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Darcey & Bate's Christmas Advent ...

Our daily Christmas countdown tax tips:

1. Make sure you claim a percentage of your mobile phone bill, rates and broadband if you use them for business.

2. Mileage can be claimed at 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p per mile thereafter. This can often be more beneficial than putting the vehicle through the business and claiming fuel and repair costs. Call us on 01530 414 285 / 07525 421 454 if you’d like us to calculate this for you for free.

3. You can claim use of home at £5 per week or even sometimes £10 per week if you use your home as an office.

4. Travel Costs, such as car parking, can be reclaimed, along with subsistence – which means things like food and drink whilst on the road, providing you are 20 miles from home/your office.

5. Staff entertaining is allowable at £150 per staff member per year.

6. Accountancy fees happen to be allowable too – Bonus!

7. Can’t decide whether to be VAT registered or not? Well unless you turnover more than £81,000 per year then there is no need to be registered for VAT.

8. That brings us onto our next point. If you mainly work with VAT registered businesses then it makes much more sense to be registered yourself so that you can claim the VAT back that you are paying on your purchases and other expenses.

9. Is your net turnover under £150,000? Well then the flat rate VAT scheme may be for you. You pay a lower fixed percentage of your sales but cannot reclaim the VAT on your expenses. If you have few expenses, you can actually make money by being registered for VAT.

10. The advantage of cash accounting is: it can help your cash flow if customers are slow to pay, as you don’t pay VAT until the money has been received.

11. Your personal allowance for the 2013/14 Tax Year is £10,000.

12. For the 2013/14 Tax Year you will pay no national insurance on the first £7,962 you earn.

13. Have you been feeling charitable this year? If so, you can claim higher rate tax relief on your gift aid contributions.

14. Also, make sure to claim the higher rate relief on your personal pension contributions. The figure you include in your tax return is gross, and therefore you must gross up the amount you have actually paid to account for basic rate tax.

15. Don’t forget that the deadline for tax returns submitted online is 31st January 2015.

16. Benefits of being a Limited company include: potential savings on national insurance contributions, your business appearing to be a larger and more successful organisation, and your business being its own legal entity so you are not personally liable for the company debts.

17. Benefits of being a sole trader include: your business information remains private so cannot be published on Companies House for others to buy or view and it can appeal to customers when they feel a business may be more personal.

18. For your employees, the minimum wage for those 21+ is £6.50 per hour.

19. The benefits of having an accountant are: we can save you time so that you can focus all your attention on your business, we know all the tricks of the trade to help save you money, and we will want to help you to grow your business.

20. If you are a company you must file accounts each year. After your first set of accounts, you have 9 months from the year end date to file your accounts with Companies House.

21. Ever wondered how to choose the right accountant? For a start they should be registered with a governing body so that if there’s any problems you have somebody to go to. Chartered or certified accounts have certain guidelines they must abide by in practice.

22. If you find software packages too complicated then simple Excel will usually do the job. We have lots of templates we can send you to help you with recording your sales and expenses on spreadsheets. Alternatively, we are happy to do this for you.

23. Now, for National Insurance … Did you know that if you are making a loss or profits under £5,885 a year, then you can claim back your Class 2 NI payments.

24. And finally day 24 of our countdown is more a Christmas related tip than a business tip. Eat, drink & be merry. Happy Christmas from all of us at Darcey & Bate!

Merry Christmas!

Festive Christmas Gift

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