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2012 News

Here you can read all of the news articles from 2012. Please select from the list below by clicking to read the article.

26.12.2012 - Tax Returns - Final Call

We’re now approaching the “eleventh hour” for 2012 Self Assessment Tax Returns that must be submitted by 31st January 2013. If you haven’t already passed everything to your Accountant make sure you do during the first week of January or risk an automatic £100 fine.

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05.12.2012 - Autumn Statement

Included within the Autumn Statement issued by the Chancellor today are a couple of interesting points for small business.

Firstly Annual Investment Allowances (AIA) that allow a 100% tax claim for certain capital expenditure (on new plant & machinery) have been increased. Currently the limit for AIA is £25,000 but from January 2013 this will rise to £250,000 for a two year period in order to encourage investment back into business. Any small business planning a significant spend on new equipment will welcome this development.

Secondly it was suggested that from 2013/14 tax year a new form of tax calculation will be available for the very smallest business entities and tax will be calculated on the cash that has flowed through the business. This is a move to bring a simpler regime into play and we look forward to seeing the detail behind this as it develops. Watch this space for details.

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09.11.2012 - Jersey Bank Accounts

HMRC have been given a list of over 4,000 people with offshore accounts held with HSBC in Jersey and they are now starting to trawl through the names looking for those individuals who may not be able to explain the source of their funds. Apparently the list contains some high profile criminals but will undoubtedly also include some taxpayers that thought the funds would never be discovered. The story from the Telegraph can be seen here

Those facing the discovery of undisclosed income would be well advised to make an urgent Voluntary Disclosure to try and limit the penalties they will face later.

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06.11.2012 - Business records checks

HM Revenue have re-launched the Business Records Check regime and intend to start checks on 26th November with businesses in London and East Anglia, rolling out to the rest of the country over the following months.

A letter will be sent out to targeted business’ with a questionnaire aimed at identifying any business with poor records. Those identified with potentially inadequate records can expect a Business Records Check and where the visit confirms a problem the Revenue will explain what improvements need to be made. HMRC will normally carry out a follow up visit three months later to ensure the required improvements have been made and penalties will be applied where problems have not been remedied.

If your book-keeping is poor now would be a good time to make some improvements before the Revenue force you to put your house in order. Contact us now to see how we can help you with your accounting records.

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25.10.2012 - Direct Selling targeted by HMRC

The Revenue seem to be launching another campaign almost weekly at the moment and this time those involved with Direct Selling are coming under the spotlight. If you are an agent, representative, consultant acting for another business and paid on commission you may fall under the scope of the latest crackdown. Selling door to door or via “parties” and catalogues is a very large market and HMRC are looking at those who may not be reporting their income from these sources. If you fall into this category and you have under-declared your income you have until 28th February 2013 to tell HMRC about your liability and make payment. Those that don’t “come clean” can expect much higher penalties when they are caught as we reported following the Plumbers Tax Safe Plan.

Contact us now to discuss how we can help you declare your income and settle with the Revenue before the deadline.

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12.09.2012 - Real Time Information (RTI)

The reporting requirements for PAYE are getting a makeover from April 2013 with the introduction of Real Time Information (RTI). From April next year most employers will need to meet the new requirement that essentially means information will have to be reported to HMRC on a monthly basis. There will be no requirement for an end of year P35 as the monthly payroll run will trigger a need to submit online information. Those employers not required to make the change by April will need to be ready by October 2013 when the scheme will be compulsory for all employers.

If you use software (eg Sage Payroll) then your software provider should provide an update that will enable you to comply with the new regulations and you may have already received a note about RTI from them. If you haven’t heard from your softwre provider you should contact them now and ask about an RTI upgrade. You should also note that if you pay your staff using direct Bacs you will need to update Bacs references as part of the upgrade.

If you currently don’t use software then you have three choices:

1. If you have 9 employees or less you can use the HMRC free basic tools bundle

2.You can purchase payroll software

3.You can outsource your payroll

Make sure you’re well prepared for the new rules in plenty of time as there will be penalties for failure to report monthly under the new regime. If you have any concerns about how RTI will impact your business please call us for a chat and remember that we offer a full payroll bureau service if you decide to outsource your payroll function.

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25.07.2012 - Cash flow problems?

Is your business suffering from cash flow problems? Many small business owners are now struggling with the effects of a four year downturn. Whilst we’re all hoping that the economy will begin to improve the road to recovery will take many months and cash flow will continue to be a driving factor in this difficult period.

If you’re suffering in this way, perhaps the time has come to ask for a fresh pair of eyes to look at your business and offer some independent advice. We can visit your business on a NO CHARGE, NO OBLIGATION basis and discuss how we can assist you to move forward and be in the best position to benefit as the country recovers from recession.

Call us now to arrange an appointment.

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25.07.2012 - Self Assessment Penalty regime

It seems the £100 fine for late filing of a Self Assessment Tax Return has been around for so long that it has ceased to be effective! From January this year the regime changed and there is no longer a “flat rate” £100 fine for late filing. Under the new system the penalty will increase depending on how late the Return is filed. Once the Return is 3 months late the fine is £10 per day up to a maximum of £900 and after 6 months the fine becomes tax geared and so the fine is only limited by your earnings in that tax year!

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25.07.2012 - Late PAYE payments

Over the last couple of years many small firms have fallen into the habit of making PAYE payments late as cash flow has become difficult and are probably thinking it will just mean a little interest is added at the year end. WRONG!

The new PAYE penalty regime means that late payments will now attract penalties partially determined by the number of late payments over the tax year. The danger is that the penalties may be accruing unseen and you will be in for a nasty surprise later when the P35 has been processed. Worse still is the possibility that this will only be uncovered when you have your next compliance visit and will end up covering several years!

Check your payment schedule now and take action to make future payments on time. Call us to see how we can help you with your PAYE and payroll headaches.

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25.07.2012 - Keep a diary?

Are you one of the many small business owners that rely on a diary to keep track of your appointments?

The use of a diary is still common for taxi drivers, hairdressers and other traders that make appointments in the course of their business.

Please remember that if you’re one of these your diary should be considered an integral part of your accounting records and should be kept for at least six years after the end of the year to which it relates. If you have moved on to an electronic diary such as Outlook you should check with your IT provider to make sure that the diary is being backed up on a regular basis.

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