Most companies want to motivate their staff to perform to the best of their abilities, and generally speaking, nothing motivates employees better than feeling they own part of the company that employs them. Unfortunately, simply giving employees shares in their employer's company is usually fraught with tax issues, but there are some tax advantaged schemes that are well worth looking at closely.
A common question I’m asked concerning my career move is “why the change?”. The reason I made the change was because someone told me, being an accountant is just like being a rock star...they lied. The honest answer is the security of a regular income and being a part of a community.
How would you like to work a four day week? Or to have the opportunity to work from home? Well as of 30th June 2014, UK employees were granted the right to request flexible working under the Flexible Working Regulations 2014. This includes the opportunity to work part time, flexi-time working, job-sharing, working remotely (ie. from home), compressed working (ie. squeezing five days work into four) as well as taking unpaid leave during school holidays.
A recent report from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed that loans to landlords in April 2014 were 57% higher in value than they were compared to April 2013 and there was a 43% increase in the number of loans. Perhaps even more dramatic were official figures showing that house prices in England and Wales increased in April this year rising by 6.7% compared with the same month last year, with London house prices increasing by 17%.
For accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015, FRS 102, based on the International Financial Report Standard for Small and Medium-sized Entities, will replace UK GAAP. This will have a big impact on the financial statements for many entities who have historically prepared accounts under UK GAAP, including key changes in the way investment properties are accounted for.
While it was tempting to discuss the recent European election results and Europe’s apparent disillusionment with the EU, I thought I would write about something a bit closer to home, the election of India’s Gujarati Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
The announcement that HMRC have raised £23.9bn in additional tax during the 2013/14 tax year from tax investigations inspired us to examine our own client experience in the light of this crackdown on tax avoidance and non-payment of tax. HMRC said of the total amount it had raised, more than £8bn came from large business, £1bn from criminals and £2.7bn from tackling avoidance schemes in courts.
Where you have one or more properties that are let out to third parties on a commercial basis, you are regarded as carrying on a "property rental business". Interest paid on loans taken out for the purpose of purchasing or improving a property that is part of a property rental business is fully deductible for tax purposes against the rental income. By contrast, interest paid on loans used to purchase a private residence is not deductible for income tax purposes. Given the recent spike in property prices, it is tempting to refinance a loan on a property that is let out and use the proceeds to reduce the loan on your private residence, thereby maximising the deductibility of your total interest bill for tax purposes. Does such a strategy work?
Do you know how much free publicity you get from entering awards?
We recently underwent a review of our presence in the media and astonishingly, our entries into business awards over the last few years have given us national press coverage... and we didn't even know about it.