Sir Ken Dodd

Famously cleared of false accounting in the 1980’s, Sir Ken Dodd has denied the taxman any monies from his estate by getting married two days before his death. With an estimated estate of £7m if he had not married Anne Jones there could have been a £3m IHT bill.

 

www.winchesterbourne.com (e) enquiries@winchesterbourne.com (t) 01962 715671

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Review to be launched by Hammond into tapering of VAT

A review is to be launched by Philip Hammond into ways of tapering the introduction of VAT so that small companies are not put off increasing their turnover above the £85,000 threshold.

 

At Winchester Bourne we work hard to make sure our clients are provided with the best advice. If you would like to know more about our services and how we can help you please email sarah@winchesterbourne.com or call 01962 715671.

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SME’s and female entrepreneurship

The Government is being urged to boost entrepreneurship amongst women in Britain.

The Government is being asked to improve opportunities in Britain for female entrepreneurs by many MP’s, academics, business leaders and entrepreneurs. In particular, they want better access to funding. In an open letter to the Telegraph, they point to figures showing only 9% of funding into startups in the UK goes to women-run businesses at present every year. The Telegraph also notes that according to the FSB, Britain is missing out on over 1.2m new enterprises because of the untapped business potential of women.

At Winchester Bourne we work hard to make sure our clients are provided with the best advice. If you would like to know more about our services and how we can help you please email sarah@winchesterbourne.com or call 01962 715671.

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VCT and EIS tax reliefs reformed

There are new rules which have come into effect for VCTs and Enterprise Investment Schemes. Such schemes offer a 30% tax break but companies eligible to be included in these schemes must be sufficiently entrepreneurial and risky. Companies expected to fall foul of these new rules include, for example, companies with guaranteed contracts and businesses such as storage sites and pubs.

At Winchester Bourne we work hard to make sure our clients are provided with the best advice. If you would like to know more about our services and how we can help you please email sarah@winchesterbourne.com or call 01962 715671.

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Stamp Duty – general confusion over the additional 3% and who has to pay!

Stamp Duty – general confusion over the additional 3% and who has to pay!

It’s nearly two years since the additional 3% stamp duty was brought in on second homes and yet there is still widespread confusion about who has to pay it. In the Money section of the Sunday Telegraph [14th January] they found that “tax advisors, solicitors and even HMRC are giving conflicting advice that leaves thousands of buyers confused as to whether they are liable for the levy”.

Amazingly it goes on to say that what is more if you pay the extra stamp duty no-one at HMRC checks this, so if you have paid too much or paid duty when it is not due then you will not be told and will not be refunded.

Many are not aware of the transitional rule. This is where a buy-to- let owner who sold their principal residence before November 25 2015, the date when the additional stamp duty rate was announced, does not have to pay the extra duty if they complete the purchase of a new main residence on or before November 26 2018!

Couples living together, where one owns a buy-to-let property and the other does not do not have to pay the extra duty if the partner who does not own a property purchases their main residence. The second property will only be taken into account when they are married.

There is a stamp duty land tax calculator provided by HMRC but beware the pitfalls such as the fact that “main residence” and similar terms are not defined clearly!

At Winchester Bourne we work hard to make sure our clients are provided with the best advice. If you would like to know more about our services and how we can help you please email sarah@winchesterbourne.com or call 01962 715671.

 

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A perk for employees: Save up to £310 on pensions advice.

A perk for employees: Save up to £310 on pensions advice.

Brought in in November last year pension advice vouchers are a government initiative similar to childcare vouchers and cycle to work.

Employees are entitled to swop up to £500 of their salary each year for a pension advice voucher. Depending on the level of the employee’s salary the voucher costs them as little as £190 with tax and NI savings.

Until now this has gone largely unnoticed and there are currently few companies offering this benefit to employees.

The vouchers cover financial and tax issues relating to “pension arrangements or pension funds, allowing individuals to make informed decisions about saving for their retirement” according to HMRC.

Advice can cost more than £500 in which case the balance is taxed and incurs NI as normal.

Are you aware of this scheme, would you like to know more about how we can help you and your business? Then please contact sarah@winchesterbourne.com or call 01962 715671

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National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice..

You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 25 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under

Current rates

These rates are for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. The rates change every April.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
October 2016 (current rate) £7.20 £6.95 £5.55 £4.00 £3.40
April 2017 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50

Apprentices

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Example An apprentice aged 22 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £3.40

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both:

  • are aged 19 or over
  • have completed the first year of their apprenticeship

Example An apprentice aged 22 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £6.95

 

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GIFT AID OVERHAUL TO HELP ONLINE AND SMS CHARITY DONORS.

The new Gift Aid rules are set to come into effect in April 2017.

The government is still reviewing responses to the consultation, but once completed, draft Regulations will be made later this year under the Donations to Charity Regulations of 2016.

Measures are designed to make it easier for donations to be made via text messages or SMS but to still benefit from GIFT AID contributions.

Currently the charity or intermediary’s claim has to be supported by the donor’s name, address and confirmation that the donor is a tax payer. Under the new proposals the government is proposing a system whereby there is one declaration per intermediary who will then be able to create a declaration for all donations that the donor makes for the rest of the tax year. This should relieve the burden on intermediaries who currently have to obtain a Gift Aid declaration for each individual charity a donor donates to.

There are up to 139,000 charities registered for Gift Aid. Less than 70,000 actually claim Gift Aid as this stand.

It is anticipated that if the new procedures are adopted in April this will mean a donor using a fundraising website to sponsor various different parties and raising money for multiple charities will be able to complete one Gift Aid declaration on the website effectively allowing (authorising) the intermediary to register the donor across the board for a 12 month period. The onus is on the donor to notify any change in tax status during this period.

HMRC will issue guidance to cover intermediaries and their role in administering Gift Aid around the same time as the new regulations come into force.

We work with many charities throughout Hampshire. If we can help you with your accounts and/or your accounts administration please do not hesitate to call or email.

www.winchesterbourne.com   (e) sarah@winchesterbourne.com   (t) 01962 715671

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SAGE WARNS CUSTOMERS OF DATA BREACH

A statement on the company’s website says:

“We believe there has been some unauthorised access using an internal login to the data of a small number of our UK customers so we are working closely with the authorities to investigate the situation.

Our customers are always our first priority so we are communicating directly with those who may be affected and giving guidance and measures they can take to protect their security.

Anyone who has any concerns should call a dedicated helpline number, 0845 145 3345. They should leave a message with their details, or alternatively email customercontact@sage.com.”

 

About 280 businesses are thought to be affected and the breach to have happened in early August, according to a BBC report. It is not clear if information was stolen or just viewed.

It has been reported to the City of London police and also to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who could if they decide Sage had been negligent take action including criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement, or undertaking an audit at the firm.

www.winchesterbourne.com (e) enquiries@winchesterbourne.com (t) 01962 715671

 

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Getting the structure and entity correct for your business is fundamental. Here we take a look at the use of Trading under different names.

After company registration, some companies may decide that they want to trade under a different name to the one that is on the register with Companies House. There are a number of reasons a company may use a different trading name, or “business name’. There are restrictions to the different names that a company can use, but they are more relaxed than those that apply when you register a company.

A company may use a trading name for various reasons. A sole trader may decide that they are going to take the route of setting up a company, but chooses to incorporate under a different name. The sole trader may continue to trade under their previous name, in order to maintain a brand and their customer loyalty achieved to date. In this situation, the company can achieve maximum benefits: having the professionalism of a limited company name, but not losing the customers that are familiar with the brand.

Alternatively, trading names can be a practical way of dividing different activities within one company, without having to form a complicated group structure of companies. If a company trades in a number of different areas, it may be useful to have one company with numerous different trading names to divide the business.

When setting up a company, you are unable to use a company name that is currently being used on the register of companies. This regulation does not apply when using a trading name. However it is important not to cause confusion between your company and another, as this could lead to a claim of passing off. If your company is seen to be misleading customers, impersonating another company and therefore damaging their business, you could face a legal claim. It is also important to avoid legal claims arising from trademark infringement, or similar. By using a name that is protected by intellectual property rights you could find your company subject to a legal claim, so it is important to study current protection.

Also by not registering your trading name at Companies House as a separate company there is nothing to stop someone else from registering a company with that name at Companies House.

There are also certain “sensitive” situations and words that will require written consent from the appropriate body. Examples are those which imply a connection to a government body, or relating to the structure of the company (for example, “Group”). Similarly, the trading name must not mislead the consumer into the type or activity of the company, for example, using “Ltd” when it is not actually registered with Companies House under that name.

It should be noted that although a limited company is perfectly entitled to use a trading name, they should display their company name as it appears on the incorporation certificate in the relevant places. The company name should be displayed at the company’s registered office, and additionally in legible text somewhere on correspondence from the business.

Just an observation – if you think the new one is likely to fail, it may be a bit dodgy running it under the same ltd co. as your main one, as if it goes into debt, it could also bankrupt your main business?

For more help and advice contact sarah@winchesterbourne.com or telephone 01962 715671

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