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Welsh firms lag behind in claiming R&D tax credits

Posted on: August 29th, 2014 by Denise Roberts No Comments

Denise Roberts, Tax Director, Broomfield & AlexanderNew figures show that Wales is lagging behind England and Scotland when it comes to claiming valuable incentives for research and development.

Figures released by HM Revenues and Customs show that less than 5% of manufacturing and technology companies in Wales claimed Research and Development (R&D) tax credits in the financial year ending 2013.

Research and Development tax credits are a tax relief designed to encourage greater spending on R&D. They were introduced more than a decade ago.

Incentives have been extended under the current government in the hope that it will lead to a surge in innovation, putting the UK in a strong position to benefit from hi-tech, high-value sectors.

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Finalising pension reform: what to expect now and in April 2015

Posted on: August 28th, 2014 by Liz Mounfield No Comments
Austin Broad, Technical Director, Broomfield & Alexander Wealth Management

Austin Broad, Technical Director, Broomfield & Alexander Wealth Management

The pension reform announcements in the 2014 Budget, which took everybody by surprise, have now been broadly rubber stamped and clarified with the need to now ensure that the industry is ready for the changes when they are implemented in April 2015.

While the suggested changes are radical, the Government has grasped that people felt that lifetime annuity was the final destination for all and that any other option was “unfairly” taxed, resulting in no incentive for people to save through pension plans. This was compounded by many insurers who designed high-cost plans, with poor investment options, that did nothing but disappoint the investor. They then went on to offer substandard annuity rates and unclear alternate options at retirement.

So, for those that are close to, or at retirement, here is a brief summary of what is here and what will be here by April 2015.

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Advisory fuel rates from 1 September 2014

Posted on: August 28th, 2014 by Leighton Reed No Comments

Current rates apply from 1 September 2014.

You can use the previous rates for up to one month from the date the new rates apply.

Engine size Petrol LPG
1400cc or less 14p 9p
1401cc to 2000cc 16p 11p
Over 2000cc 24p 16p
Engine size Diesel
1600cc or less 11p
1601cc to 2000cc 13p
Over 2000cc 17p

Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for this purpose.

Enterprise Zone Business Rates Scheme

Posted on: August 28th, 2014 by Mike Fenwick No Comments
Mike Fenwick, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Mike Fenwick, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

The grants team at Broomfield & Alexander recently assisted a client with a successful application for the above grant.

The Enterprise Zone Business Rates Scheme is a discretionary grant scheme for small to medium sized enterprises to lower their operating costs by providing a grant to offset their Business Rates for up to two years.

Since the scheme was launched 66 businesses have been approved for support totaling nearly £4.5m.

The maximum grant available to each successful applicant is £55,000 per annum or the business rates paid (whichever is the lowest).

The Enterprise Zone Business Rates Scheme which was launched in 2012 will run until March 2016 for companies based in the Enterprise Zones. Priority will be given to new start ups and businesses increasing their workforce.

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Red tape to be cut on private equity?

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by Seamus Gates No Comments
Seamus Gates, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Seamus Gates, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Dubbed the ‘big bang for lawyers’ the investment of money into the legal sector by private equity and other external investors was supposed to herald a new era for law firms.  But since the deregulation of the UK legal services market (in 2012), labeled the ‘Tesco Law’, there has been limited activity.

Despite countless meetings between buyout houses and law firms over the past few years, traditional law firms have been unwilling targets for private equity.  The expected larger deals have yet to emerge – perhaps because the cultural and structural barriers are just too great and the private equity houses have seemingly to date focused on consumer or volume businesses; perhaps smaller firms with a clear sector focus.  A case in point being Smedvig Capital investing in Kings Court Trust, a probate company who provide probate and estate administration services.

Earlier in August the purchase of the Simplify Group by Palamon Capital Partners, owner of law firm network Quality Solicitors, is one of the latest deals.  This is attracting comment from the professional regulation lawyers who say that currently such acquisitions remain problematic because they risk contravening the separate business rules, which limit how solicitors can structure their business.  The separate business rules prevent both traditional law firms and alternative business structures from shifting non-reserved legal work into unregulated businesses.

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Main changes under the New Charities SORP

Posted on: August 18th, 2014 by Sarah Case No Comments
Sarah Case, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Sarah Case, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

For a number of years, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has been overhauling the rules governing statutory accounts to bring them in line with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). For charities, this will mean a comprehensive new structure for the financial statements that is intended to integrate charity accounting more closely into the main set of accounting rules and it will also mean new reporting responsibilities.

Publicly listed companies already follow IFRS, but most other organisations currently use UK accounting standards. The FRC has developed a simplified standard for those entities not currently covered by IFRS, known as Financial Reporting Standard 102 (FRS 102) which will become the new UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP), replacing the enormous current body of FRSs and Statements of Standard Accounting Practice. It is possible for certain entities to adopt the new FRS early. However, charities cannot adopt early.

FRS 102 is based on the International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-sized Entities (the IFRS for SMEs). Smaller organisations, broadly those with income of less than £6.5m a year, will be able to continue using the existing Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities (FRSSE), updated for the requirement to have regard to the specific Public Benefit Entity requirements of FRS 102 which cover areas such as donations/legacies, concessionary loans and merger arrangements for not-for-profits.

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Transparency and trust in businesses boosted under the new Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill

Posted on: August 13th, 2014 by Liz Mounfield No Comments

capital lawA new Bill laid before Parliament recently attempts to increase transparency and accountability for UK businesses.

The UK Government published the new Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill on 25 June 2014. The Bill, although primarily for the benefit of small businesses, makes a number of legislative changes to the Companies Act 2006 and the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and the Bill is therefore of interest to UK businesses of all sizes.

The most notable changes proposed in the Bill are:

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Xero: enhanced direct bank feeds

Posted on: August 12th, 2014 by Judith Mallen No Comments
Judith Mallen, Business Services Assistant Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Judith Mallen, Business Services Assistant Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Xero have recently announced that they have made arrangements with Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest to provide clients with online banking feeds directly in their Xero account. This direct bank feed was previously only available to customers of HSBC or via the add on, Yodlee for other banking customers.

The new direct bank feed for customers of RBS and NatWest will replace any feeds that have been put in place via Yodlee. Xero are happy to offer the choice to customers of RBS and Natwest of either swapping to direct feeds, or continuing with exiting Yodlee feeds.

If a customer of RBS or NatWest you will need to complete a form with the details of any accounts that you would like to receive feeds for. This form must be completed by an authorised signatory of these accounts and sent back to Xero at; 500 Avebury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 2BE

When your application is processed, you’ll begin receiving the new direct version of the feed instead of the Yodlee version.

Direct feeds from Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest will cost £3.50 per month each – these will be added to your monthly subscription once your new direct feed begins. But any existing Yodlee feeds you have in place for business current accounts can be switched to direct. And they’ll cost you nothing until 1 August 2015.

If you have any questions please contact us at Xero@broomfield.co.uk and we would be happy to assist you.

Good for growth, great for success(ion)

Posted on: August 12th, 2014 by Seamus Gates No Comments
Seamus Gates, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Seamus Gates, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

We have previously discussed ways you can make your business ready for succession and things you can do to grow your businesses. This article considers how you can combine these and grow your business for success(ion).

If you are serious about growing your business then there is an argument that rather than working on it for all your waking hours, you should work hard for it, but work in it less. If you’re so passionate about the creation and delivery of your product or service that you spend all your time ‘doing it’ then you risk building a business that is totally reliant on you. You will be in control of what happens, but not necessarily in control of whether your plans happen as you may not be able to see the bigger picture. Also, working under that sort of pressure and at your own personal capacity on the day to day workings of the business is likely to limit its growth.

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Charity accounts review examines responses to net current liabilities

Posted on: August 8th, 2014 by Joanne Taylor No Comments
Joanne Taylor, Charities Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Joanne Taylor, Charities Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Charity Commission’s latest accounts monitoring review says some charities do not explain adequately how they are dealing with the financial risks

In a report published today, the regulator reveals the results of a probe of charities whose accounts recorded net current liabilities. In other words, current debts are more than the funds available to cover them.

The report found that, of the 98 accounts reviewed, nearly half (42) failed to discuss the issue in their reports, meaning that they missed the opportunity to explain to funders and stakeholders how they were managing the risk. Another accounts monitoring review, of charities with pension scheme deficits, produced a similar finding.

The report found that most of the charities reviewed were funding their liabilities either through deferred income – payments received ahead of the service being provided – or through bank loans and overdrafts. These funding models were each adopted by 28 charities.

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Latest From The Blog


Welsh firms lag behind in claiming R&D tax credits

Denise Roberts, Tax Director, Broomfield & AlexanderNew figures show that Wales is lagging behind England and Scotland when it comes to claiming valuable incentives for research and development.

Figures released by HM Revenues and Customs show that less than 5% of manufacturing and technology companies in Wales claimed Research and Development (R&D) tax credits in the financial year ending 2013.

Research and Development tax credits are...

Read more

Finalising pension reform: what to expect now and in April 2015

Austin Broad, Technical Director, Broomfield & Alexander Wealth Management

Austin Broad, Technical Director, Broomfield & Alexander Wealth Management

The pension reform announcements in the 2014 Budget, which took everybody by surprise, have now been broadly rubber stamped and clarified with the need to now ensure that the industry is ready for the changes when they are implemented in April 2015.

While the suggested changes are radical, the Government has grasped that...

Read more