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.

The Budget 2018 has been released. The chancellor has put together how money will be spent for the forthcoming future. It is looking positive as there are predictions that the economy will grow as the forecast for 2019 raised from 1.3% to 1.6% and annual forecasts raised to 1.4% in 2020 and 2021, 1.5% in 2022 and 1.6% in 2023.

 

This Government has prioritised getting people into work as the best way to help people is to provide them with stability and a pay packet every month. Since 2010 over 3.3 million more people are in work and predicting 800,000 more jobs by 2023.

 

To provide the jobs, you will need businesses, and therefore the Chancellor has vowed to back another 10,000 entrepreneurs by extending Start-Up Loans funding to 2021 and following representations from the FSB, extending the New Enterprise Allowance. Which will provide mentoring and support for benefit claimants to get their business ideas off the ground.

UK to be in the digital era

Digital Platforms delivering search engines, social media, and online marketplaces have changed our lives. Digital platform businesses can generate substantial value in the UK without paying tax here in respect of that business and to make this fair, there has been an introduction of UK Digital Services Tax.

This will be a narrowly-targeted tax on the UK-generated revenues of specific digital platform business models. It will be carefully designed to ensure it is established tech giants – rather than the tech start-ups - that shoulder the burden of this new tax.

The Digital Services Tax will only be paid by companies which are profitable, and which generate at least £500m a year in global revenues in the business lines in scope.

The tax will come into effect in April 2020 and is expected to raise over £400m a year.

Help for the High Street

There is also support for the High Street retail businesses. With many small retail businesses struggling to cope with the high fixed costs of Business rates, in 2016 there was an introduction of business rates relief measures worth £12bn.

Going further, at the next revaluation in 2021, rateable values will adjust to reflect changes in rental values. This will help retail businesses as for the next two years, up to that Revaluation, for all retailers in England with a rateable value of £51,000 or less, this will cut their business rates bill by one third.

That’s an annual saving of up to £8,000 for up to 90% of all independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Stamp Duty and Housing

The Budget is committed to keeping family homes out of Capital Gains Tax, but some aspects of Private Residence Relief extend it beyond that objective and is to provide relief for people who are not using the home as their main residence.

From April 2020 Lettings Relief will be limited to properties where the owner is in shared occupancy with the tenant and reduce the final period exemption from 18 months to 9 months.

All first-time buyers purchasing shared equity homes of up to £500,000 will be eligible for first-time buyers��� relief, an increase since the last budget abolished Stamp Duty for first-time Buyers on properties up to £300,000. This relief will be made retrospective so any first-time buyer who has made such a purchase since the last Budget will benefit.

Personal Allowance Thresholds

Delivering higher wages for those in work is core to the chancellor. The poorest 20% have seen their real incomes grow faster than the richest 20% and the proportion of jobs that are low paid is at its lowest level for 20 years. This is largely due to the National Living Wage introduced in 2016.

From April the National Living Wage will rise again, by 4.9%, from £7.83 to £8.21, handing a full-time worker a further £690 annual pay increase, with the ultimate objective of ending low pay in the UK.

In April 2018, the personal allowance is the current of £11,850 and £46,350 for the Higher Rate Threshold. However, from April 2019 the Personal Allowance is raised to £12,500 and the Higher Rate Threshold to £50,000, a year earlier than planned.

A tax cut for 32 million people and £130 in the pocket of a typical basic rate taxpayer.

With the leaves turning brown, darker evenings, it is time to bring out the quilts and cosy up in front of the fire as Autumn is here. It is one of our favourite times of the year as the horrors of Halloween and the blasts of Bonfire night approach. A great time to spend with family and friends to have fun.

 

During this time, you want to avoid a fright and get the benefits of filing your tax return as early as possible. This will ease any pressure off as it is one task out of the way and you can solely focus on your business, giving it the final push to end 2018 on a high. The deadline of 31st January never changes and HMRC reported last year that an estimated 2.6 million people had not filed their tax return two days before the deadline.

 

You risk an automatic £100 fine if you miss the deadline and there are more consequences for more delayed time. If your tax return becomes more than 3 months late then £10 daily penalties will accumulate. This is a situation you do not really want to be in as the penalties can be massive.

 

It really helps filing your tax return earlier, just because you do this early does not mean that the tax liability will have to paid over straight away. It is still the normal due date of January, so you have plenty of time to budget for however much you may need to pay over to HMRC. If you are due any refunds, then you will also get this earlier, where as any returns done in January, will take a lot longer for HMRC to process any refunds as it is their busiest time.

 

With a bit of organisation, you can get your paperwork in order and get your tax return over and done with all the while enjoying your Christmas and New Year’s plan stress free. You could pay too much or even too little tax, so the help of an advisor is vital. Contact us on www.crossaccountingservice.co.uk if you have any concerns regarding you tax return as we are always here to help.

The summer months are coming to an end as autumn closes in. Everyone is returning from their summer break, the children will be heading back to school its back to business.

 

It’s always great to plan ahead, so this time we talk about the new Making Tax Digital (MTD) that HMRC are set to introduce from April 2019, this has been going back and forth in consultation for some time now, HMRC now have communicated the requirements.

 

This will be mandatory for businesses registered for VAT with a turnover above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000. Businesses will need to keep VAT records digitally and their VAT returns using MTD compatible software. This will start from their first VAT period starting on or after 01 April 2019.

 

If you submit a quarterly return for the period 01 March to 31 May 2019 then you will have to comply with MTD rules for the period starting 01 June 2019. Businesses under the VAT threshold will not have to operate MTD but can choose to do so voluntarily, which we would recommend.

 

Going forward the use of compatible accounts software will be mandatory. The use of spreadsheets can no longer be used.   

 

HMRC are trying to reduce the number of VAT inspection on businesses that are complying and MTD will make this clearer for all. If you’re struggling and not understanding what to do and how to be ready for the April 2019 deadline, do not panic and contact us, as we are always here to help.