrwaterfield.co.uk

Aiden Hyett, Accounts & Tax 

VAT on building a new home

If you’re building a new home, you may be able to reclaim the VAT back on the materials used, potentially making a lot of difference to the final costs.

You can apply for a VAT refund on building materials and services if you’re:

  • building a new home
  • converting a property into a home
  • building a non-profit communal residence – e.g. a hospice
  • building a property for a charity

The building work and materials have to qualify and you must apply to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within 3 months of completing the work.

To qualify for the reclaim of VAT, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You may claim a VAT refund for building materials that are incorporated into the building and can’t be removed without tools or damaging the building.
  • The building must be for one of the following purposes:
  • Non-business – you can’t charge a fee for the use of the building
  • Charitable, for example a hospice
  • Residential, for example a children’s home

What doesn’t qualify?

  • building projects in the Channel Islands
  • materials or services that don’t have any VAT – for example, they were zero-rated or exempt
  • professional or supervisory fees – for example, architects or surveyors
  • hiring machinery or equipment
  • buildings for business purposes
  • buildings that can’t be sold or used separately from another property because of a planning permission condition
  • building materials that aren’t permanently attached to or part of the building itself
  • fitted furniture, some electrical and gas appliances, carpets or garden ornaments

How to claim

Fill in form 431NB to claim a VAT refund on a new build, or 431C to claim for a conversion.

There are lots of useful guidance notes included with these forms.

For further information or help on the above, please call the office on 0116 242 3400 or emails on info@torrwaterfield.co.uk 

James Yarnall, Accounts 

Is your child about to collect their GCSES? – You need to tell the Tax Man

(A-levels, further education or an approved training course, you MUST tell the taxman if you’re claiming child benefit or risk losing out on thousands of pounds a year)

June was a busy period for students throughout the UK as they completed their GCSE and A-Level exams, but what happens to your child benefits afterwards?

Your Child Benefit stops on 31 August on or after your child’s 16th birthday if they leave education or training. It continues if they stay in approved education or training, but you must tell the Child Benefit Office.

You’ll be sent a letter in your child’s last year at school asking you to confirm their plans.

You must report any change of circumstances to the Child Benefit Office.

‘What If my child continues education or training?’

Use the online service to tell the Child Benefit Office that your child is staying in approved education or training after age 16.

Approved education:

Education must be full-time (more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience) and can include:

  • A levels or similar – eg Pre-U, International Baccalaureate
  • Scottish Highers
  • NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3
  • home education – if started before your child turned 16
  • traineeships in England

Courses are not approved if paid for by an employer or ‘advanced’, eg a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate.

Approved training should be unpaid and can include:

  • Foundation Apprenticeships or Traineeships in Wales
  • Employability Fund programmes or Get Ready for Work (if started before 1 April 2013) in Scotland
  • United Youth Pilot, Training for Success, Pathways to Success or Collaboration and Innovation Programme in Northern Ireland

Courses that are part of a job contract are not approved.

‘What if my child decides to leave education or training?’

Use the online service (CH459) to tell the Child Benefit Office that your child aged 16 or over has left approved education or training.

When your child leaves approved education or training, payments will stop at the end of February, 31 May, 31 August or 30 November (whichever comes first).

 Temporary breaks

 If there has been a break in your child’s education or training (for example if they change college), you might get Child Benefit during the break. In this case you should tell the Child Benefit Office.

 Apply for an extension

You could get Child Benefit for 20 weeks (called an ‘extension’) if your child leaves approved education or training and either:

  • registers with their local careers service, Connexions (or a similar organisation in Northern Ireland, the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein)
  • signed up to join the armed forces

To qualify for this, your child must:

  • be 16 or 17
  • work less than 24 hours a week
  • not get certain benefits (eg Income Support)

You must have been entitled to Child Benefit immediately before they left the approved education or training and apply for it within 3 months of them leaving.

Apply for the extension online

If you have any queries regarding this information please feel free to contact a member of TorrWaterfield on 0116 242 3400

Sam Koelling, Accountant

Are you up to date with Health and Safety?

Health and Safety is mandatory for just about every business, and it doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated to manage. If you are an employer running a low risk business the management of health and safety can be delegated to a competent person to help you with it. The HSE defines a competent person as “someone who has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities that allow them to assist you properly.”

Some of the main responsibilities which the law requires are:

  • Have a written up to date health and safety policy (If you employ 5 or more people)
  • Carry out a risk assessment
  • Display a current certificate as required by the Employers‘ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969
  • Display the Health and Safety Law Poster
  • Notify certain types of injuries, occupational diseases and events
  • Suitable first aid arrangements (first aid box, appointed person, accident book)

This is to ensure that a safe, pleasant and comfortable working environment is provided for all staff and clients and to maintain safe and healthy working conditions. Staff should familiarise themselves with the details of any policies and support their implementation by adhering to the relevant procedures.

The HSE have created the H&S ABC as guidance for small to medium businesses which explains in more detail the requirements for your business regarding Health and Safety and the necessary steps to take to make sure your business is compliant with health and safety law. For more information please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/abc/ 

If you wish to discuss any of this further or need any further support with Health & Safety then please get in touch 0116  2423400 or amy.fisher@torrwaterfield.co.uk  

Amy Fisher, Health and Safety Coordinator 

Help When You Need It

For the times when you need a second opinion, simply don’t know the answer, or it’s outside of your business remit, you can contact our dedicated Employment Law, Health & Safety and Commercial Legal Advice lines.

Because we have partnered with Croner Taxwise you’ll receive access to the UK’s leading Employment Law firm, free of charge.

Croner Taxwise specialists will offer you advice on all Employment Law related issues, acting as an external HR team for you.

Employment Law Advice Line

The specialist team will provide you with commercially sound advice on matters relating to looking after your employees and their welfare.

From managing absenteeism to calculating holiday entitlements, the Employment Law team is here to help.

Health & Safety Advice Line

The key with Health & Safety in the workplace is to proactively manage your obligations and not, as many do, wait until something happens.

The dedicated Commercial Health and Safety experts are only a phone call away. They are ready to answer any questions you may have and help you understand your safety obligations.

Commercial Legal Advice Line

Their Legal Consultants are, as you would expect, highly experienced solicitors who you can call to advise you on issues ranging from landlord and tenant litigation to ascertaining if an issue worth pursuing on formal legal representation or not.

Access to all of these advice lines is FREE to all our Fee Protection clients. Call us today to find out more 0116 2423400