Pointing your business in the right direction

Finger pointing the way

Finger pointing the wayIn addition to the wide range of services that we offer, we can also help you with some business and financial services that are outside of our expertise.

We do this by pointing you to a selection of recommended partners who are professionals in other sectors who we have come to know and trust.

These are the some of the common areas where we where we can make recommendations when you need it:

  • Independent financial advice for pensions and investments
  • Financial planning
  • Mortgage advice
  • Obtaining commercial finance
  • Obtaining grant funding for your business
  • Selecting a bank
  • Marketing services such as website designers, graphic design
  • Legal advice for you and your business
  • Corporate recovery
  • Property valuers
  • IT support services
  • Vehicle leasing
  • Business rates advice

Autumn Budget 2017: Our Summary


This was the main theme of the Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s second budget as he committed to spending more on infrastructure projects and stimulating the housing market. He had to put on a good performance to keep his job after criticism following the Spring Budget. His jokes were better this time but there was very little good news on the tax front and some worrying economic figures, particularly the growth forecasts. A stamp duty holiday for first-time homebuyers was hotly tipped prior to the Budget but nevertheless it was still a surprise that the duty for such buyers was abolished for purchases up to £300,000.


In an attempt to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder and stimulate the housing market the chancellor announced that for property purchases completed on or after 22 November 2017 there would be no SDLT payable if the purchase price is below £300,000.

This will be a permanent measure rather than a temporary holiday. Those claiming the relief will pay no SDLT on the first £300,000 of the consideration and 5% on any remainder. No relief will be available where the total consideration is more than £500,000. It should be noted that were a property is bought in joint names it must be the first property owned by all purchasers.


The Chancellor reminded us that the government are committed to increasing the personal allowance to £12,500 in 2020 and the higher rate tax threshold to £50,000. However, the personal allowance for 2018/19 was only increased in line with inflation to £11,850 and the higher rate threshold to £46,350.

Note that up to 10% of the personal allowance (£1,185) may be transferred from one spouse or civil partner to the other if unused and the transferee is a basic rate taxpayer. This transfer will now be available on behalf of deceased spouses and civil partners, and the claim may now be backdated for up to four years where the entitlement conditions were met.


The basic rate of income tax and higher rate remain at 20% and 40% respectively and the 45% additional rate continues to apply to income over £150,000.

Although Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NIC) for the self-employed are being abolished from 6 April 2019 and “merged” with Class 4 contributions the Chancellor did not dare mention an increase in the current 9% Class 4 rate this time!

There had been rumours that the dividend rate might be increased, but dividends continue to be taxed at 7.5%, 32.5% and then 38.1% depending upon whether the dividends fall into the basic rate band, higher rate band or the additional rate.

The annual ISA investment limit increased to £20,000 from 6 April 2017 and remains at that level for 2018/19. Dividends on shares held within an ISA continue to be tax free.


Although not mentioned in the Budget speech the other documents released on Budget day mention the possible extension of the rules for personal service companies in the public sector to workers in the private sector.

The government will consult in 2018 on how to tackle non-compliance with the intermediaries legislation (commonly known as IR35) in the private sector. The legislation which currently only applies in the public sector seeks to ensure that individuals who effectively work as employees are taxed as employees, even if they choose to structure their work through a company.


Company car benefits are based on CO2 emissions data which has encouraged employees to choose diesel cars due to lower CO2 emissions. The government is trying to reduce the number of diesel cars and will increase the current 3% diesel supplement to 4% from 6 April 2018.

As previously announced radical changes to the company car benefit rules are being introduced in 2020. The benefit in kind for electric cars and hybrid cars with a range of 130 miles or more on the electric motor is being reduced to just 2%. That means that the taxable benefit for such a car with a list price of £30,000 would be just £600 a year. Where the employer allows staff to charge their own electric car at work there will be no taxable benefit.


The Government will double the amount that an individual may invest under the EIS in a tax year to £2 million from the current limit of £1 million, provided any amount over £1 million is invested in one or more knowledge-intensive companies.

The annual investment limit for knowledge-intensive companies receiving investments under the EIS and from VCTs will be increased to £10 million from the current limit of £5 million. The lifetime limit raised by such companies will remain the same at £20 million.


The rate of the R&D expenditure credit is being increased from 11% to 12%, in order to support business investment in R&D. This is the relief available to those companies that do not qualify for the more generous relief available to SMEs.


The VAT registration limit normally increases in line with inflation each year, however the limit has been frozen at £85,000 until 1 April 2020. At the same time the deregistration limit remains at £83,000.

There had been rumours that the VAT threshold would be reduced so that more businesses would be required to charge VAT on their sales. The UK currently has the highest VAT registration threshold in Europe.

Note that the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT in April 2019 will apply to those businesses above the registration limit. Freezing or reducing the threshold will bring more businesses within the scope of MTD.


There has been much lobbying from the small business sector to reduce business rates. The Chancellor stated that 600,000 small business currently benefit from small business rates relief.

In order to support the licensed trade from April 2017, pubs with a rateable value up to £100,000 are able to claim a £1,000 business rates discount for one year. This relief has now been extended until March 2019.


Another measure hidden away was the proposal that buy-to-let landlords will be able to claim 45p a mile for necessary visits to their rental properties.

This will be as an alternative to claims for capital allowances and deductions for actual expenses incurred, such as fuel.

Please contact a member of our team if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised.


Starting a business in 2018? We’ll get you off and running.

Starting blocks

Starting blocksGetting a new business out of the starting blocks is very exciting but it can also be extremely challenging.

We can help you to get your new business up and running successfully:

  • We can advise you as to what is the best business structure for you to use, such as a company or partnership;
  • If it is a company that you opt for, we can sort out the formation for you at a competitive price.  We’ll help you to get the legal parts right;
  • We will register your new business with HMRC for tax, VAT and PAYE;
  • If you need finance, we can put you in touch with a vast array of potential lenders so you can get the financial kick-start you need;
  • We can point you in the right direction for grant funding;
  • If you or your lender need it, we can help you to put together a well thought through business plan, including profit and cash flow projections;
  • We will set you up with the right accounting and payroll system for you.

Get in contact with us today to arrange a free consultation.

Simple cloud accounting – getting you ready for Making Tax Digital


CloudsDo you feel that you don’t get any value from your annual accounts?  Are they always prepared several months after the end of the financial year by which time things have moved on a lot so they are largely irrelevant?

Our Accounts Plus service is designed to give your business value from the process of preparing accounts.  It uses the latest online accounts software to streamline the whole accounts production process so that you receive not only annual accounts but also quarterly management reports from us.  This means you have much more relevant information at your fingertips from which to run your business.

We set ourselves the target of producing all accounts and reports within just one month of the end of the period.   Because both you and we have access to the online accounts software it means that we can work collaboratively on your accounts throughout the year, turning us into your Virtual Financial Officer so you get the benefit of our expertise.

We love Xero and we think you will too!

When it comes to which online accounts software to choose we will work with any system that you prefer including Sage, Quickbooks, FreeAgent and Kashflow.

Our system of choice is Xero as we think that it is the market leader in terms of value for money, ease of us and features.  We are Xero Bronze Partners so we know this software really well, allowing you to get the best from it.  Find out more about Xero at

And what’s more…

But the best thing of all about the Accounts Plus service is how much it costs. The use of technology allows us to provide this enhanced service to you at a really competitive price, often for the same amount or less than you are paying now for a traditional accounts service.  Arrange a free meeting wih us and we can show you how this all works and provide you with a quote.

Business support services. Sorting out your bookkeeping, VAT and payroll.

Matchsticks spelling 'help'

Matchsticks spelling 'help'Handing over jobs such as payroll and bookkeeping to us means you’ll have more time to concentrate on other areas of your business.

We offer a full service in this area, tailored to your requirements and budget. Remember, we offer a fixed annual fee so you know your costs in advance with no nasty surprises.

Payroll and Workplace Pensions

Our payroll service is a really efficient way of taking care of the burden of this administrative task, now made even harder with the advent of filing with HMRC in real time and Workplace Pensions automatic enrolment.

Once you give us the information we make sure your employees can be paid the right amount at the right time.  We ensure you don’t have to worry about late filing penalties with HMRC.

Workplace pensions are now being introduced for all employers, whatever the size of the payroll.  Qualifying employees are automatically enrolled into a pension scheme and it is the employers responsibiity to ensure that this is done in compliance with the law. We’ll get you sorted out with automatic enrolment – from the set up of the scheme to its eventual operation.



When it comes to bookkeeping, you may be happy to carry out some of the work yourself, such as invoicing, with the balance of the work being carried out by us – this is where using cloud based accounts software such as Xero comes into its own as we can work as a team with you.

We will tailor our service to your resources and budget so you can relax, safe in the knowledge that your books and records are being kept correctly.


As Chartered Tax Advisers, we can also take care of all your VAT requirements, such as registration and deregistration, filing your online returns and technical advice on specific VAT issues.

Compliance services. Keeping you on the straight and narrow.

Signing a document

We make sure your accounts are prepared in the correct format – after all, your accounts can get looked at by others and you want them to present your business professionally.

As Chartered Tax Advisers we are well qualified to complete your tax returns correctly, applying tax legislation to the best advantage to get you the best possible result.

Statutory books and other company secretarial records are kept up-to-date and all statutory returns are prepared.

Our experienced team will relieve you of the regulatory burden and leave you more time to concentrate on other areas of your business.

In short, we will make sure everything is in the right format, in the right place and at the right time.

Helping your business to grow with our Accounts Plus service.

Woman sitting in long grass with laptop
Woman sitting in long grass with laptop
Helping your business to grow.

Do you feel that you don’t get any value from your annual accounts?  Are they always prepared several months after the end of the financial year by which time things have moved on a lot so they are largely irrelevant?

Our Accounts Plus service is designed to give your business value from the process of preparing accounts.  It uses the latest online accounts software to streamline the whole accounts production process so that you receive not only annual accounts but also interim management reports from us during the year.  This means you have much more relevant information at your fingertips from which to run your business.  You will also meet up with us at least twice a year so we can help you plan your way forward.

We set ourselves the target of producing management reports within just one month of the end of the period.  Annual accounts are prepared within 3 months of the year end. You will know your tax position months ahead of the due date!

3 levels of service to choose from:

Bronze level: We do bookkeeping every quarter, we give you quarterly management reports and we meet you twice a year

Silver level: We do bookkeeping every month, we give you quarterly management reports and we meet you four times a year

Gold level: We do bookkeeping every week, we give you monthly management reports and we meet you six times a year

Whichever level you opt for, you can add any of the following additional services to your package:

  • Tax returns
  • Company secretarial service
  • Payroll
  • Workplace pensions
  • VAT returns
  • Cashflow forecasting and budgeting

Helping you with sound tax advice.

Man receiving advice from accountant

Man receiving advice from accountantSome accountants see tax work as just a form filling task to be done.  Not us.  We see tax work as an opportunity to do the best we can for our clients so they get the best deal possible out of the tax system.

We actively look for ways our clients can do better, constantly reviewing strategies as new tax legislation comes out.  All our clients receive a free end of tax year review as part of the package.

Good tax advice can really help you to make the right decisions.  As you would expect from a firm of Chartered Tax Advisers, when the time comes that you need some sound tax advice, we are able to provide you with a quality service.


If you’re a landlord or a property developer, we can help you with our sound advice.  Owning investment property involves careful financial and tax planning and we have strong expertise in this area.  For example, we will explain the tax implications of owning property through a company versus owning property personally.

Buying, owning and selling properties can involve any or all of the major taxes – income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, VAT, stamp duty land tax and inheritance tax.  As Chartered Tax Advisers we can help you through this maze.

Investments and pensions

If you have investments or pensions we can look after the tax affairs that arise.  Good tax planning advice can be invaluable.  Please note that we are not authorised to give investment advice ourselves. However, we will work closely with your chosen financial adviser or refer you to one of our carefully chosen partners.


If you need a mortgage for either your own home or for an investment property, we can help you by working with lenders and carefully chosen mortgage