We recently announced that from 1 June 2019 Hugh Davies & Co became a founder member of a new network of independent and individually managed accounting firms across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Around 120 independent accountancy firms joined the network, called Xeinadin.
In order to achieve commonality across member firms we all started trading in newly formed companies. Apart from our change of legal entity and bank account, everything else remains exactly the same and we look forward to continue to work with you exactly in the same way as we have always done.
I am delighted to say that on 31 May 2019 we merged with Shirley Hollis & Co. Shirley has over 30 years’ experience in accountancy practice having previously been a partner in Wilkins Kennedy in Winchester.
She set up her own practice in Durrington several years ago before opening an office in Amesbury. She has now joined us in our office and brings with her the clients that she has built up over recent years. We welcome both Shirley and her clients to the Hugh Davies & Co community.
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.
At this time of year I often get asked if bonuses can be given to staff without putting them through payroll. The answer, unfortunately, is no!
What I suggest is a very underused HMRC exemption known as 'trivial benefits'. You don't have to pay tax on a benefit for an employee if all of the following apply:
- It costs you £50 or less to provide
- It isn't cash or a cash voucher
- It isn't a reward for their work or performance
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.