Smarter accounting

How to set up your VAT Direct Debit

How to set up a VAT Direct Debit

19 June 2020, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, General, Sole Traders

No more extra time to pay your VAT As part of the government’s support for businesses during COVID-19, HMRC gave businesses the option of deferring their VAT payments and cancelling VAT Direct Debit instructions if they were unable to pay on time.  This allows VAT to be deferred without incurring late payment interest or penalties.  […]

Check your SEISS eligibility

Check your SEISS eligibility

13 May 2020, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is now open for the self-employed to receive a grant of up to £7,500.  The HMRC website to check your SEISS eligibility has been set up.  Find out what you need to do to allow HMRC […]

Claim Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant

Claim Self-employment Income Support Scheme Grant

4 May 2020, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

Get up to £7,500 from the government if you are self-employed Find out if you are eligible to Claim Self-employment Income Support Scheme Grant of up to £7,500.  Details of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme have now been published to support the self-employed or members of a partnership with trading income.  You will need to […]

Claim Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

Claim Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund Grant of £2,000

30 April 2020, Advocates, Artists, Creative Industries, General, Musicians, Sole Traders

Grants for newly self-employed Applications for this grant opened on the afternoon of Thursday 30th April.  Grants are administered by the local authority in which you live.  To claim newly self-employed hardship fund cash, refer to your own local authority website. Claim Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund Cash You need to apply in your Local Authority […]

Bounce Back Loan - a Bright Idea

Bounce Back Loan

29 April 2020, Advocates, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer

Where CBILS fails, smaller companies can get a Bounce Back Loan The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.  The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be […]

COVID-19 small business grants in Scotland

Free webinar for COVID-19 Business Support

28 April 2020, Advocates, Artists, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

COVID-19 Business Support webinar from Collabor8te Collabor8te is a coworking space in the heart of Glasgow.  Although the building is closed at the moment, they are still supporting the business community in Glasgow and across Scotland.  Collabor8te are putting on a free webinar to provide some answers on the COVID-19 business support measures that have […]

Claim Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

24 April 2020, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, General, Musicians, Sole Traders

Grants for newly self-employed The Scottish Government has announced a £34 million Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund.  The fund will be managed by Local Authorities to allocate grants of £2,000 to the newly self-employed facing hardship.  The self-employed who started trading after 5th April 2019 are excluded from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.  The Scottish Government […]

CBILS Forecast

CBILS Forecast

4 April 2020, Advocates, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer

Why you need a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme / CBILS Forecast. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK.  The businesses under consideration are those that are losing revenue and seeing their cash flow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  The scheme is […]

How to set up your VAT Direct Debit

Deferred VAT payment and how to cancel your Direct Debit

3 April 2020, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, General, Sole Traders

Extra time to pay your VAT On 20th March 2020 the UK Chancellor announced support to businesses in the form of a deferred VAT payment scheme.  This helps VAT registered businesses with their cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic.  All VAT registered businesses can defer VAT payments.  If you currently pay by Direct Debit, you […]

Save more than 16% on Zoom subscription

Save more than 16% on Zoom subscription

2 April 2020, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, General, Musicians, Sole Traders

Pay less for online subscriptions It seems that almost everyone is turning to online communications in the current situation, with Zoom, WhatsApp and Skype seeing a dramatic increase in use.  Even the UK prime minister is an advocate of Zoom.  Save more than 16% on Zoom costs by following the steps below.  You can also […]

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

27 March 2020, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

Government grant to freelancers Details of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme have now been released to support the self-employed or members of a partnership with trading income. Who can apply for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme? You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you: have submitted your […]

no income tax payment due in July 2020

No income tax payments due in July

20 March 2020, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, General, Musicians, Sole Traders

Payments on account cancelled in July The UK Government announced on 20th March that there would be no income tax payments due in July 2020 for the self-employed. Payments on Account Personal tax returns must be filed by 31st January following the end of the tax year. For the tax year ended 5th April 2019 […]

VAT Expenses require supporting paperwork

VAT Expenses – What proof does HMRC need?

24 January 2020, Advocates, Companies, Creative Industries, Sole Traders

A recent case of missing documents highlights the need for supporting information for VAT expenses to minimise your VAT bill to HMRC. Make sure you have good bookkeeping systems to get the VAT back that you are entitled to.

Give gifts on 5th December to celebrate Sinterklaas

Give gifts on 5th December

3 December 2019, Advocates, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, General, Sole Traders

You can give gifts to your staff and customers at any time of the year. Learn how to avoid the pitfalls of paying tax and VAT on your generosity.

How many VAT registered businesses in the UK need to sign up to Making Tax Digital

MTD Registration – progress to date

19 August 2019, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Sole Traders

MTD Registration – Key numbers The Making Tax Digital (MTD) rules became law for VAT periods starting on or after 1 April 2019. MTD registration requires VAT-registered businesses with taxable turnover over £85,000 to keep their VAT records digitally.  They must also submit their VAT return direct from their Making Tax Digital-compatible software.  The MTD […]

How many VAT registered businesses in the UK need to sign up to Making Tax Digital

How many VAT registered businesses in the UK need to sign up to Making Tax Digital

30 March 2019, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Sole Traders

How many VAT registered businesses in the UK are there? Figures from the Office of National Statistics state that there are 2.67 million businesses registered for VAT and/or PAYE.  Any business with employees must register for PAYE, but not all of these businesses are registered for VAT.  This prompts the question – how many VAT […]

How late can I register for Making Tax Digital for VAT?

29 April 2019, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Sole Traders

When is my first Making Tax Digital VAT return due? If you are asking yourself “How late can I register for Making Tax Digital for VAT? (MTDfV)” you are likely to be storing up problems.  Suppose you submit quarterly VAT returns to June and have to register for Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV); your […]

Has Making Tax Digital for VAT been delayed?

Has Making Tax Digital for VAT been delayed?

15 March 2019, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Sole Traders

Has Making Tax Digital for VAT been delayed? Making tax digital for VAT legislation requires you to have “digital links” between your financial data and your VAT reports to HMRC.  What changes might you need to make to your record keeping to achieve this?  A “soft landing” delays the date that you need to have […]

Scottish BarAdvocates Making Tax Digital for VAT Questions and Answers

Advocates Making Tax Digital for VAT Questions and Answers

2 March 2019, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Sole Traders

Advocates Making Tax Digital for VAT Questions and Answers Tim Alter gave a lunchtime talk to the Scottish Bar on 1st March 2019.  The members of the Faculty of Advocates were highly engaged in the session on Making Tax Digital for VAT.  There was a lively and heartfelt response including a wide ranging discussion on […]

Advocates Making Tax Digital for VAT seminar in Edinburgh

Advocates Making Tax Digital for VAT seminar in Edinburgh

28 February 2019, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Sole Traders

Advocates Making Tax Digital for VAT seminar We are looking forward to presenting the Advocates Making Tax Digital for VAT seminar in the Mackenzie Building in Edinburgh on 1st March 2019. Tim Alter will be presenting the lunchtime talk to the Faculty of Advocates.  For any advocates who can’t make the Edinburgh talk at 1:00 […]

Making Tax Digital for VAT

Making Tax Digital for VAT – why have HMRC sent a letter?

22 November 2018, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, Sole Traders

HMRC VAT letter – what does it mean? Many business have received an HMRC VAT letter in the last week.  This letter informs VAT registered businesses that HMRC processes are being modernised, known as Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT. What do I need to do? The HMRC VAT letter doesn’t require you to do anything […]

How to reclaim extra VAT

2 December 2017, Advocates, Companies, Creative Industries, Sole Traders

HMRC’s VAT Input Tax Toolkit highlights common errors businesses make when they reclaim VAT on purchases.  As you would expect from an HMRC publication it focuses on situations where you can’t or shouldn’t reclaim VAT.

Advocate's wig on tin with library in background

VAT Flat Rate Scheme for Advocates

18 March 2017, Advocates, Barristers

The VAT Flat Rate scheme for advocates is changing along with all other Limited Cost Traders on 1st April 2017.  The scheme was introduced with the intention of simplifying VAT.  It was never intended to be a tax allowance or a way of saving VAT.  The assumption from HMRC was that the scheme would be broadly revenue neutral.

How to register with HMRC as Self-Employed

3 January 2017, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

The first task in working out if you need to register with HMRC is to assess whether you are self-employed. 

Money collected by Digital Tax Accounts

Flat Rate Scheme Reverse Charge VAT

30 September 2016, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

If a trader on the flat rate scheme for VAT purchases services from outside the UK, the business needs to account for Flat Rate Scheme Reverse Charge VAT according to Directive 2006/112/EC. Small businesses on the Flat Rate Scheme for VAT do not usually account for VAT on purchases.

HMRC telephone scam

7 September 2016, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

There are two new scams that you need to be aware of.  Callers are leaving a phone message or posing as an HMRC investigator.  If you are on the receiving end of an HMRC telephone scam you can report it on 0300 1232040 or on the Action Fraud Website.

HMRC interest rate change can save you money

24 August 2016, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

Following the Bank of England’s cut in its base rate from 0.5% to 0.25% on 4th August the HMRC interest rate has changed too.

Tax on bank rewards and cashback

28 July 2016, Advocates, Artists, Sole Traders

Some high street banks have been offering rewards to their customers.  A common question is whether or not you have to pay tax on bank rewards.  Rewards are typically paid subject to criteria such as paying in a minimum amount each month and setting up direct debit instructions.

HMRC new bank account

20 June 2016, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

Most people will pay their tax electronically either through their payroll, direct debit or by bank transfer.  Tax payments made from overseas now go to the HMRC new bank details.

Marriage Allowance update April 2016

17 April 2016, Advocates, Artists, Creative Industries, Sole Traders

The Marriage Allowance is a tax break for couples where one partner doesn’t use all their tax free allowance.  For the 2016-17 tax year, which runs from 6th April 2016 to 5th April 2017 the tax free allowance is £11,000.

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