Happy New Year to you all, we hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas. It’s the New Year but some things remain the same, and that’s the deadline of 31st January for Self-Assessment returns.

 

Self-Assessment is a system HMRC uses to collect tax. For people who are self-employed, with their own business or others who make additional income. 

The dates for Self-Assessment is 

1st April 2016 to the 31st March 2017. With online returns needed to be submitted by

31st January 2018 and paper returns to have already been submitted by 31st October 2017.

 

The best way to keep the tax bill down is to have your paperwork organised. You will need the actual receipts to claim as expenses. Collate your receipts and keep together as HMRC can ask to see evidence at any time. Another great way is to utilise the ISA savings as any interest received is tax-free. You’ll keep your savings on a tax-free basis for as long as you keep the money in your ISA accounts.

 

Higher rate tax payers benefit from additional tax savings when they contribute in to pension schemes and give to charity.

 

An example of a list of records you will need are;

  •          Business and personal bank statements
  •          Records of income
  •          Records of purchases
  •          P60/P45
  •          Rental Income
  •          Interest Income
  •          Child Benefit and Income Support

 

You need many other records to keep, here at Cross Accounting we give our clients a more in detail list of records which we require from them to complete their tax return. This also includes a reminder of approaching deadlines to ensure not to be penalised. HMRC fine £100 for anyone who misses the 31st January deadline.

 

HMRC have revealed a record number of people are filing for self-assessment this year as the numbers are north of eleven million. If you’re a couple of years behind, then do not worry as you’re not alone, we have taken on a number of clients in this situation, and have supported them and brought them up to date. If you’re not sure if you need to submit a self-assessment or you need to complete a return, you can call us on 02920 653 995 or visit our website on www.crossaccountingservice.co.uk to see how we can assist you. 

Love is in the air this month, with Valentine’s Day just here .. and now is the time to give your business the TLC it also needs.

Investment. Investment in a business can be many things. It can be your investment of time and energy in nurturing your business as it grows. It can be working on your operations, improving your processes and making yourself more efficient.

Investment is money. The business may not be generating you the income you were expecting, so investing some money into the business to spend on a marketing campaign, or buying that piece of equipment that will make the operation run smoother may seem painful initially. We are still at the start of the New Year, getting these investment ideas up and running will be worth it in the end.

Now is the time to take a closer look at your customer base, are you meeting their every expectation? Is there something you are not currently offering that could add value, or which you can use to up-sell to increase your sales turnover? A business which knows their customers very well, and manages their expectations always succeeds.

Marketing. Take a look at your marketing strategy. If you are putting time and money into activities that don’t work, then you need to stop them! Only spend money and time on what works for your business. Measuring the success of your marketing is a very important exercise that needs to be done on a regular basis.

Processes. Is there something you are doing that can be done more efficiently? The difference between profit and loss can often be a case of the process being too cumbersome. So, streamline your processes to meet the changing needs of your business. This will become increasingly vital as your business grows. If you don’t manage your processes – you are guaranteed to waste money.

You the owner. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. If you are busy and stressed you will not have the mindset to focus on your business effectively. Watch your stress points and take regular holidays. I still see far too many clients visiting me looking completely worn out. It’s not good for you – and it’s definitely not good for your business.

Your business is an investment for the future, feed it and it will grow.

 

 

 


This blog is intended for information purposes only and is only advice from past experience, you may have other suggestions of your own. It is not intended to be used to make all of your business decisions but as a guide only.

Your year end can cost you more than you think

Preparing your year end accounts can be costly your business – and that’s before you’ve event considered the financial aspect.

In finding, organising and making sense of your paperwork and records, there are time costs, emotional costs (usually stress!) and work-life balance costs to consider.

15% off your year end with us

Cross Accounting Services can help on all fronts. We love year end and so as a thank you from us, we’re offering 15% off your first year end fees with us.

So, you get to spend time doing the things you love at a reduced all round cost – and we get to spend time doing the things we love, thanks to you!

Call Nicola on 029 2065 3995 and quote reference CA15 to receive your discount or email her asking for more information also quoting CA15 Closing date 31 March 2014

Don’t be one of the £2 million people who leave the updating of their Self Assessment to the last minute, or worse miss the deadline altogether. Bite the bullet if you need help then pick up the phone to an experienced professional.

Many clients that come through our doors, still needing reminding of what information is required to complete their Self Assessment online without a hitch.

Please see my 6 point plan

Your UTR Number and National Insurance
To be able to submit a Self Assessment you first have to be registered with the Inland Revenue as Self Employed. They will then issue you with a 10 digit reference number call a UTR number. This can be done over the telephone 0845 900 0444

Or online, follow the link below.

https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/shortforms/form/CWF1ST?dept-name=CWF1&sub-dept

This takes about five to six weeks for the Inland Revenue to register you, you will then have to telephone them to get your 10 digit UTR number. This is not automatically sent to you.

The Government Gateway
To register for Self Assessment online which allows you to send your Self Assessment online, you are issued with a 12 digit reference number which is printed out, and a password gets sent to your nominated address. If you are using an Accountant they will give you an 64-8 form to sign so that they can act as your agent with the Inland Revenue. They will then be able to send off your Self Assessment online through their agency number.

Partnerships
There is mis-conception that Partnership accounts are as straight forward to submit as your normal Self Assessment. You can only send out a paper version if you do this yourself by the deadline 31 October. Or you can submit the form online provided you have professional software, your Accountant professional can assist you with this.

Do not leave these to the last minute or you may find a £100 fine per partner you weren’t expecting if you miss the deadline. This needs to be completed along with your normal Self Assessment as an individual.

Paperwork Required

Self Assessment covers ALL income you receive during the financial year, 6 April to
5 April for in the UK and the rest of the world. This is determined by your residency status, all UK residents are to disclose their whole income.

All records of purchases during the financial year including any equipment or capital expenditure.
VAT return’s if that’s applicable
Your full 12 months bank statements, personal and business including saving accounts.
If you have had other employment all P60’s or P45’s
Dividend and interest payments.
Benefit payments
Property income and foreign income
Selling of personal assets and stocks and shares

All other records of income not covered above.

What you get in return
We will provide you with a full record of your income for the year for your business, along with a tax computation recording all of your other income. This takes into account the relevant tax reliefs available. Ie

Your tax code, – your tax free allowance
Capital gains tax free allowance
Pension payments
Charity payments
EIS and venture capital schemes – Investments
Capital Allowances
Rent a room relief – Property income
Wear and Tear Allowance – Property income

Deducting any tax that you have already paid.

You may be liable for tax on your trade income, and national insurance.

This is not complicated if you give yourself plenty of time to get everything together. We take you through every step of the way.

Payment
You have to make payments on account if your turnover is over £70,000, these are taken at the 31 January deadline and 31 July. We will notify you of these deadlines as they approach.

Monthly you can set up a direct debit with the Inland Revenue

Bill Pay or cheque, any balances then can be settled through the online system Bill Pay, credit card charges apply or by cheque in the post, or through the Giro system at the Post Office.

Self Assessment can be submitted anytime after the 6th April, so if theres a refund due to you why wait until January to get the paperwork to your Accountant. You can do it anytime.

These records need to be kept for six years even if you returned to the PAYE system.

Give us a call today, and make it a stress free process. 02920653995 or email Nicola@crossaccountingservice.co.uk

This blog is intended for information purposes only and is only advice from past experience, you may have other suggestions of your own. It is not intended to be used to make all of your business decisions but as a guide only.

How Graphs Can Be Used For Your Business

Graphs can be used by Financial and Non Financial managers in a variety of ways.

Sales

Sales Managers have targets that are set for them by the company they work for.  They can track their sales in a variety of ways.

Our example shows Sales split by category/or segment and shown against budget. Targets that were set at the beginning of the year.

This graph also tells you the most popular and productive products on sale.
You can take this further and look at the margins of each product category, you might not sell a lot of something but if it returns a higher margin/profit rate, you don’t have to sell as many to get the same profit figures. There may also be seasonality in that product line.

Ie in hot weather a newsagent may sell a lot more drinks than bars of chocolate.
In cold weather the icecream freezer might go untouched. Easter, Half Term, Christmas. You would tailor your sales targets to match demand.

Apply this method to your particular product line.

 

Cashflow

You might want to set yourself a target bank balance for you to meet your overheads and make a profit.

The graph will show against budget whether you are meeting that goal.

It also gives indication of the business behaviour, see our example the graph shows above the line at first, then dips over February to April then comes back up.  Back into the target position and above.

If the graph had shown erratic it would give an indication of how well the manager is managing the business. In a planned approach, or finger in the air approach.

Gross Profit

This is a key figure in your accounts, it indicates whether you have made enough sales to now cover your overheads and make a profit.

Our graph shows a rise and then a sharp dip in May, this could be down to several factors.  The Sales themselves were generally low that month, an error in charging the right selling price for a new product line, an operational issue.

If you see a dip in any of these things, look for the reason, if easily explained, you could be putting action in to put yourself back on track.  Also look out for high peaks, these should be explainable.  ie a new contract, timing issues, seasonality, or it could be an error.

This blog is intended for information purposes only and is only advice from past experience, you may have other suggestions of your own.  It is not intended to be used to make all of your business decisions but as a guide only.