Category Archives: News

Join us for a Party?

Tickets are now available for our ever popular Charity Dinner. The event has grown bigger every year and always raises lots of money for Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff.

Why not get a group of friends together? A table of 10 is just £500 or individual tickets are £55 each.

Email: alicet@lewisballard.co.uk or Phone: 02920 735502

Christmas Greetings

We will be closed from 1pm on Friday 23rd December until 9am on Tuesday 3rd January.
Should you have any urgent queries during this time please email info@lewisballard.co.uk

There are now just a few weeks until the Self Assessment Tax Return deadline on 31st January 2017 – we will send your return out to you on our secure portal for signature, please sign promptly so we can submit your return to HMRC.

If you are yet to supply us with information please contact the office immediately on 02920 735 502.

Lastly, we would like to wish all of our clients and friends a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year!

The Autumn Statement 2016

The Chancellor began his first Autumn Statement by proclaiming that it would also be his last. In order to bring us into line with other major economies, the Government will instead be introducing an Autumn Budget in 2017 and a Spring Statement from 2018. Today’s budget is arguably the first substantial assessment of Brexit’s impact on the UK economy. Looking at the bigger picture, growth is down and borrowing is up but there are also some positives in there for your personal and business finances.

Business

The National Insurance secondary (employer) threshold and the National Insurance primary (employee) threshold will be aligned from April 2017 at £157, resulting in some additional cost to employers (£7.18 extra per annum per employee).

As previously announced, Class 2 national insurance contributions (NIC) are to be abolished from April 2018. However, this requires reform of Class 4 contributions.

£400 million is going to be available for investment in small businesses with potential for growth.

Extra investment in R&D tax incentives, rising to an extra £2bn per year by 2020/21.

From 23 November 2016 to 31 March/5 April 2019, businesses will be entitled to a 100% First Year Allowance for the cost of installing electric charge point equipment for electric vehicles.

The Chancellor announced a proposed consultation on restricting the advantages arising on incorporation (though no mention appears to have been made in the accompanying documentation at the time of this email).

Employee Shareholder Status (ESS) – in a shock move, given the relatively recent restriction on the tax advantages in this area, any advantage linked to shares awarded under ESS will be abolished for arrangements entered into on, or after, 1 December 2016. The status itself will be closed to new arrangements at the next legislative opportunity.

The benefit of VAT Flat Rate Scheme has been  almost completely withdrawn for businesses spending less than 2% of their turnover or less than £1,000 per year on goods, excluding capital goods, food, vehicles and fuel.

Income

The Personal Allowance is rising to £11,500 in 2017/18 and the higher rate is increasing from £43,000 to £45,000.

The National Living Wage is also increasing to £7.50 for those aged 25 and over, amounting to an increase of £500 per annum for a full-time worker.

Chancellor confirmed that, from April 2017, salary sacrifice arrangements may only be used to achieve tax and NIC savings in the case of:

> employer pension contributions and advice
> employer-provided childcare
> cycle to work schemes
> ultra-low emission company cars

For any other tax-exempt benefits, the exempt status will be lost if they are provided in exchange for a salary sacrifice.

As announced in the Budget 2016, a £1,000 allowance will be introduced for both property income and trading income with effect from the 2017/18 tax year. Individuals with property income or trading income below £1,000 will no longer need to declare or pay tax on that income, and those with income above the allowance will be able to calculate their taxable profit either by deducting their expenses in the normal way or by simply deducting the relevant allowance from their gross income.

As announced in the 2016 Budget, legislation to be introduced in Finance Bill 2017 and having effect from April 2017 will allow an employee to make a payment in return for a benefit in kind and reduce the taxable value of the benefit as long as the payment is made by 6 July in the following tax year.

The Government intends to carry out a review of income tax relief for employees’ business expenses, including those which are not reimbursed by the employer.

Savers

NS & I are launching a new 3 year bond for savers, expected to pay 2.2% on a maximum balance of £3,000. This interest rate is significantly higher than the rates offered by banks and building societies for mainstream savings products.

There will be a crack down on Pension scams including a ban on cold calls and giving firms greater power to block suspicious transfers.

The annual allowance for saving into a “draw down” pension will be cut from £10,000 to £4,000. The limit for those who have not made such a drawdown remains £40,000.

Property

Letting agents’ fees charged to tenants, which currently add as much as £500 to the cost of renting a home, are to be banned.

While tenants will benefit from the removal of upfront letting agents’ fees, landlords can expect to have to meet the costs of various agents’ services such as credit checks.

£7.2bn is to be used to support the construction industry for the building of new homes. The Help to Buy scheme and Help to Buy ISA are to remain in place.

Insurance

Millions of households and motorists are likely to be hit with higher insurance premiums after Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that insurance premium tax (IPT) will increase from 10% to 12% as of June 2017.

Clamp down on whiplash claims could save drivers up to £40 on their insurance premiums.

Lifetime ISA

Although no changes were announced in the Autumn Statement, it is worth remembering that in April 2017 Lifetime ISA’s will be available for savers up to £4,000 a year with a government bonus of up to £1,000.

ISA

 

The Saddle-Sore Saga

So, they did it! They conquered the Rockies over five gruelling days and collectively the group has so far raised over £340,000 for Velindre Cancer Centre! Neil kept us up-to-date over the journey, which Jan turned into a daily newsletter of their progress, this really put into perspective how tough this challenge really was. To read the blog just click here or visit our Facebook Page.

Neil and Chris are still collecting donations. If you would like to donate to this excellent cause, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/NeilandChris

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In order to try and help boost their fundraising the team at LB put in some leg work on two spin bikes in reception and managed to cycle the same distance (105km) as the riders on day 4 of their cycle. The team took the opportunity to send some messages to Neil and the group in Canada…

OFFICES TO LET

We have four superb ground floor offices available to let, conveniently located just off the A48 and a stone’s throw away from the M4. The offices have been recently refurbished to a very high standard and are available to rent as individual rooms or collectively.

The offices come with a designated parking space and shared customer parking, kitchen facilities, cleaning and maintenance, an intercom buzzer system and telephone services.

Click Here to take a closer look at our brochure.

For more information or to book a viewing please get in touch. Call on 02920 735502 or email info@lewisballard.co.uk.

OFFICE SPACE TO LET

Join The UK’s Most Inspiring Accountants

UKs-most-inspiring-accountants

Do you want to join The UK’s Most Inspiring Accountants?

Are you an energetic, enthusiastic, qualified practice accountant?

Do you manage your own clients and always exceed their expectations?

Can you lead a team to achieve exceptional results and develop their full potential?

Do you always add value and have a passion to make a difference?

Yes?

Then you’re perfect for us!

Do you love meeting new people and building positive, effective relationships to help grow business?

Are you looking for a business that encourages you to excel and offers you exciting opportunities to progress?

Are you looking for a competitive salary based upon skills and experience?

Yes? 

Then we’re perfect for you too!

Join our team and you’ll enjoy a varied role; building client relationships and advising them on all aspects of building a business including, Accounts, Tax, VAT, Payroll, Business Growth, Funding, Sales and Acquisitions. Develop your full potential with great opportunities to progress.

As committed employers we are ACCA, CIOT and AAT affiliated and have the Investors in People Gold award and ACCA Platinum trainer status for continuous commitment to the development of our team.

Please send a CV with a covering letter to info@lewisballard.co.uk

Or please send your CV to:

Recruitment
Lewis Ballard
Celtic House
Caxton Place
Pentwyn
Cardiff CF23 8HA

Experts Predict the Impact of Brexit

As the business world comes to terms with last week’s referendum result, experts have began to make their predictions on what we can expect post Brexit. Vital to many will be the trade deals our government makes with the EU which have the potential to limit our access to the single market.

How-The-Brexit-Will-Affect-Your-Small-Business-1

Tax

PwC’s Head of Tax, Kevin Nicholson says “Brexit will undoubtedly affect how people and businesses are taxed.” He has predicted a period of short term uncertainty with the hope that a reduction in legislation could allow for a simpler system in the long term and the possibility of more tax to use for certain people and industries.

VAT

We could see Import Duty and Import VAT imposed on goods bought into the UK from an EU country and the same for goods exported from the UK to an EU country. There is uncertainty yet as to the impact on VAT for goods from non EU countries.

Employment Law

Much of the UK’s employment law is intertwined with the EU’s. One expert said that it is unlikely we would repeal such laws as “Much of the employment protection which flows from Europe reflects accepted standards of good employee relations practices.”

On the other hand, employment law specialists, Peninsula have warned that we could see changes to:
– Holiday entitlement
– Breaks in the working day
– Maternity and Paternity leave
– Anti-discrimination laws

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this and luckily we have Peninsula on hand to give us the most up to date advice.

Bookkeeping

At the moment the message is “Business as usual” for financial reporting. It is likely that the HMRC’s ‘making tax digital’ changes will still go ahead and the framework for financial reporting is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future.

Insolvency

We are likely to see changes to the process of UK insolvency says the president of The UK insolvency Trade Body, including possible restrictions on retrieving assets.

Energy Prices

We were warned that leaving the EU could result in an increase to our Energy Prices. MD of Love Energy Savings, Phil Foster has recommended that businesses make cuts where possible, for example switching to LED light bulbs and introducing energy efficient policies.

 

Most Innovative Accountancy Firms of 2016

We were, this month very proud to feature in Acquisition International’s latest newsletter as one of the ‘Most Innovative Accountancy Firms of 2016’.

cardiff

Director Neil said: “We are totally blown away by winning this award. We realise that the world of business is a whirlwind of change and we need to keep ahead of things to ensure our clients’ businesses keep prospering. The challenge to stand out in a crowded market place will remain throughout the 21st Century and only with dedication to continuous innovation to improve both the services we offer and the ways that we market them will accountants remain relevant to our clients.

Read the full article HERE.

Our Top Tips for Reducing your Business Tax Bill

Mileage

If you use your vehicle for business travel you can claim your mileage back from your tax bill.

The current allowance is 45p per mile for cars and vans, 24p per mile for motorbikes and 20p for push bikes.

You can also claim for the cost of parking and any toll charges.

Travel

If you are running your own limited company you can claim your train fares as a business expense.

So even if you don’t get a seat on the way to and from work or meetings, you will at least be able to get your tax bill reduced!

Childcare Costs

You can’t use the costs of childcare for your own business expense as a company director. But you can support any employees with children.

If you were to set up a crèche or childcare facilities at your business premises the cost of running this can be claimed as a business expense, assuming it is open to all employees.

Equipment

Wouldn’t it be great to have a shiny new Macbook Pro to work on? If you run your own company that dream could be a reality.

You can claim for the cost of equipment purchased for your business. This includes computers, printers and software plus the costs of equipping a home office e.g. desks, chairs, filing and bookcases. When making these purchases you must obtain an invoice in the company name.

Business owners also have an annual investment allowance of £200,000 for items such as computers and printers. These costs can then be off-set against your tax bill – happy days!

Food and Drink

If you are out on business there are some cases where you can claim for the cost of a meal or coffee. HMRC can be quite particular about what they allow but essentially if you are away from your usual place of work, such as at a business meeting that you wouldn’t regularly attend, then you can claim for food and drink.

There is also a subsistence allowance for overnight business trips, which is set at £5 per night for overnight stays in the UK and £10 for overseas.

Uniform

There are reliefs for uniforms and specialist clothing. Such as repairing or replacing small tools you need to do your job, e.g. scissors or an electric drill and cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing, e.g. a uniform or safety boots

HMRC has a list of professions that can claim for clothing.

Training

Professional development is categorised as a business expense.

This means you can go on a training course and claim the expense on the company as long as it can be shown to relate to the work you do.

Similarly you can claim for membership of certain HMRC-approved trade bodies as long as it can be shown to be helpful to your work.

Christmas Parties

Everyone loves a party and even the taxman feels generous during the festive period.

Annual staff events, such as Christmas parties, can be claimed for on your tax bill as long as they cost no more than £150 per employee.

For more information on any of the above please give us a call our tax specialists on 02920 735 502.