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At AVASK, we are passionate about what we do, and we take a personal interest in each and every one of our clients. We deliver to you top quality accounting services, business consultancy and marketing strategies.
Though our wealth of commercial experience, knowledge and skill we make the complicated – simple. We apply inspired business thinking to your business issues, allowing you to focus on what you do best –running your business.
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Here are some great headlines in today’s budget: • Inheritance Tax Threshold to £1m • Personal Allowance up to £11,000 • Corporation Tax to be cut to 19% in 2017 and 18% in 2020 • National Insurance employment allowance for small firms to be increased by 50% to £3,000 from 2016 However, it has also been announced that of 1 November 2015 Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will increase from its current rate of 6% to 9.5%. More information will be available on our website – please keep yourself up to date with the latest changes.
Small businesses 'lacking awareness' of VAT rules A third of the UK’s smallest businesses are unaware of the rules governing VAT thresholds, recent research has revealed. This lack of understanding means that around 780,000 businesses are at risk of being fined by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Meanwhile, according to the research, 27% of small businesses intentionally limit their trading in order to avoid reaching the VAT threshold. Under the current rules, where businesses have a VAT taxable turnover of more than £82,000 in a 12-month period, or where there is a belief that turnover in a single 30 day period will exceed £82,000, they must register for VAT. It is important to monitor turnover, as there is a penalty for late registration in addition to the tax payable. We can assist with all of your VAT needs – please contact us for further information and assistance.
The Bank of England (BoE) has released its Financial Stability Report warning that the UK’s buy-to-let property market could be putting the economy at risk. With credit easier to come by, borrowers are increasingly investing in buy-to-let properties, which the BoE says could be the source of personal and national financial instability. The Report said: ‘Looser lending standards in the buy-to-let sector could contribute to general house price increases and a broader increase in household indebtedness. ‘In a downswing, investors selling buy-to-let properties into an illiquid market could amplify falls in house prices, potentially raising losses given default for all mortgages.’ With rumours that the BoE could finally be preparing to raise interest rates from their record long-term low, the Report also warns that property price fluctuations could make the situation even more precarious. It continues: ‘This could be a particular concern in a rising interest rate environment, if properties become unprofitable given higher debt-servicing costs. ‘Buy-to-let borrowers are potentially more vulnerable to rising interest rates because loans are more likely to be interest-only and extended on floating-rate terms, and affordability tends to be tested at lower stressed interest rates than owner-occupied lending’.
UK economic growth and household incomes revised upwards: The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that that the UK economy grew by 0.4% in the first three months of 2015, up from a previous estimate of 0.3%. On an annual basis, the economy grew by 2.9% from the first quarter of 2014, compared with an earlier estimate of 2.4%. ONS figures also suggested that household disposable income grew at the fastest rate since 2001 - up by 4.5% in a year-on-year comparison. For 2014 as a whole, economic growth was revised up to 3% from 2.8% - the fastest rate of economic growth for eight years. The revision upwards has been attributed to improved measurements concerning the construction industry. ONS chief economist Joe Grice said: ‘The slight upward revision to growth in the first quarter of 2015 is down largely to the recently announced new methods to measure construction output’. Separate figures show that the UK’s current deficit has gone down from £28.93bn in the final quarter of 2014 to £26.55bn in the first three months of the year, equivalent to 5.8% of GDP. However, commentators have claimed that this deficit is still worryingly high. John Longworth, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said that the deficit was: ‘as big of a risk to the UK's future prosperity as the eurozone crisis or other international shocks’. He added: ‘The size and persistence of the UK's current account deficit make us hugely vulnerable to external shocks, unexpected shifts in market sentiment, and unwelcome downgrades to our credit rating’.
OBR casts doubt on Chancellor's surplus law: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has said that Government spending policies are expected to "widen" the budget deficit in the medium to long term, largely because of the ageing population. The OBR report comes just a day after Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to enshrine in law measures to prevent future governments from running a budget deficit - that is, spending more than they receive in tax revenues - during periods of economic growth. On Wednesday Mr Osborne claimed that a new, stricter fiscal framework overseen by an independent watchdog would "move Britain from crisis and recovery, and towards a new settlement of responsibility and prosperity". He said: "In normal times, governments of the left as well as the right should run a budget surplus to bear down on debt and prepare us for an uncertain future." The timing of the OBR’s announcement is therefore unfortunate for the Chancellor. It claims that on current Government spending plans the primary budget balance was projected to move from a surplus of 2.1% of GDP in 2019/20, to roughly neutral in the mid-2030s and then to a deficit of 1.9% of GDP in 2064/65. This represented an overall ‘deterioration’ of 4% of GDP, equivalent to £76bn in today’s terms - and the chief reason for it would be the steady upward pressure on spending created by an ageing population. However, the OBR did indicate that in the shorter term the Government would indeed run a surplus, and commentators have observed that the long-term predictions for future decades are highly uncertain.
New 'sugar tax' proposed by Minister: Life Sciences Minister George Freeman has recently announced the possibility of taxing sugary foods in order to pay for the medical costs of obesity in the UK. According to the minister, food companies should be aware that if they produce food that could lead to bad health and lifestyles then they may face penalties. However, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has previously said that there would be no ‘sugar tax’. Speaking at the Hay Festival, Mr Freeman said: ‘I don’t think heavy-handed legislation is the way to go. But I think that where there is a commercial product which confers costs on all of us as a society then we could be looking at recouping some of that through taxation’. Recent figures show that a high proportion of UK adults are overweight. In response, Public Health England released a draft report outlining ‘options for action’ which included a ‘sugar tax’. It is thought that a 20% tax on sugary foods would reduce obesity in the UK by 1.3%. Public Health England has been an executive agency of the Department of Health in the UK since 2013.
Osborne to deliver 'emergency Budget' on 8 July 18 May 2015 The Chancellor George Osborne has revealed that he will present a new Budget on 8 July. Osborne admitted that it was unusual to deliver two budgets in one year, but said he didn’t want to wait to ‘deliver on the commitments we have made to working people’. ‘It will continue with the balanced plan we have to deal with our debts, invest in our health service and reform welfare to make work pay. ‘But there will also be a laser-like focus on making our economy more productive so we raise living standards across our country,’ he added. The Chancellor is expected to outline how the Conservatives will cut £12 billion from the welfare bill, paving the way for the next wave of austerity. The last Budget was presented on 18 March and included changes to ISAs and help for home buyers. Please visit our website regularly for all the latest Budget news and information. www.avaskaccounting.co.uk
SOUTHAMPTON - EASTLEIGH & RICHMOND (LONDON) Accountants on the Cutting Edge: A leading SOUTHAMPTON - EASTLEIGH & RICHMOND (LONDON) based firm of accountants have announced that they are now using revolutionary online accounting software in order to help its clients more easily manage their book-keeping and accounts and keep a better track of their financial position. AVASK Accounting & Business Consultants Ltd. based in SOUTHAMPTON - EASTLEIGH & RICHMOND (LONDON) has today announced that they have future-proofed their accounting software packages for their clients by moving to an award winning online accounting software package. The company will now be using online accounting software company KashFlow which enables accountants and their clients to easily access their own financial records at any time, whenever they have access to the internet. Online accounting software is considered by many to be the way that the industry is heading because it enables businesses to keep a constant eye on their company’s financial position without having to install costly and bulky software direct onto their computers. This recent move proves AVASK Accounting & Business Consultants Ltd. is a forward thinking and dynamic organisation. The system is easy to use, with continuous functionality development and AVASK Accounting & Business Consultants Ltd.’s team of accountants can now talk to clients and update records in real time without having to wait for clients so send in reams of paper-work. All the records held on the system are stored behind a state of the art encryption system that prevents data from being accessed or passed on without the user’s permission. The software package will now be used by the company’s entire network of accountants who will, in turn, recommend it to their growing client base. Speaking about the new contract Chris Rogers, Cloud Accounting Expert at AVASK Accounting & Business Consultants Ltd., said; “We wanted to find a product that was easy to use for our clients that haven't had any accountancy training, but still enabled us as their accountants to extract the information we need to provide a quality service. We've found exactly that in KashFlow. The fact that we can access data live over the internet means we can be more pro-active in advising our clients.” Managing Director of KashFlow, Duane Jackson said, "We're very pleased to have been chosen by AVASK Accounting & Business Consultants Ltd. and very happy that they have recommended our online accounting software package to their clients. Jackson continues, "Our software enables accountants to use the power of the internet to deliver a high-quality service to their clients. We're looking forward to being a part of AVASK Accounting & Business Consultants Ltd.'s drive to help small businesses and start-ups in and around SOUTHAMPTON - EASTLEIGH & RICHMOND (LONDON)." KashFlow launched its flagship product, an online tool specifically designed to help owner-managers in small businesses manage their accounts, in mid 2005. Since that time it has quickly won a significant share of the valuable accounting software market along with launching a new direct-to-accountant division in late 2006.
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls is expected to announce a Labour party pledge to freeze VAT should they win the general election. Mr Balls will unveil the new manifesto promise, saying: ‘Today I can announce a clear pledge to the British people. The next Labour government will not raise VAT’. In response to previous Labour pledges to increase taxes across the board, a Conservative party spokesperson said: ‘Labour has already announced a raft of tax rises, but all but one of these would fund their spending pledged. It is time that they came clean with the British public about which taxes they will raise.’ Mr Balls is expected to use his speech to reply, insisting that ‘Labour can make this manifesto commitment for the next Parliament because, unlike the Tories, all of our promises are full funded and paid for.’ In order to raise funds for their pledges, Labour have announced plans to raise the top level of income tax to 50% and close the loopholes that have contributed to the tax gap.
Corporation Tax Returns Late Filing Penalties Penalties will apply should a Corporation Tax Return not be filed on or before the due date for the return (normally 12 months from the end of the CT accounting period). A range of penalties apply depending on how late the return is filed. If the return is one day late, then a penalty of £100 will be charged. This will be increased to £200 if it is 3 months late. If returns are late 3 times in a row then the penalties for the third year will be increased to £500 and £1,000 respectively. Beyond six months late (that is 18 months after the return period) tax geared penalties are applied. Without the return HMRC are unaware of the actual liability so these penalties will, initially, be based on HMRC’s estimates. Over 6 months late attracts a penalty of 10% of the unpaid tax and a further 10% is added after the return is 12 months late. Legislation is in place to charge more severe penalties, including £10 per day after 3 months (for a maximum of 90 days) followed by a sliding scale of tax geared penalty after 6 months. Please contact us so that we can keep you informed as to when the change in penalty rates.
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Tax return deadline on 31 January – don’t get the automatic £100 fine – contact us soon. According to the telegraph - HM Revenue and Customs has released its annual list of the 10 worst excuses people have given for filing or paying their tax return late. Unsurprisingly, none of these led to a successful appeal. • My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders. • I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal. • I fell in with the wrong crowd. • I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency. • Barack Obama is in charge of my finances. • I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs. • A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back. • I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park. • My girlfriend’s pregnant. • I was in Australia
So our tax app is ready for download on both Apple and Android - please start downloading it. Available updates on:Stamp duty reforms, tax breaks on charitable donations, Corporation tax, the budget round up and many hot tax tips! If you have any questions and want any help on any tax issues - contact our genius lab!
Autumn statement out next month - and the Chancellor, George Osborne has dropped his biggest hint yet that the Government will introduce some form of business rate relief. We will keep you posted.