Profile cover photo
Profile photo
McLean Reid Chartered Accountants
9 followers
9 followers
About
Posts

Post has attachment
After my last post on the subject of Brexit you may have thought “Snuff said” (try to keep up!), but sadly the UK’s political system (or at least its politicians) are proving dysfunctional at this critical time, and it looks increasingly likely that while there will almost certainly be a delay or the inevitable fudge, that we are going to get hurt. Brexit supporters on grounds of independence are increasingly shown to be right, whereas the financial case for Brexit looks increasingly weak, and more so as conniving politicians weaken our negotiating stance in Brussels. What has this to do with smaller businesses? Well, only 14% of smaller firms in the UK have started planning for a no-deal Brexit, according to the Federation of Small Businesses. Its latest research shows that a further 41% believe a no-deal Brexit will have an impact on their business but have yet to start planning for the possibility. Just 10% believe a no-deal Brexit will have a positive impact on their ability to do business. I think that we have to accept that planning for a messy and unfavourable “out” is now more than justified.
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
If you wonder why the government doesn’t “get it” where small business are concerned, the Institute for Government has criticised the Treasury's model of hiring generalists, arguing that it needs “more of the people managing public spending to be qualified in finance, accountancy or both.” The IFG also claimed Treasury officials are “too young and inexperienced” to make good decisions about where best to spend taxpayers’ money (or how to collect it in the first place?). The average age of a Treasury official is 31 and one in four leaves the department every year, apparently. Key areas of the economy are heavily influenced by well-educated, woefully inexperienced, overpaid temps. How is the Brexit negotiating team set up?
Photo
Add a comment...

Interesting visit to PRESSURE POINT ESCAPE ROOMS in Ashford – Intriguing idea for team building or general entertainment. As hosts Michael and Keri pointed out, unlike traditional board games, the participants and all on the same side, completing time-constrained tasks (with no guarantee of success). Getting out of the prison cell to destroy the evidence looked pretty challenging to me!
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Many of our clients take our “fee protection” plan, and a number don’t. The reason to consider this is amply illustrated by Research commissioned by HMRC revealing discontent among smaller businesses around the nature of HMRC’s tax investigations.

The research showed that 52% of small businesses find HMRC tax investigations to be too intensive, and 56% said they did not believe that HMRC attempted to minimise disruptions caused by the cost, time and effort required by the inquires.
One Insurance firm is quoted as saying that smaller businesses are disproportionately affected by HMRC investigations, as they can be hugely disruptive and a massive strain on much needed resources and funds. We agree.
The research also said that 48% of businesses do not believe HMRC’s penalties are fairly distributed, and that smaller businesses are unfairly targeted. This is borne out by HMRC’s own statistics of how much it costs them to recover £1 from an investigation. On a day when one of the major globals reported much higher profits and much lower tax, HMRC will know that this organisation has deep pockets and plenty of lawyers and accountants to fight their case. Small Businesses are less able to resist, and hence easier targets.

We think that PAYE investigations may be the most dangerous, as innocent errors happen easily and can be quite costly, so it isn’t just “ordinary” tax investigations. Let us not forget that HMRC is a body that will start on the VAT when they finish with the income tax, and having the peace of mind that accountancy fees are paid in the event of an investigation makes sense to some people. So…Do you feel lucky?
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
If you are on LinkedIn you may already have seen this, but anthropologist or accountant, this has to affect the way advice is sought and given.

Millennial couples talk money

About 75% of millennial couples talk about money at least once a week, according to a study by TD Bank — nearly 10 percentage points more than Gen X couples and over 30 points more than Baby Boomer couples. Other findings of the survey include:

• Over half of all couples combine their money, up four points from last year's survey.
• 70% of couples make decisions together about big purchases.
• One third of married couples fight about money on a monthly basis.
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Last week The Daily Telegraph examined punishment for the avoidance of inheritance tax (IHT), noting hefty fines and even jail time. Gordon Andrews, a tax expert at Old Mutual Wealth, was quoted as saying: “HMRC is hard to pin down on this, but has said previously that the minimum penalty is 50% of the undeclared tax, however it could go up to 100%”. If you haven’t read our flyer on the subject, please ask for a copy, it doesn’t have to be this way! http://ow.ly/d/7Oa7
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Over 20,000 malicious websites posing as HMRC have been taken down in the past 12 months following requests made by the taxman, an increase of 29% on the previous year. If in doubt, ask us, as some of these creeps are pretty good mimics!
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
In a previous firm I had a desk sign that said “A clear desk is a sign of a sick mind”, and my then business partner who kept his desk that way was offended. He was history 20 years ago, but storing paper remains a problem which I have partially solved by being relatively paperless (I don’t let clients see my desk).
If you are storing too much for too long, there are a number of solutions, and one of the quickest, easiest, and I suspect most cost effective is offered by SMB Records Management, based in West Malling. Steven Browne offers comprehensive storage and secure document destruction facilities (www.smbrecordsmanagement.co.uk) and really seems to have a very together offering. A clear GDR-compliant desk may be a step too far, but how many semi-inaccessible storage boxes or bin bags of records do you need in you life?
Photo
Add a comment...

Stephen Lloyd, the Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne, has attacked HMRC for “retrospectively taxing” contractors. Mr Lloyd introduced a motion calling on Parliament not to apply the loan charge to those who entered “disguised remuneration” schemes before the recent rule changes. It seems that this is taxing individuals retrospectively - which would be illegal. It is high time Parliament made the tax laws and HMRC applied them, rather than inventing terms and “guidance” to twist tax to the way they wish it was.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Does GDPR matter?
UK organisations were fined a record £4.2m for data protections breaches last year, up from £3.2m the previous year. You do the maths, as they say, but from tomorrow the potential penalties are a lot higher, although we expect a “light touch” at first, at least for smaller businesses. If you have addressed GDPR, fine. If not, fine.
Photo
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded