Accountancy Blog

Gifts and IHT

How gifts can reduce your liability for inheritance tax.

Inheritance tax (IHT) at 40% is due on the portion of a person’s estate that exceeds £325,000. This can be reduced to 36% if 10% (or more) of the estate is given to charity.

Married couples and civil partners can transfer any unused allowance to their spouse, meaning the nil-rate band can potentially double to £650,000.

Although leaving an inheritance has traditionally been a key part of estate planning, attitudes are changing. More…

Audits and accounts

A guide to keeping accounts and how an audit can benefit your business.

An audit is an official inspection of a company or organisation’s accounts by an independent body.

A company can choose to be audited in order to prove to its investors or shareholders that its accounts are sound. More…

Cash flow issues

Small business owners spend 10% of their working day chasing payments, according to research by Xero.

London businesses spend the most time chasing payments, up to 1.5 days each month followed by 1.3 days in Wales.

Customers who themselves are waiting for payments and a lack of consistency on payment terms are the main reasons for overdue payments. More…

Help to buy ISA’s

More than half a million people have opened a Help to Buy ISA since the scheme was launched in December 2015.

The Help to Buy ISA allows people to save up to £200 a month while receiving a 25% government bonus.

The figures show that the average price of a home purchased using a Help to Buy scheme is £189,795 – a figure below the national average of £292,000. More…

Self-employment

The number of self-employed workers increased from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million in 2015.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of part-time, self-employed workers grew 88% between 2001 and 2015, compared to 25% for full-time, self-employed workers.

Part-time workers accounted for 1.2 percentage points of the overall 1.6 percentage point increase in self-employment between 2008 and 2015. More…

Business rates

A system to allow businesses to check and appeal business rates bills has been announced. The aim is to ensure that disputes are settled more promptly.

Currently, over 955,000 appeals have been submitted against rating valuations but less than 2% of business rates appeals proceed to a tribunal hearing.

The new process is part of the government’s target of self-sufficiency for councils and the retention of 100% of local taxes by 2020. More…