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A whole raft of new tax rules have already taken or will take effect in the coming years that particularly affect those not resident or not domiciled in the UK. Such individuals should consider undertaking a thorough review of their affairs to ensure that tax planning opportunities are identified and an increasing number of pitfalls and tax charges avoided. 

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In accordance with our engagement terms, Thomas Westcott’s Standard Terms of Business have been amended as below. Version 2 of the revised Standard Terms of Business are effective from 12 February 2016. Any work instructed after notification of the changes will be treated as carried out under the revised standard Terms of Business. For the full version of the revised standard Terms of Business click here.

 

Clause

Alteration type

Subject

2.8

Alteration

Payment terms amended from 30 days from date of request for payment to 7 days from receipt of a payment request

2.9

Alteration

Notification period reduced in line with 2.8

2.15

Addition

Credit card charges in accordance with the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations

19.1

Alteration

Notification of change following direct registration of Thomas Westcott Financial Management Limited with the Financial Conduct Authority

You may be expecting it or it may come out of the blue but what should you do if you find out a customer is about to enter liquidation? 

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1 February 2016

● £100 penalty and extended enquiry window if 2015 self-assessment tax returns not filed on or by 31 January 2016.

● Payment of corporation tax liabilities for accounting periods ended 30 April 2015 for SMEs not liable to pay by instalments.

2 February 2016

● P46(Car) for quarter ended 5 January 2016.

3 February 2016

● End of consultation period for Finance Bill 2016 draft clauses published on 9 December 2015.

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We’re delighted to announce that one of our newly-qualified accountants, Jo Davey, is on top of the world after her final accountancy exam results saw her finish in the top five globally.

Figures from the ICAEW show that Jo, who joined us as a trainee in 2012 and works in our Axminster office, came fourth out of 3,800 students worldwide who took the globally-recognised exams.

Jo says that even though she had a good idea she’d done well after studying hard it was still a shock to learn she had finished in the top five in the world, adding: “Gaining my full professional qualifications has been tough going at times but my colleagues have been very supportive and, as a firm, Thomas Westcott has given me every opportunity to succeed, including allowing time off to attend special training in Gloucestershire, for which I’m very grateful.”

There was also previous success for another of Jo’s colleagues, Mark Johnstone, who works in our Exeter office and who also sat the ICAEW exams, finished just outside the top 10 globally in eleventh place last year. 

Jo grew up in Honiton and attended the town’s secondary school before studying maths, physics and biology at Exeter College. After college she gained a place at Plymouth University and studied accounting and finance, before joining us here at Thomas Westcott.

Jo and Mark’s achievements are the latest successes for our firm which has “training office” status under ICAEW rules and is also authorised for training and post-qualification training by the ACCA and AAT.

At any time we have 20 or more trainees learning their profession across our network of offices and Jo and Mark’s positive attitude, professional approach and a desire to succeed are typical of the calibre of young people we attract, and their success should provide our clients with peace of mind that they will continue to receive the very best advice.

(Jo Davey & Shona Godefroy)

Dramatic changes to the way in which people can draw their pension benefits took effect from April this year. Brought in under the Government’s ‘Pension Freedom’ initiative, the new rules are designed to give control and choice to owners of personal or money purchase pensions. 

The prior restriction of an annual cap on pension withdrawals has been replaced with unlimited access to your pension fund after age 55, subject of course to income tax once you have exhausted the first 25% which remains tax free. Careful planning is advised to ensure that your future financial security is not compromised by exercising this freedom. The new rules, however, have much wider ramifications than just making sure your pension lasts. A number of other changes, including remodeling the taxation of pension death benefits, are now causing many people to rethink not only their pension planning but their entire retirement strategy. 

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Farmers and landowners must follow cross compliance rules if they claim for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), The RPA have now published the 2016 guide to cross compliance HERE 

 

 

In his Summer 2015 Budget the Chancellor announced significant changes to the way in which company dividends are to be taxed with effect from 6 April 2016. 

The changes will affect both investors and the proprietors of owner managed businesses operated through limited companies.

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As we know, a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) can be a useful procedure for directors who wish to exit their business and make use of Entrepreneurs Relief, subject to certain conditions being met. The tax savings can often run into tens of thousands of pounds, against a relatively low cost for the actual winding-up procedure.

An MVL is used as a typical exit strategy where a business is sold or the directors are looking to retire. However, we also see it used for disincorporation purposes to gain a tax advantage. It has been long established that directors cannot benefit from Entrepreneurs Relief and start up a phoenix company the next day essentially doing the same trade. However, it is possible for the directors to continue as sole traders or within a partnership. This is likely to change!

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1 January 2016

● Payment of corporation tax liabilities for accounting periods ended 31 March 2015 for small and medium-sized companies not liable to pay by instalments.

7 January 2016

● Due date for VAT returns and payment for 30 November 2015 quarter (electronic payment).

 

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