Autumn 2011 Feeling the strain? HMRC tightens the Time to Pay scheme Making the most of Social Media The beneﬁts of forward thinking accounting Auditing your costs for maximum savings Harris Lipman announces EISA membership The beneﬁts of partnership and shareholder protection Government cracks down on inheritance tax The tax advantages of incorporation for sole traders Now is the time to understand your inheritance tax position Individuals and small businesses miss out on tax breaks Harris Lipman expands South Wales presence Start preparing for automatic pension enrolement HMRC launches new tax crackdowns Harris Lipman supports charity golf day Businesses receive further R&D tax beneﬁts Insolvency ﬁgures mask the true picture Redundancy threatens late pension surge Claim your full Capital Allowance entitlement C H A R T E R E D A C C O U N TA N T S A N D L I C E N S E D I N S O L V E N C Y P R A C T I T I O N E R S Welcome Welcome to the further R&D tax beneﬁts for businesses and and the beneﬁts for our clients of our EISA latest issue of the truth behind the latest insolvency ﬁgures, membership and social media presence. Harris Lipman as well as automatic pension enrolment and Head Lines, which other pension matters. We hope you enjoy reading Harris Lipman brings you updates Head Lines and that you ﬁnd it useful. We’d and practical We also take a look at the beneﬁts of welcome your feedback on the content, or advice on issues partnership or shareholder protection, ideas for topics that you’d like to see featured that may affect the latest crackdowns by HM Revenue & in future, so if you would like to comment you ﬁnancially. Customs, how individuals and businesses are please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call missing out on tax breaks and a tightening 020 8446 9000. Our bulletin contains a round-up of tax and of the Time to Pay scheme, along with how ﬁnancial news and developments that we businesses can make the most of their For professional ﬁnancial advice, tailored to hope will be of interest to small and family ﬁnances by auditing their costs and claiming your individual circumstances, on any of the businesses and private individuals. their full Capital Allowance entitlement. topics covered in Harris Lipman Head Lines, please contact us. In this edition, we consider the tax We conclude with how Harris Lipman has advantages of incorporation for sole traders, increased its presence in South Wales By Barry Lewis, Senior Partner Auditing your costs for maximum savings For more information please contact Ashok Shah, Partner - email@example.com In today’s business As their business does not rely on over 27 percent for their clients, many of which climate, keeping supplier commissions, you may well stay with are household names, including Timpson, Richer costs under control your existing supplier and are guaranteed Sounds, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Trowers & is more important impartiality. They will go to a handful of Hamlin, Norwood, Jewish Care, Barts & The than ever. With suppliers and show you all of the prices London NHS Trust and the United Synagogue. staff and property received, so that you are fully informed costs taking a and can make a decision. If a change of If you would like to discuss how they may signiﬁcant chunk supplier is requested, they will manage the be able to work with you and your team to of any business’s whole process – effecting an introduction, drive proﬁts (so that we can help with your tax margin, considering completing the forms and ensuring that your planning), please contact Simon Unger what else money is spent on is becoming cost centres are set up correctly. at firstname.lastname@example.org or on increasingly worthwhile. 020 8236 2504. The part of the service which really impressed In fact, Cardiff University Business School advised us was that they check the prices you are By Ashok Shah, Partner that every £1 saved is equal to £19.50 of new being charged match those that they have sales generated. If this is true, then overhead negotiated. You always maintain a direct savings can greatly impact on proﬁtability. relationship with the supplier, so retaining complete control. We recently had an audit completed by The Procurement Group and were impressed Common areas which they look into include enough with the results to feel that we should stationery, telephones, printer supplies, offer this service to our clients. In essence, they broadband, electricity, waste, mobiles, will review whatever costs you want them to and printing, copier contracts and gas. However, make recommendations on how to reduce what they also look at more obscure areas, such you pay on an absolute like-for-like basis. as light bulbs, washroom equipment and supplies, postage and mains water. This means they guarantee to at least maintain product quality, service levels and payment Indeed, there are over 30 different products terms while delivering a lower price. They also where they have delivered average savings of manage contract expiries and do their best to ensure that contracts are terminated in a timely manner. Best of all you pay them out of the savings made – 33 percent to them, 66 percent to you for a year, thereafter, 100 percent to you. Harris Lipman announces EISA membership For more information please contact Martina Fitzgerald, Partner - martina.ﬁtzgerald@harris-lipman.co.uk We have further to make investments in smaller, high risk in legislation and is often consulted by demonstrated our companies more attractive by offering a Government departments on such matters. commitment to range of tax reliefs – including Income Tax helping business and Capital Gains Tax – to investors who We also have access to other members, growth by joining subscribe for qualifying shares in qualifying including potential sponsors, fund managers the Enterprise companies. Firms who are eligible for the and corporate ﬁnance advisers. This gives us Investment Scheme EIS are usually small, unquoted trading an advantage in that we can do much more Association (EISA). companies which ﬁnance their trading than simply advise clients on the EIS – we activities by issuing new shares. can put them in contact with people looking The EISA is an to invest in businesses such as theirs. independent, not-for-proﬁt organisation As many smaller ﬁrms are still struggling which aims to encourage private investment to raise ﬁnance through more traditional As a ﬁrm, we have long been committed to into small and growing companies through methods such as bank loans. These same helping small and medium-sized businesses the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). businesses are often unaware that alternative realise their maximum potential. I am delighted forms of accessing capital are available, that our membership of EISA will enable us to With many smaller ﬁrms still struggling to such as the EIS. help even more companies grow. secure loans from banks due to ongoing restrictions, the EIS is being promoted as an Our membership of the EISA gives us access To ﬁnd out how the scheme can help you raise alternative way to raise ﬁnance. to a wide range of experts, including the the capital you need, please contact Martina. association’s Tax and Technical Committee, The Government scheme is designed which can advise on potential changes By Martina Fitzgerald, Partner Tightening of the Time to Pay scheme For more information please contact Freddy Khalastchi, Partner - email@example.com HM Revenue & on the grounds that the company has Another signiﬁcant development is that HMRC Customs (HMRC) preferred to use the money elsewhere and, recently announced that it will stop publishing is now refusing therefore, the shareholders should support ﬁgures for the number of businesses which applications the company. are using the scheme. This has triggered under Time to fears that the scheme is about to be wound Pay (TTP) where Many companies pay dividends as part of a down, although this is something that HMRC dividends are tax-efﬁcient remuneration package. However, has denied. used as a form it seems that HMRC takes the view that if a of remuneration. company has cash available to make a non- However, the number of rejected applications contractual payment to its shareholders, then rose by a third year-on-year in the second TTP, introduced in November 2008, normally it can pay at least part of its tax debts. quarter of 2011. Indeed, the number of allows companies and individuals to defer approvals plummeted by nearly 50 percent and pay by instalment any taxes that they This policy will almost certainly hit small and in the year to June, while the value of the tax owe, in a bid to assist with temporary cash medium-sized businesses hardest, potentially payments deferred tumbled by 42 percent. ﬂow problems. leading to cash ﬂow problems and may force more businesses into increased hardship, Therefore, any business considering making HMRC’s new position is that where a with some being forced to enter into a formal an application to the scheme should take company asks for a TTP arrangement and Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), note of these points. recently paid out a dividend while running administration, pre-pack administration or up a tax debt, HMRC will refuse a TTP even liquidation. By Freddy Khalastchi, Partner Now is the time to understand your inheritance tax position For more information please contact Matthew Truran, AWD Chase de Vere - firstname.lastname@example.org The coalition Government has frozen the Nil Rate Band – the threshold beyond which inheritance tax (IHT) becomes payable – at £325,000 until at least 2014. With the average Each UK domiciled individual is able to leave From April 2012, those leaving at least 10 house price in Greater £325,000 free of inheritance tax. Assets in percent of their estate to charity will beneﬁt London currently at excess of this Nil Rate Band are subject to tax from a reduced rate of IHT of 36 percent on £419,000, those who at 40 percent. the remainder of their taxable estate. have deferred making decisions regarding Gifts to charities and political parties are free What can I do to reduce the bill? their own IHT planning of IHT. can no longer afford to Make a will delay action. Charitable legacies The primary purpose of a will is to ensure that your In his 2011 Budget, George Osborne estate is distributed according to your wishes. How much inheritance tax will my family announced a further proposal to incentivise However, it can also be used to arrange your have to pay? charitable giving through a reduction in IHT. affairs in a manner that is efﬁcient for IHT purposes. Gifting to transfer money into a trust. Use of a trust this purpose in trust ensures the proceeds enables the donor to maintain control of the are paid outside of your estate and are not Each individual may gift £3,000 per year free monies in question – who gets access to subject to IHT. of IHT. If you didn’t use last year’s allowance, what and when. you may carry this forward to this year, Next steps allowing you to gift a total of £6,000. It is Certain investment-based trusts exist possible to make additional gifts on that enable the donor to receive capital First and foremost, it is important to the occasion of the recipient’s wedding or and/or income from the trust, should this understand your own IHT position, the civil ceremony. be required. magnitude of any potential liability and the impact on your family. It is worthwhile considering whether such Alternative investments gifts are affordable and desirable. In practice, By Matthew Truran, AWD Chase de Vere however, the limited nature of these gifts Some investments are free from IHT, may mean that they make little impact on the including qualifying woodland and farmland. In order to review your situation and asses overall IHT position, as growth in the value On a smaller scale, some investment your estate for IHT purposes, please contact of the estate may offset any beneﬁts derived companies offer access to investments Matthew Truran at email@example.com or on from gifting. that qualify for Business Property Relief 020 7065 1755. and are free of IHT two years after the initial It may be possible to transfer more investment. Matthew is an independent ﬁnancial substantial sums from the taxable estate adviser, who works for our partners under the ‘regular gifts from normal It may also be that some or all of your AWD Chase de Vere. He will be able to expenditure’ exemption. You can gift an own existing business assets and undertake an initial assessment of unlimited amount from your income, as long interests are free from IHT. If this is the case, your circumstances and outline the as you have sufﬁcient left to maintain your it is important that you are aware of how any options available to you to organise current standard of living. It may be possible future changes to your business or to your your affairs in a manner that is tax- to create additional income from investments own circumstances may impact on this. efﬁcient, but also ensures your own or pensions to facilitate such gifting. These ﬁnancial wellbeing. gifts are often used to fund pensions or Life insurance other savings plans on behalf of a child or Harris Lipman Chartered Accountants is grandchild, for example. If it is not possible at this stage to reduce an introducer-appointed representative the IHT liability arising from your estate, you of AWD Chase de Vere Limited, which is Using trusts may wish to take out a life assurance policy authorised and regulated by the Financial to pay the tax bill as it arises, leaving your Services Authority. It may not be appropriate or desirable estate intact for your beneﬁciaries. to make gifts directly to your children or The Financial Services Authority does not grandchildren. In which case, it is possible Writing any life assurance policy taken out for regulate tax advice, trusts or will writing. The tax advantages of incorporation for sole traders For more information please contact Neville Chajet, Partner - firstname.lastname@example.org As the last Budget Indeed, the Corporation Tax rate for small company structure is the best option. saw the retention companies with proﬁts below £300,000 now of the 50 percent stands at 20 percent, while larger companies As well as the tax savings, incorporation also top rate of Income beneﬁted from an increased rate drop to 26 provides Limited Liability, which ensures that Tax for those percent. For the latter, the rate of Corporation individuals are not personally liable for all earning over Tax will be 23 percent from 1st April 2014. debts should the business hit trouble in the £150,000, it also future. In addition, it may be easier to secure brought further Additionally, a company structure provides external funding for Limited Companies and reductions in ﬂexibility in extracting proﬁts to another tax some larger businesses will be reluctant to Corporation Tax. year if the business does particularly well, an deal with sole traders. option that is not available for sole traders. Consequently, sole traders should consider the Professional advice should always be sought structure of their business to see whether it would The incorporation of a sole trader can before taking any steps to incorporate. be beneﬁcial to incorporate as a Limited Company. generally be achieved without immediate While individuals who are self-employed are tax charges. However, it is important to If you are interested in discussing this further, liable for Income Tax on proﬁts as they arise, consider how proﬁts will be extracted from please contact us. companies are a separate legal entity and it is the the company – whether that will be by salary company which pays the tax on its proﬁts. or dividend or a mixture of both – to see if a By Neville Chajet, Partner HMRC launches new tax crackdowns For more information please contact Annette Escorce, Tax Manager - email@example.com Whilst its previous trading will be targeted, the majority of eBay straightforward opportunities for customers to campaigns traders should be unaffected. put their records in order on the best possible have targeted terms. This will be followed by swift action plumbers, medical A further target for HMRC is individuals and against those who choose not to make the professionals and businesses which are trading above the VAT most of such opportunities. restaurant owners, threshold without having registered. The VAT HM Revenue & threshold is currently £73,000 turnover on a Mike Wells, HMRC’s Director of Risk and Customs (HMRC) is rolling annual basis. Intelligence, said: “Our campaigns are now stepping up its designed to ensure tax is paid so that the tax investigations People in the latter category will receive letters money is available to spend on public services of speciﬁc sectors, including tutors and advising them to register by 30th September. used by everyone. The aim is to make it easy those who buy and sell items for proﬁt on In addition, full disclosure will be rewarded for individuals and businesses to contact us, the popular auction site eBay. with a penalty rate of just 10 percent on VAT make a full disclosure of their income and face that has been paid late. a reduced penalty on any tax owed.” Among those being targeted are private tutors and coaches who earn their main or The campaigns will see HMRC use the very So far, HMRC has raised over £500 million secondary income from private lessons, latest in technology, including “web robot” from voluntary disclosures and a further £100 whether they are qualiﬁed or not, ranging software, to search masses of online data million from follow-up activity. from national curriculum tutors to ﬁtness or in order to pinpoint hidden relationships lifestyle coaches. and inconsistencies, as well as income and If you are targeted by HMRC, the team at lifestyle anomalies. Harris Lipman can provide advice and help HMRC will also be looking to pinpoint you lodge a claim. For more information, individuals who are making signiﬁcant proﬁts HMRC says its campaigns are designed please contact us. on eBay without paying the tax due. As only to focus on areas where it has identiﬁed those with a substantial income from online signiﬁcant underpayment and provide By Annette Escorce, Tax Manager Government cracks down on inheritance tax For more information please contact Michael Bernstein, Partner - firstname.lastname@example.org While we have Last year, the taxman investigated 9,368 and beneﬁciaries should obtain several reported on HM house price valuations and clawed back valuations from chartered surveyors or Revenue & Customs’ almost £70 million in IHT. professional valuers. (HMRC) crackdown on online traders IHT is levied at 40 percent when the HMRC will open an investigation based on and VAT rule assets, minus any debt, of a person’s several risk factors, with part of the remit being breakers earlier estate exceed £325,000, or £650,000 a check on whether the declared income in this newsletter, for couples. However, if HMRC investigates correlated to the individual’s lifestyle. In the the department an IHT property valuation and ﬁnds it is case of gifts, they would look for evidence is also actively incorrect because insufﬁcient care was such as a copy of the donor’s bank statement. targeting estates and beneﬁciaries for taken in obtaining it, the beneﬁciaries underpayment of inheritance tax (IHT). can face penalties of up to 100 percent of Donors should, therefore, pay gifts by bank the additional tax liability, in addition to the transfer and have supporting documentation Its scrutiny of Land Registry data on house tax due. to give to their lawyer and accountant. Gifts of purchases and sales is particularly affecting unlimited amounts can be given free of tax if those who receive a gift or inheritance to buy If a property is sold for less than the valuation, the donor lives for another seven years. property, as well as those who use this money the estate can come back and ask for the to pay a sizeable amount off their mortgages. value to be revised. Therefore, executors By Michael Bernstein, Partner Harris Lipman expands South Wales presence For more information please contact John Cullen, Partner - email@example.com Harris Lipman branch specialises in offering corporate would give us a real advantage in doing that. has expanded its recovery and insolvency services – which is presence in South ﬁtting given that the new ofﬁce was previously “We already had a number of contacts Wales with the occupied by the Insolvency Service. based in the area, so it seemed a natural opening of a new development for us to set up an ofﬁce there.” ofﬁce in Swansea. The Swansea ofﬁce is headed up by partner John Cullen, and is managed by Mark Evans. The new ofﬁce can be found at Suite 4, The new branch Fourth Floor, Sun Alliance House, 166-167 complements our John said: “We were looking to extend the St Helen’s Road, Swansea, SA1 4DQ. Cardiff ofﬁce, which service we provide across South and West was set up in 1998. Like Cardiff, the Swansea Wales and felt that having a base in Swansea By John Cullen, Partner The beneﬁts of partnership and shareholder protection For more information please contact Martin Atkins, Partner - firstname.lastname@example.org One area of potential Not only will such an agreement help prevent Firstly, the Articles of Association or a conﬂict in a business disputes at a highly sensitive time, but it will also Partnership/Shareholder Agreement may cover partnership is what enable the business to continue without the need these issues, and it is important to ensure that happens when one to sell assets in order to buy the vacant share of the terms of these documents do not contradict of the partners or the business. It will also enable the beneﬁciaries the partnership or shareholder protection. shareholders dies or to make the most of the deceased’s hard work, becomes seriously ill. and offer the partners and shareholders peace of Furthermore, it is important to ensure the Should they die, the mind that their loved ones are provided for. policies are drafted such that the surviving issue arises of who individuals can only use the funds obtained to receives their share In addition, provision can be made for partners buy the deceased’s interest in the business. of the business and at what price. or shareholders who become seriously ill, giving them the option of continuing in the By Martin Atkins, Partner This can result in disputes between the business or receiving suitable capital upon their beneﬁciaries of the deceased and the remaining enforced retirement. partners or shareholders. For example, the beneﬁciaries may have little interest in the Before putting such an agreement in place, business or could be hostile to the way it is a number of points will need to currently being run. Equally, the company will be considered. not want to pay a dividend to a new shareholder who contributes very little in terms of the organisation’s success. Such disputes can be avoided through the use of partnership or shareholder protection, which is linked to life insurance policies that each partner or shareholder agrees to take out and maintain. These policies are written in trust by each individual for the others and, on the death of one of them, the funds can be used to compensate the deceased’s beneﬁciaries and dependants for their share. Businesses receive further R&D tax beneﬁts For more information please contact Chris Maloney, Manager, Business Services - email@example.com Figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show that since tax credits were introduced in 2000 as a means of reducing a company’s or organisation’s tax bill by more than its expenditure on qualifying R&D costs, 51,060 claims have been made (up to the end of the ﬁnancial year 2008-09). Generally speaking, attractive to smaller businesses, as the rate £980 million in tax credits. The total the tax credits of relief increased from 175 percent to 200 paid out in tax credits since 2000 is nearly are available for percent for small and medium ﬁrms. This £5 billion. costs such as R&D means that for every £100 of qualifying staff, materials, costs, such businesses can reduce the As Harris Lipman appreciates that software and utilities income on which Corporation Tax is paid by claiming this tax relief can be a complex used for the project, a further £100. process, we have developed links with and payments tax boutiques which specialise in this area. to clinical trial There will be a further increase to 225 As they are respected by HMRC, volunteers. In order percent in April 2012. However, the submitting a claim through them makes to qualify, the research project must rate for larger companies will remain at the process much more straightforward seek to achieve an advance in science 130 percent. – with only a contingency fee charged. and technology. For more information or to apply, please In 2008-09 alone, there were 8,540 contact us. Following the Chancellor’s latest Budget, claims – the highest annual ﬁgure since this tax relief has become even more the R&D scheme began – which attracted By Chris Maloney, Manager, Business Services Redundancy threatens late pension surge For more information please contact Michael Bernstein, Partner - firstname.lastname@example.org Research by HSBC bulk of their pension fund in the last ten years due to their careers ending ahead of plan. has shown that of their working life could be in for a shock, substantial numbers of as a report by Aviva demonstrates that more With the Government determined to increase employees in the UK than 25 percent of over 55s are currently not the pension age to 66 in 2020, individuals will are part of the ‘Ostrich in employment due to redundancy or ill health. be forced to wait longer for assistance from the Generation’, who state, making them more reliant on private pension refuse to undertake Once those aged over 55 are out of work, it is funds. Consequently, it is to be hoped that those any ﬁnancial planning harder for them to ﬁnd a job than earlier in life, taking an ostrich approach to their ﬁnancial future for their retirement. according to 74 percent of respondents. As a will soon become an endangered species. result, more than a third (34 percent) found they However, any ‘ostriches’ hoping to saving the had to scrimp more than expected in retirement By Michael Bernstein, Partner Making the most of social media For more information please contact Barry Lewis, Senior Partner - email@example.com Accountants who highly effective method in catching the diverting trafﬁc to our website, with a are shunning the attention of new clientele and reaching a total of 145 referred visits, followed by use of social media new audience. Twitter with 93 visits and then LinkedIn with are missing out on 53 visits. the beneﬁts that Barry Lewis said: “By having a social media forward-thinking programme in place at Harris Lipman, we “There are a number of ways that Harris accountants, such have been able to reach an audience that Lipman reaches a wider audience by having as Harris Lipman, we have not been able to before. Having a a Twitter account. We reach prospective are enjoying. presence in the social media world means clients by ‘following’ accounts that new we are more visible to potential clients and clients may also be following, and people As the popularity of social media networks can also sustain close relationships with our who are following our clients – who are continues to rise, we are seeing positive current ones.” following us – will see that they are following results from our social media programme, Harris Lipman and may be encouraged which is comprised of a daily blog, three It is important that our accounts are regularly to follow us if they are in need of ﬁnancial daily tweets, a LinkedIn account and a updated - an empty Twitter or Facebook advice,” Barry said. Facebook Page. account would offer a worse impression of the ﬁrm than not having one at all. Indeed, we proved just how cutting edge Rather than just relying on traditional Harris Lipman had become with the launch methods of networking, we are able to “We have a daily blog, which covers topics of our very own Apple App for users of the use our social networks to keep clients currently in the news that will be of interest to iPhone. The LipmanLogic game appeared to up-to-date with news from the ﬁrm, our clients. We also post three daily tweets, read players’ minds by inviting them to think update them on ﬁnancial, business and tax which include links to business news stories, of a number and then correctly guessing what news and also sustain relationships with and we have a good number of followers,” it was. them online. Barry added. Martin Atkins said: “We’ve always tried to be Even though we continue to use the During the month of May, the Harris Lipman at the forefront of new technology and use more traditional methods for networking website received a total of 3,672 visitors the latest methods to communicate with new with prospective clients, such as word- and 673 of those were from referring and existing clients.” of-mouth and personal networking, sites. Facebook proved to be the most social media has established itself as a successful social networking site in By Barry Lewis, Senior Partner Individuals and small businesses miss out on tax breaks For more information please contact Russell Whitlock, Partner - firstname.lastname@example.org According to a study of child beneﬁts, child tax credits, working tax These ﬁgures make shocking reading, by Unbiased.co.uk, credits and pension credits remain unclaimed especially when implementing a few taxpayers will and £1.3 billion is wasted through poor basic tax saving measures could make pay over £13.5 inheritance tax planning. all the difference. At Harris Lipman, we billion more tax can advise on all aspects of minimising than necessary Small businesses fair no better, with 19 tax liabilities, including estate, personal this year, simply percent of the SMEs which responded to a and corporate tax planning, as well as because they have survey by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks retirement strategies, trusts, executorships failed to plan. This is missing out on potentially valuable tax breaks and self assessment. a signiﬁcant increase and grants. on last year’s ﬁgure of £9 billion. Therefore if you, or one of your friends, would Furthermore, around 16 percent said they beneﬁt from independent, tailored tax advice, Nearly 90 percent of people have taken no did not know where to turn for advice on please contact us. action to reduce their tax liabilities in the last regulation, and 15 percent admitted having year. As a result, more than £8.5 billion worth difﬁculty understanding new rules. By Russell Whitlock, Partner Harris Lipman supports charity golf day For more information please contact Kash Kurup, Partner - email@example.com We have further Barry Lewis, senior partner at Harris Lipman, said: “I am delighted that the event raised such a large strengthened “As a ﬁrm, we believe it is important to support amount, which I know will make a real difference our commitment good causes, which is why we were to the lives of those being helped by Drugsline.” to supporting pleased to be able to sponsor worthy causes by the Ladies Charity Golf Day. By Kash Kurup, Partner sponsoring a charity golf event. The Ladies Charity Golf Day fund-raiser took place at Abridge Golf and Country Club, in Stapleford Tawney, Essex, raising more than £15,000 for Drugsline. Drugsline is a charity offering a wide range of free prevention, education, counselling and support services to people with drug and alcohol-related issues, as well as their family and friends. The charity runs a helpline and drop-in centre, both of which are staffed by volunteers and entirely dependent on donations. It also operates an outreach programme for more than 30,000 pupils in Essex and Hertfordshire each year, raising awareness of the issues surrounding addiction. Insolvency ﬁgures mask the true picture For more information please contact Jonathan Bass, Insolvency Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org The latest ﬁgures business without ﬁling for insolvency has hit a Firstly, many of these businesses are no from The Insolvency record high. longer facing signiﬁcant ﬁnancial problems Service show that the because their situation has now become number of compulsory Therefore, it would seem that many ﬁrms are critical instead. Additionally, the level of liquidations and either deciding to shut up shop before they signiﬁcant problems is always higher in creditors’ voluntary reach crisis point or have suffered so much the ﬁrst quarter due to the amount of liquidations grew by that they feel there is no point trying to rescue overdue accounts which need to be ﬁled 4.4 percent year-on- the business. by 31st December. year in the second quarter of 2011. The Indeed, the latest Red Flag Alert Report from The latter of these is borne out by the fact that rise to 4,233 liquidations was also a 2.7 Begbies Traynor shows that the number of the level of signiﬁcant problems has remained percent increase on the previous quarter. businesses which are facing critical ﬁnancial virtually stable when compared to the second problems in the second quarter of this year has quarter of 2010, with a rise of just one percent. Meanwhile, the number of other corporate risen by 12 percent quarter-on-quarter. As a insolvencies – including receiverships, result, 5,179 companies are now facing critical At Harris Lipman, we specialise in insolvency administrations and company voluntary problems, with total liabilities of almost £60 billion. and business recovery, and have extensive arrangements – dropped by six percent experience in resolving ﬁnancial challenges. compared to the second quarter of 2010. While the fact that the number of companies Therefore, if your business or that of a friend facing signiﬁcant ﬁnancial problems fell by 48 is experiencing ﬁnancial problems, then However, this is not the complete picture. percent over the same timeframe may seem please contact us immediately. Companies House recently revealed that the like good news, there are a number of factors number of businesses which are going out of that take the gloss off these results. By Jonathan Bass, Insolvency Manager Claim your full Capital Allowance entitlement For more information please contact Robin Hopkins, Manager, Business Services - email@example.com Millions of pounds can submit claims on behalf of our clients. With the Government considering changes to of Enhanced Capital The specialist consultancy team, headed up by the ECA legislation which would require ﬁxtures Allowances (ECA) a former HM Revenue & Customs inspector, to be pooled into a one or two year period remain unclaimed, works in conjunction with a RICS qualiﬁed following purchase, there has never been a as businesses quantity surveyor to access the property and better time to ensure you have claimed for remain unaware determine the value that can be claimed for. the full value of qualifying expenditure for your of the beneﬁts that business. This is especially true, considering can be obtained The organisation aims to provide clients with that the same pooling period would apply to by submitting a tax refund and reduced tax liability, as well historic expenditure once the legislation claims for items as ongoing beneﬁts. Indeed, their extensive was introduced. such as their lighting and radiators. knowledge and experience within the ﬁeld has allowed them to identify over £20 million of Additionally, the service works on a contingency While Harris Lipman has always been happy unclaimed ECA in recent months. basis, so if you do not receive a tax refund, to submit ECA claims for clients, these tend then no fee is charged. Therefore, there is no to be limited by the fact that clients will not There are a number of business properties ﬁnancial risk attached to making a claim. keep accurate records for every ﬁxture and which are likely to have unclaimed ECA, ﬁtting installed in a commercial property. including hotels, holiday parks, nursing For more information or to apply, please homes, care homes, pubs, restaurants, contact us. However, we are now working with a ofﬁces, clubhouses, doctors surgeries and dedicated ECA surveying organisation which dental practices. By Robin Hopkins, Manager, Business Services ! n me a Sc Below are just some of the value-added services we can offer to your business: - Helping you develop and grow your business - Investigating potential targets for acquisition - Implementing and improving systems - Succession planning - Review of your proﬁt improvement potential - Estate and inheritance tax planning - Assisting on the collection of debts - Implementation of accounting software Start preparing for automatic pension enrolment For more information please contact Martin Atkins, Partner - firstname.lastname@example.org The latest Scottish To ensure that ﬁrms are fully ready for these The regulator is also providing further information Widows UK pension duties, the Pensions Regulator has begun on its website, including guidance for payroll report is just one of writing to organisations 18 months ahead of software developers and large companies, a a number of surveys their compliance date. This will then be followed summary of the new duties for employers and a which demonstrates by a second letter nearer to the deadline. ﬁve-step action checklist. These will be followed that the working by interactive tools for smaller businesses and a population is not With the new pension duties set to be trustee checklist later in the year. saving enough for phased in between October 2012 and their retirement. February 2016, every employer should To ﬁnd out how Harris Lipman can help lower check the approximate date on which they the ﬁnancial impact of complying with these One of the measures implemented by will need to comply. This is especially true for duties, please contact us. the Government to tackle this issue is the those with more than 250 staff, as the largest automatic enrolment of all eligible employees companies will be required to enrol ﬁrst. By Martin Atkins, Partner into a qualifying workplace pension scheme. Indeed, by October 2011, nearly Employers will also be required to make 600 organisations – which minimum contributions to the scheme. During together employ a third of the introductory phase, the contribution level the country’s workforce will be set at two percent, increasing to a – will have received minimum of ﬁve percent and eight percent in their ﬁrst letter. 2016 and 2017 respectively. Therefore, all employers need to ensure they offer a qualifying pension scheme ahead of their compliance time and plan for the resultant ﬁnancial impact. The Government offers a default pension scheme, the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) for ﬁrms which do not want to organise their own. London Ofﬁce Thames valley ofﬁce 2 Mountview Court Sandford Gate 310 Friern Barnet Lane East Point Business Park London, N20 0YZ Oxford, OX4 6LB Email: email@example.com Tel: 020 8446 9000 Fax: 020 8446 9537 Tel: 01865 910150 Fax: 01865 910101 Web: www.harris-lipman.co.uk DISCLAIMER: The matters discussed in this newsletter are by necessity brief and comprise summations and introductions to the subject referred to. The content of this newsletter should not be considered by any reader to comprise full proper legal advice and should not be relied upon. 75% recycled content - at Harris Lipman we feel we have a social responsibility to help our environment. Registered to carry on audit work and regulated for a range of business activities by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
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