TMC - Accountants and Business Advisers

Mortgage problems for the self-employed

We have recently dealt with a number of clients who have been looking to obtain a mortgage, either to move house, or to re-mortgage existing properties.

Lenders seem to be asking the self-employed to satisfy more criteria than ever. In the past, they would typically ask for the last three years accounts and a certificate from the accountant confirming that the figures were correct and that the client was entitled to all the profits.

Now, the first step seems to be to ask for forms SA302 from HM Revenue & Customs for the last three years. These forms are summaries of the income declared for tax. This is basically saying, we don’t think your account can be trusted to be independent, so we want to know what has been declared on your tax returns. There are two fundamental issues with an SA302; a) if you have bought new assets and claim capital allowances, they will be dedcuted from your taxable income and it looks like you have made much less profit, and b) HMRC only issue them on request and quote a three week timescale to send them. Not good if you are desperate to sort out a house move.

The second hurdle is then a request for projected figures for the next accounting year....

| 13th September 2014, 10:19:01 | Posted by Kevin Gamble

Helping sick employees return to work

A new income tax exemption has been introduced to allow employers to pay for recommended medical treatment for an employee to help them return to work, if they have been absent due to illness or injury.

The treatment has to be recommended by the Health and Work Service or an occupational health service, and the employer can pay up to £500. The medical costs can be paid direct to the service provider, or the employee can be reimbursed with no benefit in kind implications.

Whilst, on the whole, this is a measure to be supported as there are clear benefits for both employee and employer, one has to ask – how much medical treatment can you get for £500?

| 9th August 2014, 11:16:54 | Posted by Kevin Gamble

Digital services - changes to VAT rules from 2015

From 1 January 2015 any UK business that supplies broadcasting, telecommunications or electronic services (collectively known as BTE) to any non-business customer within the EU will be liable to pay VAT in that country at the rate charged by that country. There is no change to VAT on sales to other businesses regsitered for VAT within the EU.

Apart from the telecoms, music and TV industries, the main effect will be on small companies will be for those who sell software or downloadable information.

To avoid companies having to register for VAT in every EU country where they make sales, HMRC has introduced a mini one stop shop (MOSS) where a single quarterly return can be submitted to cover all the VAT. It will have to be completed, and the tax paid, within 20 days of the end of each calendar quarter.

Another change is that records relating to BTE sales must be retained for ten years, as opposed to the normal six years for UK tax records.

If you think that this might affect you, please contact us for further advice.

| 23rd June 2014, 17:48:11 | Posted by Kevin Gamble

Auto-enrolment pensions - you need to act now!

We hosted a seminar on the new regime for auto-enrolment pensions yesterday, attended by around 20 clients. The speaker was Louise Mitchell of Wilson Mitchell & Co Ltd, a senior partner of St James’s Place Wealth Management.

Auto-enrolment pensions are going to affect every employer by 2017, but the message from Louise was very clear. The pension companies are not going to be able to cope with the sheer volume of new pensions schemes – estimated to peak at around 100,000 per month, and they may end up turning away business. This could mean that you end up with the default NEST scheme for your employees, which might not be in their best interests. If you haven’t already acted to set up your scheme, we suggest that you do it at least 6 months before your compulsory staging date.

If you were unable to attend the seminar, we have a limited number of packs for our clients with the St James’s Place factsheets. Please contact us if you would like a copy.

| 21st June 2014, 09:23:42 | Posted by Kevin Gamble

Kilimanjaro summit - congratulations Brian

A few months ago I blogged that our client, Brian Watkins, was going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

I am delighted to report that he made it and we have the photo to prove it. Brian suffered from terrible sickness due to the altitude and the final overnight trek to the summit and back down to base camp was 14.5 hours without a break, and he had no food or water during this time. The temperature at the top was minus 15C.

Brian was aiming to raise £4,000 but he had such great support that the final total was over £6,500. A fabulous sum for a very worthy cause.

| 12th April 2014, 09:16:04 | Posted by Kevin Gamble

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