The Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship Levy is charged on employers’ “paybills” at a rate of 0.5%. The levy is payable through Pay as You Earn (PAYE) and is payable alongside income tax and National Insurance. To keep the process as simple as possible “paybill” will be based on total employee earnings subject to Class 1 secondary NICs.

Each employer receives one annual allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment. There is a connected persons rule, similar to the Employment Allowance connected persons rule, so employers who operate multiple payrolls are only be able to claim one allowance.

1.) If you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you must pay the apprenticeship levy from 6 April 2017. You can find out how to do this here.

You will report and pay your levy to HMRC through the PAYE process.

The levy will not affect the way you fund training for apprentices who started an apprenticeship programme before 1 May 2017. You’ll need to carry on funding training for these apprentices under the terms and conditions that were in place at the time the apprenticeship started.

Detail on how to setup and use your online account can be found here.

2.) If you do not have to pay the levy then you can still receive support to pay your apprentices.

From May 2017, you will pay 10% towards to the cost of apprenticeship training and government will pay the rest (90%), up to the funding band maximum.

If you do not pay the levy, you won’t be able to use the apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment until at least 2018.

Instead, you’ll need to agree a payment schedule with the provider and pay them directly for the training. The provider must prove that you have paid your contributions as a condition of government paying its contribution.

There are 2 different types of apprenticeships to choose from:

  • apprenticeship standards– each standard covers a specific occupation and sets out the core skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need; they are developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers’
  • apprenticeship frameworks– a series of work-related vocational and professional qualifications, with workplace- and classroom-based training

To choose training:

If you would like to discuss any of this further then please contact us on 0116 2423400

Becky Edwards, Payroll Manager 

HMRC’s Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF)

This is a facility that the Inland Revenue introduced in 2016 which allows the voluntary disclosure of any UK tax liabilities that relate to offshore income or assets, which have not previously been disclosed to the UK tax authorities, to be declared.

This includes:

  • Income arising from a source outside the UK
  • Assets situated or held outside the UK
  • Activities carried on wholly or mainly outside the UK
  • Where the funds connected to unpaid tax are transferred outside the UK

Which years?

  • The facility applies to all tax years up to and including 2015 to 2016.
  • If HMRC has sent you a tax return for that year, or any tax year from 2013 to 2014 which is still outstanding, you must complete the return and you must not include these tax years on this disclosure form.

 

By contacting the Inland Revenue, rather than the Inland Revenue contacting you, the penalty regime will be less harsh.

 

If you think that the above applies to you then please get in touch with us as soon as possible so that the Inland Revenue can be notified. 0116 2423400

Julia Harrison, Tax Manager 

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax

For most people, Inheritance Tax is a tax they only encounter when dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away.

There’s normally no Inheritance Tax to pay if either:

  • The value of your estate is below the £325,000 threshold
  • You leave everything to your spouse or civil partner, a charity or a community amateur sports club.

If you give away your home to your children or grandchildren, your threshold will increase to £425,000.

If you are married or in a civil partnership and your estate is worth less than your threshold, any unused threshold can be added to your partner’s threshold when you pass away.  This means their threshold can be as much as £850,000.

Inheritance Tax rates

The standard Inheritance Tax rate is 40%.  It’s only charged on the part of your estate that’s above the threshold.

Inheritance Tax can be paid at a reduced rate of 36% on some assets if you leave 10% or more of the ‘net value’ to charity in your will.

Example 

If your estate is worth £600,000 and your tax-free threshold is £325,000 – The Inheritance Tax charged will be 40% of £275,000 (£600,000 minus £325,000). 


Who pays the tax to HMRC? 

The Funds from your estate are usually used to pay the Inheritance Tax to HM Revenue and Customs.  This is done by the person dealing with the estate (the ‘Executor’, if there is a will). 

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss the above in more detail then please get in touch 0116 2423400

Paula McIntosh, Administrator 

Have you become a landlord?

You can become a landlord for many different reasons; you might not even think of yourself as one. This could be because you’ve:

  • inherited a property
  • rented out a flat to cover your mortgage payments
  • moved in with someone and need to rent out your house.

If you follow this link http://bit.ly/2w4rf17 it takes to the gov.uk web page for Guidance on HMRC’s Let Property Campaign.

On the page there are examples of the most common tax errors people make when renting out their property and are all part of the Let Property Campaign which aims to help landlords bring their tax affairs back in to order. These include:

  1. Moving in with a partner and renting your property.
  2. Inheriting a property.
  3. Property bought as an investment.
  4. Relocation
  5. Divorce
  6. Moving in to a Care Home.
  7. Jointly owned investment property.
  8. Property bought for a family member at university.
  9. Armed Forces.
  10. Tied accommodation.

If any of the above apply to you, or if you are unsure whether your circumstances are covered, you can contact HM Revenue and Customs direct or you may wish to discuss matters with us first. Please call us on 0116 2423400

Linda Plumb, Credit Control

Hot Topic Making Tax Digital for Business

The government have issued information on how Making Tax Digital for Business (MTDfB) is expected to work for VAT once the rules are introduced in April 2019.

Under the proposed rules, which have been issued subject to consultation, VAT registered businesses with turnover over the VAT registration threshold will be required to submit their VAT return digitally using software. Businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to:

  • keep their records digitally (for VAT purposes only) and
  • provide their VAT return information to HMRC through Making Tax Digital (MTD) functional compatible software.

It has also been confirmed that MTD will be available on a voluntary basis to other businesses, for both VAT and income tax.

Exemptions will be available where HMRC are satisfied the business is run by a practising member of a religious society or order whose beliefs are incompatible with the use of electronic communications, some insolvent businesses; or where HMRC are satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable to make a return using an electronic return system for reasons of disability, age, remoteness of location or any other reason.

The proposed rules include provisions that where a business is in scope for MTD the business must use functional compatible software to meet the new requirements. This software will either be a software program or set of compatible software programs which can connect to HMRC systems via an Application Programming Interface (API). The functions of the compatible software include:

  • keeping records in a specified digital form
  • preserving digital records in a specified digital form
  • creating a VAT return from the digital records and providing HMRC with this information digitally
  • providing HMRC with VAT data on a voluntary basis and
  • receiving information from HMRC via the API platform that the business has complied.

Businesses will need to preserve digital records in the software for up to six years. The digital records include:

  • ‘designatory data’ including the business name, principal place of business and VAT registration number together with information about which VAT accounting schemes they use
  • the VAT account that each VAT registered business must keep, by law, and
  • information about supplies made and received.

Further information on the required information can be found in Annex 1.

The government will make the final detailed requirements available to the software providers by April 2018 to allow time for the software to be developed and tested prior to the rules coming into effect from April 2019.

VAT returns

Businesses within the scope of MTD for VAT will be required to submit their VAT returns using their functional compatible software.

The information contained with the VAT return will be generated by pulling information from the digital records. This information will contain as a minimum the 9 boxes required for the completion of the VAT return but can also contain a specific data set of supplementary information, all of which will be pulled from the digital records.

Businesses submitting monthly or non-standard period returns will be able to continue to do so. The VAT annual accounting scheme will also be retained with the current conditions. Businesses making these types of returns will also be required to keep digital records and submit their VAT returns through software.

Under the new rules some businesses may choose to voluntarily provide further information:

Periodic updates
Businesses will be able to submit VAT information more frequently than their VAT return obligations require on a voluntary basis as a ‘voluntary update’.
Supplementary data
HMRC believes that businesses and HMRC could benefit from the submission of supplementary data detailing how the figures in the return are arrived at. HMRC believe this additional data will help them target non compliance. The software will allow for the voluntary submission of supplementary VAT data as part of a VAT return or a voluntary update. This will allow HMRC to test with businesses the extent to which they and HMRC can benefit from such supplementary data.

Timescale

VAT is the first tax to be reportable under MTD and businesses within the scope of MTD will need to keep their records digitally, using approved MTD functional compatible software, from 1 April 2019. The software will create the return from the digital records and this will need to be submitted under MTD for return periods starting on or after 1 April 2019.

We will keep you informed of developments in this area and ensure we are ready to deal with the new requirements. Please contact us for more information 0116 2423400

The following Tax Events are due on 31st October 2017

Personal Tax Events

Deadline for submission of 2016/17 self assessment returns if you require HMRC to compute your tax liability and/or if tax underpaid is to be collected by adjustment to your 2018/19 PAYE code.

This deadline is only relevant for those individuals who complete a ‘paper’ self assessment tax return and who are employees. Where you have an underpayment you may request that HMRC collect the tax outstanding by making an adjustment to your tax code for the year 2018/19.

Please note that where your return is submitted online then the filing deadline for ‘coding out’ is 30 December 2017.

If we are already dealing with this matter on your behalf you need take no action.

Deadline for submitting ‘paper’ 2016/17 self assessment returns.

This deadline is relevant to individuals who need to complete a self assessment tax return for 2016/17 and wish to file the return in a ‘paper’ form. Self assessment returns submitted after this date must be submitted electronically.

Please note that this deadline is not relevant if we are going to submit an online return for you or you are going to deal with the completion of an online return yourself. The deadline for submission of online returns is 31 January 2018.

If we are already dealing with this matter on your behalf you need take no action.

If you would like to discuss this further please get in touch 0116 2423400

New Vehicle Tax Rates April 2017

We all know that there are a few things we need to consider before buying a new car.

These are some common questions which are asked by clients (hopefully before they go ahead and make that major purchase):

“Should I purchase a car through my business or should I use my own car for business use?”

“Should I lease or purchase a car?”

…and perhaps the most common question of all:

“How much tax will I have to pay?”

You may be interested in purchasing an electric car because you are concerned about the environment.  The government have certainly put in place tax incentives to encourage us to think ‘green’ and, with BMW recently deciding to build their future electric cars in the UK, it would seem that the motor industry is following suit.

Despite the many obvious things we all have to consider when purchasing a new car perhaps there is one thing that you may not be aware of and that is the new vehicle tax rates that were introduced from 1 April 2017.

The way vehicle tax is calculated has changed for cars and some motor homes that were first registered with DVLA from 1 April 2017.  The change doesn’t affect any vehicle registered before 1 April 2017.

The rates explained

Vehicle tax for the first year is based on CO2 emissions.  From 1 April 2017 this rate has increased and is now between £0 for electric cars and £2,000 for the highest polluting cars.  Vehicle tax rates can be checked by visiting https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax-rate-tables.

After the first year, the amount of tax that needs to be paid depends on the type of vehicle. The rates are:

  • £140 a year for petrol or diesel vehicles
  • £130 a year for alternative fuel vehicles (hybrids, bioethanol and LPG)
  • £0 a year for vehicles with zero CO2 emissions (electric vehicles)

New vehicles with a list price of more than £40,000

If a vehicle has a list price (the published price before any discounts) of more than £40,000, the rate of tax is based on CO2 emissions for the first year.

After the first year, the rate depends on the type of vehicle (petrol, diesel, alternative fuel or zero emissions) as above plus an additional £310 a year for each of the next 5 years.

After those 5 years, the vehicle will then be taxed at one of the standard rates (£140, £130, or £0) depending on vehicle type.

So for vehicles with a list price of more than £40,000, from the second time they are taxed and for the next 5 years, the amount of tax to pay will be as follows:

  • £450 a year for petrol or diesel vehicles
  • £440 a year for alternative fuel vehicles (hybrids, bioethanol and LPG)
  • £310 a year for vehicles with zero CO2 emissions (electric vehicles)

If you are considering the purchase of a new car and would like more information about the new vehicle tax rates then please click on the following Youtube video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbV7Yfud1dE

There are certain accounting and tax issues associated with business vehicles so please get in touch if you have any questions about a vehicle you wish to use in your business.  Remember it is always a good idea to ask for advice before making a major purchase as it is important to know all the facts before making a decision.

If you would like to discuss any of this further then please contact us 0116 2423400

Beth Judd, Accounts & Tax 

We did it ! 2017 Challenge – The Llyn Peninsula

This year’s challenge was a 46 mile, two day hike around the Llyn Peninsula in Wales.

Having walked similar distances in the past, we thought that we knew what we were letting ourselves in for …

However, we had not anticipated the many obstacles along the way, including:

Ankle deep boggy mud

Steep and slippery climbs and descents

No pubs on route

Wet feet from start to finish

High tide (meaning we had to wade waist deep into the sea)

Cows

Rain

This was probably our toughest challenge so far.  Our support team were unable to relax and had to come to our rescue twice on day one.

Eventually, most of us made it to the finish line (the pub) for a well-earned pint!

We would like to thank everybody that supported and sponsored us.  So far we have raised over £2,000 for our charity of the year, The Alzheimer’s Society.

If you would like to support us, please visit this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/torr-waterfield1

Some pictures from the walk:

Day 1 – Our team of 10 set off from Nefyn Golf Course:

We made our way along.jpg

We made our way along the coastline, through the mud:

2nd Pic sam k.png

3rd pic.jpg

Stu and the team.jpg

We got a bit wet:

matt.jpg

Look out for the blue signs:

sign.jpg

Seaweed fight:

Brook & Mat Seaweed.jpg

Day 2 – There were a few casualties on day one, our team is down to 5:

day 2.png

Still smiling in the rain:

MCW rain.jpg

Nice views, but still a long way to go:

Views

views 2.jpg

 

Feeding the wild horses: 

Wid horses.jpg

The end:

The End.jpg

If you would like to view some more photos and videos please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Torrwaterfield/ 

Stuart Caney, Accounts & Tax 

 

 

Are you due a tax refund, or is it a fake HMRC email / phone call?

In the current cyber-world attempted fraud is always increasing and taxpayers need to watch out not only for scam emails and texts but phone calls too.

Phishing emails are designed to steal personal or financial details and may also deliver malicious software.  Some of the most common examples involve HMRC and an email advising a taxpayer about a “tax refund notification”.  It asks the recipient to click on a link, which then requests personal banking details – leading individuals unwittingly to compromise their financial security.  HMRC scam emails often contain the taxman’s logo and official style reference numbers and increasingly appear to be genuine communications.  Scammers often sign off using the name of an actual member of HMRC staff.  These criminals are getting cleverer all the time sending their emails at peak times i.e. January, when it’s the deadline for completing your self-assessment return, and July, being the deadline for your tax credits submission.

Tax payers please take note that HMRC do not make contact by email or phone to advise you of a refund and never give personal information over the phone to someone you do not know.  If you are in any doubt contact your accountant/advisor immediately.

An example of a typical phishing email purporting to be from HMRC is shown below:

HMRC SCam

If you think you may have received something that isn’t legitimate or you’re unsure then please contact us on 0116 2423400

Mark Cunnold, Client Manager 

Thinking of an Upgrade?

If the seemingly endless adverts are to be believed then if you subscribe to online bookkeeping software such as QuickBooks or Xero then your bookkeeping will become effortless, will probably be done in a coffee shop or on the go and will leave your accountant kissing an iPad with glee.

Whilst new software isn’t going to change your life, there is a lot to be said for having access to your records from any laptop/tablet/phone and from anywhere with a decent internet connection.

Online bookkeeping software allows you to send invoices and quotes to potential customers from your phone, enter purchase invoices from the sofa and even have bank transactions feed directly from your bank into the software to reduce the time taken to reconcile your bank.

The software can often be used by multiple users simultaneously, are compatible with Windows, Apple & Android operating systems and have a range of add-ons to allow data to be linked with third party software such as GoCardless or iZettle.

Cloud based software is constantly backed-up and saved by the software provider, and you can grant us direct access so there is no more need for taking and sending over backups. The software is constantly updated too so there’s no need to upgrade every few years.

If you’d like to discuss the packages available for your bookkeeping needs, or if you’re a Sage user and looking to upgrade to one of their subscription based products, please contact us and we can find the best option for you – we might even be able to obtain a lower subscription cost compared to going direct.

 

Matt Smith, Accounts Audit & Tax  

0116 24243400