A progressive, South West based accountancy practice

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VAT Scheme

Through reviewing the VAT scheme used for a client Andy has identified a method of deferring £10,000 of VAT per quarter.

Another AYR success

(Our bespoke AYR review – This month’s competition prize!)

A young couple who wanted to get control of their finances contacted us and asked Steve for his help. We had a great meeting with them, running through our standard budget sheet, showing them how to use it, and answering their questions as they arose. Looking at their current expenditure, and introducing them to other providers, helped them realise significant savings.

A couple of weeks later, they emailed us to say how helpful it had been, and now they have made some lifestyle changes to allow them to pursue what they feel is most important to them.

This is what they said:

“Spent the morning going through the budget you gave us and wishing we’d done this sooner! Will let you know how it all goes, but at the moment it’s a happy end result!

Thank you so much!
Jess and Rob”

An opportunity to join our amazing team at Numbers!

Business Administration  Apprentice

This is an exciting opportunity for a Business Administration Apprentice to work for our dynamic accountancy firm, based in Saltash. We are looking for an enthusiastic person, who catches our vision for the firm,  who takes initiative, will learn quickly, and be motivated to improve whatever we give them to do. The right candidate would be inspired to systemise, and grow their role.

Responsibilities:

  • Organise and file company documents correctly.
  • Manage company databases.
  • Answer incoming phone calls.
  • Respond to incoming email enquiries.
  • Manage our social media platforms – Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, YouTube, blogger, and Scoop It.
  • Assist in organising and running seminars, and events.
  • Assist in our marketing strategy.
  • Assist other team members when required.
  • General office duties.

Vacancy Title:

Business Administration Apprenticeship.

Working Week:

Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00
30 minutes lunch break per day

Rate of Pay:

£2.68 per hour (NMW for first year apprentice)

Number of Vacancies:

1

Qualification:

Intermediate/ Advanced Business Administration Apprenticeship, level depending on prior attainment.

Duration:

12 months (with the opportunity of permanent employment for the right candidate)

Skills Required:

  • Great listening and observational skills
  • Able to think on feet and use own initiative
  • To be proactive and creative!
  • Excellent inter-personal skills- face to face, over phone or via email.

Personal qualities:

  • Highly motivated
  • Well organised and efficient
  • Punctual
  • Have confidence in own ability
  • Can work as part of our team, and independently

Monthly competition!

Competition for June = “N” is for …

As you think about us as a firm, or maybe as you think of what you would like us to be doing …what would that ‘N’ be for you?

The prize winner will receive a free AYR review worth £350.

Contact us at buildwealth@numbersltduk.com and leave your name, email address and your “N” is for … submission.

We will be choosing the winner on the last Friday of the month and will contact you then if you have won!

Look out for our regular monthly competitions – you could be in with a chance of winning!

A new source of funding?

Introduction

The new pension rules give a great opportunity for some tax free cash. The additional flexibility that kicks in next year is to be welcomed, but there are opportunities NOW.

The preconditions

You do have to be over 60 years of age in order to benefit, but I am told by one financial adviser that you may be able to get access to your funds earlier in “special circumstances”.

One surprising aspect of this is that you do not need a large pension pot in order to benefit. In fact, if you have less than £10,000 in a pension fund, you can take all of it now, under the “triviality” rules. These have been with us for many years, but the limit was only increased from £2,000 this month. This applies even if your total pension savings exceed the £30,000 limit.

If your total pension’s savings are less than £30,000, you can take all of it as a lump sum, even if one scheme has more than £10,000 in it. (The previous limit was £18,000). This applies even if you are in draw-down.

How does it work?

You still benefit from the 25% tax free lump sum, but the rest would be treated as your taxable income. If you are a non-taxpayer, then no tax would be due. For example, if your total income, including the pension extraction, is below the personal allowance (£10,000 for 2014/15), you would pay no tax on the lump sum, and tax at 0% on the extra taken from the pension fund.

Even if you are a taxpayer, there can be an advantage by making a contribution and immediately cashing it in.

I’ve heard you can make £500 on a small pension contribution? How is that done?

Making a pension contribution attracts tax relief from the Government. The tax relief is given at ¼ of the amount invested (i.e. the Government put in 20% and you contribute 80%).

Putting some numbers on it, gives us:

You put in                                   £8,000

Tax relief adds                          £2,000

Total invested                           £10,000

Tax free lump sum taken     £2,500

Taxed lump sum                     £7,500

Tax due at 20%                       £1,500

Net amount received back  £8,500 (being £6,000 from the taxed element, plus £2,500 tax free).

This equates to a post-tax return of 6.25% in a matter of weeks. I would suggest that this is better than most other investments, in the current climate (although I do have a couple of clients who have doubled their money in a month by investing in a North American tech stock, but that’s a different story).

You will of course, have to consider any charges which might be incurred, as this will reduce the investment return.

So can I just repeat the exercise over and over again?

Sadly not. There are a number of rules which prevent this. There are already rules which prevent lump sums being reinvested in pensions (the “recycling” rules) and there are also limits on the amount of savings you can invest in pensions over your lifetime (the “lifetime allowance” rules).

The title of the blog suggests this could be a new source of funding. How?

The opportunity noted above requires an initial investment (in this case £8,000). However, the triviality rules apply to existing schemes as well. It is therefore possible to draw down a reasonable amount of cash, up to £30,000 with careful planning, and pay tax of less than £5,000 on it (assuming you are a basic rate taxpayer). This would leave more than £25,000, which could be a massive help to a small or medium sized business.

Many small businesses are struggling to raise finance, and have done for several years. I have seen many approach their banks, only to be told that nothing can be done. With a large cash injection, the risk to the bank, or the improvement in cash flow, can make it easier for main stream lenders to back more proposals.

What should we do now then?

I would suggest you review your current pension provision, with a view to unlocking some of the value. If you are a business owner looking for funding, speak to your family and friends to see if their pension could be used in this way.

Loans to private businesses would generally earn interest at between 5.5% and 15% depending on the risk, so there is plenty of scope to negotiate a rate of return which helps both parties.

The human factor – a word of warning

There are real dangers in borrowing money from/ lending to friends and family. Wherever possible, you should have a proper legal agreement drawn up. It needn’t cost a fortune, and it could save you a lot of time and stress later.

I want to explore this, what help can you give me?

We can prepare a formal report on your financial position, including an estimate of what funds may be available from your pensions, and put you in touch with a great financial adviser, and a lawyer who can give you the essential financial and legal advice to implement any plan you decide upon.

This is an opportunity that may transform your business, and it is worth investing a few hours of your time in exploring your options.

Committed to making your life better

  • Lodge holders saved over £10,000 following Steve’s examination of their service charge statements last week
  • Over £1m of savings identified by Steve for a client looking to pass on their business to the next generation of managers.
  • Emily saved two of our clients a late filing fine of £150 each, by ‘jumping’ on their accounts as soon as the information arrived in the office.

…and to two of our team

  • Andy passed a Xero examination last week, and is now accredited as an advisor on this cloud-based accounting software
  • Our newest team member, Oskar, passed his recent Cost and Revenues exam on Friday with a mark of 98%. We think this is brilliant!! Well done Oskar!