Accountancy Blog

Tracing lost pension plans

Billions of pounds lost in unclaimed funds.

Helping you plan for your retirement is one of our core services, ensuring you are prepared when the time comes to call it a day.

With medical advances enabling more people to live for longer, the average person who retires at 65 lives for another 20 years.

According to the Office for National Statistics, males who retire at 65 can expect to live another 19 years while the average female will be around for 21 years after turning 65.

Considering most people start working in their late teens or early 20s, retirement can be half the amount of time spent working. More…

Tax implications of providing company cars

Does it pay off to provide zero-emission cars?

Offering a company car as a benefit can be a valuable and attractive perk to any valued employee.

Unfortunately, it is not necessarily a tax-free perk and it may be liable for PAYE because HMRC considers the private use of a company car to be a benefit-in-kind.

In some cases it can even be quite costly to the employee, especially if the company also pays for the fuel.

Factors including fuel type, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the car manufacturer and model, and how long the car is available in the tax year will all affect the amount of tax the employee has to pay. In addition, the employer may have to pay employer national insurance contributions (NICs). More…

Christmas fails to prevent retailers from ‘worst year on record’

Struggling retailers experienced their worst year on record for annual sales in 2019, according to figures published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Total sales among the UK’s beleaguered retailers decreased 0.1% last year and while that sounds fairly modest, it’s a contraction compared to figures showing 1.2% growth in 2018.

The figures showed total sales in November and December – historically buoyant months for retailers – were particularly weak, falling by 0.9% year-on-year.

The period took into account the impact of sales from Black Friday 2019, which was bigger than Christmas for sales of non-food items.

Black Friday, officially later than usual on 29 November 2019, boosted total retail sales in December by 1.9% and distorted the overall retail statistics for the year. More…

Employers to pick up the bill for 6.2% national living wage increas

The hourly national living wage rate for over-25s will increase from £8.21 to £8.72 for 2020/21.

The Low Pay Commission published recommendations for the new rates, which kick in from 1 April 2020.

The national living wage is the Government’s minimum wage for over-25s. The minimum wage for under-25s will also rise.

Workers aged between 21 and 24 will get £8.20 an hour, while staff aged 18 to 20 will see their hourly rate rise to £6.45.

Under-18s will be paid at least £4.55 an hour – up from £4.35, with apprentices being paid at least £4.15 an hour. More…

Report spares taxpayers from last month’s loan charge deadline

An eagerly anticipated report into the controversial loan charge has provided respite for thousands of people.

The Government revealed a string of concessions to lessen the severity of the policy, which seriously distressed those affected.

Up to 50,000 people were paid through so-called disguised remuneration schemes dating back to 1999.

Prior to the publication of the report before Christmas, more than 8,000 of those had already paid backdated taxes to HMRC worth around £2 billion.

Those who had not declared any untaxed income or settled any liabilities had faced a midnight deadline on 31 January 2020. More…

Filing your Tax return at Christmas

Thousands of taxpayers used the Christmas break to file tax returns for 2018/19 through self-assessment.

Statistics from HMRC showed that 34,292 taxpayers submitted tax returns between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

Precisely 22,035 taxpayers filed on 24 December 2019, followed by 3,003 on Christmas Day and 9,254 on Boxing Day.

The number of people who submitted their papers to HMRC on Christmas Day 2019 increased by 387 on the previous year, when 2,616 people filed their returns.

The peak filing hour for submissions was between 12pm and 1pm on Boxing Day, when 946 tax returns were filed. More…