Monday, 17 December 2018

Farewell 2018. Hello 2019!

This year’s reminders and what to look forward to next year…

Another year nearly over and a well-deserved rest beckons.

So this month’s update is a little light reading on some of the useful updates you may have missed in 2018 and some exciting news to look forward to in 2019…


Making your life easier – new Monthly Fixed Fees Service

Earlier this year, we introduced our new monthly fixed fees service to help clients review what accounting services were best for them, consolidate everything in one place and improve their cashflow through monthly budgeting (instead of receiving separate annual bills for different services). 

Not only that, the fixed fees service also helps you move to commercial (and compliant) software-based accounting in preparation for Making Tax Digital (currently due to come into force in the new tax year).


Keeping you safe – improved Tax Investigation Protection cover

In attempts to increase their revenues, this year saw HMRC step up the number of compliance checks, enquiries and investigations conducted. This meant challenging accounts, tax returns and business records not just of companies, but individuals too.

That’s why we revamped our Tax Investigation Protection Service so that clients could still benefit from top-level cover but at considerably reduced rates; and so that in the event of HMRC starting a compliance check on you, you’ll have someone fighting your corner against them.

The service is designed to reimburse the costs of your defence if you’re selected for enquiry, whilst at the same time providing you with the best possible representation – and assurance that you won’t have to concede to HMRC’s demands on a purely commercial basis.   

As well as handling everything from start to finish to ensure you get the best possible defence, your cover also means you won’t have to worry about any additional professional costs associated with the process.


Giving you more choice – a new office in East Hendred

To complement our longstanding Wantage and Witney offices, in October we celebrated the addition of our third office in East Hendred (near Wantage). 

Not only does it now give you more choice on where to see us, it also ensures that our offices retain their small, local and inviting feel that clients tell us is so important. 

As we become increasingly established as a digital accountancy firm, it’s already become the hub for our Xero cloud accounting specialists (whilst Wantage also continues to offer Xero accounting and houses our audit, tax and payroll experts.

The phone number hasn’t changed and 01235 770084 will get you through to both our Hendred and Wantage teams.

Our new address is:

Unit 3, The Old Estate Yard
High Street
East Hendred
Oxfordshire
OX12 8JY


Keeping you on track – it’s nearly Tax Return time!

Don’t forget to submit your tax return! 

If you’re already sorted, congratulations on being so organised. 

If you’re still to submit, though, then you might like to know that Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve remain popular times for many! Please remember that any tax due should be paid by 31st January, including payment of any liability for 2017-18, and any payment on account due for 2018-19. A £100 penalty still applies for late submissions – even if there was no tax to pay or any tax due was paid on time.


Keeping you up to date – your 2018/19 Tax Tables

If you don’t yet have one, we still have some free 2018/19 Tax Tables to give out. 

They conveniently give you all the key numbers in one place and include everything you need for the 2018/19 tax year, including:

  • Personal and lifetime pension allowances, and basic and higher rate tax thresholds.
  • Dividend tax allowance.
  • Revised company car tax scales.

And for anyone so inclined, they may even make an ideal last-minute Christmas present. Okay then, perhaps not.


Keeping it brief – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

So that’s it from us for this year. If you’d like any more information on any of the above or even something that we haven’t covered here, please get in touch!

In the meantime, have yourself a very merry Christmas and all the very best for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. 

Until January...

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

It’s time for thanksgiving…

And reasons to be cheerful!

November already! Really?

Maybe it’s the changing of the season and traditional events like Halloween and Bonfire Night, but this time of year always make us a little reflective…

…Reflecting on how busy the year’s been; reflecting on all the stuff still to do; but also reflecting on why we do it. 

And the answer’s pretty simple: because we enjoy it.

And though we will admit that we find accountancy exhilarating intoxicating satisfying, there’s actually an even bigger reason….

It’s because of our clients. Yes, you!

Because without you, we wouldn’t be successful. And if we weren’t successful, we wouldn’t be good at what we do. Or very happy. 

So, with a thanksgiving of a different sort just around the corner, thank you – you give us reasons to be cheerful!

And we want to give you reasons to be cheerful in return; well, at least with regard to your accounts service!

Here are some of the ways we like to show we’re looking out for you…

1. We’re professionally qualified.
This may be an obvious one, but not everyone is! As chartered accountants we’re officially trained and qualified to do what we do – properly and so that you always benefit from the right advice.

2. We’re registered and regulated.
Even though we’re qualified, we still need to maintain our professional registration to practise. It means we’re highly regulated and accountable to ensure high technical and ethical standards, as well as undertaking regular training to maintain CPD and keep up to date with the latest tax laws and initiatives.

3. We’re open, honest, fair and ethical.
Without the regulation above demanding it! It’s the best way to do business and, combined with good service, retain it. It’s why we’re transparent about our fees and flexible with our terms. It’s also why you’ll find us easy to talk to, never reliant on small print and, in the event of an issue, firmly committed to putting it right.

4. We’re continually adding value to make your life easier.
If new technology is available to give you a better service and make life easier as a client, we’re there! We were one of the first regional firms to invest in Xero cloud software so that we could provide clients with online accounting and real time updates. And having just introduced our new monthly fixed-fee service and with preparations well under way for a full-on digital approach with the introduction of Making Tax Digital in 2019, there’s even more reasons to look forward to hassle-free accounting.  

5. You’re always our No.1 priority.
In today’s fast-paced world, resting on your laurels gets you nowhere. So, we’re constantly thinking about proactive ways we can help. For instance, if you need help cutting costs we can suggest ways of lowering your fees – from moving to monthly fees and payroll for better budgeting to providing training and support to transition from manual records or spreadsheets. 

6. We take your security seriously.
Even before the GDPR came into force in May 2018, respecting your data and keeping it safe has always been important to us. It’s why we’re fully GDPR-compliant and invest in rigorous cyber security systems.

7. Your business is important, whatever its size.
We want all of our clients to feel that they’re receiving the best service. We work in big business and run as an SME, so understand the demands for each. So, whether you’re a sole trader or multinational, you can depend on our full attention and expertise.

8. We’re human!
And we have some personality to go with it – no AI or automated responses here! As a local business that’s active in the community with local causes and charity, it means we understand the importance of a close working relationship based on trust, consideration and going the extra mile where necessary. Quite simply, it’s not just about the numbers.

It’s often said that business is all about relationships. It’s the people you deal with that make the difference. We can definitely relate to that. In fact, some of our customers have grown up with us.

So, whether you’re old or new, thank you for being so loyal and thanks for being part of the family. 

As we approach the season of goodwill, you’ve certainly given us plenty of reasons to be cheerful. 

We hope you feel the same in return.

Until next month...

Friday, 5 October 2018

Good day. And here is the news.

It’s time for the CW Autumn Newsround…

Have you put the kettle on?

Good.

Because here are the latest goings-on and happenings in the Chapman Worth, Oxon and tax worlds.


Chapman Worth Hosts a Night at the Museum…                                                                                                                    
Are you local to Wantage and free next Tuesday 9th October at 6pm? 

Do you like chambers, commerce and charity? 

Then you’re cordially invited to attend next week's Chamber of Commerce meeting at Wantage’s Vale & Down Museum. It’s a free event and the perfect opportunity to network and socialise with other business leaders and professionals over a glass of your choosing and a cornucopia of canap├ęs.

And, as part of the evening's special feature, there's also the chance to keep up to date with community initiatives and learn more on how your business could benefit from local charity involvement. (Don’t worry, no one will be asking for donations or anything like that!)

Jane Hanna OBE, and SUDEP Action CEO, will be talking about how this life-changing charity is raising epilepsy awareness and tackling Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy through its Prevent21 campaign.

To find out more and to book your place, click here.


We’ve a New Office in East Hendred!                                                                                           
And then there were 3…

In addition to our offices in Wantage and Witney, we’ve now opened a third one in East Hendred (near Wantage). Not only does it give you more choice on where to see us, it also ensures that our offices retain their small, local and inviting feel that clients tell us is so important. 

Our Hendred office is now the hub for cloud accounting specialists with everyone there Xero-certified, whilst Wantage continues to offer Xero specialist services and also houses CW’s audit, tax and payroll experts.

The phone number hasn’t changed and 01235 770084 will get you through to both our Hendred and Wantage teams.

And when you do come to see us in our new home, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s plenty of free parking right outside the door, as well as an excellent village shop, post office and – just in case – a couple of very decent pubs all within a two-minute walk:

Unit 3, The Old Estate Yard
High Street
East Hendred
Oxfordshire
OX12 8JY

Come and say hello soon!


2018 Budget Statement Announced for Monday 29th October                                                                                                                                         
To avoid a clash with the potential fall-out from the final Brexit negotiations scheduled for mid-November, the Budget Statement has been brought forward. 

While all will be revealed by the Chancellor at the end of the month, there’s talk that we might see some of the following during the April 2019 or April 2020 tax years.

- A possible second mini-Budget to adjust economic and fiscal forecast figures should there be a no-deal Brexit.

- No business tax cuts in order to pay for Brexit and other commitments (i.e. NHS and social care).

- No guarantee that Making Tax Digital for VAT will be ready in time for April 2019. 

- The outcome of how the IR35 anti-avoidance tax legislation will be amended and whether it will be implemented by spring 2019.

- The 5p plastic bag tax in England may increase to 10p and its scope widened to include all shops (not just businesses with over 250 employees). 

Watch this space…


Accountant Found in Bath with Client’s Wife                                                                                                                  
Allegedly. This is, in fact, one of the reasons given to Companies House for failing to file business accounts on time.

Other gems include ‘goats ate my accounts’, ‘pirates stole my accounts’ and ‘a volcano erupted and prevented me from filing’.

Slugs (yes, eating again) and betting shops (‘we delivered the accounts to the betting shop next to Companies House’) were also used to earn a reprieve by companies, along with: “My company was more successful than I thought it would be, so I was too busy to file.”

Regardless, if you don’t file on time (and haven’t requested an extension due to exceptional circumstances) you risk receiving a late penalty fine. And if accounts are filed late two years in a row, the late filing penalty doubles.

Unless you’ve been abducted by aliens, that is.


MTD for Business: Making Tax Digital or Mangling The Deadline…?                                                                                                                                 
Plenty of concern still surrounds the progress of Making Tax Digital for Business and whether, nearly 2 years on from when it was mooted in March 2017, it will be ready for April 2019.

Whilst, theoretically, the digitalisation of tax administration makes perfect sense and offers myriad benefits, the practicalities of making it viable in time aren’t faring so well.

Even following a 12-month delay to MTD’s initial rollout, discord remains around the latest rush to make it ready – and especially around whether HMRC, businesses (both large and small) and software providers are adequately prepared.

Roll on April 2019. Could be interesting…

So, there you have it.

It’s a good day from us. And it’s a good day from them.

Until next month...

Friday, 31 August 2018

SAVE THE DATE! Tuesday 9th October 2018…


And yes, there’ll be a buffet and drinkypoos!

Okay, we recognise we’re nowhere near October yet but, when we’ve got something like this lined up, we know how important it is to get the message out early. After all, we wouldn’t want you to find out too late – or worse, miss out altogether!

So, as the current Chair of Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce, please treat this as a personal invitation to all Chapman Worth clients from Matthew Chapman on behalf of the Chamber.

Ah, that’s nice. So, what’s the big deal?
Well, it’s on Tuesday 9th October from 6pm to 8pm. There’s going to be an informal reception held in the Vale & Downland Museum in Wantage and it’ll be an evening of opportunity and firsts.

An evening of opportunity and firsts? Sounds intriguing…
That’s right. It’s something that you may not have experienced before (some might say for good reason but they’d be wrong, of course!) and this one’s going to be different again, which is why we’d really appreciate it if you could come along. We need you, and if we could superimpose Matthew Chapman’s face onto a Lord Kitchener poster, we would.

Please don’t, but go on…
Well, the purpose of the evening is twofold. Firstly, it’s going to be one of Matthew’s last meetings before stepping down as Chair and he wants to say a big thank you in more ways than one. 

Secondly, the Chamber of Commerce is a great way to network with other local business leaders, influencers and professionals, and keep up to date with community initiatives.

Thirdly, and just as importantly, there’ll be a special presentation from the charity SUDEP Action starting at 6.15pm, all about their Prevent21 campaign, and how your business can potentially become involved.

And because it’ll be held in the museum, it’s the perfect opportunity to relax with a load of old relics.

Oh, and there’s also going to be drinks and nibbles with outside catering laid on. Indoors.

That’s 5 reasons. Its’s starting to remind me of Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition.
Yes, sorry. Anyone would think we worked with numbers for a living.

So, it’s a good opportunity to network?
Absolutely. Especially as we’re chasing, harrying and cajoling expecting so many people to attend. 

And SUDEP Action? Have I heard of them?
Possibly. They’re a Wantage-based charity that operates nationally to raise awareness of epilepsy risks in the young. It stands for ‘sudden unexpected death in epilepsy’ and aims to reduce the number of fatal cases it causes in that age group.

That sounds like a great initiative!
That’s because it is. As well as preventing epilepsy-related deaths, it also offers support to those bereaved by epilepsy.

Impressive. And Prevent21?
We don’t want to give away too much other than saying that Prevent21 is a business awareness partnership designed to be part of a creative business engagement campaign. 

How can my business become more involved?
Easy tiger! All will be revealed on the night! And rest assured that this isn’t one of those evenings where anyone will be asking for donations or anything like that!

Is there anything else you can disclose?
Oh yes. Rumour has it that Matthew will be the one putting his hands in his pockets.

Er, that sounds ominous.
It does. Hopefully they won’t stay there though as no one will get a drink unless he pulls them out again…

Did someone mention food and drink?
Yes indeed. We can’t have people attend on an empty stomach after a hard day’s work, can we?

Great. Count me in.
Oh no, please don’t get us counting again…

Anything else I need to remember or bring?
Something to record this momentous happening for posterity.

And any advice on what not to say?
Yes – please don’t say: “What was the date again?” Or even worse: “Oops, missed it. I wish I’d gone to that.”

And anything I should say?
Something like: “See you there – I can’t wait. Cheers!”

We hope you can join us on Tuesday 9th October. 

Not only will it be a great opportunity to find out more about the new Prevent21 Business Awareness Partnership, you’ll also be able to network with a whole host of other local businesses in an informal, relaxed and unique setting.

We’re anticipating a busy evening so if you’re planning to attend, please could you email Matthew directly on matthew@chapmanworth.co.uk to help us manage the buffet numbers.

And don’t forget – Matthew’s buying!

See you then!

Until next month...

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Look into my eyes and then your APN…

Oops, you’ve gone under.

How’s your summer going?

What with scorchio weather, school holidays and the World Cup, we’ve gone from ‘It’s too hot’, ‘I’m bored’ and ‘It’s coming home’ to everyone’s gone home. 

And all because it’s the time of year when there’s not a lot of work going on. BBQs and sunburn, yes. Conscientious levels of industry, no.

Unless, of course, you’re HMRC and its Advanced Payment Notice (APN) Department. They’ve been busy…

In fact, so busy, it’s resulted in a not-so-great summer for one unlucky person.

Any ideas? Go on, close your eyes, and think hard now…

That’s right. Following on nicely from the previous blog on our Tax Investigation Protection service, we’re talking about Psychic Sally, a popular clairvoyant and director of Sally Morgan Enterprises whose psychic services company recently went into voluntary liquidation following a £2.9m tax bill and unexpected APN from HMRC.

We’re not sure how Mystic Meg, Septic Peg and all the other oracles would have fared but, clearly, Psychic Sally didn’t see this one coming. It certainly puts a whole new spin on a person from her profession crossing someone’s hand in silver. In this case, HMRC’s. Wanting rather a lot of it.

Even though the amount of the tax bill has been disputed, the issue of an APN means that the taxpayer has only 90 days to act – without a formal right of appeal or the ability to defer the payment (and any other payments that had been postponed up to that point). Effectively, it results in Hobson’s choice: either settle by producing the amounts owed or go into voluntary liquidation as in the case here.

APNS: The good, the bad and the ugly

Since they were first introduced in the Finance Act in August 2014, around 80,000 APNs have been issued. Last year alone, HMRC reported that more than £4bn had been collected through them, with the average bill for large companies trying to avoid tax around £6m.

And, whilst representations can be made to HMRC, convincing them that the amounts or even the demands themselves are a mistake can prove extremely difficult – despite recent official figures revealing that as many as 6,000 of those notices were withdrawn after having been wrongly issued. It’s no wonder APNs are deemed so controversial.

With regard to Sally Morgan Enterprises, without the available funds to pay its debts, it’s not looking good; especially with HMRC upholding around 90% of its APN decisions. As one wag commented: “Psychic Sally might find it easier to commune with the dead than disputing her APN.”

So, there you have it, the latest news from the CW vault and why it always pays to be on top of your taxes.

Which reminds us; we need to rebook the entertainment for our works summer BBQ. Now, would you believe it – we also had a clairvoyant lined up. Unfortunately, the rather diminutive Seymour Footure has gone AWOL due to unforeseen circumstances. 

The local papers really went to town with that headline: ‘On the run: Small medium at large.’

Oh dear, that’s about the size of it. Let’s hope his crystal balls aren’t hampering him too much. 

Until next month...

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

HMRC is on the prowl…

But don’t worry – our Tax Investigation Protection means you won’t have to take them on alone.

Tax investigations can happen to anyone, whether you’re an individual or in business.

And, regardless of whether you’ve been compliant or not, they’re on the increase.

Why? Because HMRC is working hard to collect more revenue than ever before. No longer is its role to only ensure that you or your business paid the right amount of tax; its key objective now seems to be to maximise the amount of revenue it can collect from taxpayers.

In the last financial year, HMRC generated a record £28.9bn from challenging accounts, tax returns and business records – simply by upping the number of compliance checks, enquiries and investigations conducted.

Not only that, thanks to global tax authorities liaising more closely with one another and the burgeoning amounts of data now available to HMRC, your chances of being selected for an enquiry have also increased dramatically.

It could be due to the nature of your business, where you live, your rental property or because HMRC has decided to target your particular profession – or simply through being selected completely at random!

So, how well would you fare in a HMRC tax investigation?

Could you successfully defend your case?

And, with in-depth tax enquiries lasting well over a year and able to run up thousands of £££s in professional fees (even if you’ve no case to answer), would your resources stretch to see it through properly?

Protect yourself and your business today…

Now the good news: we’re here so that you won’t have to tackle HMRC on your own.

Our Tax Investigation Protection Service is designed to help both your sanity and finances should HMRC start a compliance check on you.

The service is designed to reimburse the costs of your defence if you’re selected for enquiry, whilst at the same time providing you with the best possible representation and assurance that you won’t have to concede to HMRC’s demands on a purely commercial basis.  

As well as handling everything from start to finish to ensure you get the best possible defence, it also means you won’t have to worry about any additional professional costs associated with the process.

These are some of the benefits…
  • Experienced professional support on your side when you need it.
  • Round-the-clock legal support – available 24/7, 365 days a year.
  • Free Business Legal Helpline with access to a team of qualified solicitors and barristers for employment law, health and safety matters and commercial issues.
  • Unlimited calls and up-to-date advice in plain English reflecting the latest law changes.

Check out our Tax Investigation Protection microsite for more details.

There’s more detailed information on our Tax Investigation Protection microsite – find out what extra support is provided and how it can make a potentially stressful situation so much easier.

And if you have any queries, there’s also a dedicated FAQs page providing more information on the service and covering the common questions clients have on tax investigation.

Don’t want to be an easy target for HMRC? Then arrange your cover today!

HMRC is completely committed to driving its revenues, so this isn’t going to go away.
If you’d like peace of mind knowing that your tax affairs will be professionally defended with everything taken care of for you, you can register or renew your cover here.

It’s just a small annual fee and there’s now an easier way to pay.

This year, we’re delighted to offer significant savings on subscription through a new payment system and negotiating reduced rates with our provider.

You can renew your cover or sign up ready for 1 September 2018 by paying directly via our microsite.

And, if you’re a current subscriber, we’ve even more good news – while we’ve been implementing the new system we’ve given you 2 months’ extra cover free!

Remember, cover starts from 1 September and is only a fraction of the costs of a typical defence.

Good luck – and whatever you do: stay safe out there.

Until next month...

Monday, 25 June 2018

MTD is coming and we’ve something that’s going to make life a whole lot easier for you.

Introducing our new monthly fixed fee service…

Okay, let’s start with the obvious.

MTD.

Does it ring a bell? Anyone? Go on, have a guess…

Match of the Day? Could be, but not quite.

Marsupial Training Device? Try again.

Midlothian Trampolining Disco? Er, no.

Okay, we’ll tell you.


Making Tax Digital 

MTD stands for Making Tax Digital and it’s the biggest change to the UK tax system for a generation. It’s part of the government’s plans to implement a modern, fully-automated digital tax system by 2020 to ensure that businesses declare their tax accurately first time and then submit it on time.

And it’ll be here as early as April 2019 when MTD for Business becomes compulsory for those who are VAT-registered, before being rolled out across the board for all businesses. By that stage, you’ll need to use commercial accounting software to maintain your records and submit quarterly updates to HMRC.

Our new monthly fixed fee service

Okay, so now you’re probably wondering how this relates to our new monthly fixed fee service…

Well, quite simply, it includes the cloud software that will have you ready for MTD and ensures that you’re compliant with the new regulations.

But that’s not all – there are several other benefits that will make your life a whole lot easier….

A personalised review checklist to identify which services you’re most going to need.

In setting things up, our 1:1 review meeting allows us to discuss and guide you on what your business needs now and what else it might benefit from, with you then selecting what services you want to go with – e.g. accounts, payroll, VAT returns etc.

Knowing exactly where you stand with costs for all your services.

As the review process identifies what services you need, the individual service fees are automatically calculated based on your turnover of business, number of employees, complexity of tax return, quality of bookkeeping etc. It means there’s no need to keep track of separate services or bills as you now have everything in one place.

Better cashflow via a monthly, consolidated DD payment.

Whereas in the past you would have paid an annual fee for each individual service, now you make just a regular monthly payment. Routinely collected by direct debit, it lets you budget accordingly without any nasty surprises.

A streamlined process that’s quick, convenient and flexible.

Following our review, all the information is automatically emailed to you as a proposal so that you have a record of everything. And once you decide you’d like to continue, all it takes is the press of a button through the link in your proposal document. It’s that easy. And, should your circumstances change through you wanting to add or amend services, the system is completely flexible and will calculate your revised monthly payments there and then for you.

Modernisation is coming and it’s time to go digital…


Are you ready to benefit from a fixed monthly fee? Then get in touch!

Who said keeping on top of your accounting had to be difficult?

Now you can forget all about how inconvenient it used to be filing and keeping track of everything, and look forward to a slicker and more reliable way of doing things.

And with it being suitable for both existing and new Chapman Worth clients, it means you’ll be well prepared for MTD and any other abbreviations that come your way.

Like CWMFFS.

Answers on a postcard please.

Until next month...