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If you are considering insolvent Liquidation for your company, it is important that directors seek expert advice form a Licenced Insolvency Practitioner (IP). Most IPs will offer a free initial meeting to discuss the financial position of the business. Ideally, this should take place at the company’s trading premises, so that the IP can get a feel of the operation.

Before any final decision is made, it is always important to explore the alternatives. One of the first questions we ask is what do the directors want? Often, the reply is to keep the company going, but they cannot see how this is possible. This is when an experienced IP may be able to help. Alternative procedures will be reviewed such as a Company Voluntary Arrangement, Administration or a pre-pack sale. Liquidation is often a last resort.


1 September 2015

●     Payment of corporation tax liabilities for periods ended 30 November 2014 if not liable to pay by instalments.

●     Check HMRC website for changes to car mileage fuel rates.

7 September 2015

●     Due date for VAT return and payment for 31 July 2015 quarter (electronic payment).


 We are proud to announce that today is Thomas Westcott Chartered  Accountants' 30th anniversary.

The firm was founded in July 1985 when Senior Partner Richard Thomas joined with Roger Gillard and Jonathan Westcott to create a 2 office practice from Honiton and Axminster. Over the last 30 years the firm has grown and now operates from 13 locations across Devon and offers a number of specialist services.

We would like to thank all of the dedicated staff and wonderful clients who have worked with us over the years.

Nick Smy, Partner responsible for the East Devon offices says “We are proud to have been part of the Devon community over the last 30 years and look forward to many more years of supporting individuals and businesses throughout the local area”


There is often confusion between the three terms in this heading, but there are distinct differences between each:

Wrongful Trading

Wrongful trading is when a company has entered into insolvent liquidation and prior to the commencement of the winding-up the directors knew or ought to have known that there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid insolvent liquidation.

Wrongful trading is a civil offence, so directors found guilty can be held personally liable for the company’s debts. They may also face disqualification as a director for a period of up to 15 years.


When the decision has been made to wind up a dormant Company and to distribute any remaining assets to the shareholders there are essentially two ways in which this can be done:

- Informal strike off
- Formal MVL

Tax implications

Under current legislation, where distributions in anticipation of informal striking off total £25,000 or more, any such distribution would be treated as income rather than a capital gain.

If we look what this means for tax payers; a basic rate tax payer would pay no further income tax; higher rate tax payers would pay an effective 25% rate and additional rate payers an effective 36.11%, compared to capital gains tax rates of 18% for basic rate and 28% for higher and additional rate.

In certain circumstances shareholders may be able to receive funds taxed at 10%, if the capital gain qualifies for Entrepreneurs’ Relief.


Where a property is let fully or substantially furnished, an expense deduction is available equal to 10% of the rental income as an allowance against the costs of renewing furniture and furnishings. This was originally introduced to help landlords simplify their record keeping.

From April 2016, this allowance will be abolished and replaced with a deduction based on the “actual costs of replacing furnishings”

The government has launched a consultation about the best way to implement this change, and it suggests that the rule change in 2013 concerning the replacement of freestanding white goods in “unfurnished” accommodation could be reversed.

It is suggested that the cost of replacing the following:

•        movable furniture or furnishings, such as beds or suites
•        televisions
•        fridges and freezers
•        carpets and floor-coverings
•        curtains
•        linen
•        crockery or cutlery
•        beds and other furniture,

will be an allowable expense deduction.

The replacement of fixed fittings will still be allowed as a repair, but the initial cost of buying or installing new equipment will not be allowable, neither will the cost of improvements to existing furnishings, such as replacing a fridge with a fridge/freezer.

Given the circumstances our current advice is that landlords of furnished lettings, who currently claim the wear and tear allowance, should try and avoid replacing items of furnishings before 6th April 2016 as there might be additional tax allowances available for them after that time.

If you want to know more about what this could mean for you, or if there is anything that can be done to minimise the impact on your after tax income, please contact Ian Huggett on 01271 374138 or email ian.huggett@thomaswestcott.co.uk

Disqualifications of directors have been increasingly brought to our attention over the past few years through the use of social media and other outlets. Of course, Companies House keeps a database of disqualified directors, but your ‘average Joe’ is more likely to be surfing Twitter and LinkedIn than searching through Companies House. I thought it would be useful to have a look at some of the causes of disqualification and what it means for the directors involved.


During 2015, Thomas Westcott has strengthened the services it can offer to the farming community with the introduction of Sally Nicholls, who has joined the firm as an agricultural consultant.  Sally has a vast range of experience, working within the agricultural community across Devon. 

Sally’s thoughts on 2015 are:

“2015 has been an eventful year so far, whilst we were all preparing for the new Basic Payment Scheme and getting to grips with new rules, greening requirements and the very slow online system, the RPA were full of reassurance that as the weeks went on increased functionality would be available.  Then out of the blue, the plug was pulled on the online system and we were back to the good old days of paper based applications.  With all the delays, and agents panicking about how they were going to get all of their applications submitted before 15th May, the EU and the RPA threw us a lifeline and extended the deadline to the 15th June.


CLICK HERE to read our Summer Budget Welfare Summary.


If you have any questions regarding the summary please contact Steven Fitzgerald on 01392 288555 or steven.fitzgerald@thomaswestcott.co.uk


CLICK HERE to read our 'easy to understand' Summer Budget Summary.


If you have any questions regarding the summary please contact Michael Marsh on 01392 288555 or Michael.marsh@thomaswestcott.co.uk