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Small Trader? Make the Most of These 2 Allowances!

Small Trader? Make the Most of These 2 Allowances!

Small trader? Make the most of these 2 allowances!

Small traders with very modest incomes are currently eligible for a couple of very useful allowances. Both of these could save them money — and some paperwork:

1. Tax-Free Allowance for small traders

If you receive income of no more than £1000 per annum (before expenses) from property or trading income, you don’t need to tell HMRC, you don’t need to pay tax and usually you don’t need to do a self-assessment tax return. If you have both types of income and each earns you no more than £1000 gross per annum, you are usually eligible for the tax-free allowance in BOTH cases! There are exceptions, of course, but these are the general guidelines. Income from property or land speaks for itself, while ‘trading‘ would include things like self-employment, hiring out personal equipment or services like gardening, window cleaning or babysitting. Partnerships are not eligible.

2. Trading Income Allowance

If you are paying tax but have expenses below £1000 per annum, you could reduce the tax by claiming for ‘Trading Income Allowance’ instead of claiming for the actual expenses themselves. In effect, it’s like claiming for £1000 worth of expenses rather than the lower amount of expenses that you’ve incurred in reality. This aspect is all explained in greater detail, with a simple example, in our previous Trading Income Allowance article here.

It’s important to know, though, that you cannot claim both the Read more

Don't miss THIS on your self-assessment tax return!

Don’t Miss THIS on your Tax Return! (Checklist)

Don't miss THIS on your self-assessment tax return! (Checklist)

The standard Self-Assessment Tax Return includes all the usual areas that you’d expect to have to confirm to HMRC. These include the obvious things like personal details, information about income for the period in question, any assets, dividends, interest received, pensions and so on.

However, there are a number of additional areas that you need to check and confirm before the return is submitted and filed with HMRC. It’s not an exhaustive list, but things people sometimes miss and that you need to check you have allowed for (if applicable) include:

  • Employment Income — have you confirmed any employment income? Have you supplied Taxfile, if we’re your tax agent or accountant, with copies of P60’s and P11D’s. Did you have any employment expenses?
  • Self-Employment Income or Partnership Income — have you confirmed any self-employed or partnership income and relevant expenses? Have you supplied all CIS vouchers, invoices, cash income etc. if applicable?
  • UK Land & Property Income — have you confirmed any rental income and relevant expenses for each property you perhaps rent out?
  • Foreign Income — did you receive any foreign income? Have you confirmed it?
  • Trust Income — did you receive any trust income or are you treated as having received any trust income?
  • Capital Gains — have you sold any assets or investments which may be subject to capital gains tax e.g. a rental house, stocks and shares etc?
  • Residence — were you, for all or part of the year, not resident, not ‘ordinarily resident’ or not ‘domiciled’ in the UK?
  • Investment Income — have you confirmed any bank/building society interest, dividends, etc?
  • Pension Income — are you in receipt of any? It needs confirming if so.
  • Any other income received that doesn’t fit into any of the above e.g. Job Seekers Allowance, Tax Credits? Child Benefit is an important one, especially if one parent is earning £50k or more. Marriage Allowance is another.
  • Do you have a pension that you pay into? If so, how much did you pay for the period in question?
  • Have you given any money to charity? Higher rate taxpayers can usually get extra tax relief on this.
  • Do you have a student loan?
  • Are you subject to the High Income Benefit Charge?
  • Do you use a service company?
  • Have you been paying your National Insurance?
  • Have you been keeping good records?

Taxfile will always prompt you to check for things like these if you’re our customer, before we submit your tax return on your behalf. As we say above, though, the list is not an exhaustive one, so there may be other information we need, depending upon your individual situation. The list of what HMRC requires each year also Read more

Holiday lettings: tax guide for landlords with furnished lets in the UK/EU

A Tax Guide for Landlords with Holiday Lets

Holiday lettings: tax guide for landlords with furnished lets in the UK/EU

Do you have a holiday cottage, flat or apartment that you rent out to holidaymakers? If so, our handy ‘Holiday lettings’ guide for landlords could be very useful to you — and it could save you money. It’s packed full of useful information and tax tips that will help you to make the most of your holiday property, at the same time as keeping on the right side of the tax man.

The Pros

We’ve written a section all about the tax breaks that apply to qualifying holiday lets. These include capital allowances for things you pay for when fitting out your holiday property, the tax treatment of expenses, the ability to pay pension contributions on your profits, several types of relief (some of which may affect your exposure to Capital Gains Tax) and small business rate relief.

The Cons

There’s also a section in the guide that covers some of the downsides to tax on holiday lettings. These include the need to get your VAT Registration status and charges right (where applicable) and also the tax treatment of any trading losses.

Qualifying Conditions

Lastly, there’s a section that outlines the qualifying conditions that apply if you want to treat your property as a holiday let rather than as an ordinary rental property. That’s important because different tax rules apply to each category and you could miss out on some excellent tax breaks if you don’t get it right. For example, the holiday rental property must be fully furnished and allow for self-catering holidays. Also, the property must be available for a particular number of days per year and be rented out in a particular way. It should not be occupied by the same tenant(s) for more than 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

Autumn Newsletter 2016

Taxfile’s Autumn Newsletter 2016

Taxfile's Autumn Newsletter 2016

Taxfile's Autumn Newsletter 2016Hot off the press is our brand new Autumn newsletter for 2016. If you haven’t yet seen it, take a look because it’s jam-packed full of useful information that’ll help you keep your tax affairs and accounts in order, save you money and keep you up to speed on tax matters. Here’s a quick flavour of what’s included (or click the thumbnail image to view or download the newsletter):

  • Act fast to save money on your 2015-16 tax return – see the newsletter’s first article.
  • Sub-contractors working in the construction industry are invited to claim their CIS tax refunds through Taxfile, so they have their refund in time for Christmas!
  • Help if you’re late with any previous years’ tax returns and tax payments — and how you already owe HMRC at least £1300 if you haven’t filed your 2014/15 tax return or paid tax for that year.
  • Try the UK’s Number 1 cloud-based accounts package FREE, for a month. No credit card required – cancel at any time – full details are included in the newsletter. [UPDATE: Please note that this offer has now expired].
  • Help if your tax affairs are in a mess — are you late filing returns or paying tax? Are you worried about HMRC penalties? Are you a foreign worker, working in the UK, and need to get your tax records up to date following the Brexit decision? We’re here to help!
  • Taxfile are Finalists in the ‘Independent Firm of the Year, Greater London’ category of the British Accountancy Awards 2016.
  • Free tax enquiry Fee Protection Insurance for Taxfile customers who file their tax returns by the statutory deadline through Taxfile.
  • How online banking may save you time and money.
  • Introduce a new client to Taxfile and save 10% on our fees!
  • Saturday opening at Taxfile (Tulse Hill office) throughout November and December.
  • Help with all your tax and accounting needs – check out our list of all the things we can help you with — now including auto enrolment!
  • And a ‘thank you’ to all Taxfile customers … Read more

Taxfile are Finalists in the British Accountancy Awards 2016

Taxfile is a Finalist in the British Accountancy Awards 2016

Finalist in the British Accountancy Awards - Independent Firm of the Year, Greater London 2016 Taxfile are delighted to confirm that they’ve been nominated as Finalists in the sixth annual British Accountancy Awards taking place in November 2016. With a real chance of winning the Independent Firm of the Year, Greater London category, all the staff at Taxfile should take this as a pat on the back for their expertise and diligence looking after the tax affairs of clients in the Greater London region. “It’s a great honour!” said Guy Bridger, Taxfile’s Managing Director, who wanted to draw attention to the particularly hard work of Julie, Faiz, Ewelina and Ali on the Taxfile team. The awards ceremony takes place at The Brewery, London EC1, on 29 November.

Taxfile can add this to their already impressive list of previous accolades which include being a Finalist in the Award for Innovation and winner of the Best Small Business award. Our congratulations to all staff and best wishes to all accountancy companies taking part — it should be a night to remember!

Taxfile are accountants and tax advisors with London offices in both Tulse Hill and Dulwich in SE21. We can help with anything from simple bookkeeping, payroll, tax returns, tax refunds, VAT, National Insurance and Corporation Tax to full accounts work for limited companies, help with auto enrolment duties as well as sorting out complex tax problems. Read more

Help for Auto Enrolment

Professional, Affordable Help with Auto Enrolment

Help for Auto Enrolment

Good news – one less burden for Employers!

If you are an employer, you’ll no doubt know about the new Automatic Enrolment scheme that was recently imposed on UK businesses. For most employers, it’s yet another unwelcome administrative burden. However, it’s not all bad news; in fact, Taxfile has some excellent news to share with you …

As you probably know, compliance with the new Automatic Enrolment scheme is not optional. Virtually every UK employer has to choose and commit to a Workplace Pension Scheme, liaise with every employee, administer all the paperwork and comply with the various rules, regulations and deadlines. It’s a massive administrative burden. However, the good news is that Taxfile can handle it all for you! Our prices are incredibly affordable too. So — it’s a no-brainer!

Let Taxfile handle your Auto Enrolment for you

For a simple, affordable fee, Taxfile can help your company or organisation with:

  • Monitoring, compliance and administration of your Auto Enrolment duties. We’ll handle it all, on your behalf;
  • Registering your compliance with The Pensions Regulator at the correct intervals;
  • Integrating Auto Enrolment pension payments into your company payroll (if we handle payroll for you), so the right level of pension contributions, tax and NI is paid in relation to salaries;
  • If you and all your employees are eligible and want to opt out of Auto Enrolment, we’ll help you accomplish that too, within the rules.
  • If you’ve missed your ‘staging date’ and want to minimise any penalty and get back on track, we can also help with that.

With Taxfile handling it all for you, you can get on with

George Osborne

Summer Budget 2015 – Key Tax Takeaways

The Summer Budget was announced last week and in this blog post we’ll take a look at only those changes which will affect ordinary taxpayers and SMEs.

In his opening remarks, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, promised:

A Budget … to keep moving us from a low wage, high tax, high welfare economy; to the higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare country.

So, taking each of those goals in turn …

Higher Minimum Wages

With regard to the higher wages promise, Osborne announced that there would be a new National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour from April 2016 for those aged over 25 and over, rising to more than £9 per hour by the year 2020.

Lower Tax

With regard to the lower tax promise, the Personal Allowance (the amount people can earn before paying any tax) will increase – as anticipated – from £10,600 in the financial year 2015-16 to £11,000 in 2016-17. A longer term plan is to increase this still further to £12,500 by 2020. The ultimate ambition is pass a law to make sure that those working 30 hours a week and earning the National Minimum Wage will pay no tax whatsoever, although clearly this will need further clarification in due course.

Dividend tax will also be reformed. Here the existing dividend tax credit (this reduces tax paid on dividends from shares) will be replaced by a new £5,000 tax-free allowance on income from shares from April 2016 and this will be available to all taxpayers. To offset the cost of this to the Exchequer, those with more significant dividend income will see an increase in the tax rate they pay.

Inheritance tax will also be subject to changes from 2017-18. The idea is to allow individuals to each have a ‘family home allowance’ which they can pass on to their children or grandchildren, tax-free, when they die. This allowance will be added to the existing Inheritance Tax threshold currently set at £325k and will potentially allow property up to the value of £1m to be passed down from 2020-21 (see table below). For those with estates valued over £2m the allowance will be gradually withdrawn.

This is how the effective Inheritance Tax thresholds will look in 2020-21: Read more

Tax advice

Case Study: a high rate taxpayer in a complex tax situation

The Client

A new client, Mr ‘K’,  is a higher rate taxpayer who previously used to file his own tax returns.

The Problem

Mr K got into a complicated financial situation in 2013/14 due to having received redundancy pay, severance pay waiver, investment income, PAYE income and pension income. He needed professional guidance and advice regarding his tax liability.

The Solution

Taxfile looked into all the records and correspondence regarding the redundancy and severance pay so as to make sure of the right tax treatment for each. We also calculated the various tax rates for each type of income and advised that the remaining tax liability should be collected through the tax code system.

The Result

The client was reassured that the tax calculation was done professionally and accurately and was able to pay the right amount of tax in the most appropriate way.

Client Feedback

The client was impressed with how quick and efficient Taxfile’s service was and, as a result, is continuing to use our service now and into the future. Read more