We’re halfway through the year and 2019 is not slowing down for anybody. There are approximately 5.7 million businesses in the UK, of which 96% are considered small or micro. So, we small businesses are crucial to the UK economy, there is no denying this.

 

Whether you are a start-up and excited for the times ahead, or an establishment renewing your challenges, we all want to be successful with our business. In our latest blog, we talk about tips we think are vital to any business.

 

We all have a vision in mind, of where we’d like to see our business in the future. This vision needs to be translated on paper as your business plan. A business plan is a must for all business owners. This can help outside investors get an insight of your business, for if ever you need funding to grow your business.

 

Business Plan


A business plan should consist of;

·         Summary – What is your purpose, what is your vision?

·         Target market – Who are you likely to sell to

·         Competitors – What is your rivals weakness? Why are you different?

·         Staff – Do you need people to help run your business. What level of skill and pay is required?

·         Suppliers – Who will be your main supplier?

·         Marketing Plan – How will you advertise yourself to the world

·         Operations – Which is the best way to run your business.

·         Finance – How much money do you need? Determine the profitability of the business.

 

Business Structure

As well as a business plan, you will need to have a business structure. Sole trader, partnerships and limited companies all have their own pros and cons. Deciding which structure to choose is not always straightforward. If an asset is owned outright, then you would need to consider retaining personal ownership on incorporation. If you’re not sure which structure model you should go for, then here at Cross Accounting we can give tailored advice to you.

 

Year End

We cannot stress enough the importance of doing your year end as early as possible. Once completed, this will give you peace of mind as you will not have to worry, until next year. It will also give you more time to budget for your tax bill. You will not be in a rush to find the money for the tax bill and not kill your cashflow. Keep all receipts for your expenses, these will all help lower the tax bill. If you buy equipment or tools, mobile phone bills, petrol, these are all deductible. HMRC can conduct random spot checks, so it’s important to keep paperwork, recommended for 6 years.

 

Budgeting

Having budgets in place for your business can help you predict the near future. This allows you to have a spending plan, so you can make sure you have money for the things you need and the things that are important to you. You can see what is eating up your cash and avoid spending on unnecessary fees. Below is an example of a very simple budget.

 

 

Month 1 (Budget)

Month 1 (Actual)

Variance

Month 2 (Budget)

Month 2 (Actual)

Variance

Month 3 (Budget)

Month 3 (Actual)

Variance

Starting Cash

10,000

10,000

0

11,630

11,600

-30

 

 

 

Income

2,500

2,500

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Income

2,600

2,600

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rent

800

800

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile

50

55

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel

20

50

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gas and Electricity

100

95

-5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Expense

970

1,000

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income - Expense

1630

1,600

-30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These tips will keep you motivated and more importantly give you an idea of where your finances lay, helping you to quickly identify if there are rainy days ahead.

If you need expert tailored advice, please do get in touch as we are always happy to help.

The new financial year is in full swing, and it’s when the new rates and regulations kick in. Your personal allowance has changed along with other vital thresholds that take effect when it comes to completing your tax return.

 

Personal Allowance

The new year brings the new personal allowance at £12,500 for the year. So, what is your personal allowance? Personal allowance is the amount of income in which you do not have to pay tax on. You will pay tax on anything over the £12,500, the table below will display what percentage of tax you pay in each band.

 

Tax Rate

Taxable Income

Band

0%

£0 - £12,500

Personal Allowance

20%

£12,501 - £50,000

Basic Rate

40%

£50,001 - £150,000

Higher Rate

45%

£150,000 +

Additional Rate

 

You do not get a personal allowance on taxable income over £125,000. Any income above this threshold and tax will be due on all amounts to the respective band.

 

Dividend Allowance

As well as the personal allowance, the dividend rate has also changed. Just like a personal allowance, you also have a dividend allowance. Dividends that fall in within your personal allowance do not count towards your dividend allowance.

 

The tax you pay depends on which Income Tax band you’re in.

 

Tax Rate

Band

0%

Dividend Allowance of £2,000

7.5%

Basic Rate

32.5%

Higher Rate

38.1%

Additional Rate

 

Example

Say you were to get £4,000 in dividends in the 2019 to 2020 tax year. The dividend allowance is £2,000, so this means you pay tax on £2,000 (£4,000 minus £2,000) of your dividends. Your other taxable income is £30,000. Add this to your dividends of £4,000 and your total taxable income is £34,000. You pay a rate of 7.5% on £2,000 of dividends because your total taxable income is within the basic tax band.

 

National Minimum Wage

If you employ staff, then you are probably aware that the National Minimum Wage rate has also changed. It is a legal requirement to pay the NMW as an employer.

 

Year

25 +

21 to 24

18 to 20

Under 18

Apprentice

1st April 2019

£8.21

£7.70

£6.15

£4.35

£3.90

 

For all the rates mentioned, they usually change every year, typically in April. You must be aware of these rates to make the most out of completing your tax return and to fulfil your legal obligation. There are many other allowances and rates, but the ones mentioned are the usual ones that affect everyone. If you are worried about whether you are in the right tax band or not sure if you’ve used up all of your allowance, please visit our website on www.crossaccountingservice.co.uk or call us on 02920 653 995 where a member of staff can assist. We are always happy to help.

MTD Blog

You must have heard about Making Tax Digital (MTD) by now, it is doing its round on every business owner. What is MTD? Do I have to do anything for MTD? These are probably some of the questions on your mind. We talk more in detail of Making Tax Digital which is going live in a weeks time for its launch date of 1st April 2019.

MTD is being introduced to modernise the tax system and to have an open communication and provide information to HM Revenue and Customs. This is a mandatory requirement for businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000.

MTD will be active from April 2019 and businesses will be required to keep digital records for VAT purposes. Digitalising tax accounts will let you check that the information HMRC holds about you, is 100% correct. The usual online government account will no longer be adequate, you must have software for Making Tax Digital. Click here to find a list of software’s compatible with MTD.

So why have HMRC introduced this?

HM Revenue and Customs are trying to reduce the amount of VAT inspections, Making Tax Digital will make things clearer for all. HMRC are expecting that taxpayers will better understand how much VAT is owed or how much is to be reclaimed and expecting to reduce human error. 

There are approximately 1 million plus businesses in the UK with a turnover in excess of £85,000, and the new transformation should make it more effective, efficient and easier for taxpayers to get their tax right.

Software

If you use spreadsheets to keep business records, you’ll need MTD-compatible software so that you can send HMRC your VAT returns and receive information back from HMRC. MTD does not require you to keep additional records for VAT, but to record them digitally.

Your digital records should include, for each supply, the time of supply (tax point), the value of the supply (net excluding VAT) and the rate of VAT charged. They should also include information about your business, including business name and principle business address, as well as your VAT registration number and details of any VAT accounting schemes you use.

If you are not sure of the next steps to take for Making Tax Digital, we can offer you guidance for your mandatory MTD obligations. We are always here to help!
The new year is well and truly on its way and we hope you’ve had some great celebrations. Research shows that a lot of us make plans and goals, that we wish to achieve in the New Year. Most of us plan to get fit and more active, some plan to be more organised and save money and others plan to start up their own business and be their own boss. 

This is the best time to plan as the New Year brings a fresh start. We talk about the best tips that anyone would benefit from. Whether you’re starting up as a business, or have been running your business for many years, you need to plan and motivate yourself for what the year is to bring. 

What’s your business idea? Is there a gap in the market you can exploit? Or can you add an additional service to what you are offering? If you’re having difficulty, then involve friends and family to brainstorm some ideas. You never know, they may just add the final touch to your brilliant idea.

An essential part of your business, as mentioned before, is to have a plan. If you intend to apply for funding, then you’ll need a business plan. If you have an idea or thoughts, write it down. As written ideas are more likely to be achieved than ideas still in your head. 

Check out this free business plan template from https://www.startuploans.co.uk/business-plan-template/ to give you a start. 

You should have a separate business bank account from your personal. This will ensure that all your incomings and outgoings are spot on when submitting your tax return. As under declaring can give you a nasty surprise in the future. We see a lot of clients who mix their business expenses and income in with their personal expenses. Separating personal and business banks will make things a lot clearer and a lot of help for your accountant too!

Another tip we strongly recommend is to keep documents of purchases. You can’t claim for expenses if you don’t have the documents. We see it way too often, a brand-new piece of machinery bought for business, but when it comes to doing the tax return, the document is nowhere to be found. 

Create a folder where you can store your documents straight away or maybe plan a day in the week which you will do your filing. If you don’t like paper, then you can always store your documents electronically online. Xero accounts software allows you to directly scan documents from an email if you prefer.   

Whichever route you choose HMRC do always spot check small businesses, so be a step ahead and organise your records.

The most important tip is to always strive for that customer service excellence. Keeping your customer happy will help you grow and prosper. These will help improve your business as word of mouth is a powerful tool.    

Pass that great skill onto your staff too as if they see you are great with your customers, they will follow suit.  It doesn’t have to be you doing everything.  Quite offset we see the staff being one of the greatest assets in maintaining customer loyalty in the long term.

There are training events and funding available for support and guidance, click here https://businesswales.gov.wales/ to find out more. 

It’s the end of the year and its time to enjoy and be in the Christmas spirit. It’s not long until we get to enjoy the food and drinks to last to the New Years celebrations. It is one of our favourite times of the year here at Cross Accounting. The darker evenings are given a little colour with the neighbourhood Christmas lights. While this is the time of giving and enjoying yourself, we would like to remind you of the financial aspect over the festive period.

 

Without trying to put out a negative mood, we do want to address the reality of credit card bills and debt and the very high interest charges they carry.

 

We have been speaking to a number of liquidators in the last couple of months and all have mentioned that it is this time around were people use their credit cards or store cards the most. This would make sense as we get ready to buy gifts and as the High Street stores accommodate their opening hours for the Christmas rush.

 

A survey by uSwitch finds that Britons borrow an average of £452 each at Christmas. Heading in to the New Year, this can cause a bit of a problem for some.

 

It is perfectly fine to go out and spend for loved ones and friends, but please stick to your budget. You want to end 2018 on a high and have the best possible start for the New Year.   

 

Let’s start the New Year in the best way possible. With positivity and new inspirations to keep both your personal life and business life in prosperity for 2019.

 

We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2019, from all at Cross Accounting Service.