Accountancy Blog

Are we leaving the EU?

What can your firm do before 29 March 2019?

As the clock continues to tick down to the 29 March 2019, when the UK is scheduled to officially leave the EU at 11pm, there is still much uncertainty around what Brexit will mean for UK business.

What is certain is that it will bring change for businesses of every size and sector, but planning for it seems almost impossible.

For businesses that buy and sell to the EU it is important to have contingency plans in place which are flexible enough to cope with a variety of outcomes.

Preparing for the worst will give your business the best chance of moving through the transition regardless of the outcome of negotiations. More…

The politics of tax breaks

How did we end up with such a complex system of tax reliefs?

If there’s one thing accountants love, it’s identifying obscure tax reliefs to which you may be entitled and using them to reduce your tax bills.

Tax reliefs, or tax breaks as they are sometimes called, aren’t without controversy, however. There are too many of them, say critics, and they deny the public purse much-needed funds.

In January this year, think tank the Resolution Foundation published the results of its own annual review on the cost to the nation of tax reliefs and suggested the bill had grown to £164 billion in 2018/19, equivalent to £6,000 per UK household.

Attempts to tot up the number of individual reliefs in recent years consistently put the number well above 1,000. More…

Government launches service to prepare firms for EU exit

The Government has launched a new website service to help businesses prepare for the UK’s exit from the EU later this month.

‘Prepare your business for leaving the EU’ is an online tool that provides information on specific rules and regulations, and aims to inform business owners of what is changing in their sector.

The service asks business owners seven questions before providing what the Government describes as “guidance relevant to your business”.

With an agreement yet to be reached on the UK’s scheduled exit from the EU at 11pm on Friday 29 March 2019, the Treasury has stepped up its efforts to prepare exporters. More…

Making Tax Digital for VAT: one month to go

The first batch of VAT-registered businesses have less than a month to go until they enter into the Government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) regime.

All VAT-registered businesses turning over more than £85,000 will be mandated into MTD by 1 October 2019, with the majority of firms adopting the scheme by 1 June 2019.

Firms with a VAT return quarter ending on 30 June 2019 will be the first to begin operating under the regime on 1 April 2019.

A month later, VAT-registered business with a return quarter ending on 30 April 2019 will be the second batch of businesses to go through MTD. More…

Minimum contributions rise to 3% for employers in April

Most employers in the UK will see minimum contributions towards their workers’ occupational pension schemes rise from 2% to 3% next month.

Businesses are legally obliged to automatically enrol all staff aged between 22 and state pension age, and earning more than £10,000 a year, into a workplace pension.

The first workers were automatically enrolled in October 2012, with staging dates bringing businesses and their employees into workplace pension schemes for the first time. More…