Hola! Spanish Job Offers

December 2nd, 2016  |  Published in Uncategorized

Scammers have been spoofing this web adress to send out emails offering jobs, in Spanish.

I have no idea how the scam works, but THERE IS NO JOB.

Los estafadores han estado spoofing esta dirección web para enviar correos electrónicos que ofrecen puestos de trabajo, en español.No tengo ni idea de cómo funciona esta estafa, pero NO HAY TRABAJO.

Thanks to Google translate, apologies to any Spanish speakers if the translation works as well as some I have seen into English.



1st October 2016 – National Minimum Wage rates are changing

September 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Uncategorized

On 1st October 2016 the National Minimum Wage rates for the different age bands and for apprentices will increase. All employers need to make sure they are ready.

HMRC has investigated more than 70,000 employers and has the right to carry out checks at any time and ask to see payment records.

The minimum wage affecting workers under 25 and apprentices to apply from 1 October 2016 – including:
A new minimum wage for 21-24 year olds,  increasing by 3.7 per cent to £6.95 an hour.
An increase to the Youth Development Rate, affecting 18-20 year olds, of 4.7 per cent to £5.55 an hour.
An increase in the 16-17 Year Old Rate of 3.4 per cent to £4.00 an hour.
An increase in the Apprentice Rate of 3 per cent to £3.40 an hour.

For workers aged 25 and over, the Government is introducing the £7.20 National ‘Living Wage’ – in effect a fifth minimum wage rate – from 1 April 2016.


Unlike in previous years, the new rates are set to last for six months only (from 1 October 2016 to 30 March 2017). This reflects a change in the minimum wage calendar. The National Living Wage was introduced on a different cycle to the other rates – changing in April rather than October. Following a review, the Government has concluded that the rates for all workers should be aligned in April next year.


HMRC’s new class 2 NIC system goes pear shaped.

June 6th, 2016  |  Published in Uncategorized

Like me, you probably got a letter to explain that for 2015/16, HMRC are no longer taking monthly (or quarterly) Class 2 NIC paymentsd, but are adding it to your Self Assessment.

This has been happening, however due to conflicting computer systems at HMRC they have also been paying this extra back to some people, leaving you with no NIC credits for the year, which becomes an issue when you apply for your pension. They do know about it, and will fix it in November, apparently.

If this happens to you, let me know and we’ll poke them with a stick.

It really bodes well for their ‘Make Tax Digital’ strategy, doesn’t it?



The new Dividend Tax

April 8th, 2016  |  Published in Uncategorized

Clients who are currently being paid through a Limited Company now have to consider the Dividend Tax introduced on 5th April 2016.

The dividend tax comes into effect on 6 April 2016, and applies to all dividends the individual receives in excess of £5,000 per tax year. The average company director who takes a modest salary within his personal allowance, and the rest of his income from the company as dividends, will pay more tax in 2016/17 than he did in 2015/16.

Although the basic rate, 7.5% sounds low, this is tax on money withdrawn from your Limited company, which has already paid 20% Corporation Tax on its profits. Once you have used your £5,000 allowance then, in effect you are paying 27.5%. There is no longer the clear advantage of not having to pay National Insurance on much of the income taken via a company, which I’m sure is the point, although our PR minded Chancellor sold it on the ‘tax free allowance’ angle, fooling probably noone.

Under Self Assessment this additional tax would be payable by 31 January 2018, as the balancing payment for that tax year. However, HMRC doesn’t want to wait that long for the extra tax, so it has amended the tax codes of many owner/directors to “code out” an estimated amount, which is approximate to the dividend tax due for the year.

The deduction in the PAYE code is labelled ‘dividend tax’, and the notes on the PAYE coding notice say: “this is to collect the basic rate of tax due on your dividend income.” The notes for a higher rate taxpayer refer to higher rate tax.

However, dividends won’t be taxed at the basic rate of tax (20%) in 2016/17. The dividend tax is charged at 7.5% for a basic rate taxpayer, 32.5% for a higher rate taxpayer and at 38.1% for an additional rate taxpayer. You can see how the taxpayer will be confused.



National Living Wage

March 4th, 2016  |  Published in Uncategorized

In April the Government’s new National Living Wage will become law. Its just a rebranding of the minimum wage for political purposes but if you are an employer you do need to take notice.

If you’re working and aged 25 or over and not in the first year of an apprenticeship, you’ll be legally entitled to at least £7.20 per hour.

If you’re an employer, you’ll need to make sure you’re paying your staff correctly from 1st April 2016, as the National Living Wage will be enforced as strongly as the current National Minimum Wage.


From April 2016, all workers aged 25 and over are legally entitled to at least £7.20 per hour.

Take these four steps to be ready for the change:
Check you know who is eligible in your organisation. Find out on GOV. UK’s employment status page.
Take the appropriate payroll action.
Let your staff know about their new pay rate.
Check your staff under 25 are earning at least the right rate of National Minimum Wage.

Any queries or problems, give me a ring.



Should you rush to take dividends ahead of 2016 tax hike?

March 4th, 2016  |  Published in Uncategorized

This applies to clients with small Limited Companies – if you are self employed it might as well be in Spanish – Hola!

Over a quarter of SME owners plan to take special dividend pay-outs ahead of forthcoming tax rises in April 2016.

A survey by accountancy firm Moore Stephens has found that 28% of small business owners are planning to pay themselves a special dividend before April when new tax rates come in for dividends.

There will be a £5,000 tax-free allowance under the new rules but above this basic rate taxpayers will pay 7.5% on their dividend income. Higher-rate taxpayers will pay 32.5% and top-rate taxpayers will pay 38.1%.

The survey also found that 21% of small business owners plan to reduce their dividend pay-outs once the changes come into force, while 6% expect to increase dividends to maintain their net income.

Mike Cooper, partner at Moore Stephens, said: “Small business owners are moving quickly to take out money from their businesses at a lower tax rate. Providing the accumulated profits are there, it is a perfectly sensible move and undertaken in the right way is something that HMRC has absolutely no issue with. However, SME owners who do not pay a special dividend before April 6 will have missed out.”

Cooper warns that the changes to dividend tax “will hit small business owners very hard” and says SME owners “should be thinking seriously now about how much of the value they have built up in their businesses that could sensibly be extracted before the April 6 deadline.”

Despite the changes, Moore Stephens says that dividends remain the most tax-efficient form of remuneration for many business owners. “While the increased tax on dividends is unwelcome, it is still marginally less than the tax on earnings, even though the difference between the two has been narrowed,” Cooper said.




National minimum wage increase

October 12th, 2015  |  Published in Uncategorized

The hourly rate increased from £6.50 to £6.70 for adults from 1 October 2015. The rate also increased for young workers and apprentices as follows:
Aged 18-20 – £5.30
Aged under 18 – £3.87
Apprentice – £3.30*

*This rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the national minimum wage for their age.

Act now on broadband grants

September 15th, 2015  |  Published in Uncategorized

Time is now running out for firms that want to take advantage of the Government’s Broadband Connection voucher scheme as it is being offered on a first come first served basis. There has been “a huge surge in demand” for the scheme in recent months. Connection Vouchers will be made available on a first come, first served basis until 31 March 2016.

More than 40,000 UK SMEs in 50 cities across the UK have had grants approved and are now benefitting from superfast broadband.

  • Broadband Connection Vouchers are available to Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs) if:
    Your business is within an eligible area one of the 50 cities taking part in the scheme. Check your postcode to find out if you’re eligible
    You are a SME, registered charity, social enterprise or sole trader
    Installation of your new broadband connection will cost over £100
    The connection is for your business premises. You can apply for a connection at home if this is your main work base, but this does not apply if you work from home occasionally
    You are willing to sign up to a minimum 6 month contract with your broadband supplier
    The broadband service you select delivers a speed or performance improvement on your current connection. There are some detailed requirements on speed that you should check before applying
    You have not received more than €200,000 in grants in the last 3 years



The end of the tax return?

March 19th, 2015  |  Published in Uncategorized

The end of the tax return?

Yeah right, another misleading headline, like the sun shining down on the economy and 1p off a pint of beer making us all suddenly better off (Buy 300 pints get one free!).

In the words of David Gauke MP Financial Secretary to the Treasury from the HMRC guide issued today “Millions of people will no longer have to complete a tax return at all – whilst those with more complex tax affairs will be able to use their account to declare income and pay tax in year”

Complex = more than just PAYE and interest income. Those figures should now be pre filled in for you on the online return – if the IT works, that is.

The rest of us will be able to (later to be replaced by ‘required to’, no doubt) pay tax ‘as we go’ rather than after the tax year has ended. There is some wishfull thinking about your accounting software reporting online as you go through the year to HMRC, who will take tax of you as you go along, and never get it wrong, no doubt. What could possibly go wrong? Many, or most, still keep manual records and they, or their accountants, will have to enter the information into the monthly accounts information with HMRC. That’s getting rid of the yearly tax return and replacing it with a monthly return!

The self-employed will still need to convey their tax adjusted income details to HMRC, check that it is correct and then make a declaration and approve the submission. Presumably there will be filing dates by which time this information needs to be provided. Is that not a tax return?

As always the devil is in the detail, and this is only a long term aspiration by HMRC – don’t throw away those business records just yet!









Tax-free savings boost

March 6th, 2015  |  Published in Uncategorized

The Government announced at Budget 2014 that it would abolish the 10% starting rate of tax for savings, replacing it with a new 0% rate. It is also increasing the amount of savings this starting rate applies to, from £2,880 to £5,000.

From 6 April, one million savers with an annual income under £15,600 will be able to get their savings interest paid completely tax-free.

Savers can check if they can benefit by using the new online calculator http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tools/r85/r85-2015.htm

There’s more information on tax-free savings on the government website https://www.gov.uk/taxfreesavings

If eligible for tax-free savings, savers will need to register their account with their bank or building society. If eligible to reclaim tax they have paid on interest, savers should complete form R40 or include the figure on their tax return.

From April, savers will also benefit from an increase in the ISA limit to £15,240