Lifetime ISAs were introduced a couple of years ago. These are a savings alternative (like an ISA) for young people which can be used either for the first-time purchase of a house or can be accessed tax-free at age 60.
Why do I think these are great? Well you can put up to £4,000 a year into a LISA and the government will add a 25% bonus on top. That is a pretty good return on anyone’s money.
Employers’ need to be aware the auto-enrolment pension contributions increase from April 2019 to 5% employee and 3% employer. Quite a big increase!
The 8% total contribution is mandatory for all auto-enrolment qualifying schemes such as NEST. What is perhaps less well known is that the employer could pay more and the employee less if they wished to, as long as the total is at least 8%.
I am delighted to let you know that Hugh Davies & Co have recently partnered with Funding Circle, the leading online platform for small business lending in the UK.
Funding Circle helps business owners you grow and thrive by helping them access fast and affordable finance. Since launching in 2010, more than £3.8 billion has been lent to over 39,000 British businesses.
We all know that we need to have up to date contracts if we are employing people. We also know what we need to make sure that we get things right if anything goes wrong.
It is quite a burden on small employers. Hugh Davies & Co has decided to partner with VIEWHR, a small local company, based in Ringwood, who provide dedicated HR support services and advice. As clients of Hugh Davies & Co you get a discount on normal prices, which are very reasonable anyway.
At Hugh Davies & Co we were primed for bad news - tax increases! After all the talk about extra money needed for the NHS and social care it felt like the ground had been laid, and that people were probably psychologically ready to accept some tax rises.
In the event there were no tax rises at all, apart from some indications about the tightening a number of rules for self-employed consultants and a proposed consultation on getting digital companies to pay some more tax.
Most VAT registered traders will be required to file their VAT returns using MTD-compliant software for VAT periods beginning on and after 1 April 2019. If your VATable turnover is likely to be over £85,000 for the year to 31 March 2019 it is crucial to understand this software issue.
If you already use accounting software to send your VAT return to HMRC automatically you are probably OK. But businesses with older versions of software will probably need to upgrade their package to be MTD-compliant.
Phillip Hammond faced a difficult task in this budget. He was obviously reluctant to abandon the fiscal prudence that he and his predecessor, George Osborne, truly believe in. However, he was under considerable pressure to do something to stimulate the economy and relax the 'austerity' measures that are in danger of making the Conservative party unelectable for large swathes of the population. His last budget was percieved as a bit of a disaster, with a number of measures being quickly abandoned. He could not afford that to happen again.
So, from a tax point of view, it was mostly good news.
Following the introduction last year of the requirement for companies to maintain a register of Persons of Significant Control (PSCs) there have been further changes in recent weeks which now oblige companies to report all changes to their PSC information on an ongoing basis, rather than waiting until the next Confirmation statement is filed.
Companies now have 14 days to update their PSC register and a further 14 days to notify Companies House of the changes.
As a reminder a Person of Significant Control is someone who meets one or more of the following conditions:
An individual who holds more than 25% of shares in the company.
An individual who holds more than 25% of voting rights in the company.
An individual who holds the right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors of the company.
An individual who has the right to exercise, or actually exercises, significant influence or control over the company.
Where a trust or firm would satisfy one of the first four conditions if it were an individual. Any individual holding the right to exercise, or actually exercising, significant influence or control over the activities of that trust or firm.
A new batch of forms (PSC01 to PSC09) have been released to deal with any changes, and these need to be filed online in order to keep the records up to date.
If you have any queries regarding this please contact Karen or Hugh to discuss further.
Following the failure of Teresa May to win a majority at the election there is a lack of clarity as to which of the changes to the tax system will go ahead. Will there now be pressure to increase the tax on higher earners by either not increasing the higher rate threshold or otherwise changing the system to get a bit more tax out of higher earners? Will the reduction in the tax-free dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 be re-introduced having been hastily withdrawn?