Benefit from hassle-free personal tax returns and corporation tax returns, prepared on a timely basis to ensure that you are aware of your liabilities months in advance.
With HM Revenue and Customs getting ever more draconian with their system of penalties and interest for late tax returns and payments, you’ll want to be assured that your tax affairs are handled as promptly as possible. We encourage all our clients to get their information to us as quickly as possible so that we can calculate tax liabilities early, giving you time to plan for the payment.
We file online wherever possible to ensure safe and fast data transfer. This method also lets us know instantly whether the return has been accepted by H M Revenue and Customs.
We usually prepare personal tax returns at the same time as preparing the business accounts, meaning that both your accounting and taxation requirements are dealt with at the same time, which is quicker and more efficient.
If you own rental properties, we can prepare rental income statements and ensure that all your taxable expenses are claimed in order to reduce any liability. We’ll also look at your pension and charitable contributions to ensure they are included.
When it comes to your personal tax liability, if you consider that your business profits are reducing, we can help by applying to reduce your tax liabilities for the next tax year accordingly. We’ll also advise what tax is payable and when by. Of course, if a refund is due to you, we’ll do our best to ensure that you receive it promptly from H M Revenue and Customs and electronic filing helps greatly here.
For corporation tax, much of the above also applies as well.
Year end accounts
When using FreeAgent, your records should be ready within a few weeks of your year end, meaning we can prepare the final accounts quickly and also advise you on current data. We help you maintain good quality business records by assisting with FreeAgent queries throughout the year.
We will work with you to ensure the accounting information is accurate and the formal accounts are completed to agreed deadlines. Adherence to these deadlines, both for limited company accounts at Companies House and for H M Revenue and Customs is important to avoid statutory penalties, and we can help you with this.
We can assist you with choosing a year end to suit your business and then once your year-end has passed we’ll remind you that you need to let us have your records so we can prepare the accounts. This is beneficial for you as you have the peace of mind of knowing that everything is taken care of at an early stage rather than in a last minute rush and you will also be aware early on of any tax liabilities, so that you have time to put money aside for the liability.
We also file electronically wherever possible, ensuring that sensitive data does not get lost in the post and guaranteeing delivery within the deadlines.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
Enjoy a helping hand with VAT registrations, the preparation of VAT returns and VAT planning (such as looking at Flat Rate VAT).
For many, VAT is a daunting subject and it can certainly be very complex. We aim to guide our clients safely through the VAT maze, from the initial decision as to whether your business needs to register for VAT. We’ll look at the different schemes available – would the flat rate scheme be simplest and most money-saving option for you? Do you need to use one of the Vat retail schemes?
Once you’re registered for VAT, we’ll get your VAT registration details onto your FreeAgent account so the software can generate your monthly or quarterly returns. If you’re on a standard VAT scheme, we’ll advise on which expenses you can claim input VAT on and which aren’t allowable.
We can also advise on sundry VAT matters such as changing when your VAT periods end, deregistering for VAT if it is no longer appropriate for your business and taking over a VAT registration from an existing business.
If preparing your own VAT returns seems like too much of a headache then of course we can prepare them for you, based on the data in your FreeAgent account.
Efficient Extraction of Funds
Planning for a state pension
Helping to ensure eligible for benefits in circumstances change
Claiming pre trading input VAT
Contractors & Consultants
Are you a contractor or consultant trading through a limited company? So are most of our clients. We have the required IR35 knowledge and help you to run your business in a very time effective way so that you can get on with earning the money.
As your contractor accountants, we review your affairs on a monthly or quarterly basis, if required, to assist with your business.
We also assist with keeping you compliant with the IR35 requirements. IR35 is the industry name for a specific part of the Finance Act 2000. The aim behind the IR35 regulations is to prevent people avoiding tax by working as self-employed contractors through an intermediary limited company, whereas the way they work points to them being more like regular employees.
An example would be someone who leaves their permanent job only to return shortly afterwards as a contractor. They end up doing exactly the same job as they did before but working through a limited company intermediary. In essence, the nature of their work remains unchanged but their working status has changed. As they are for all intents and purposes the same as a true company employee, the law says that they should be subject to the same income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) as regular employees.
If it turns out the way you work contravenes the IR35 regulations, you will end up paying tax and National Insurance on your earnings as if you were an employee, as opposed to your usual director’s fee and dividends.
This is where Focus Accountancy can help. We’ll look at your working arrangements and advise you accordingly, giving you peace of mind that you are compliant with the regulations.
There is also the question of what type of business entity is right for your business. Should you be a sole trader, form a partnership or set up a limited company? Each has its pros and cons, and we can help you choose the best option for your particular circumstances. For many of our contractor clients, a limited company is the right choice, and we will guide you through the process of setting up a company, the rights and responsibilities of company directors, the difference between directors and shareholders, and so on.
You may feel that you can manage without an accountant, preparing your own books and dealing with the annual corporation tax and accounts yourself. For many people starting out in business, the lure is to save money and control everything yourself. In practice, though, many contractors realise that the stress and time pressure of trying to do everything themselves, as well as performing their role as a contractor, simply is more hassle than it’s worth. Can you be sure you are claiming everything to which the business is entitled, when it comes to tax allowable expenses? Are you claiming for items that aren’t tax allowable? A common mistake is to claim tax relief for client entertaining, for example. And do you understand how to take your business profits and convert them into the profits on which tax is payable? For many contractors, the answer is no – they lack the accounting knowledge and expertise to ensure that things are done correctly. This is where Focus Accountancy can help. We already deal with lots of contractor clients, businesses just like yours, so we have the specialised knowledge to give you the help you need, when you need it.
Focus Accountancy can offer a wealth of advice and assistance with company secretarial work such as company formations, filing confirmation statements and filing other forms at Companies House.
Starting up a limited company can be a daunting task for those unaware of what being a company director and shareholder can entail. We can help right from the start, as we can usually include a limited company formation with your monthly fee and have it up and running within 24hrs. At the other end of things, when it is time to close down a company, we can deal with the process of getting it struck off the register at Companies House.
One of the main company secretarial requirements that we can help with is the requirement to file a confirmation statement each year for the company. This is something completely separate and distinct form the annual company accounts that have to be filed. The confirmation statement is a document that lists all the company’s directors, shareholders and PSC's. We have specialist software that ensures we never miss the filing deadline and we will even pay the annual fee on your behalf before invoicing the cost on to you to ensure a deadline is not missed.
Wherever possible we file documents electronically at Companies House as this is faster and more secure. Some other examples of company secretarial forms we can help with include dealing with share transfers, appointment/resignation of directors, changes in the company’s name or registered office and increases in the company’s share capital.
Cash Flow Forecasts
We use advanced software-based techniques to assist with your business plans and cash flow forecasts, helping you with business planning and obtaining funding.
A prudently prepared cash flow forecast is an integral part of any properly prepared business plan and something that banks will require if you are to request loan finance for your business. They aren’t just useful for obtaining bank finance, however. a wise business owner will want to prepare a rolling cash flow forecast, updated on a regular basis, to ensure that the business can meet its cash flow requirements. Will the business have enough cash to pay its tax liabilities? Can dividends be made without jeopardising the regular cash flow needed for creditors? Will the business be able to fund any planned expansions easily?
These are all vital questions and not ones that it is easy to answer without a good cash flow forecast. This is one area where rough back of envelope calculations won’t really cut it; you need the reassurance that proper financial planning can provide. We use advanced software to generate cash flow forecasts together with the underlying assumptions that you can present to your bank or use for your own planning.