It was probably no surprise that, immediately prior to the election, there was little that was going to shake the world in the March 2015 budget. The majority that the Conservatives achieved at the polls set the scene for the announced Summer Budget and this really did reflect a new government with a majority, escaping from the constraints imposed by 5-years of coalition.
Headlines in newspapers suggested that “£1million Inheritance Tax allowance confirmed”. As usual this sensational headline belies the truth and the conditions attaching to what has actually been announced.
The existing £325,000 Inheritance Tax allowance will remain and will now be capped at this level until April 2021. The new allowance is named ‘Inheritance Tax Residence Nil Rate Band’ and will not be available unless death occurs after 5th April 2017.
This allowance is only available to those that leave an interest in a physical property that has been their main residence at some point previously. Those that do not meet this condition will not benefit from any additional allowance. In addition, the allowance will only be available where the interest in the property is being left to a direct, lineal descendent (children, grandchildren, stepchildren, foster children or adopted children).
The fourth in a series of agricultural surveys conducted by MHA, the UK-wide group of accountancy and business advisory firms, reveals that for the majority of farmers, optimism for growth is on the decline and succession planning is even more of an issue.
The MHA Agriculture Insight Survey was conducted at Cereals 2015 in June and compares this year’s findings with those of 2014. The survey takes into account the views of more than 150 farmers nationwide.
Key findings include:
- Despite falling prices, optimism for growth is high with 59% of those who responded expecting growth, however, this is 10% less than last year.
- Expansion is an aspiration for many, with 66% planning to increase their acreage compared to 59% in 2014.
- 72% of respondents are concerned about succession planning, which is an increase of 7% over last year.
Broomfield & Alexander are one of a number of high profile experts that have partnered with Welsh ICE to offer advice to start-up businesses.
The scheme will allow entrepreneurs and business owners to access free advice of the highest quality on subjects ranging from data protection and law to tax and accounting.
There was due to be a new tax-free childcare scheme introduced from autumn 2015 which will be available to all eligible working families. Due to a legal challenge the introduction of this scheme has been delayed until 2017. Therefore current employer supported schemes will remain open to new entrants until this is introduced enabling parents more time to confirm which option is better financially for them.
Why have changes being made?
Currently, only employees of participating companies can reduce their childcare costs through a tax free voucher scheme. This new scheme will enable more parents to benefit from tax free child care, including self employed individuals. The government hope that the scheme will encourage/enable more parents to increase their work hours or to go out to work. If you already participate in an employer provided child care scheme, you do not need to switch to the new scheme if you don’t wish to. (However employer schemes will be unable to accept new entrants after the new scheme launches in 2017).
Broomfield & Alexander’s very own Mike Fenwick and Denise Roberts will be at Venturefest Wales, Swalec Stadium, Cardiff on Tuesday 29th September 2015.
Venturefest Wales 2015 is a free event that brings entrepreneurs, innovators and investors together to inspire business growth through collaboration. Make new connections while you visit the unique mix of workshops featuring inspirational speakers and one-to-one sessions with experts.
Mike will be available in the ‘Meet the Experts’ area for 121 sessions on Grants for Entrepreneurs, if you wish to discuss your plans, potential eligibility for R&D, capital expenditure and job creation grants, as well as discuss the importance of match funding and project presentation to provide you with the best possible chance to access funding. Match funding sources such as debt and equity can form part of an overall funding package and a number of competing issues may need to be considered so come and discuss your options.
Denise will be leading a workshop entitled, Tax options for innovative companies: maximising your tax reliefs.
Businesses are continuing to operate in a challenging market with increasing pressures on margins. However, innovative businesses who are driving forward with investment in the development of new/improved products, applications, or processes have found that they can use tax reliefs to improve their margins.
Tax reliefs such as R&D Tax Credits and Patent Box are much publicised but come along to this workshop and find out how to really maximise your claims and find out about the wide range of type of claims that can be made.
The latest release (v22) is due for Sage 50 Accounts in the next few weeks and will include a number of updates including the ability to use bank feeds.
Bank feeds are a quick and easy way to record your transactions and reconcile your bank all in one go. After you link your bank to Sage 50 v22, your banking transactions will automatically be imported into your accounts. You will only have to assign your customer/supplier accounts, nominal codes and VAT codes and you’re good to go.
The more transactions you import, the easier it becomes to use. The software will begin to recognise similar transactions and will pre-empt and prepopulate those details, so bookkeeping will become a validation rather than a data entry process.
A Cardiff-based company launched earlier this year to provide sea-born transfers to wind farms in the North Sea has secured a £90,000 financial package from Finance Wales and UK Steel Enterprise.
The deal has enabled Severn Offshore Services to conclude its purchase of its first state-of-the-art transfer vessel from the Damen shipyard in Gorinchem, Holland.
The new 26 metre vessel, Severn Provider, registered in Cardiff, has immediately started transporting equipment and personnel to and from the Meerwind Offshore Wind Farm in the German sector of the North Sea. It won the on-going contract against international competition.
Said company managing director Ryan Hopkins, who lives in Penarth: “Severn Offshore Services was specifically established to respond to the needs of the burgeoning offshore energy industry. The Severn Provider is a high-spec vessel that can transfer up to 12 personnel at operating speeds of up to 25 knots.
Charities are voicing concern that the new Trustees Reporting requirements introduced this year under the SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice) arrangements are diverting volunteer resources away from core activities.
Sarah Case, Head of the Charity and Not-for-Profit sector at MHA, the national association of independent accountants, said: “As we progress through 2015, not-for-profit organisations are telling us that they view some of the Trustee Reporting requirements and additional SORP disclosures as cumbersome and non-value adding, even though the overarching objectives of the new measures are understood and transparency is welcomed by the sector. The effect is that vital managagement and trustee volunteer resources are being diverted into administrative duties both to understand and comply with the new obligations.”
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