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New support measures announced in September 2020

New support measures announced for company directors by the Government.

A series of new measures were announced today by Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, aimed at providing businesses more support during the ‘long winter’ ahead. We are currently analysing what these new measures mean for all our clients and as more details emerges we will update you on what it means for your business.

More time to repay loans 

These measures are helpful to the firms who have managed to trade through the crisis so far but were getting increasingly worried about repaying the fresh debt taken on in the form of Government support.

Entrepreneurs who took out bounceback loans or CBILS will welcome the increasing flexibility of repayments. The ability to reduce the monthly payments by spreading it across a further four years (up from six years) will certainly help the cashflow situation of many SME’s.

Further VAT deferrals

Many SME’s deferred their VAT bill and the opportunity to spread the repayment of this (due in March 2021) throughout next year will be snapped up by many business owners who should be planning to focus on cashflow during the winter months as the furlough scheme dries up.

New ‘Job Support Scheme’  

Unfortunately, the new Job Support Scheme, which we are dubbing the “little brother of furlough”, is merely marginal support for companies who are still trading. Firms who have not been trading during the past few months will find no solace in this scheme and stand to gain very little. Put simply it looks like this:

It is important that if you are making claims under the new scheme you calculate the amount you can claim accurately. If you need support to make your claim – email Murray Patt now.

And finally…

Around 11 million self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

We are awaiting further details of this particular scheme to see of this applies to all our clients.

If you wish to discuss in more detail what these new measures mean for you and your business – please contact us now.

Our local community

We are proud supporters of our local community. That’s why we’ve now confirmed a new sponsorship arrangement with our leading local media publication, Altrincham Today. If you live in Altrincham, Hale, Bowdon, Hale Barns and Timperley – you’ll be seeing us frequently during the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.

 

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Starting a new business during lockdown?

We're recruiting in Hale for a new accountant

Many people have used the opportunity of lockdown or redundancy to start a new business during the past few months.

If you’re thinking of setting up a business, you’ll probably be looking forward to doing things your way without pressure from managers and directors trying to get you to do things which make no sense.

Being in charge of your own destiny – even in these challenging times – can be thrilling and rewarding for people with an entrepreneurial mindset and the right accountant.

Rushing into starting a new business can be tempting – it can’t be that hard, can it? Yes, of course it is possible to start straight away with no planning or thought – however, the most successful businesses are those that have considered the detail of what they need to set-up.

That’s where we come in. After all, we were a start-up once! That means we understand what you’re going through.

Once you’ve decided on the finance you need and the premises you’ll be working from it’s a good idea to think about business structure.

Predominantly, business owners tend to set themselves up as a sole trader or limited company. It’s important you make this decision with our help as it can affect your take home pay after tax.

Our team will assist you with:

  • Company registration with Companies House
  • Structure of company and shareholders
  • Registration with HMRC
  • Tax planning
  • VAT registration
  • Payroll and drawing money out from your new business
  • Cloud accounting and invoicing

Contact us on (0161) 980 8788 if you are starting or just about to start a new business venture.

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Electric cars continue to boom for directors

Download our electric car tax guide for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Demand for electric cars amongst our business owner client base continues to rise as prices fall. This drop in price on lease deals and RRPs for electric cars coupled with tax breaks means many company directors are going electric.

Company car owners pay zero benefit-in-kind on certain fully-electric vehicles, compared to as much as 37 percent on vehicles with high CO2 emissions.

As a result of this premium electric vehicles could save business owners £1000s – compared to traditional vehicles.

You can download our free company car tax guide here to see how much you can save.

The launch of luxury models such as the Mercedes-Benz EQC, Audi E-Tron, together with Porsche and Range Rover hybrid vehicles follow the success of the Tesla Model 3 which is already considered to be a cult company car for British sales executives

Company cars have been deeply unfashionable for more than a decade now. In that time, most business owners have understood that they were better off buying a car personally and then claiming the associated expenses.

 One client of ours saw more than £10,000 knocked off his tax bill because he plumped for the Range Rover hybrid model over the diesel version.

With more e-charging points being installed across the country, improvements to the range of electric engines and a steady fall in the price we are predicting a renaissance of the company car.

If you need advice on the most tax efficient way to procure an electric car speak to our tax team on 0161 980 8788.

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Dealing with HMRC over deferred VAT payments

Early on in the pandemic, HMRC confirmed that all payments of VAT due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 could be deferred until 31 March 2021, to help businesses manage their cash flow.

Many businesses took them up on this offer, but they do need to eventually be paid!

The next few months will be as big a challenge as anything so far seen in 2020 for many businesses.

Focusing on your cash position during the remainder of 2020 should be the top priority for company directors.

Now is a good time to review your existing business plan and incorporate the repayments schedule of any CBILS, bounce back loans or VAT payments due.

We are always proactive with our clients to ensure they are clear on the dates of the deadlines for payments to HMRC to avoid penalties.

A number of tax deadlines fall between now and March 31st including deferred VAT payments (made between March 20 and June 30), self-assessment income tax payments on account and potentially your corporation tax liability.

Given that these liabilities could become payable within quick succession it means that business owners should ensure they’ve got sufficient levels of cash in their business to enable the servicing of existing debts and tax bills leaving them to focus on maintaining and growing their business during 2021

Speak to our team about structuring your tax repayments/VAT payments and ways to preserve and manage optimal levels of cash in your business.

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Furlough scheme tapers off

As it stands, the Government has given no indication the furlough scheme will continue beyond October.

The scheme has already been extended twice, once to June, then again into October.

The scheme itself is tapering off and many employers will have important decisions to make on their future staffing needs beyond October.

It is worth a reminder that the Government is launching a job retention bonus of £1,000 (per employee) for employers willing to bring back furloughed employees back into work, in what they hope is an incentive for firms to retain staff beyond January 2021. We don’t yet know how the monies will be claimed but we will inform clients when the details are published.

All our clients who made furlough claims via our team secured the funding on time and we’ve been pleased to help our clients through what can be a complex process of calculation for the uninitiated.

If you need support to review your business plan or staffing levels when the furlough scheme ends then please speak to our team.

It is important that any decisions regarding staff are made in accordance with employment law regulations and we can guide you in the right direction with our wide network of legal professionals to ensure that you comply with the law when making redundancies of staff or directors.

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Deadline looms for CBILS

The clock is ticking for businesses that wish to apply for support via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Applications need to be submitted by midnight on September 30th . Any business who meets the criteria has until then to complete the application process.

We should add that this deadline also applies to the “little brother scheme” known as the bounce-back loan scheme. Under this scheme the maximum available to borrow is the lower of £50k or 25% of your annual turnover.

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.

A panel of approved lenders (which includes all the mainstream commercial banks) can provide up to £5 million in the form of loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.

The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

Our administration of all the Government support schemes applications on behalf of our clients has been 100% successful.

We have secured funds rapidly for them to inject into their business at the extremely attractive terms offered under the CBILS packages (and the bounce back loan scheme).

If you need support in completing your application for this scheme before the deadline on September 30th – please email Murray Patt as soon as possible.

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Accountants in Hale – the benefits for our clients

Accountants Hale

Since lockdown began, we’ve noticed a significant upturn in the number of business owners who live just a ‘stone’s throw’ from our office in Hale expressing how much they love having their accountants based near where they live.

A large number of business owners (and their advisers) choose to live in Hale, Hale Barns, Bowdon or Altrincham –  even if they run successful businesses in other parts of Greater Manchester.

Many business owners have already confirmed that that they have no intention of their staff returning to work as normal in their city centre office – and neither do they.

In fact, like us, they swiftly adapted to the new normal and have been able to continue their business operations with the vast majority of staff working at home thanks to technology and an entrepreneurial attitude.

Why choose accountants in Hale?

Being located in Hale means we are perfectly placed to deliver our professional services to business owners who, in no uncertain terms, want to avoid Manchester city centre!

That’s why we’re seeing so many business owners switch their accountants from city-centre based firms to ours in Hale.

By appointing us as your accountants you’ll avoid all the headaches that come with trips to the city centre including: the commute into town, parking problems and the sheer waste of time and unproductiveness of meeting accountants in the city centre.

We have:

  • Grade A offices in the heart of Hale on Hale Road. ✅

  • Plenty of free parking

  • A client base of successful entrepreneurs who live locally just like you ✅

  • Talented and experienced staff

  • More competitive rates than ‘rival’ city centre-based practices ✅

  • An entrepreneurial attitude to help your business thrive in 2020 and beyond ✅

Of course, we’re always ready to meet via Zoom – but we firmly believe that most people in business still prefer a face-to-face meeting – and there’s nowhere handier for locally-living entrepreneurs than our office in Hale.

Why don’t you speak to us about becoming your new accountants in the new post-Covid  era?

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Apprentice secures full AAT membership

We are proud to report that our colleague Jack Crowther, who joined us as an apprentice, has now attained AAT full membership (MAAT) – the internationally recognised professional status in accounting and finance.

We are committed to supporting the careers of the next generation of accountants and we are delighted with the progress and dedication that Jack has shown.

Alexander Knight & Co is an attractive career choice for both experienced accountants and people who are just starting off in their career.

Our supportive, flexible and entrepreneurial approach attracts just the right kind of professionals who our wide client base of business owners trust.

If you want to join a growing firm that invests in your accountancy career – especially one that offers a hybrid office/homeworking environment in the current climate – then speak to us now.

We are recruiting – so please send your CV to Alison Spier now. 

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3 things you need to know about #Budget2020

budget 2020 for entrepreneurs

We were looking for a budget to support businesses – jobs – and help entrepreneurs during unprecedented times.

Today’s statement by the Chancellor  goes some way towards that goal – but we will be analysing the details over the next few days and weeks to see how it impacts our clients who are running businesses in the real world where existing conditions remain challenging.

Key highlights:

£1,000 Job Retention Bonus

If you have furloughed staff – and you bring them back into the workforce through to January, you’ll be entitled to £1,000 per employee. This is badged as an ‘incentive’ for employers to re-introduce furloughed workers to their business. You should only re-introduce employees to your business when it makes commercial sense to do so.

It was confirmed today that the furlough scheme will not be extended after October.

VAT rate cut

The VAT rate cut launches next Wednesday (15 July). This rate cut from 20% to 5% on food, hospitality and tourism is welcome. The key to its success for these sectors (apart from making bills slightly cheaper) is a positive reaction from consumers. If you need guidance on the VAT rate cut please contact our tax team now.

Trainees 

In a further initiative to boost employment, the Chancellor announced a new trainee scheme for people aged 16-24 which may be of interest to some businesses. The new traineeships will provide classroom-based lessons in maths, English and CV writing, as well as up to 90 hours of unpaid work experience. Employers will be given £1,000 for each new work experience place they offer.

And finally…

There will be a new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme launched – which offers diners, through the scheme, 50% off their meals out (up to £10 per person) during August. Those hospitality businesses which offer this scheme can claim the lost revenue from the Government.

If you need advice about how today’s announcements affect your business – talk to us now.