Smarter accounting

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.

Get your discount 2016 tax return

7 February 2016, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

Everyone should have filed their 2015 tax return by 31st January 2016.  For most people this means a sigh of relief and not thinking about it until again until next January.  There is nothing to stop you filing your tax return in April or May if you have all the information you need.

SRIT – the Scottish Rate of Income Tax

29 November 2015, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

From 5th April 2016 a new Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) will come into force in Scotland.  Although is it currently anticipated that taxpayers in Scotland and the rest of the UK will pay the same rate of tax next year, it is likely that the regions will diverge in coming years as more power is devolved to Scotland.

Money collected by Digital Tax Accounts

Digital Tax Accounts – the end of tax returns?

26 November 2015, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

The Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 from Chancellor George Osborne confirms that the government is committed to Digital Tax Accounts.  The following extract is from the transcript of the speech delivered on 25th November 2015: “We’re going to build one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world.  So that every individual and every small business will have their own digital tax account by the end of the decade, in order to manage their tax online.”

Not the new childcare voucher sheme

5 November 2015, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

A new government-backed tax-free childcare scheme was set to go live in the autumn of 2015 but so far it has not materialised.  What has happened and is this new scheme still going ahead or not?

Legal House

8 October 2015, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

Legal House – a new home for Alterledger Alterledger has grown significantly in the last few months.  We specialise in accounting and business advice for the creative industries and legal professionals.  Legal House is the ideal location as it is just across the river from Glasgow’s dynamic Merchant City, mooted as Europe’s leading cultural quarter.  Legal House […]

Pre-registration input VAT

12 May 2015, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Companies, Musicians, Sole Traders

Input VAT is the VAT you pay on purchases of good and services.  Once a business is registered for VAT, this input VAT can be reclaimed as long as it relates to taxable supplies.  Under specific circumstances pre-registration input VAT can be reclaimed. View image | gettyimages.com Reclaim pre-registration input VAT Goods In most cases […]

Start up VAT registration

12 May 2015, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Companies, Musicians, Sole Traders

Cut your start up costs The timing of start up VAT registration can help you to cut costs at the most vulnerable time for your business.  Most start ups find that it can take a while before they are receiving income.  Rather than wait for sales before registering for VAT, you can register from the date […]

Childcare vouchers

5 May 2015, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

As one door opens another closes A new tax-free childcare voucher scheme will start in Autumn 2015.  When this happens the current scheme for employees will close to new entrants, but still remain in place for existing employees.  If you are an employee, you will need to think about signing up now if the existing […]

Tim Alter is proud to be the only top rated accountant in Scotland according to the vouchedfor 2015 listings

Marriage Allowance 2015

12 April 2015, Advocates, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

HMRC announced in February 2015 that registration had opened for the new marriage allowance tax break which enables couples to save the princely sum of up to £17.66 a month (£212 a year).   View image | gettyimages.com Marriage Allowance not just for the married The new tax relief, which came into effect on 6 April […]

Tim Alter is proud to be the only top rated accountant in Scotland according to the vouchedfor 2015 listings

Top Rated Accountant in Scotland

12 April 2015, Advocates, Auto Enrolment, Charities, Companies, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

Tim Alter is the only top rated accountant in Scotland According to the 2015 VouchedFor listings, Tim Alter is the only Top Rated Accountant in Scotland!  Alterledger’s founder, Tim Alter is focused on customer service, and is delighted to have positive feedback from clients.   How VouchedFor works The VouchedFor website is like a tripadvisor […]

Class 2 NI small profits threshold

25 February 2015, Advocates, Musicians, Sole Traders

Changes to Class 2 National Insurance from April 2015 The self employed have to pay Class 2 National Insurance if their profits are over the small earnings limit (£5,885 in 2014-15).  HMRC has overhauled the system with the small earnings limit being renamed the Class 2 NI small profits threshold (SPT).  Until recently self employed workers had to […]

What does my tax code mean?

7 February 2015, Advocates, Charities, Companies, Employer, Musicians, Sole Traders

Why does my tax code change? HMRC reviews your tax code, often in the autumn and early in the new year, for many people this prompts the question “What does my tax code mean?”.  The purpose of your tax code is to indicate how much of your earnings you can receive before tax is payable.  It […]

Class 2 National Insurance Contributions

13 December 2014, Advocates, Musicians, Sole Traders

Changes to Class 2 National Insurance payments If you currently pay your Class 2 National Insurance Contributions by Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) or have recently applied to do so, things are about to change!  The Government announced plans to simplify the way self-employed people pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions from April 2015. Most self-employed people will […]

Scottish Advocates and Tax

25 November 2013, Advocates, Barristers, Sole Traders

There are number of special rules governing the financial accounts of Advocates and Barristers in the UK.  For an overview please refer to my blogpost on the CIMA Accountant website. Computing profits for Advocates Earnings Basis The earnings basis is calculated in accordance with UK Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (UK GAAP). Advocates are taxed on the […]

Does your accountant work for you?

20 May 2013, Advocates, Charities, Companies, Musicians, Sole Traders

The role of an accountant in a business. Many small businesses do not have an accountant on the payroll and hire external consultants to fulfil their financial needs.  In too many cases the accountant is only working for the benefit of external stakeholders such as Companies House and HMRC.  This role is described as financial […]

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