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.

Flat Rate Scheme

 

The Flat Rate Scheme is designed to simplify your records of sales and purchases. The process is to apply a fixed flat-rate percentage to your turnover to arrive at the VAT due. Fixed-rate percentage do vary depending on the type of business. You can find a list for percentage on this link https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/vat-flat-rate-scheme/frs7300

 

From April 2017, there will be a new rule to start regarding the flat-rate scheme, this is because the government is concerned that some businesses are using the Flat Rate Scheme to pay less VAT than is appropriate. This will mainly affect businesses that spend very little on goods, such as businesses that provide service.

 

 So, what is changing? The new change will only affect businesses which have a very low cost base. These businesses will now be called “limited cost traders”. A business will be a “limited cost trader” if it spends less than 2% of its sales on goods or less than £1,000 a year, even if this is more than 2% of the businesses turnover on goods.

 

VAT returns can be a pain and take up time and not allow you to do what you do best, running your business! Visit www.crossaccountingservice.co.uk to discuss your VAT issues with us.

 

Restricting finance cost relief for landlords

 

From April 2017, there will gradually be an introduction of a basic rate reduction restricting the relief for finance cost. Finance cost includes mortgage interests, interest on loans to buy furnishings and fees incurred when taking out or repaying mortgages or loans.

 

Landlords will no longer be able to deduct all their finance costs from their property income to arrive at their property profits. Instead, landlords will receive the introductory basic rate reduction from their income tax liability for their finance costs.

 

The governments gradual change will be as follows:

 

·         2017 – 2018 the deduction from property income as it currently is will be restricted to 75% of finance costs with the remaining 25% being available as a basic rate tax reduction.

·         2018 – 2019 the deduction from property income as it currently is will be restricted to 50% of finance costs with the remaining 50% being available as a basic rate tax reduction.

·         2019 – 2020, 25% finance costs deduction and 75% given as a basic rate tax reduction.

·         2020 – 2021, all financing costs incurred by a landlord will be given as a basic rate tax reduction.

 

This change is being implemented to make the tax system fairer. The government want to ensure that landlords with higher incomes no longer receive the most generous tax treatment.

 

For landlords in Wales, there is also a new law that has come in for self-managing landlords to obtain a licence or have an agent to deal with their properties. This is compulsory and to find out if you need to apply visit www.rentsmart.gov.wales

 

We have a lot of clients with a portfolio of properties and help them when it comes to their

self-assessment. If you’re a landlord and don’t understand the rules, you can contact us on 02920653995 or send through an email on nicola@crossaccountingservice.co.uk

I see alot of business owners going into owning a business and under selling themselves.  

We all have different reasons for going into business.   You might be looking to be in charge of your own destiny.  You have a great idea that youve always wanted to pursue.  You lost your job and want to create your own or have a redundancy package that you want to re-invest.

Whatever your reason use these tips below as at the end of day,  if youre not making a profit your dreams and aspirations fall by the way side.

Protect Your Margin

Your margin should be enough that it not only covers the direct cost of your product or service materials and labour, but allows you to make a profit to cover overheads and leave a profit/ or income for yourself to grow and develop the company.

There is a market price for every kind of product or service, ie what your customers will pay for your product or service.  Stay ahead of the competition, know what they are doing, offer something different to stand yourself apart.

The margin itself

Costing your product or service is a vital project in itself. 

Be aware of the percentages your industry can attain.  If your in the food industry aim for a minimum of 3 x your costs, manufacturing products maybe lower between 60 and 100% depending on your product or market.

If you are making a product, Costs include
Materials, Labour, Energy

Keep this exercise in mind at regular intervals, at least every six months.  Energy and cost of materials do fluctuate, you need to be on top of that.

For the labour cost, time yourself making the product, as you get busier, look at ways of saving time.

Ie a machine might do the job faster than you, you might be able to buy in part of the process.

Manufacturing sites, keep a close eye on this with the use of computerised stock systems, using either FIFO or Standard Costing methods.  They see first hand any fluctuations, look into any big fluctuations, up or down.

You can also replicate this using a manual method .

Service Provider
Your service is likely to be mainly labour cost.

Experience and judgement always help when costing up a particular job.  But always keep an eye on the actual time it has taken to complete the exercise.  Keep timesheets at all times and for everything connected with that client.  You will be building up a record in order to raise the sales invoice, plus you will be staying up to date and applying realistic costs when quoting for work.

Cost savings

Save yourself cost of sale by buying direct from the Wholesaler, negotiating the prices.  More volume should equal better discounts.

Try and buy local where you can, your carriage costs could be saved.

Saving labour time, by knowing  your time elements to the job, using machinery where possible.  Time management.

Don’t price yourself too cheap.  Remember you need to be selling at a profit.

Offer added value and up sale marketing, to make higher margins.

Split your products up by margin, ie get the selling mix right, volume on lower margin, less of the higher margin.   

What constraints do you have
Do you have only limited capacity of manufacturing space, limited number of appointments available put day.  Put this into your budget, not just numbers.

If you can improve your margin to a realistic target, you will see the positive result on your bottom line, and hopefully in your pocket too.

Set yourself goals, you can always do better.  Keep that mind set, it’s a great planning tool.

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.

From November 2015 and updated in January 2016 there is now a requirement for any landlord to complete a landlords licence regardless of how many properties they own.

We have a number of landlords on our books so felt it was necessary to keep you informed of this new legislation.

The deadline for compliance is the end of November 2016,  failure to comply can carry large fines so landlords to please deal with this at your earliest opportunity.

Please visit the website below to see how this will apply to you.  This needs to also be considered if you are considering adding an extra income of property or planned pension provision in this area as this will also affect you.





We’re in the full swing of the Summer Holidays, as a business owner this can be a very busy time if youre in the food and leisure industry, it can also be a quieter time as many owners see because everything appears to be put on hold when suppliers and customers take time off and are on holiday.

How does Summer affect you? I see many business owners not taking time away from their business and carrying on regardless. Its important to have time away to recharge the batteries and to re-evaluate where you are going with it.

A lot of my clients are small micros businesses who might not have an army of staff to take care of things whilst theyre away. Heres a few tips they’ve shared with me on how they still manage to run their business but still take some important r & r.

Plan the diary around their holiday, do the bigger more important jobs in the run up to the holiday then plan the next jobs to be in the diary when they return.

Take small breaks so time away isn’t too dramatic and they don’t face backlogs coming back. Ie a long weekend away a couple of times a year.

Use a subcontractor to keep things ticking over until they come back.

Those companies with staff, leave clear instructions on what is to be done whilst theyre away.

Others leave the mobile phone on in case of emergencies but limit their workload reduced over the time period.

Whatever your business please take that rest time, you will read time and time again, those owners who take time away and have the rest are far more likely to succeed, than someone who never takes time away.

Work life balance is important to keep in the mind, we all like to think of ourselves as workaholics, and fully committed. Our health and wellbeing, and feeling motivated and energised is important too.

 

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.