Bank of England raises UK interest rates

The Bank of England has raised the interest rate for only the second time in a decade.

The rate has risen by a quarter of a percentage point, from 0.5% to 0.75% – the highest level since March 2009.

While the decision means that the 3.5 million people with variable or tracker mortgages will pay more, the rise will be welcomed by savers.

 

  • On a £150,000 variable mortgage, a rise to 0.75% is likely to increase the annual cost by £224
  • A Bank rate rise does not guarantee the equivalent increase in interest paid to savers. Half did not move after the last rate rise
  • No easy access savings account at a major High Street bank pays interest of more than 5%

What happens next?

The Bank is sticking to its guidance that interest rates will continue to head higher, but only at gradual pace and to a limited extent.

The financial markets have taken this on board and are forecasting one, and perhaps two, rises of 0.25% before 2020.

Xero Cloud Accounting

Xero is an online accounting platform, allowing you to deal with your business finances on the go. It brings together your real-time bank transactions, invoicing and expenses in one simple dashboard, easily accessible wherever you are.

It saves you time, hassle – and money, too. Because everything you can see, we can see at the same time – putting us in the perfect position to advise you on your financial situation.

WHY XERO REALLY ADDS UP…

Xero is the world’s leading online accountancy platform, already helping more than 200,000 businesses to streamline their financial data. They all love it. We love it. 

Modern cloud accounting software, like Xero can help you in a variety of ways,

  • Manage invoices, expenses & cashflow in real time
  • Send invoices automatically and get paid online
  • Get balances, sales figures & bills on the move
  • Use simple budgeting tools to keep on top of spending
  • Integrate with more than 700+ brilliantly useful apps

Click the link below to find out more about Xero.

https://www.xero.com/uk/features-and-tools/accounting-software/

 

HMRC EXTENDS RTI LATE FILING EASEMENT UNTIL APRIL 2019

 

HMRC has extended the payroll Real Time Information (RTI) late filing easement until April 2019.

Under RTI payroll obligations employers must submit details of payments made to employees on or before the day that wages are paid via a Full Payment Submission.

The updated guidance extends the easement, introduced in April 2015 to April 2019. The easement applies where an employer’s FPS is late but all reported payments on the FPS are within three days of the employees’ payday. This easement applies from 6 March 2015 to 5 April 2019. However, HMRC go on to clarify that employers who persistently file after the payment date but within three days may be contacted or considered for a penalty. Potential monthly penalties range from £100 to £400 depending on the size of the employer.

WALES TO SET DEVOLVED INCOME TAX RATES

From April 2019, the National Assembly for Wales will be able to vary the rates of income tax payable by Welsh taxpayers.

Responsibility for many aspects of income tax will remain with the UK government, and the tax will continue to be collected by HMRC for Welsh taxpayers.

THE PROCESS FOR SETTING WELSH RATES OF INCOME TAX

From April 2019, the UK government will reduce each of the three income tax rates: basic, higher and additional rate, paid by Welsh taxpayers by 10 pence.
The National Assembly for Wales will then decide the three Welsh rates of income tax, which will be added to the reduced UK rates. The combination of reduced UK rates plus the Welsh rates will determine the overall rate of income tax paid by Welsh taxpayers.

If the National Assembly for Wales approves each of the Welsh rates of income tax at 10p, this will mean the rates of income tax paid by Welsh taxpayers will continue to be the same as that paid by English and Northern Irish taxpayers. However the National Assembly for Wales may decide to set different rates ‘to reflect Wales’ unique social and economic circumstances’.

Welcome to the team Owen

 

We are delighted to welcome Owen Bellfield to our firm. Owen joins us on the 5th of June 2018 as a trainee accountant and we would like to officially welcome him to the team.

Owen is currently studying towards gaining the AAT qualification in Coleg Menai, Bangor. Once completing this Owen is looking to study towards becoming a Chartered Certified Accountant. He will be gaining experience in payroll, accounting and taxation to help us deliver excellent service to all of our clients.

In his spare time he enjoys playing football for Llanfairfechan Town FC.

P11D DEADLINE APPROACHING

 

The forms P11D which report details of benefits and some expenses provided to employees and directors for the year ended 5 April 2018, are due for submission to HMRC by 6 July 2018. The process of gathering the necessary information can take some time, so it is important that this process is not left to the last minute.

Employees pay tax on benefits provided as shown on the P11D, generally via a PAYE coding notice adjustment or through the self-assessment system.

Regardless of whether the benefits are being reported via P11D or payrolled the employer has to pay Class 1A National Insurance Contributions at 13.8% on the provision of most benefits. The calculation of this liability is detailed on the P11D(b) form. The deadline for payment of the Class 1A NIC is 19th July (or 22nd for cleared electronic payment).

HMRC produce an expenses and benefits toolkit. The toolkit consists of a checklist which may be used by advisers or employers to check they are completing the forms correctly.

If you would like any help with the completion of the forms or the calculation of the associated Class 1A NIC please get in touch.

TAX REFUND SCAMS WARNING FROM HMRC

HMRC has issued a warning to taxpayers regarding the latest tax refund scams. These scams are targeting individuals via email and SMS messages.

HMRC is currently processing genuine tax refunds for the 2017/18 tax year and the fraudsters are sending scam messages which claim that taxpayers are entitled to a rebate. These messages go on to request that they provide their personal and account details in order to make their claim.

HMRC is keen to stress that it will only ever inform individuals of a tax refund by post or through their employer, and never via email, text messaging or voicemail.

HMRC is advising taxpayers not to click on any links, download any attachments or provide any personal information, and to forward any suspect messages to HMRC.

 

GDPR

New data protection rules from General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will replace the Data Protection Act in the UK from 25 May 2018.

GDPR is designed to safeguard personal data of citizens from EU member states, with particular emphasis on transparency and accountability. It applies to all businesses in the EU and non-compliance will lead to substantial fines.

The new GDPR is a regulation which is intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). The regulation will become a law without exception in the UK from 25 May 2018. The government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.

The government has also confirmed that the UK will replace the 1988 Data Protection Act (DPA) with legislation that mirrors GDPR, post-Brexit. This means that any business, big or small, will be required to comply with GDPR – which deals with secure collection, storage and usage of clients’ personal data.

Failure to comply with the regulation can result in heavy fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the businesses’ annual turnover (whichever is higher amount).

INCOME TAX CHANGES FROM 6 APRIL 2018

 

The personal allowance for 2018/19 is £11,850. However, some individuals do not benefit from the full personal allowance. There is a reduction in the personal allowance for those with ‘adjusted net income’ over £100,000, which is £1 for every £2 of income above £100,000. So for 2018/19 there is no personal allowance where adjusted net income exceeds £123,700.

The basic rate of tax is currently 20%. From 6 April 2018 the band of income taxable at this rate is £34,500 so that the threshold at which the 40% band applies is £46,350 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance. Additional rate taxpayers pay tax at 45% on their income in excess of £150,000.

In 2017/18 the first £5,000 of dividends are chargeable to tax at 0% (the Dividend Allowance). From 6 April 2018 the Dividend Allowance is reduced to £2,000.

Year end tax planning

With the end of the tax year looming there is still time to save tax for 2017/18. We have set out some points you may want to consider.

  • Make full use of your ISA allowance – ISAs can offer a useful tax free way to save, whether this is for your children’s future, a first home or another purpose. Individuals may invest up to a limit of £20,000 for the 2017/18 tax year. A saver may only pay into a maximum of one Cash ISA, one Stocks and Shares ISA and one Innovative Finance ISA per year. Savers have until 5 April 2018 to make their 2017/18 ISA investment.
  • Take advantage of capital allowances – By making the most of capital allowances, businesses may be able to write off the costs of capital assets against taxable profits. The Annual Investment Allowance allows businesses to claim a deduction of up to £200,000 of the year’s investment in plant and machinery (excluding cars). Businesses of any size and most business structures can make use of the AIA. However, there are provisions to prevent multiple claims.
  • Build a tax efficient retirement plan – Pension contributions must be paid on or before 5 April 2018 for them to be relieved against 2017/18 income. Annual contributions are limited to the greater of £3,600 (gross) or the amount of your UK relevant earnings may be eligible for tax relief. However, these will be subject to the annual allowance, which is generally £40,000. This is reduced for those whose income is above certain technical thresholds and has to be considered when both adjusted annual income is (their income plus both their own and their employer’s pension contributions) over £150,000 and ‘net’ income is at least £110,000. Net income broadly means an individual’s income less own gross pension contributions made. For every £2 of adjusted income over £150,000, a person’s annual allowance is reduced by £1 (down to a minimum of £10,000).

This is only a selection of options that you may wish to consider as part of your tax planning strategy. For more information, and for advice on how we can help you to minimise your tax bill, please contact us.