Taxfile's May 2018 e-newsletter

May Newsletter – New Battersea Branch, Easy CIS Tax Refunds, Avoid £10 Daily Fines & More

Taxfile's May 2018 e-newsletter

Our informative May e-Newsletter is now ready to view online. It includes exciting news of our new branch opening in Battersea along with important tax and accountancy-related news that might affect you. Here is a quick summary of the newsletter’s contents:

  • The first article announces the opening of our new Battersea Branch in London SW8. New and existing customers are welcome to pop in and say hello and to get expert help with your tax affairs and accountancy requirements. Learn more about the opening of the Battersea branch, and the core services on offer, here or click the big button below to read the newsletter.
  • If you work on one of the many Battersea construction sites in or around SW8, we can help you reclaim overpaid tax and much more … see the newsletter for more details – click the big button below.
  • If you’re a sub-contractor working in the construction industry scheme (‘CIS’), you’re almost certainly due a tax refund (learn why here). Taxfile are experts at getting tax rebates from HMRC, so come and see us and we’ll get you the maximum refund possible. Read the newsletter (click the big button below) to learn how we make your tax refund application fast and hassle-free.
  • We can help limited company contractors too! We’re tax and accountancy experts so we can help you register as a limited company or register for CIS if you’re not already set up, we’ll help you with the monthly tasks demanded of you by HMRC including accounts preparation, confirmation statements, corporation tax handling, CIS set-off rebate, National Insurance (NI), VAT, bookkeeping, payroll and much more. We’ll save you time and will make operating the Construction Industry Scheme a breeze. Click the pink newsletter button below for more details.
  • If you introduce a family member, friend or colleague to Taxfile, you will get a discount off your next tax return if they sign up as a new paying customer with us. Click the button for details.
  • Taxfile recently printed some brightly coloured postcards to promote our new Battersea office and our tax-related services. Simply get in contact if you’d like some of these postcards to hand out to colleagues. If you write your full name on the back and use it to refer a colleague, it might even save you money! Click the button for more details.
  • Our team are multi-lingual and always happy to help. If English is not your first language, let us know and we’ll try to match you to the most appropriate staff member.
  • If you, your friends, family or colleagues have not dealt with your old tax returns, HMRC will be adding £10 per day to the penalty from 1st May. That’s on top of the £100 fine that will have applied immediately after missing the original 31 January deadline. Let Taxfile get your tax records, tax returns and overdue tax all in order so you don’t have to pay any more in fines than you have already. Learn more here or contact your nearest branch for a consultation.
  • All Taxfile clients get free ‘Tax Enquiry Fee Protection Insurance when they file their tax return through Taxfile by the statutory deadline. So – if you’re investigated by HMRC – our fees to sort it out are covered. Click the button for more details.

Feel free to Read more

TAX HELP! Your 1-stop tax shop

Taxfile: Your One-Stop Tax & Accountancy Shop

TAX HELP! Your 1-stop tax shop

Taxfile has over 100 years of combined tax and accounting experience. It’s incredible to think that the key personnel have administered over 30,000 tax submissions in the past 20 years! Beginning way back in 1994 (and continuing as Guy Bridger Limited from 1997), we originally started business offering only CIS sub-contractor returns but quickly developed the service to help the self-employed, local businesses and higher rate taxpayers with their tax computations. Along the way we added tax and accounting services for taxi drivers, cab drivers, landlords and more. We also offer Capital Gains tax expertise and tax investigation help and, more recently, professional help with disclosures, written tax advice and tax planning for things like inheritance.

We have exceptional accounting experience in all key tax and accounting areas including:

Taxfile helps individuals as well as businesses. Our customers are very varied, turning over anything from £10,000 to over £1 million a year. A few are high wealth individuals who no longer need to work but still need to account for their taxes etc. Some customers have retired, others operate small businesses and some don’t even live in the UK but may have assets here. So, whatever your income, assets or situation, the message is that if you need ANY tax-related help, you’ve found the right place in Taxfile.

Taxfile also has the back-up and expertise of professional bodies on tap (so nothing is too complicated for us) and also has excellent relations with the tax authorities — we’re very well trusted by HMRC. Guy even helps in the local employment zone, which aims to improve business in the Tulse Hill and West Norwood area. So, Taxfile is very much part of the local community, particularly in South London (but expanding to other areas too — keep an eye on this blog for forthcoming information about that in the very near future).

Whatever help you need with tax and accountancy-related matters, call Taxfile on 0208 761 8000 and we’ll be delighted to help you. Alternatively, Read more

The Spring Budget, March 2017

Spring Budget 2017: Key Changes Affecting SMEs & the Self-Employed

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his Spring Budget to the House of Commons today.

If you missed it, you can watch and listen to the entire speech by clicking the video above. For those without 55 minutes to spare, we spotlight the key changes, particularly in relation to tax, National Insurance, the self-employed and small businesses.

  • For the self-employed, Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) were already set to be abolished from April 2018. Today, to the surprise of many, the Chancellor announced that Class 4 NIC rates will increase from 9% to 10% from April 2018, increasing again to 11% in April 2019. The Chancellor said that this was to more closely align self-employed NI rates with those paid by employees, particularly in view of the new State Pension to which the self-employed will now have access.
  • Tax-free dividends for those working through a limited company will also be reduced from the current £5,000 level to just £2,000 in April 2018. Corporation Tax will then be charged above that threshold. Again, the reason cited was to bring the self-employed more in line with employees in terms of tax paid overall.
  • The National Living Wage, for those over 25, will increase to £7.50 per hour from April.
  • From April this year, the personal allowance (the amount people can earn before paying income tax) will increase to £11,500 and to £12,500 by 2020. The threshold for higher rate tax will also increase from £43,000 to £45,000 this April.
  • Up to £2,000 (tax-free) will be available towards the cost of childcare for children under 12 from April this year. So for every 80 pence you pay in childcare costs up to £10,000 maximum, the government will add a further 20 pence.
  • Those lucky enough to be able to afford it will be able to save up to £20k maximum in their ISAs from this April. There will also be an NS&I bond introduced, which will pay 2.2% interest on a maximum of £3,000 per person.
  • There will be help for businesses following business rate increases, particularly pubs, which will receive a £1,000 discount if their rateable value is less than £100k (apparently that’s 90% of all English pubs). Also businesses coming out of ‘small business rate relief’ will be helped through the transition with a promise of increases no larger than £50 per month from next year.
  • There will also be an expansion of the clampdown on tax avoidance where some businesses were converting capital losses into trading losses.

Other announcements made by the Chancellor Read more

Free accounting software package

AMAZING OFFER! Save Time, Money & Space with a FREE Sage Bookkeeping & Accounts Package!*

Free accounting software package[UPDATE: Please note that this offer has now expired]. Taxfile’s customers can benefit from an incredible offer on a range of Sage accounting packages at the moment. We’re offering a FREE or, in effect, heavily subsidised* Sage accounting package to all active Taxfile customers, whether existing or new. There are various different packages available so we’re sure we’ll have one which will suit every customer perfectly. The list of benefits is almost endless — here are just a few:

  • Firstly we’ll GIVE* Taxfile customers the package — you don’t have to pay Sage at all;
  • Say hello to quick and easy bookkeeping and record-keeping;
  • Quick and easy cash flow management tools;
  • Cloud-based record keeping means you can access accounts records from anywhere with an internet connection;
  • Automatic bank statement integration makes bank reconciliation a breeze, helping when receipts go missing and even recognising – and accounting for – regular transactions;
  • A mobile app module allows you to simply snap a photo of your receipt and it uploads to your Sage account (say goodbye to physical receipt storage!);
  • Less paperwork!
  • Automatic tax computations performed by the software;
  • Report and analysis options;
  • VAT handling;
  • Automatic VAT return options (or let us handle it for you as you prefer);
  • Shows you the taxes and National Insurance due so you can easily pay them on time;
  • Fast and easier tax returns;
  • Help from Taxfile at any point and from Sage’s own helpful videos;
  • Helps you stay in line with UK laws, taxes and regulations;
  • No experience needed;
  • Perfect for the self-employed, start-ups and small businesses;
  • Taxfile will even be happy to set you up;
  • Integrated invoicing and quotation options available (even from your mobile phone!);
  • A quick and easy payroll bolt-on is also available for limited companies, with payslips, RTI, Auto Enrolment integration etc.;
  • Auto enrolment communications included if you have a company pension scheme;
  • Option to automatically integrate online e-commerce records into your Sage account;
  • Fast and easier company accounts preparation;
  • … and much more!

But there is more major benefit – collaboration with us, your accountant!

The Sage packages we supply are not only free, or in effect heavily subsidised depending on the package involved, but also allow us, your accountant and tax adviser, to collaborate with you within your Sage package with your permission. So where you cannot do something yourself, we can log in using our own integrated Sage administration system to get involved on your behalf, for example to set things up for you, run reports, activate VAT returns, tax returns, end of year accounts, payroll and so on. It’s amazing really! So you do as much or as little as you want to … and we cover everything else!

You save money!

Using the easy but powerful Sage bookkeeping and accounting packages supplied by Taxfile
means that you’ll save money. It’s as simple as that. Customers using such packages makes our job easier, reducing our chargeable hours working on your accounts, so quite simply saves you money!

You also save time!

Our Sage packages will save you SO much time you’ll never look back! Once you’ve tried our Sage packages for a while you’ll Read more

CIS - tax refunds for construction workers

Construction Industry Scheme (CIS): How to Claim a Tax Refund

CIS - tax refunds for construction workersIt’s now time to start the process of claiming your tax refund if you are a subcontractor working within the construction industry and have been paying tax, in advance, through the Construction Industry Scheme (‘CIS’). In this article we will tell you how you qualify and how to claim your tax refund. First, though, a little bit of background to the scheme:

The CIS Scheme

The Construction Industry Scheme, or CIS, is a scheme whereby a contractor in the construction industry usually deducts a proportion of the money due to their subcontractor, at source. The deducted amount is then passed direct to HMRC and counts towards the subcontractor’s tax and National Insurance, the tax element effectively being paid in advance. The exact proportion deducted depends on whether the subcontractor concerned has registered under the CIS system. If the subcontractor has not registered, the deduction will usually be made at a rate of 30%. If they have already registered, then the deduction will usually be made at a rate of 20%. Either way, by the financial year end, the amount of tax deducted at source will usually end up being more than they really needed to have paid, simply because it won’t have factored in the personal allowance which every UK taxpayer is entitled to (most UK citizens can earn up to £10,000 before paying tax at time of writing, this figure being set to rise to £10,600 in the tax year 2015-16, 10,800 a year later then increasing to £11,000 by 2017-18 following the recent budget proposals). Hence, many subcontractors in the construction industry will be due a tax refund because of the overpayment. The good news is that the time to apply for the refund is pretty much now, so get in touch if you’d like our help claiming.

What kind of work does CIS cover?

You qualify to be in the CIS system if you are a subcontractor who supplies construction work to buildings. This includes labouring, decorating, site preparation and refurbishment but excludes things like architecture, surveying services, the hire of scaffolding without labour, the fitting of carpets, the delivery of materials, and finally non-construction type services such as site facilities (canteens etc.).

What if your business is not in the UK?

Even if your business is abroad, the same rules apply if you work as a subcontractor within the UK. However there are some slightly different rules regarding the treatment of taxation for non-resident workers from countries which have ‘Double Taxation’ treaties with the UK (we can, of course, also help with that — just get in contact).

Registering for CIS

If you haven’t already registered for CIS as a sub-contractor, Taxfile can help to do this for you. You’ll need to be registered for Self Assessment (we can also help with this) and this will give you your UTR (unique taxpayer reference) number. We’ll also need your name, National Insurance number, your legal business/trading name and contact details. Once registered with CIS one of the immediate benefits will be that you’ll then have tax deductions made at the 20% rate rather than at 30%, which would otherwise be the case. If your business is a legal partnership you will also need to register it for CIS but this would need to be done in addition to being registered as an individual or sole trader. Of course, Taxfile can help with that too. Once you have been registered with CIS and have passed certain eligibility criteria, it is also possible to apply for ‘gross payment status’ meaning that you’ll then be paid by the contractor without the usual ‘at source’ deductions. Instead you’ll need to pay any outstanding tax and National Insurance at the financial year end; however HMRC will review your business each year to check that you still qualify for this status (paying tax late and/or submitting returns late would put your gross payment status at risk).

Offsetting Expenses against your tax

Taxfile can also help you to offset certain expenses against your subcontractor income. This means that any tax refund will be larger — or any tax outstanding will be lower. We can offset Read more

George Osborne

Highlights from the Chancellor’s Budget, 18 March 2015

Along with some encouraging news about the UK economy, some interesting new measures were announced in the Chancellor’s Budget yesterday and below we highlight those which we feel will directly impact the majority of UK taxpayers:

  • As widely forecast, the tax-free allowance will increase. The amount people can earn before paying tax will rise to £10,800 from 2016-17 and then to £11,000 from 2017-18. At the same points in time, higher earners will also receive a two stage increase to the threshold at which they start to pay a 40% rate of tax, with the threshold increasing to £43,300 by 2017-18.
  • The Chancellor also announced a brand new Personal Savings Allowance whereby the first £1,000 of interest (£500 for higher rate taxpayers) will be tax tree. This new allowance will kick in from April 2016 and will take 95% of taxpayers out of savings tax completely. (Fact Sheet available here).
  • Another new scheme announced was the introduction of a new ‘Help to Buy ISA’ aimed at prospective first time buyers. This fairly generous scheme means that the Government will chip in up to £50 extra per month (up to a ceiling of £3,000) when an eligible saver saves up to £200 per month towards their first home. (Fact Sheet available here).
  • In another ISA reform, savers will now be able to withdraw money from a new Flexible ISA and deposit it back later in the same financial year without losing any of their usual ISA tax benefits. £15,240 will be able to be put into this re-styled savings vehicle. Read more
George Osborne

How the Chancellor’s 2014 Autumn Statement affects YOU!

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced his Autumn Statement on Wednesday (3 Dec 2014) in what could be seen as a mini budget. Here we focus on the key announcements, concentrating on those relating purely to taxation, as it is those which affect you, our customers, most directly.

1). First some good news: The UK is seeing the fastest growth out of all the G7 countries, and the number of people employed is at its highest point ever. This is good for all of us because it restores optimism in the UK economy, higher employment speaking for itself.

2). As we announced in a separate blog post, Stamp Duty (Land Tax) has been given a major shake-up and, for anyone buying a house for £935,000 or less, the amount of Stamp Duty which they’ll have to pay will be less, and sometimes very significant. See our separate blog post and infographic for more detail.

3). In the financial year 2015-16, the tax-free personal allowance (which is the amount you can earn before you start to pay any tax) will increase to 10,600 which is an increase of £600. So … more tax-free money in your pocket, which is good.

4). Economy flights will become cheaper for under 12s from 1 May 2015 and under 16s from 1 March 2016, because their tickets will become exempt from tax on those dates. So … a small concession, but another welcome one. Average 4-person families will save £26 for flights within Europe and £142 on flights to the U.S.

5). From 3 December 2014, spouses will be able to inherit their partner’s ISA benefits should their partner pass away. Currently this is not the case and the change will mean that, from 6 April 2015, the surviving spouse or civil partner will be able to Read more

The Shocking Truth about Tax on the Poor

How much is taken in taxHave you ever wondered how much of one’s total income is taken up in tax? And I don’t mean just Income Tax. I mean in ALL taxes paid by ordinary taxpayers throughout the course of a year. Such a figure would need to take into account National Insurance (income tax in all but name, some might say), the insidious Value Added Tax or ‘VAT’ – which on its own is a hefty 20% tax on what is often already taxed money for most ordinary taxpayers, and don’t forget to include Council Tax and finally, of course, Income Tax itself.

Well, the answer may surprise you. Before seeing the answer, though, try The Guardian’s little quiz about this and see how you get on. There are only 8 questions, and for each you simply choose from 4 possible answers – so it’s quick to complete and, once submitted, you are immediately taken to a feedback page where you will be told how your answers compared to the average respondent and, more interestingly, what the correct answers were. It’s interesting to note that, in a joint poll by The Equality Trust and Ipsos MORI, nearly 70% of people drastically underestimated how much the poorest pay in tax, as a percentage of their total income. They also over estimated how much the richest pay as a proportion of total income. This wide misconception is due to most people incorrectly focusing only on Income Tax alone which, in reality, only makes up a small proportion of total taxes paid throughout the course of a typical year.

Spoiler alert: be warned that I’m shortly going to divulge the answers Read more

RTI (Real Time Information) – last Full Payment Submission (FPS) due soon

Exactly eleven months ago at time of writing, HMRC launched ‘RTI’ (Real Time Information) in the UK. This is the mechanism through which employees now have to report PAYE information for employees on the day it actually happens, or alternatively before that day, for example to confirm to HMRC each time an employee is paid through PAYE, including any NI or Income Tax deductions. RTI is, almost without exception, for all employees including those whose earnings fall below the NIC’s Lower Earnings Limit (‘LEL’), e.g. students.

The RTI reporting has to be done electronically using payroll software, whether that’s the employer themselves reporting it, or their nominated accountant, payroll bureau or bookkeeper. The information reported to HMRC will also now need to include new information which includes the usual hours worked by each employee and any unusual break in the normal working pattern, for instance if an employee takes unpaid leave. RTI also includes other changes to how various things are reported e.g. starter and leaver dates and also employers no longer need to submit end of year forms P14 and P35 because this will be handled on the last Full Payment Submission (‘FPS’) for the tax year in question – this is due in less than a month  at time of writing as the new tax year begins Read more

‘Employment Allowance’ to save businesses up to £2k in NIC

In April 2014 the new ‘Employment Allowance’ will be introduced. This will cut up to £2k off the National Insurance costs incurred by businesses and save employers nearly £5.5 billion across the UK as a whole by the end of the Parliament. This equates to £200 per UK employee.

These savings will also be helped by the abolishment of the National Insurance previously paid by businesses for employees under 21 years of age (from April 2015) and by the increase in the “threshold before an employer has to begin paying National Insurance contributions for employees” (from April 2011).

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

“Small businesses make a vital contribution to our economy, creating jobs and stimulating growth. The ones I have visited today want to expand, take on new staff and make new investments so the actions we have taken to cut the jobs tax will be a real boost to them.” Read more