P11d – Expenses & Benefits

6 July is the deadline for filing the P11D to HMRC but what is it? The P11D is a statutory form required by HMRC from UK based employers to detail the cash equivalents of benefits and expenses that they have provided during the tax year to directors and employees. The basic rule is that if…

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Why Should I Use Xero?

With over a million subscribers, Xero is a leading online accounting system designed for small business owners. It’s easy to use and the ultimate hassle free way to run and grow your business. With real-time access to your financial information, you’ll always have the numbers whenever or wherever you need them. Here are our favourite…

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Top 10 Bookkeeping Tips

Looking to keep your accountancy fees to a minimum? Here’s our Top Tips on how to avoid big costs! 1. Go Paperless by Using Cloud-Based Accounting There are a number of cloud based products and apps available to reduce the bookkeeping burden, making it easier for you to keep on top of your finances wherever…

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Making Tax Digital – Update

Making Tax Digital (MTD) has been removed from the Finance Bill 2017, along with other clauses due to the forthcoming General Election. Public Bills cannot be carried forward into a new Parliament so they must either be scrapped or passed before the General Election takes place. The Finance Bill cull has been nothing short of…

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Will I get a fine for filing my tax return late?

Very simply, yes. There are financial penalties for filing your self assessment tax return late and for late payment of any tax due. One Month Late If you fail to submit your self assessment tax return to HMRC by 31 January each year you will receive an automatic late filing penalty of £100 for missing…

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Making Tax Digital – What is it?

What is it?? MTD (Making Tax Digital) is the government’s new initiative to transform the current tax system into a fully digital system which will be implemented between 2018 and 2020. It is intended to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right and keep on top of their affairs -…

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Big Changes to the VAT Flate Scheme – April 2017

What is it? The VAT Flat Rate Scheme has been popular with small businesses since 2002, enabling them to pay VAT at a considerably lower percentage of turnover rather than paying VAT on the difference between sales and purchases. It was a chosen scheme by many businesses as it helped to simplify accounting for VAT…

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Half Price Accounts & Tax Return – Save £££s!!

It’s that time of year again when we’re rapidly approaching the end of the 2016-2017 tax year and we’re full of great offers to encourage the early birds out there to get organised! We have an unbelievable offer, quite frankly it’s ridiculous! If you’re a sole trader and sign up as a new client with…

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Class 2 NIC Contributions

Class 2 National Insurance Contribution Changes From 2015-16 onwards, Class 2 National Insurance Contributions will be through the self-assessment system. This means that Class 2 NICs can now be paid together with income tax and Class 4 NICs in one chunk on the 31 January following the end of the relevant tax year. In the…

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Budget 2015 – New 7.5% Tax on Dividends

The Government is targeting small limited company owners in April 2016 by introducing radical changes to the current dividend system. Dividend tax credits will be abolished and replaced with a new dividend allowance of £5,000. abolish the dividend tax credit and replace it with a new tax-free dividend allowance of £5,000 a year for all…

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Abolition of annual tax returns…and more

UK Chancellor George Osborne announced a radical new system for the self-employed in the UK yesterday, abolishing annual tax returns as we know them by 2020. All information required by HMRC will be automatically uploaded into new online tax accounts. Starting next year, paper tax returns will be scrapped and replaced with digital accounts that…

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Married Couples Tax Break – April 2015

Married couples and those in civil partnerships can now register for a tax break, which could help them save up to £212 a year. From 6 April 2015, more than four million married couples and 15,000 civil partners who earn less than the £10,600 income tax personal allowance for 2015/16 will be able to transfer…

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The Basics of Self Employment

Becoming self employed is the quickest and easiest way to get your business up and running. However, there are a number of different structures under which you can operate a business so you should take professional advice before making a decision. It’s important to get it right and there are a number of aspects to consider. What…

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Claiming for Home Broadband Expenses

Can you reclaim the cost of home broadband? Yes you can – but there are restrictions as you would expect. The EIM01475 guidance from HMRC’s website is useful here. Limited Companies Company contracts and pays for the broadband service If a broadband contract is undertaken in the name of a limited company and the service is provided…

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Car Expenses

When you use a personally owned car in your business, some of the costs associated with running the car are allowable for tax purposes so you can claim these expenses in your accounts to reduce your profits and pay less tax.If you’re a sole trader there are two methods of claiming these expenses: You can claim…

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What are dividend tax credits?

When running your business as a limited company, it is most likely that you will pay yourself a combination of salary and dividends as this is the most tax efficient way to receive income from your company.A dividend is a sum of money paid regularly by a company to its shareholders from its profits. Only limited companies can…

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Bookkeeping Bonus!

We’ve got a super bookkeeping offer coming your way next month so read on to find out more… Bookkeeping is the process of recording all of the day to day transactions of a business. It may not be the most exciting topic, but accurate bookkeeping records for any business is essential and not optional as it…

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April is going to be a good month!

OK, so the weather may not resemble Spring as much as we’d like and it’s still far too chilly but there’s lots to smile about here at The Accountancy Office after the Easter break and all that chocolate! Here’s a snippet of what we’ve got lined up… Incorporations I’m really looking forward to working with some existing…

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HMRC Cash Accounting – April 2013

From 1 April 2013, unincorporated small businesses will be able to account for their income and expenditure on a cash basis. To clarify, unincorporated businesses are sole trader and partnerships. Limited companies are not able to use the scheme. What is cash accounting? Under the current HMRC system you need to account for income and…

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Merry Christmas…well not quite!

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly’! Christmas isn’t too far away apparently, but we’d rather put that to one side for the time being. So if like us, you’re not ready for Christmas just yet, here’s a reminder of what is allowable for income or corporation tax purposes, and what VAT you can reclaim so that you…

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Travel Expenses for Home-Based Business

If you are self-employed your business may well be based at your home address, although you perform the majority of your work at your customers’ sites. This can apply to a range of trades from plumbers to computer consultants, and even medical professionals. In order to claim the costs of travelling to your customers’ sites…

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Whose Fault is Underpaid Tax?

Have you received a tax calculation (on form P800) which shows you owe tax that you thought had been collected under PAYE? Every year the Tax Office undertakes a ‘PAYE reconciliation’ to check whether the tax collected from pensions and salary under PAYE was the correct amount. Where a taxpayer has a number of jobs…

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Tax Return Late Filing & Late Payment Penalties

If you receive a tax return, you are legally obliged to complete it, even if you think it is not relevant to you. If you do not complete and submit the tax return you will be fined. HMRC may also issue a bill for estimated tax due. You must file your tax return with HMRC by 31 October…

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Self Employed Travel and Subsistence – Tax allowable or not?

This is a popular topic for our self employed clients… Subsistence includes accommodation, food and drink costs whilst away from the permanent workplace. Subsistence expenditure is specifically treated as a product of business travel and is therefore treated as part of the cost of that travel. The cost of food, drink and accommodation is generally not an…

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What We Do Part 3…Payroll

What We Do Part 3…Payroll If you’re employing staff within your business then of course you need to pay them for the work they do. With continuous changes in legislation it can be difficult for small businesses to keep up with the latest laws and processes and that’s where we can help. We provide a fully…

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IR35 Business Tests Released

This Blog is featured in our June 2012 newsletter and is reproduced here for our wider audience as IR35 is a hot topic currently! If you provide services through your own personal service company you will be aware of the tax law known as IR35. This tax rule imposes an extra charge on your company,…

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What We Do Part 2…Management Accounts

Welcome to Part 2 of our “What We Do” series of blogs which are aimed at providing our readers with a better understanding of the services we offer. This week’s blog is Management Accounts… What are Management Accounts? Management accounts are used to help managers record, plan and control the activities of a business and to assist in…

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When is my Tax Return due?

We’ve had a few clients asking us about their next tax return. HMRC has recently sent out notices to those individuals who, according to their records, are required to complete a self assessment tax return for the 2011-2012 tax year which ended on 5th April 2012. If you’ve received one of those notices, there is no…

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What We Do Part 1…Bookkeeping

Welcome to first in our series of Blogs about “What we Do”. This week we’re starting with the joys of Bookkeeping – the foundation on which accounts and tax returns are prepared. It’s a legal requirement to keep accurate bookkeeping records! Bookkeeping ®NoStress is just that – a monthly bookkeeping and accounting package that saves you from…

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Introducing…What We Do.

Welcome to the first in our series of “What we Do” Blogs. Each week we’ll tell you more about you diverse range of professional services we offer to small businesses and how we can help you! Why are we doing this? Firstly, the perception of accountants is often that of dull bean counters. People seem to…

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Gift Aid and How it Works

There has been a lot of coverage in the press recently about tax relief for charitable donations. When you make a donation to a charity or to a community amateur sports club you can make a declaration that your donation is made under Gift Aid. This declaration can be made in writing, online or over…

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What is a VAT Receipt?

If you’re VAT registered you will no doubt have been advised by your accountant to always obtain a VAT receipt (or invoice) from your suppliers. Many of our clients provide us with what they believe to be VAT receipts but in actual fact they’re not. So…. What is a VAT receipt and why do you need…

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Companies House Confirmation Statement…what is it?

Many of our limited company clients find it difficult to understand all of the stautory filings that are required when running a limited company. It can be very confusing but we’re here to help and will always remind our clients in advance of any impending reporting deadlines with polite reminders! These are the essential aspects…

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Student Loan Notices

This article appear in our October 2011 newsletter and is reproduced here for our Blog readers: As an employer you are required to collect repayments of student loans your employees took out through the Student Loan Company (SLC) while they were studying, during years after September 1998. You are told to start making SLC deductions…

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Do I have to register for VAT?

There is a myth that every legitimate business is required to be VAT registered. This is not the case. Your business (as a sole-trader, partnership or company) does not have to become VAT registered until the total sales for 12 consecutive months exceeds £85,000. However, this total does apply to all the businesses you run…

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Tax Efficient Profit Extraction

This article featured in our June 2011 Newsletter which you can receive directly to your inbox each month by signing up from our website. As a company owner you can choose how to extract the profits from your company, and by making the right choices you can minimise the tax and NI paid by you…

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Planning for the VAT Increase

This article featured in our monthly Tax Tips Newsletter earlier this month and is reproduced here for our Blog. You can receive our newsletter direct to your inbox by signing up from the home page of our website. The significant VAT announcement in the Emergency Budget was the increase in the standard rate from 17.5…

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Changes to Class 2 National Insurance Contributions Payment Dates

From April 2011, payments for your Class 2 National Insurance contributions will become due on 31 January and 31 July, the same as a Self Assessment tax bill. Taxpayers who make payments by internet/telephone banking, CHAPS, Bank Giro, Post Office or by post will receive just two payment requests from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)…

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Don’t forget capital allowances!

The tax man may be more generous than you think. If you’re a sole trader, partnership or limited company you can claim a tax allowance known as a capital allowance. When you buy items of equipment and tools for your business, typically items that will be utilised over a period of time, you cannot claim…

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Director Charging Rent for Use of Home

If your company is based from your home you may wish to consider formalising an arrangement with your company to rent part of your residence to the company to occupy for business use. The benefit of this is that by charging the company rent, the company’s corporation tax bill will be reduced. What do I…

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National Minimum Wage Changes

Newsletter issue – October 2010. In the current recession you may have been forced to freeze or even reduce wages. If your workers are low paid you must be careful that you continue to pay at least the national minimum wage rate (NMW). The hourly NMW rates increased on 1 October 2010 and now apply…

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Above and Beyond The Call of Duty

Why do people feel intimidated by accountants? Why are accounts often the last thing small business owners think about when they are essential in managing the business effectively? Are we really that terrifying? I conducted a bit of research amongst contacts and associates (all of whom are potential users of accountancy services) and it appears…

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On yer bike!

This article featured in our newsletter earlier this week and is reproduced here for our Blog. You can receive lots of useful tax tips, tax updates and practice news each month by receiving our newsletter directly to your in-box by signing up at our website. Cycle to Work Scheme Update The cycle to work scheme…

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Briefly….your Director responsibilities

Your responsibilities as Director… Until recently the role and responsibilities of company directors was defined by case law. The Companies Act 2006 confirms existing case law and requires company directors to act in a way which is most likely to promote the success of the business and benefit its shareholders Company Directors are responsible for…

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Employing Students during the Summer Holidays

It’s that time of year when students are keen to find employment and earn extra cash during the school holidays. There are special provisions for students who work only during holiday periods such as Easter, Summer and Christmas. If their earnings are under £6,475 then tax need not be deducted on the completion of a…

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New Business Starting Up? Check out our Check List!

This checklist is for general guidance only. It considers key issues involved in starting up a new business but please seek advice tailored to your own circumstances. 1. Contact Business Link – they provide free advice and support to new businesses which is available online or through local advisors. http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/2. Decide on the business structure…

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Are your dividends legal?

We’ve appointed new clients recently who had no idea of the legal requirements when paying dividends. It’s also quite shocking that they’ve received little or no advice on this subject from their previous accountants. It’s another classic example of those believing that limited companies are only about saving tax. It is essential that you have…

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Benedetto Cotrugli is to blame!

What is Bookkeeping? Bookkeeping is the process that involves keeping proper financial records for your business transactions – otherwise known as one of the biggest headaches to business owners! Who is to blame for the burden of bookkeeping? Benedetto Cotrugli is the true inventor of double-entry bookkeeping, although the Italian monk Luca Pacioli is often…

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Planning for Tax!

Last week’s budget was full of negatives such as an increase in VAT and Capital Gains and reduced eligibility for tax credits. It’s not all doom and gloom and we’ve come up with some suggestions that may help you minimise tax: 1. The good news. The Chancellor announced an increase in the basic personal income…

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Budget 2010: A Quick Glance

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, presented his first Budget speech to Parliament today, 22 June 2010. He said that “the coalition Government has inherited from its predecessor the largest budget deficit of any economy in Europe with the single exception of Ireland” and that it was a tough but fair budget. “My measures…

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The Tax Advantages of Self-Employment

There are a number of advantages of being self-employed, but you must also comply with various regulations including the tax law. Form of Your BusinessWhen you decide to work for yourself you need to choose which form your business will take. The most common forms of business are: ■Sole-trader – you run the business on…

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Sole Trader or Limited Company? That is the question!

I thought I would write a little something on this as it’s an issue that crops up regularly and has done a couple of times this week alone… When most people have decided to set up their own business, the first issue they encounter is how to do this. This inevitably leads to the question,…

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Are you facing a tough decision?

It’s a tough call. It’s 12th June 2010 and England vs USA is about to kick-off in South Africa. Just as you sit down with a nice cool beer, it dawns on you that you haven’t done your accounts and the VAT return is due. Just what you need. You could worry about it tomorrow…

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Going Limited…10 things you should know

You can form your own limited company for around £25 in minutes – simple, job done! Your mate down the pub probably told you that you pay less tax this way too. So now you’re a Director of your own company and you’re the boss. Do you understand your legal responsibilities as a Director? If…

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Tax Saving Tips for the Self Employed

Self assessment can be pretty daunting for the newly self employed or even for those who have been self employed for some time and have muddled through! Make sure you’re claiming for all expenses that can be offset against your trading income in order to minimise your tax bill. Generally, you can claim for expenses…

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Back to Basics…

It never fails to amaze me how so many small businesses fail to recognise the real importance of keeping accurate financial records. It is a legal requirement!! You must update the information regularly – penalties have been introduced for not taking reasonable care with records and tax returns, so you need to keep accurate records.…

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New Penalties for late PAYE

This article has just featured in our May edition of ‘Tax Tips & News’. You can receive these directly to your inbox by signing up via our website. From this current tax year the Taxman can impose penalties if you are late in paying over the payroll and CIS deductions you make in the tax…

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Income tax increases from 6 April 2010

The introduction of a 50% tax rate for taxpayers with income in excess of £150,000 and the withdrawal of the personal allowance for those with income exceeding £100,000is a significant change to the income tax regime. At the same time, tax relief for pension contributions made by high earners is also in the process of…

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New Employment Regulations

There are a host of new employment related regulations coming into force on 6 April 2010. This is a brief summary of those regulations that are likely to affect you or your business. – Fit notes – these replace sick notes issued by GPs and will state what the worker can do, rather than what…

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VAT Payments & New Penalties

From 1 April 2010 all VAT payments made by cheque will be treated as being paid on the day the cleared funds reach the Taxman’s account. Previously the VAT was treated as being paid on the working day the cheque reached the VAT Office. A cheque will normally take at least three working days to…

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Full Budget News

This was a pre-election Budget but without many give-away prizes. Many of the standard allowances and thresholds have been frozen for two to five years, which introduces hidden tax rises by way of fiscal drag. This summary concentrates on the main tax issues affecting our clients. The good news points for small businesses are the…

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Budget 2010 – A Brief Summary for Small Businesses

The budget brought a pleasant surprise in that the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) is doubled from £50,000 to £100,000 from next month and there is currently no expiry date. This means that businesses can write off 100% of qualifying expenditure up to £100,000 each year against taxable profits. Whilst this is good news, whether it…

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VAT Online Filing & Payment – Compulsory from April

With effect from VAT periods commencing on or after 1 April 2010 existing businesses with an annual turnover of £100,000 or more will have to file their VAT Returns online and pay their VAT by electronic payment. The same rules also apply to all new businesses (regardless of turnover) that register for VAT on or…

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Going It Alone…

Many businesses were relieved when 2009 came to an end after many faced redundancies or reduced working hours to try and survive the recession. 2010 would appear to have started more optimistically but many are rethinking their career paths and considering setting up their own business – but don’t know where to start. We’re currently…

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Are you claiming the right expenses in your business accounts?

Not all business expenses are tax deductible, so its important to make sure you claim all that you can. Generally, if something you buy for your business is not a capital asset, you deduct its full cost when working out your taxable profits. This means you get immediate tax relief for the full amount. Here…

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Happy New Year – and don’t forget the tax!

Yes, January is upon us already and for those that haven’t submitted their self assessment tax return yet, you have until 31st January 2010 to do so in order to avoid a financial penalty. As the paper filing date has passed (31st October 2009) the tax return must now be submitted online. As well as…

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Pre Budget Report Summary

A summary of the main items of December’s Pre Budget Report that will most effect small businesses: 1.National Insurance up by a further 0.5% from April 2011 (up by 1% on 2009/10)2.1p rise in corporation tax for small firms scrapped, some reports say “deferred”3.New 50p tax on landline phones to pay for superfast broadband4.New 10%…

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Pension Reforms 2012

The government’s proposed 2012 pension reforms will oblige employers to offer a private sector pension scheme, known as a Personal Account, to all eligible employees who are not covered by in-house alternatives. Contributions to the Personal Accounts will be staged over a period of time until eventually employees will provide four per cent of their…

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Starting Up a Business

You can run a business either as an unincorporated sole trader or partnership, or by using a company. A company is a separate legal person – see below, under Forming a company for the issues you will need to consider. You will be a director and employee and also a shareholder in your own company.…

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Starting Up a Part-Time Business?

When starting up for the first time, many people opt to retain their full-time job and set up their own business part-time. But what does this mean for their tax situation? As an employee, you pay tax through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and National Insurance Contributions (NIC) which is deducted from your pay by…

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