Smarter accounting

Death and taxes are the ultimate known knowns - you can add tax scams to this list.

Death, Taxes and Tax scams – known knowns

9 May 2021, Advocates, Artists, Creative Industries, General, Musicians, Sole Traders

It is said that there are two certainties in life, death and taxes.  The old cliche has a ring of truth, and you can add tax scams to the list of known knowns. Donald Rumsfeld was roundly mocked for his comment at a news briefing on 12th February 2002 about known knowns, but on reflection, […]

Computer equipment intending trader

VAT intending trader

25 April 2021, Advocates, Barristers, Creative Industries, General, Musicians, Sole Traders

Before you start to trade you can register for VAT as an intending trader to recover input VAT on computer equipment and other costs.  You can also recover pre-registration VAT in some circumstances. Pre-trading VAT The current threshold for obligatory VAT registration is an annual turnover of £85,000. Voluntary registration is beneficial where: VAT on […]

pre-trading expenses

Pre-trading expenses

20 April 2021, Advocates, Barristers, Creative Industries, General, Musicians, Sole Traders

A sole trader may incur costs before setting up their trade.  Some of these pre-trading expenses are allowable for tax purposes subject to being ‘wholly and exclusively’ for the trade or profession. Capital items purchased prior to trading may also qualify for capital allowances. Pre-trading expenses Expenses incurred up to 7 years before commencement of […]

VAT on services

VAT on services outside UK

25 February 2021, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, General, Sole Traders

Buying and selling services This article considers what has changed (and what hasn’t) for businesses trading in services with the EU, including situations where there are crucial exceptions to the general rules. The highlights of VAT on services outside the UK In many cases, the VAT on services is no different to pre-Brexit 2020.  However, […]

Receipt Bank is now Dext

Receipt Bank is now Dext

23 February 2021, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

A bolt from the blue – Receipt Bank is now Dext In a surprise announcement from Receipt Bank Dext, the branding and log in details for the online service changed today. How do I log in to Dext? If you previously used the following web address to log in to Receipt Bank, it should still […]

set up a manual VAT payment if you have VAT owing from 2020

How to set up a manual VAT payment

10 February 2021, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, General, Sole Traders

Deferred VAT payment due to Coronavirus On 24th September 2020 the UK Chancellor announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 had more time to pay VAT from this period.  The same guidance still stands though.  If you chose to defer your VAT payment as a result of coronavirus, […]

The Scottish Wedding Industry Fund could give you up to £25,000

Scottish Wedding Industry Fund

27 January 2021, Artists, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

Get up to £25,000 for Scottish Wedding Industry The new Scottish Wedding Industry Fund opens for applications on 28 January 2021.  If your business gets most of its income from weddings you could qualify for a grant of up to £25,000. The fund is available to jewellers, pipers and wedding bands as well as caterers […]

Self Assessment Tax Filing Deadline Extended to 28 Feb 2021

Self Assessment Tax Filing Deadline Extended to 28 Feb – please pass this on!

25 January 2021, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, Sole Traders

At (almost) the eleventh hour, HMRC announces tax filing deadline extended to 28 February HMRC announced today that you will not receive a penalty for filing your 2019-20 tax return late, as long as you file online by 28‌ February.  We are still encouraging taxpayers who have not yet filed to do so by 31‌ […]

Need extra time to pay your tax bill?

Need extra time to pay your tax bill due in January 2021?

22 January 2021, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, Sole Traders

Strapped for cash and worried about your tax? If you are one of the many self-employed who need extra time to pay your income tax bill at the end of the month, HMRC have an online process to help you spread your payment.  With just over a week to go until the filing deadline for […]

Check your SEISS eligibility

SEISS third grant

30 November 2020, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

SEISS third grant open for claims. The rules on who is eligible to claim are different to those for the previous SEISS grants.  The third grant will be based on 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single taxable instalment capped at £7,500, and will cover the period from 1 November […]

Making Tax Digital compulsory for VAT registered businesses - HMRC AI will change everything

You need to change the way you submit your VAT returns

30 December 2020, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, General, Sole Traders

Action required by 8 April 2021 If you haven’t signed up for Making Tax Digital (MTD) yet, you need to change the way you submit your VAT returns. Even if you currently use Xero to file your VAT returns, you won’t be able to use software to file returns from 8th April unless you are […]

Bounce Back Loan - a Bright Idea

Bounce Back Loan Extended

5 November 2020, Advocates, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, Sole Traders

When is the Bounce Back Loan Deadline? The Bounce Bank Loan deadline for applications was originally scheduled for 4th November 2020 and then extended slightly to 30th November 2020.  The announcement by Rishi Sunak on 2nd November on the Bounce Back Loan extended deadlines for applications to 31st January 2021.  The Bounce Back Loan Scheme […]

Furlough Scheme Extended

Furlough Scheme Extended

1 November 2020, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, General, Sole Traders

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended to end of March 2020 The furlough scheme, where the UK Government pays part of the salary costs of furloughed employees, was first extended to the end of November 2020.  Then in an announcement on 5 November 2020 the scheme was extended further until the end of March 2021. Furlough […]

Received a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant and stopped trading?

Received a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant and stopped trading?

30 October 2020, Advocates, Artists, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

Received an SEISS grant?  Check your inbox to avoid a penalty. HMRC is contacting businesses which claimed a grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to check whether they have stopped trading.  What do you need to do? How do I know an email from HMRC isn’t spam or phishing? HMRC do not normally email […]

The Job Support Scheme provides support from three sources

Job Support Scheme Update

22 October 2020, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, General, Sole Traders

What changed with the Job Support Scheme update? The Job Support Scheme update (JSS) announced by Rishi Sunak today (22nd October) reduces the costs for employers and also reduces the minimum hours for workers to 20% compared to 33% previously. The UK Government will issue further guidance shortly, but for the moment, here is what […]

Check your SEISS eligibility

SEISS extended to April 2021

6 November 2020, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

Payment no 3 in December for SEISS extended to April. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been extended to April 2021.  If you are self-employed and were eligible for the first and second SEISS grants you will be able to claim grants for the 6 month period from November 2020 to April 2021. What […]

More time to pay VAT

More time to pay VAT

25 September 2020, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, General, Sole Traders

Rishi Sunak has given you more time to pay VAT On 24th September 2020 the UK Chancellor announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have more time to pay VAT from this period.  The original deadline for this VAT was 31st March 2021. Instead of paying […]

The Job Support Scheme provides support from three sources

Job Support Scheme Key Facts

24 September 2020, Charities, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, General, Sole Traders

How does the Job Support Scheme work? The Job Support Scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19.  Employers will receive support from the UK Government to help keep their employees on payroll after the furlough scheme is withdrawn. The company will continue to […]

Bounce Back Loan - a Bright Idea

Bounce Back Loan Deadline for Applications

25 September 2020, Advocates, Companies, Creative Industries, Employer, Sole Traders

When is the Bounce Back Loan Deadline? The Bounce Bank Loan deadline for applications was originally scheduled for 4th November 2020.  On 24th September Rishi Sunak announced that the deadline for applications would be extended to 30th November 2020.  The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) will help eligible small and medium-sized businesses affected by the […]

VAT on Cancellation Fees

VAT on Cancellation Fees

14 September 2020, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, General, Sole Traders

HMRC changes policy with VAT on Cancellation Fees On 2 September 2020, HMRC, issued a Brief dealing with the VAT on cancellation of a contract or early termination fees.  The VAT treatment has changed for fees a business charges to allow customers to withdraw from agreements early.  If your customer cancels an annual subscription part-way […]

VAT on non-refundable deposits

VAT on non-refundable deposits

14 September 2020, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, General, Sole Traders

VAT is chargeable on all non-refundable deposits HMRC requires you to charge VAT on non-refundable deposits.  So you must issue a VAT invoice for charges levied even if the customer does not use the goods or services.  This came into force with effect from 1 March 2019, cancelling HMRC’s previous interpretation which allowed some non-refundable […]

Claim to reduce payments on account

Claim to reduce payments on account

4 September 2020, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, General, Musicians, Sole Traders

Reduce your income tax payments on account to HMRC You can reduce payments on account to HMRC if you expect your profits to be lower in the year to 5th April 2021.  Most sole traders will find that their taxable profits will be lower this year due to the effects of the COVID emergency.  If […]

Making Tax Digital compulsory for VAT registered businesses - HMRC AI will change everything

Making Tax Digital compulsory for VAT from April 2022

31 August 2020, Advocates, Barristers, Companies, Creative Industries, Sole Traders

Making Tax Digital compulsory for all (eventually) Recent announcements make Making Tax Digital compulsory for all VAT registered business from April 2022.  The self-employed will be included from April 2023 and eventually Corporation Tax too. All VAT registered businesses will have to comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) from 1 April 2022 and not just […]

Check your SEISS eligibility

SEISS phase 2

17 August 2020, Advocates, Artists, Barristers, Creative Industries, Musicians, Sole Traders

Check if you can claim the SEISS phase 2 grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS phase 2) is now open for the self-employed to receive a second and final grant of up to £6,570.  The HMRC website went live on 17th August 2020 to allow you to claim […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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