Managing self-development

Self-development allows individuals not just to achieve their career and personal goals, but also helps to support the achievement of business objectives since skilled, fulfilled employees will make more effective contributions to the activities of businesses. It is also beneficial as you may well receive more positive feedback from stakeholders and greater client retention.

Personal and professional development ensures your current knowledge and skills are always up to date, which will enable you to provide clients with the best possible service. You can track your development using CPD and PDP logs which will allow you to reflect on your progress and identify any improvements that can be made. Some employers ask to see potential employee’s CPD and PDP logs as it shows that they would be valuable to the business and progress within it.

 Personal and professional development also means that you can keep up with trends and developments within your profession. If relevant rules and regulations change, all members of staff would be expected to be up to date which will then form part of their continuing professional development.

An example of a recent change is the GDPR legislation which has affected a lot of companies. It is important that you are developing and gaining knowledge in this area otherwise there may be legal consequences for the company (https://torrwaterfield.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/are-you-ready-for-gdpr-25-may-2018/).

In order to identify trends within your profession, you could look at ways in which your business has changed, how these changes have affected functions and roles and how the changes can be managed to your best advantage.  Examples of changes include the growing use of social media and the internet, customer feedback and expansion or globalisation.

To find out more about how you can create a personal development plan you can visit: http://www.mindofwinner.com/create-personal-development-plan/ or email amy.fisher@torrwaterfield.co.uk 

Amy Fisher, 0116 2423400

We Did It – 2018 Charity Challenge, The Plod

This year’s challenge was a 40 mile walk around Rutland. We started at around 10pm on Saturday and continued through the night, finishing at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.  This works out as 18 hours allowing for the clocks going back which was fortunate as we had another hour to walk!

The walk really was a challenge and, of the 17 who started, 11 finished the entire 40 miles.

We were walking for the majority of the time besides the two well deserved pub stops, a breakfast stop and a few 5 minute breaks.

It was an experience to say the least and I did enjoy the walk besides the dark, cold, wind, rain and taking very unnecessary detours over muddy fields!

An amazing breakfast was provided by John and Ingrid Ferry which the team at Torr Waterfield are very grateful for.

This was definitely our toughest challenge to date.

We would like to thank everybody that has supported and sponsored us. The walk has raised jut over £7,500 so far for the charity Coping With Cancer.

There is still time to donate. It would be incredible if you could show some support for the team and make a donation small or large, it’s all for a great cause. Please please visit our total giving page www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/torrwaterrutland18

Thanks from all the Team.

There are lots of photos from the walk on our Facebook page but here are a few of our favourites.

 

Autumn Budget – 29 October 2018

So, we already knew about some of the announcements before the chancellor, the Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond MP, spoke yesterday, so much so he even made a joke about toilets and leaks. As ever there was good news and bad news for taxpayers, a full summary is on our website but here are some good news/bad news highlights:

If you are a business…

Good news

  • Capital allowances – Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) increasing from £200,000 pa to £1million pa for 2 years from 1 January 2019
  • Capital allowances – a new Structures and Buildings Allowance (SBA) for non-residential buildings on eligible construction costs on or after 29 October 2018, this will enable business to claim 2% pa on cost
  • The corporation tax rate, as previously announced, will drop to 17% from 2020

Bad news

  • Capital allowances – the writing down allowance (WDA) on special rate pools, for things such as cars with CO2 emissions of over 130g/km, reducing from 8% to 6% pa
  • Capital allowances – discontinued 100% allowances for energy & water efficient equipment, although you will still be able to claim AIA’s
  • National Living Wage (previously National Minimum Wage) for over 25’s increasing from £7.83 per hour to £8.21 (which also has an effect on the auto-enrolment pension contribution cost)

And more bad news for larger companies

  • Digital Services Tax – for large digital companies (e.g. Amazon) – 2% on revenues linked to UK
  • Corporate capital loss restriction for large companies (from April 2020) – there is already a £5m cap on income losses, this is now extended to capital losses as well
  • Employment allowance restricted to businesses below £100,000 employers NIC
  • R&D tax credit (cashing in instead of reducing tax bill) capped at 3 times the PAYE & NIC liability
  • Off payroll working (IR35) currently in force for public companies will be introduced on private medium and large companies (although not until 2020) – PAYE and NIC will be deducted from the deemed employee and Employers National Insurance will be payable by the company.

If you are an Employee…

Good news

  • Personal allowance increasing from £11,850 to £12,500
  • Higher rate threshold increasing from £46,350 to £50,000 (these two increases will mean a basic rate tax payer will save £130 pa, a higher rate tax payer £860 pa and an additional rate taxpayer £600 pa)
  • National Living Wage for over 25’s increasing from £7.83 per hour to £8.21

Bad news

Other taxes…

Good news

  • Stamp Duty – First time buyers of a qualifying shared ownership in a property of £500,000 or less will get an exemption from SDLT and this is backdated to 22 November 2017 (i.e. you can claim a refund)
  • Stamp duty refunds – the time to make a claim for a refund on the 3% supplement on buying your new home before selling your old home, has been extended from 3 months to 12 months from the sale of your old home (although the filing deadline for SDLT returns is reduced to 14 days after the effective rate of transaction)
  • Capital Gains – annual exemption increased from £11,700 to £12,000 pa

Bad news

  • Rent a room relief – you will actually need to have shared the premises during part of the time you are claiming the relief, effectively excluding income from places like Airbnb
  • Entrepreneurs relief – to qualify, the minimum period is extended from 12 months to 24 months
  • Capital Gains – private residence relief final period exemption reduced from 18 months to 9 months
  • Capital Gains – lettings relief will only apply when the property is in shared ownership with a tenant, in reality this means very few people will qualify and therefore only get private residence relief on sale of their home, however this is subject to consultation and may well change

The above is only a brief summary of the proposed changes. For a more detailed breakdown please visit our website here.

If you have any questions about the budget, or how it will impact you or your business, please contact us on 0116 242 3400 and we will be happy to help.

Denise Burley

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 

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

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 

Clause 24 in the Finance Act – Is it affecting you?

We have known for some time that Landlords have been hit hard by recent tax changes:

  • Clause 24 restricting relief for interest;
  • 8% extra capital gains tax;
  • 3% extra stamp duty.

Clause 24 of the Finance Act set out restrictions for individuals on claiming loan interest as a cost against property investment income, for individuals it works as follows:

  • For the tax year just ended 2017/2018, 75% of the interest can be claimed in full and 25% will get relief at 20%;
  • For this tax year just started 2018/19, 50% of the interest can be claimed in full and 50% will get relief at 20%;
  • From 6 April next year to 5 April 2020, 25% of the interest can be claimed in full and 75% will get relief at 20%;
  • And finally from 6 April 2021, 100% will get only 20% relief.

Essentially Clause 24 removes Interest from the allowable property expenses, and gives you tax relief at 20% instead, so that Higher Rate tax payers will pay more tax.

However, these rules do not apply to companies and therefore they will continue to claim full relief.

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

Paul Witherington, Accounts & Tax 

Why has my tax code changed?

“How do I know if my tax code is correct?”

Your tax code is used by your employer to calculate how much tax needs to be deducted from your pay. HMRC tells your employer which code to use to collect the right amount of tax from you. You can check your income tax online to see what your tax code is, how your tax code has been worked out and how much tax you have paid and are likely to pay in the coming months.

“What does my tax code actually mean?”

Your tax code represents how much tax free income you have for that tax year, for example the standard tax code for the 2018/19 tax year is 1185L and this means you have a tax free income of £11,850.

“What does the letter in my tax code mean?”

The letter in your tax code represents your situation and how that affects your tax free income, for example:

  • L = You’re entitled to the standard tax free allowance.
  • M & N = Marriage Allowance, this means you have either transferred or received personal allowance to or from your partner.
  • 0T = Your personal allowance has been used up or you’ve started a new job and your employer doesn’t have all of your starter details.

To see the full list on the HMRC website please click here.

“Why is there a W1/M1 at the end of my tax code?”

The W1/M1 means that the tax code is non-cumulative; in these cases tax will be calculated purely based on the taxable pay for that pay period. Each pay day is treated as if it is the first week or month of the tax year. All previous pay and tax are ignored.

There are a few reasons you may have been put on this type of code, for example:

  • Started a new job
  • Getting Company benefits or state pension
  • Becoming employed after being self employed

These tax codes are generally temporary and you or your employer can update this.

“How do I change my tax code?”

 You can use the HMRC online services to tell HMRC about any missing or incorrect information. They will then update this by sending you and your employer a P6 tax coding notice. If you can’t use the online services you can call HMRC on 0300 200 3300 and they will help guide you through and get your tax code updated.

If you would like to discuss this further then please get in touch on 0116 242 3400.

Polly Dennis, Payroll Assistant