Finance, Loan, Debt and Credit.

April 23, 2018

Self Assessment – Do I need to complete a Tax Return?

Filed under: Tax — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 12:47 pm


What is Self Assessment?Self assessment enables an individual to prepare details of their incomes and relief’s for HMRC. HMRC will then calculate the tax liability based on these figures. These figures will not be checked until later in the tax year.  However tax law is vast and confusing so it is always best to instruct an accountant to prepare this on your behalf to ensure you don’t end up paying too much tax or too little. Also HMRC can impose penalties if you provide incorrect or fraudulent information. The first Self Assessment tax return was issued in April 1997. The Self Assessment tax return is made up of a basic core return together with separate supplementary pages – which ones you get will depend on your circumstances and the type of income you receive.

Do I need to complete a Self Assessment Tax Return?A wide range of individuals in varying circumstances need to complete a Self Assessment Tax Return. Normally HMRC will inform you if you need to complete one. However they can’t inform you if you have not completed the appropriate forms necessary to make them aware of your circumstances. Generally speaking an individual or partnership will need to complete a Self Assessment Tax return if income is received that does not have tax deducted at source or if they are a director of a Company. However even if all your income is taxed at source, you may still be required to complete a Tax Return. You should contact an accountant if you are unsure.

More information on Self Assessment can be found in a free Online Accountant Knowledge Bank. Alternatively, for up to date information and advice, based on your specific circumstances, contact an online accountancy firm.

February 13, 2018

December 20, 2017

DIY Accounting Self Employed Accounting and Tax Return Answers

Filed under: Tax — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 12:47 pm


Why is the monthly profit and loss account not updating from the sales and purchases entered.

Updating the profit and loss account in the financial accounts file is automated. If the financial accounts file is not updating automatically the links from the sales spreadsheet and or the purchase sheet are not working. This may be because the file names have been changed which breaks the links between the files.

The most common reason is the way the files were originally saved when initially downloaded from the website by opening the files first before saving them. When a excel workbook is opened before being downloaded the computer stores the workbook in a temporary internet folder and changes the links to temporary links within that temporary folder.

Saving a file still in a temporray internet folder saves the temporary links rather than the original links. Temporary links creaqted in a temporary internet folder are not recognised by the other accounting files that have the original lionk structure. The solution is to delete the files and save the files again direct to your accounts folder without opening them first thereby preserving the original links. Accounting entries on sales and purchases appear on the profit and loss account but do not appear on the list of expenses on the self employed tax return.

The self employed tax return required to be completed in the UK is dependent upon the sales turnover. Small business with total sales income exceeding 64,000 pounds for the financial year ending 5 April 2008 are required to complete the full self employed tax return while businesses with a turnover under 64,000 pounds may complete the short version of the self employed tax return.. Coincidentally the threshold is the same as the vat threshold.

In addition if the sales income is less than 30,000 pounds then it is not necessary to complete all the individual expense classifications. The excel formulae within the financial accounts file automatically fill in the short or full tax return and only fill in the detailed expense classifications if required to do so.

Does the package produce my quarterly vat returns when a vat flat rate scheme is being operated.

The user guide contains notes on how to enter the value added tax flat rate percentage on the sales bookkeeping spreadsheet. The bookkeeping single entry of the flat rate vat percentage on the sales sheet updates throughout the package including the subsequent months on the sales sheet and also each month on the purchases bookkeeping spreadsheet automatically calculating value added tax at the flat rate percentage and expenses value added tax paid on purchases at the zero vat rate producing a quarterly vat return. Does the self employed accounting software package produce a balance sheet.

Balance sheets are optional requirements for self employed self employed business. The self employed package is based upon single entry bookkeeping and does not produce a balance sheet which requires double entry bookkeeping while the limited company package does produce a balance sheet as it is a legal requirement for a limited liability company.

As the self employed accounting software includes sales and purchase spreadsheets and also cash and bank spreadsheets it is possible to manually produce a balance sheet if required but the accounting software does not produce it automatically. Do I purchase new accounting software each year or can the accounting software be updated and be used for a second set of accounts.

As the accounting software and payroll packages include the current financial year tax rules that enable the financial packages to automate the production of that years tax returns then each year has new tax rules embedded and being on excel rather than an accounting database then it is necessary to purchase a new accounting or payroll package each year.

Terry Cartwright is a qualified accountant in the UK designs Accounting Software UK on excel bookkeeping spreadsheets providing complete Small Business Accounting Software solutions for small to medium sized business that produce self employed tax returns and Payroll Software for 1 to 20 employee that automate the revenue payroll tax return

November 21, 2017

Self Assessment Tax Return Form and Capital Tax Allowances

Filed under: Tax — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 12:47 pm


While a potential difficult area for the non accountant capital allowances reduce the net tax payable. The difficulty in this section of the tax return form is that it is an area which many start up businesses may not have come across before. It is an area which affects not just the calculation of the tax allowances and knowledge of the tax rates but also how an item becomes considered for such tax allowances.

100% of the purchase price of the majority of items is deducted from income as business expenditure to produce a net taxable profit. Purchases of certain items where that item is not consumed by the business in a single year but may be used by the business in both the current year and future years are not expensed in the year of purchase but classified as fixed assets. It is these items which are not written off in the tax year but are subject to capital allowances.

A fixed asset includes not just the original cost of the item but also the cost of alterations, improvements and extensions of the asset. The fixed asset cost does not include the repairs and maintenance of that asset which may be treated as a normal business expense and written off against income when incurred. Accounting records need to be kept of fixed asset purchases in order for the capital allowances to be calculated and included in the self assessment tax return.

Having identified certain items as fixed assets the normal accounting practise is to use a technique called depreciation to write off the cost of the asset against profits over the expected life of that asset. The scale of the write off being a management decision as all depreciation calculations are ignored for tax purposes. Depreciation is entered on the self assessment tax return and subsequently deducted in an adjustment section.

When calculating the net taxable profit of a business the tax system add back to the profit shown in the business accounts any depreciation charges the business has made in the preparation of the accounts. The tax system then deducts the capital allowances from the net profit made by the business and shown on the self assessment tax return form to arrive at the actual net taxable profit, those tax allowances being according to a fixed set of rules applicable for the tax year.

Completing the self assessment tax return form also includes calculating the capital allowances which compromise of two elements. Capital allowances being a first year allowance which can be claimed on some types of fixed asset and writing down allowance on the net asset value in subsequent years until the total value of the fixed assets has been claimed against profits earned.

The rate of first year allowance for small businesses has changed each year from 2004-05 to 2007-08 starting in 2004-05 at 40%, rising to 50% the next year and then back to 40% in 2006-07 before returning to 50% in 2007-08. The first year allowance can be claimed on most assets except vehicles were special rules are applied.

Generally first year allowances can not be claimed on vehicles except if that vehicle is deemed to be a commercial vehicle. The inland revenue website contains a list of vehicles it considers to be vans and commercial vehicles and first year allowances can be claimed. Cars and commercial vehicles not on the approved list are not subject to a first year allowance except new vehicles with low CO2 emissions below 120gm per km driven.

The writing down allowance is 25% of the net written down value for tax purposes and is the amount of capital allowance claimed on fixed assets after the first year and in the case of motor vehicles used for business purposes in the first year. Capital allowances on motor vehicles being restricted to a maximum of 3,000 pounds per vehicle and vehicles costing over 12,000 pounds being in a separate section of the tax return to those under 12,000 pounds

The capital allowance section of the self assessment tax return form also includes the term balancing charges. A balancing charge arises when an asset is sold or disposed of and is the difference between the amount received and the net written down value for tax purposes. Net written down value is the original cost less capital allowances that have already been claimed against the net taxable profit.

Terry Cartwright, qualified accountant and CEO at DIY Accounting, designs Small Business Accounting Software that automates the Self Assessment Tax Return for self employed business in the UK producing an excel copy of the tax return from simple lists of income and expenditure.

November 9, 2017

Debt consolidation for self employed – Innovative handling of overgrowing debts.

Filed under: Debt — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 12:47 am


Is every month like a constant struggle with bills payment
piling up? Do you feel like not opening the bills? Are you
thinking of ways to avoid it? If answer to any of these
questions is ‘yes’ – then you are certainly heading for debt
consolidation.

Debt consolidation offers great support to self employed while
budgeting and making financial decisions. An individual who
operates a business, or a profession as a proprietor,
consultant, independent contractor, freelancers or someone in
changeable employment – then you are a self employed.

Debt consolidation for self employed was traditionally
considered expensive and difficult to obtain. With more than 15%
of UK being self employed the perspective has changed. Self
employed are a very financially viable class. The cases of self
employed debt consolidation have become considerably high.

Does debt consolidation for self employed makes sense?

Certainly! A debt consolidation for self employed is similar to
any usual debt consolidation. It consolidates the smaller loans
into a single loan. Debt consolidation for self employed you can
fuse unsecured loans, utility bills, medical bills, or any other
outstanding bills into a single debt consolidation
loan. This debt consolidation loans has lesser interest rate
and one single monthly payment for all the loans. So instead of
paying separately on every loan, you save money by paying on
this low interest debt consolidation loan. The monthly payments
are usually lower thereby making it possible for self employed
to meet their obligation each month.

Debt consolidation for self employed is usually of two kinds –
secured or unsecured debt consolidation. Unsecured debt
consolidation will serve well for those self employed who can
offer no security for their loan amount. Unsecured debt
consolidation will have higher interest rates than its secured
sibling.

Secured debt consolidation requires security (home, car, real
estate etc). With home equity debt consolidation, the security
is in the form of home. This brings better rates, lower monthly
payments, convenient terms, and approval for bigger amounts.
With secured debt consolidation, a self employed must be aware
that he can affect the loss of his property in case of non
repayment. Though that is the last resort. Self employed can use
Debt consolidation for the purpose of recovering credit. When
you make payments on time, it reflects in your credit. Since
monthly payments are lower with self employed debt
consolidation, you are less likely to miss your payment and
therefore improve your credit.

How is debt consolidation for self employed different?

Debt consolidation for self employed differs with respect to
documentation. A lender looks for steady income as proof of the
return of loan. Self employed usually does not have any pay
checks to offer and no regular income. And also no third party
to verify income. A self employed in order to avoid taxation
usually do not declare their complete income. Therefore, self
employed debt consolidation depends upon income tax returns.
Self employed should be ready to produce income tax returns for
two years.

There are lenders who offer debt consolidation to self employed
with limited documentation or no documentation. However, this is
true to some extent but “no” or “reduced” documentation debt
consolidation will be compensated by comparatively higher
interest rates.

Is there a threat to debt consolidation for self employed?

The threat is usually in the form of the self employed
revisiting old borrowing ways. Getting off debt can stimulate a
spendthrift indulgence in a self employed. This can neutralize
the whole purpose of debt consolidation. A self employed looking
for debt consolidation should understand that debt consolidation
is trying to address something – your money spending habits. If
one can’t take heed of this reality then they are only leading
themselves to further debt condition. A self employed must see
to it that no further financial risk are undertaken after debt
consolidation.

Debt consolidation for self employed considerably reduces the
monthly outgoings. This leaves self employed with free money and
scope for improvement of lifestyle. This provides further boost
to economic condition. More available income means either more
savings for investment in industry and people in jobs. Debt
consolidation for self employed is not an innovation in the loan
market. However, it can offer innovative answers for your
personal debt condition.

November 8, 2017

Capital Tax Allowances And The Self Assessment Tax Return Form

Filed under: Tax — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 12:46 pm


The capital allowances section of the self assessment tax return form is the most difficult for people who are self employed and not conversant with at least a minimum knowledge of accounting and the tax system. The difficulty in this section of the tax return form is that it is an area which many start up businesses may not have come across before. It is an area which affects not just the calculation of the tax allowances and knowledge of the tax rates but also how an item becomes considered for such tax allowances.
The first step towards claiming capital allowances is to understand that not all purchases which may have been entered into the accounts are treated the same for tax purposes. 100% of the purchase price of the majority of items is deducted from income to produce a net taxable profit. Purchases of certain items where that item is not consumed by the business in a single year but may be used by the business in both the current year and future years are not expensed in the year of purchase but classified as fixed assets.
A fixed asset includes not just the original cost of the item but also the cost of alterations, improvements and extensions of the asset. The fixed asset cost does not include the repairs and maintenance of that asset which may be treated as a normal business expense and written off against income when incurred. Accounting records need to be kept of fixed asset purchases in order for the capital allowances to be calculated and included in the self assessment tax return.
Having identified certain items as fixed assets the normal accounting practise is to use a technique called depreciation to write off the cost of the asset against profits over the expected life of that asset. The scale of the write off being a management decision as all depreciation calculations are ignored for tax purposes. Depreciation is entered on the self assessment tax return and subsequently deducted in an adjustment section.
When calculating the net taxable profit of a business the tax system add back to the profit shown in the business accounts any depreciation charges the business has made in the preparation of the accounts. The tax system then deducts the capital allowances from the net profit made by the business and shown on the self assessment tax return form to arrive at the actual net taxable profit, those tax allowances being according to a fixed set of rules applicable for the tax year.
Completing the self assessment tax return form also includes calculating the capital allowances which compromise of two elements. Capital allowances being a first year allowance which can be claimed on some types of fixed asset and writing down allowance on the net asset value in subsequent years until the total value of the fixed assets has been claimed against profits earned.
The rate of first year allowance for small businesses has changed each year from 2004-05 to 2007-08 starting in 2004-05 at 40%, rising to 50% the next year and then back to 40% in 2006-07 before returning to 50% in 2007-08. The first year allowance can be claimed on most assets except vehicles were special rules are applied.
Generally first year allowances can not be claimed on vehicles except if that vehicle is deemed to be a commercial vehicle. The inland revenue website contains a list of vehicles it considers to be vans and commercial vehicles and first year allowances can be claimed. Cars and commercial vehicles not on the approved list are not subject to a first year allowance except new vehicles with low CO2 emissions below 120gm per km driven.
The writing down allowance is 25% of the net written down value for tax purposes and is the amount of capital allowance claimed on fixed assets after the first year and in the case of motor vehicles used for business purposes in the first year. Capital allowances on motor vehicles being restricted to a maximum of 3,000 pounds per vehicle and vehicles costing over 12,000 pounds being in a separate section of the tax return to those under 12,000 pounds
The capital allowance section of the self assessment tax return form also includes the term balancing charges. A balancing charge arises when an asset is sold or disposed of and is the difference between the amount received and the net written down value for tax purposes. Net written down value is the original cost less capital allowances that have already been claimed against the net taxable profit.

Terry Cartwright, qualified accountant, designs Small Business Accounting Software that automates the Self Assessment Tax Return for self employed in the UK producing an excel copy of the Tax Return from simple lists of income and expenditure.

October 24, 2017

Who Should Use the New Self Employment Tax Returns in the UK

Filed under: Tax — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 12:46 pm


New self employment tax returns were published in April 2008 replacing the self assessment tax returns for self employed business in the UK. The new tax returns are similar to the previous self assessment forms and have two main variations, full and short tax returns, dependent upon the level of sales income.

The new self employed tax returns were introduced quite late in the reporting process being published at around the end of the financial year, to which they relate, 2006 07. This should not be a problem to those familiar with the previous small business tax return as the format is similar and presented in a simpler way to facilitate better understanding and accurate completion.

Self employed businesses are required to keep records of financial transactions without the necessity for formal accounting but must keep sufficient financial records to support the financial entries submitted in the tax return. While formal financial accounts may not be essential requirements an organised system of record keeping using bookkeeping or accounting software is highly desirable to maintain financial control.

The accounting system employed can be simple lists of financial records supported by sales invoices, purchase invoices and where applicable cash or bank records. The essential support to all bookkeeping procedures are third party documents received or issued to provide a full and fair financial account of the business.

Rules apply whether the short or full return should be submitted to the tax authority. Generally most small businesses with an annual turnover under 64,000 pounds would complete the short tax return however there are specific exclusions where the full return must be completed. The self employment (full) tax return is required to be completed when the following conditions apply and the self employment (short) tax return is required where the conditions do not apply.

1. Sales turnover exceeds 64,000 pounds during the financial year or exceeds an average of 5,333 pounds per month if trading for less than a full financial year.

2. The accounting date to which accounts are made up has changed in the last financial year.

3. The results of the accounts have been declared in a previous tax return.

4. The basis on which the accounts have been prepared has changed from a cash accounts basis an accruals basis.

5. The business includes the provision of professional or contracts that continue into the next financial accounting period.

6. Business is conducted outside the UK.

7. Agricultural or Industrial Buildings capital allowances are being claimed.

8. The self employed basis period is different to the accounting period.

9. Overlap tax relief is being claimed.

10. Averaging profit is being claimed by a farmer, market gardener or creator of literary or art works.

11. Practising barrister or advocate in Scotland.

If none of the above conditions are applicable to the self employed business then the self employment short tax return may be completed.

The self-employment short return is less complex than the full return. The main decision point being the 64,000 pounds limit at which a full return is required which is also the vat threshold for the financial year 2006 07. It may not be coincidental that the chosen cut off point for the full or short return is also the vat threshold applicable in that financial year.

For the financial year commencing April 2008 the vat threshold was increased sales turnover of 64,000 to 67,000 pounds.

Detailed expenditure is not required if sales income for the financial accounting period was under £30,000.

Finally if the self employed person has more than one small business a separate tax return must be completed for each business. This rule applies even if a single set of accounting records has been kept for all the businesses. It is therefore appropriate for separate accounting records to be maintained for each small business to simplify the completion of the tax returns each year.

Terry Cartwright, DIY Accounting, produce Small Business Accounting Software UK and Payroll Software for self employed business that provides Simple Bookkeeping solutions that automatically complete both the short and full versions of the Self employment new tax returns.

October 10, 2017

Using Tax Accounting Software to Produce Self Employed Tax Returns

Filed under: Tax — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 12:47 am

Terry Cartwright designs tax accounting software for self employed accounts and company accounts that produce automated tax returns. Simple automated tax software designed to produce accounting solutions and self assessment tax returns for business clients, accountants and bookkeeping services.

July 21, 2017

Explaining Income And Expenditure Sections Of The Self Assessment Tax Return

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A self employed business enters the income and expenses on page SE1 of the self assessment tax return form if the total sales of the business for the financial year were less than 15,000 pounds. Only the totals of turnover, expenses and net profit are required.


Businesses whose turnover has exceeded 15,000 pounds are required to show greater analysis of the income and expenditure. From a practical point of view even those businesses who expect the turnover to be less than 15,000 pounds should also maintain financial accounts which show the increased analysis to both maintain financial control and be prepared to enter the increase3d analysis should turnover exceed the 15,000 turnover threshold.


When turnover exceeds 15,000 pounds totals are required of the sales and business income and then deducted from that total the cost of sales which is split into three categories of expense. Cost of sales is the direct costs of purchases which are resold, these purchases usually being physical materials but should also include any services which are bought for resale.


In particular reference to taxi drivers and haulage contractors the vehicle costs would be included in this cost of sales category as the items being resold are transportation costs. Other types of business who principal business is not the resale of transport would enter vehicle running costs in the motor expenses expense category. Another example would be an IT consultant who purchased and installed software for clients and would enter his software costs as a cost of sale as that is the service they are reselling while other businesses would enter software costs in general administration charges.


Subcontractors costs is the second category while other direct costs makes up the third area of the cost of sales. Other direct costs is a useful category in which to include all costs of the business not analysed elsewhere which are basically the costs of operating the business other than items being purchased for resale. The difference between the turnover and the sum of the three costs of sales categories is the gross profit.


Other income and profits is where the business would enter such items as rental income or for start ups taxable new deal payments. Bank interest would not go in this box as nit can be entered elsewhere on the tax return. Also business start up grants and enterprise allowances would not be entered in this box as there is a separate box in which to enter these receipts.


The remaining and main body of the inland revenue self assessment tax return form concerns an analysis of the expenses. The majority of the expense categories are self explanatory in the title. Additional expense analysis other than the prescribed headings on the self assessment tax return is unnecessary for the vast majority of self employed business.


Employee costs include the wages, salary, pension and employers national insurance contributions for all employees. Also include in this section any costs associated with employees such as recruitment fees and staff benefits. Excluded are the self employed own wages and taxes as these are not included in the inland revenue self assessment tax return form at all being a distribution of net profit after tax not a tax deductible expense.


Premises costs would include rent, rates, gas, electricity, power costs and items associated with the business premises such as property insurance. Also included in this section would be the portion of home costs being claimed as business expenses. Household expenses can be claimed as business expenses to the extent that the costs represent the proportion of the home that is used exclusively for business purposes.


Repairs include the repair, maintenance and renewal of plant and machinery. Vehicle repairs would not be entered in this category but in the motor vehicle category.


General administrative costs telephone, postage, stationery and general office expenses. Also in this section would be included all other general operating costs of the business not entered elsewhere.


Motor expenses include the running costs of the vehicles being fuel and oil, repairs and maintenance, tax and insurance, parking charges and membership of breakdown services. Parking fines should not be included as these are legal fines and not deductible expenses.


Travel and subsistence includes all travel costs excluding those included in motor expenses. Typically these items would be air and train fares, toll fees, hotel costs and subsistence costs incurred on business journeys. Receipts should be presented for all subsistence costs claimed where possible.


Advertising, promotion and entertainment expenses include all types of expenditure related to the promotion of the businesses products. Entertainment of clients to obtain business is allowed while the entertainment of staff is not and is a disallowed expense on the self assessment tax return.


Legal and professional costs include all professional fees and bills. These would include accountants, solicitors, surveyors, architects and other professional bodies. Also included in this section would be indemnity insurance.


Bad debts are sales made and included in turnover where a decision has been taken that the outstanding unpaid sales invoice will not be paid. A general percentage of sales is not acceptable and if included in the accounts is disallowed on the inland revenue self assessment tax return. The items entered being specific debts. Normally any debt that is 6 months overdue would reasonably be considered as a bad debt.


Interest and finance payments includes bank interest paid on loans and overdrafts, credit card interest and any payments made to raise finance to fund the business operations.


Other finance charges are entered in a separate category. Other finance charges would include bank and credit card charges, hire purchase and lease charges other than property leases.


Depreciation charges include the cost of writing down the value of the asset in the business accounts. As depreciation of fixed assets is a management decision and has no foundation in tax law then the value of depreciation charged against profits is disallowed for tax purposes and replaced in the calculation of tax payable by capital allowances.


The final expense category is other expenses. Enter in this category any other business expenses not entered in the other categories. As the other categories are reasonably comprehensive and sufficiently general for the vast majority of expenditure to be entered it would be regarded as unusual if any significant sums of money were to be shown in this category.


A significant level of expenditure unusual for that category may give rise to an inland revenue enquiry into the self assessment tax return and this is particularly the case of significant expenditure being shown as other expense items.


Tax adjustments to the net profit and loss are where disallowed expenses are entered. Disallowed expenses being items such as the business expenses already entered of which there was personal use, and generally all expenses which have been included that were not wholly business expenses. These would include for example meals paid by the business not classified as client entertainment except where incurred on overnight trips.


Also disallowed is the depreciation charge on fixed assets which as stated is replaced in the tax calculation by capital allowances. Balancing charges being capital allowances on assets sold where the price obtained exceeded the written down value of the asset and entered in the capital allowance section of the self assessment tax return.


Added back to net profit are capital allowances that are claimed by the business. The capital allowances in effect being the tax allowance that replaces the depreciation charge.


A number of potential adjustments can also be entered in the next section which is the adjustments to arrive at the net taxable profit or loss. These adjustments are variable in nature and very much dependent on the adjustments required when the basis year has been changed or past losses are claimed to offset the net taxable profit.


The final section of the self assessment tax return is a list of the business assets and liabilities at the end of the financial year. Completion of this section is optional and should only be completed by those businesses that have produced a balance sheet as part of the accounts. In effect this section is the totals of assets and liabilities taken from the balance sheet and should represent the increase or decrease indicated by the net profit being declared by the business.

Terry Cartwright, qualified accountant, designs Small Business Accounting Software that automates the Self Assessment Tax Return for self employed in the UK producing an excel copy of the Tax Return from simple lists of income and expenditure.

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