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Active Practice Retirement Planning

1 January 2016

Active Practice Retirement Planning

Retirement planning An introduction to using your resources to ensure you get the retirement you want. What do you want your life to be like when you pass retirement age? Are you looking forward to the end of your working life as a time to take on new projects or to simply relax after 40 plus years of work? The kind of retirement you have will be determined by the decisions you make today about how you organise your money. This is the central idea driving retirement planning: how are you going to ensure that you get the retirement you want? The answer does not simply involve relying on your employer or the government to provide for you in your old age. Rather, it involves bridging any gaps between what you want, what you have and what you are going to need.

Insider January

1 January 2016

Insider January

Preparing for the national living wage The national living wage (NLW) of £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and over will come into effect on 1 April 2016. The national minimum wage will continue to apply to all other eligible workers. Although April may seem like a long way off, there are steps employers can take now to ensure they comply with the new rates.

Active Practice Minimising Inheritance Tax

1 December 2015

Active Practice Minimising Inheritance Tax

We all like to think that our nearest and dearest will lament our passing with fond memories. It would be sad to think that after the initial period of mourning has passed, kind words turn to bewilderment when your beneficiaries realise your estate has a large inheritance tax (IHT) bill?

Active Practice Self Assessment

1 December 2015

Active Practice Self Assessment

At the end of the year, most people have other things on their minds than tax returns. It would be a stretch to say it’s an enjoyable experience, but getting self-assessment done and dusted as early as possible removes the stress of a last-minute submission and certainly makes the process more bearable. This guide will give you the tools you need to submit your self-assessment tax return on time and error-free.

Autumn Statement

1 November 2015

Autumn Statement

George Osborne's third economic statement of 2015 (and the fourth within 365 days) lacked the big surprises and headline grabbing announcements we've recently come to expect from these occasions. In a combined Spending Review and Autumn Statement, changes to government departmental budgets dominated the Chancellor's speech.

Insider November

1 November 2015

Insider November

The number of private sector businesses has reached a new record of 5.4 million, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced. There are now 900,000 more businesses compared to 2010, while the number of businesses that employ people has also risen by 35,000 from 2014.

Active Practice Property and Tax

1 November 2015

Active Practice Property and Tax

When the Chancellor George Osborne announced that he was curbing tax breaks for landlords in Summer Budget 2015, there was speculation that it would result in thousands of landlords selling up and getting out of the property business. This was because the changes would alter 2 extremely valuable reliefs which landlords have been able to claim.

Active Practice Choosing an Employee Share Scheme

1 November 2015

Active Practice Choosing an Employee Share Scheme

According to HMRC the number of businesses that offer employee share schemes has doubled since 2000. This gives employees the opportunity to invest in their company and can help an employer improve retention, attract staff and raise funds. For employees it's also a tax efficient way to save money.

Insider December

1 November 2015

Insider December

Higher stamp duty rates for buy-to-let property Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on additional properties such as buy-to-let investments and second homes will be 3 percentage points higher than current SDLT from April 2016. Corporate properties and properties in Scotland (which are subject to land and building transaction tax) are not affected by the new rules. The new rates will not apply to caravans, mobile homes or house boats and properties below £40,000.

Autumn Statement

1 October 2015

Autumn Statement

George Osborne’s third economic statement of 2015 (and the fourth within 365 days) lacked the big surprises and headline grabbing announcements we’ve recently come to expect from these occasions

Active Practice Rewarding Your Staff

1 October 2015

Active Practice Rewarding Your Staff

There are many ways that an employer can go about rewarding their staff, from gifts and bonuses to parties. And while it may at first seem like the only factors that need to be factored in are whether or not your employees actually deserve to be rewarded and how much money you are willing to spend, as with most things there are tax obligations to consider too.

Insider October 2015

1 October 2015

Insider October 2015

The adult rate of the national minimum wage (NMW) is set to rise by 20p to £6.70 on 1 October 2015. Additional changes include: • the apprentice rate increases by 57p to £3.30 • the rate for 18 to 20 year olds will rise by 17p to £5.30 • those aged 16-17 will now be paid £3.87, an increase of 8p • the accommodation offset will rise from £5.08 to £5.35.

Little Book of Big Scams

22 September 2015

Little Book of Big Scams

Published in 2014 by the Metropolitan Police's Operation Sterling Team this Little Book of Big Scams contains some really helpful data to help protect yourself from Fraud.

Active Practice Understanding Dividends

27 August 2015

Active Practice Understanding Dividends

A guide to how dividend taxation will change from April 2016. The chancellor George Osborne wasn't exaggerating when he said he was undertaking a "major and long overdue reform to simplify the taxation of dividends" in his Summer Budget speech. The current dividend system was set up more than 40 years ago to avoid double taxation of profits. At the time, corporation tax was more than 50% which meant that some individuals saw an 80% tax on their dividends. Today corporation tax is 20% (and is due to fall to 18% from April 2020) but the taxation of dividends has remained unchanged

Active Practice HMRC Investigations

27 August 2015

Active Practice HMRC Investigations

A guide to what to expect if you are the subject of an investigation by HMRC. Anyone who has experienced the difficulty of trying to get through to the HMRC helpline may think that it is an organisation too large and complex to do anything quickly. However, while it may seemingly lack the ability to answer phone calls and emails in a timely manner, HMRC is now a force to be reckoned with when it comes to investigating those who they believe may not be paying the right amount of tax.

Insider September 2015

27 August 2015

Insider September 2015

HMRC has revealed how it plans to introduce digital tax accounts over the course of the 2015/16 tax year. First announced in Budget 2015, news that HMRC wants digital accounts to replace traditional annual tax accounts created much debate.

Active Practice Making the most of your savings

1 August 2015

Active Practice Making the most of your savings

A guide on how to using your savings to improve your financial position. People often have a slightly misjudged opinion of their savings as a sedentary block of assets that only creeps forward at a glacial pace due to the interest it generates. The idea that an individual’s savings can be turned into a productive asset is one that is far removed from the image of throwing your money into a dark vault until you need to make a major purchase. Figures from National Savings & Investments shows that the amount people are putting away reached its highest level in a decade in 2014. The average monthly saving last year was £113, but only 26% of those surveyed were saving with a specific purpose in mind. Whether you are thinking about maximising the amount of resources you will have for retirement, or you simply want to start making your money work a little harder, there are a range of strategies for getting more out of your savings.

Active Practice - Accounting for change: Audits and Annual Accounts

1 August 2015

Active Practice - Accounting for change: Audits and Annual Accounts

This article looks at the accounts that companies need to keep. The threshold for compulsory filing of audited financial statements rose on 6 April 2015 to those businesses with a turnover of £10.2 million or more for periods commencing from 1 January 2016. This is part of a new European Commission directive which allows member states to choose whether to significantly raise the existing threshold to reduce unnecessary and burdensome red tape. The UK chose to do so and the new threshold was written into the statute under the Companies, Partnership and Groups (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2015.

Insider August 2015

1 August 2015

Insider August 2015

Government publishes productivity strategy A plan to improve the productivity of UK businesses has been published by the Treasury. The policy document identifies 2 key areas to stimulating productivity in the UK: long-term investment and a dynamic economy. Among the measures included in the strategy are: the government aims to increase business investment by lowering personal and business taxes, and providing more generous capital allowances the strategy looks to increase the skills of the UK workforce by creating 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020, introducing an apprenticeship levy on large firms and supporting the university system the government has committed itself to upgrading the country's transport, energy and digital infrastructure according to the document, lower state welfare, reforms to planning permission and more employee benefits are essential to enhance the competitiveness of the UK economy.

Active Practice - Summer Budget Report 2015

9 July 2015

Active Practice - Summer Budget Report 2015

In his seventh Budget Statement as Chancellor, George Obsorne promised a 'big budget for a country with big ambitions'. This included details on reducing welfare spending by £12 billion and changing the inheritance tax nil-rate band structure. There was the surprise introduction of the national living wage from April 2016 and a reduction in corporation tax. Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) figures show growth for 2014 was 3% and is expected to be 2.4% in 2015. For the second year in a row the UK is forecast to have the strongest economic growth of any major advanced economy.

Active Practice - Financing Your Business: What are the alternatives?

1 July 2015

Active Practice - Financing Your Business: What are the alternatives?

A guide to alternative business finance Setting up a business and funding it while it takes its first, unsteady steps in the world can be an expensive proposition. As it grows and becomes more resilient, a successful company will begin to be able to stand tall on its own 2 feet, but the initial infancy can be resource intensive. Traditionally, a business in need of finance walked into a bank and asked for it. Today, some would rather avoid this option or find it difficult to find success along this path. Luckily, there are now a whole range of ways for a budding enterprise to secure the funds it needs to grow. These new possibilities come with their own potential benefits and risks attached, so how a business to tell which option is right for them?

Active Practice - UK GAAP: A Practical Guide to making the transition

1 July 2015

Active Practice - UK GAAP: A Practical Guide to making the transition

A guide to the new accounting standards Accountants aren’t known for being in the business of change. While the external environment around them and the numbers coming in may change, an accountant brings stability and reliability to a business by using established practices to ensure complete compliance. But now the rules governing accounting standards are undergoing the biggest change in 30 years. And, while accountants have been bracing themselves for a potentially seismic change for a while now, many businesses could be forgiven for being unaware that anything was changing at all. So what is changing and how should businesses begin to get ready for the transition?

Insider July 2015

1 July 2015

Insider July 2015

New holiday pay rules come into effect Employers will need to account for overtime when calculating holiday pay from 1 July 2015. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled in November 2014 that employers must factor in overtime, commissions and bonuses when making holiday pay calculations, instead of only taking basic pay into account. Holiday pay for employees who receive irregular remuneration will now need to be calculated based on total earnings of the previous 12 weeks. The changes apply to guaranteed and non-guaranteed overtime: • guaranteed overtime requires the employer to offer overtime and the employee to work it • non-guaranteed overtime does not require the employer to offer overtime but requires the employee to work it if offered.

Tax Card July 2015

1 July 2015

Tax Card July 2015

TAXABLE INCOME BANDS AND TAX RATES

Active Practice Auto-enrolment: Infrequently asked questions

1 June 2015

Active Practice Auto-enrolment: Infrequently asked questions

The process of auto-enrolment continues to rumble on quietly with the majority of companies passing their staging dates without major incident. However, for the few that fail to comply with their workplace obligations, the consequences can be costly in time and resources. The Pensions Regulator has released its latest quarterly bulletin on auto-enrolment, showing that the number of fixed penalties given out in 2015 has exceeded the amount handed out in the last 3 months of 2014. As part of the bulletin, the regulator identified what it sees as the 3 main ways to prevent non-compliance: employers should seek professional advice about the technical aspects of the auto-enrolment process. promoting awareness that all employers are likely to have at least some duties that need to be completed. making sure employers know that they, not the scheme provider, is responsible for calculating contributions and making the correct deductions from staff.

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