Posts tagged ‘Amp’

The legislation enabling charities to use the “new” Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) structure was laid before Parliament last October and is being slowly implemented during 2013.

The journey

Houses of Parliament, London, EnglandThe concept of a “simple” corporate structure was identified and debated when the Charities Act 1992 was first published and the CIO proposal developed during the late 1990’s.

The Home Office submitted a white paper entitled “Charities and Not-for-Profits: A Modern Legal Framework” in 2003 and the CIO structure finally became law as part of the Charities Act 2006, but it wasn’t until Lord Hodgson published his five year review of the Charities Act 2006 in 2012 and the Charities Act 2011 was issued that Parliament passed the CIO regulations for England & Wales and the Charity Commission could begin registering CIOs.

Still relevant?

The length of time taken to get to the current “implementation phase” has however dampened the initial enthusiasm for this new structure that enables Trustees to manage the activities and assets of the charity as a separate legal entity and benefit from limited liability, in the same way as a corporate entity, but without the need to comply with Company law.  I can see that this may be a reasonable option for a new organisation, but for existing charitable organisations (registered or not) I have yet to be convinced that the benefits outweigh the hassle, and if any form of finance is required, I don’t see it as an option at all.

Luton airport queues noticeSo far…

During January to May 2013 a mere 200 CIO’s have been registered, which I believe is partly due to the rather extended phased implementation, set out to assist the Charity Commission in dealing with the anticipated workload, but more likely the confusion over the tangible benefits of the new structure.

The future…

In 2014, Charitable Companies and Community Interest Companies (CICs) will be able to apply for CIO status, but considering the painful conversion process and the lack of understanding, particularly for those with debt finance, I doubt that the Commission will be dealing with a huge rush.

 

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

Local firm Aspire Recruitment Solutions reports that the REC says “Increased uptake is positive but more apprenticeships are needed to meet youth employment challenge”

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has welcomed positive data on the overall uptake of apprenticeships whilst underlining the need to ensure that they provide a genuine route into employments as well as a means of up-skilling existing staff.

The latest figures

Show that over 250,000 apprenticeships have been created in the 2010/2011 financial year, which exceeds the Coalition Government’s targets.  However, this includes a big increase in short-term apprenticeships – often taken up by those already in employment.  Furthermore, a greater number of these positions have gone to the over 25’s, raising concerns about whether the Government is responding effectively to the UK’s youth unemployment crisis.

Need to accelerate use of apprenticeships

Commenting on this, Tom Hadley, Director of Policy and Professional Development at the REC said;

“The latest data shows some encouraging trends in terms of the overall take-up and progress has also been made in terms of positioning apprenticeships as a credible alternative to university. However, we need to accelerate the use of apprenticeships as a genuine route into the work of work for young job-seekers.”

This was one of the key recommendations of the REC’s Youth Employment Taskforce and the latest statistics do not mask the need for sustained Government action in this area. The recruitment industry can play its part by developing apprenticeships within the sector, and by raising awareness amongst clients and candidates.

 New batch of school leavers will flood the employment market

Writing Exams“With thousands of A-level students leaving school at this time of year, it is increasingly clear that young people require targeted, focused assistance. This includes practical guidance on the benefits of apprenticeships and on the sectors where job opportunities are most likely to exist both now and in the future. As well as continuing to actively promote the apprenticeship route, the Government must commit to establishing a careers guidance network that is fit for purpose.” (Taken from the REC website- 15th August 2011)

For more information/advice please contact the friendly team at Aspire on 01954 253440

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

In the past few days, with the complete mayhem caused by HMRC’s PAYE coding fiasco , clients of ours have received some very strange calls apparently from HMRC asking for payroll references and other data that we know they already have on their records, so please be wary of all unsolicited emails and phonecalls purporting to be from the Tax Office.

Too good to be true

Of course, no one wants to pay more tax than they should, so being told you are due a refund will come as good news.

In some cases, it may seem too good to be true – and that’s because it is.

If you receive a telephone call or an email from someone at HM Revenue & Customs  (HMRC) informing you of a tax refund then the person on the other end of the line is not the taxman but a criminal “phishing” for your bank account details.

HMRC has reported an alarming increase in the number of people being targeted in this way, with a record 83,000 phishing attempts reported in one month alone.

Written Correspondence

In some cases, letters are sent out purporting to be from external companies acting on behalf of HMRC and beginning with a sentence such as “we have reviewed your tax return and our calculations of your last year’s accounts show a tax refund of XXXX is due”. The letter will give a specific figure which the victim is supposedly due.

Phishing  and identity fraud

The thieves ask for bank details in order to pay in the non-existent refund. However, they then use this information to try to take money from the victim’s account.

Victims not only risk having their accounts emptied, but their details could also be sold on to other criminal gangs who may target them further.

Tax office communication policy

HMRC does not contact customers who are due a tax refund by telephone or email. It always writes to them directly, without using any external companies.

Advice

Anyone who receives a telephone call from someone offering them a tax refund should not give out any information to the caller but report it to the police immediately. Likewise, they should not reply to emails but forward them on to HMRC at phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

If you have already responded to a telephone call, email or letter and think you may have been the victim of a scam then you should contact your bank or card issuer as soon as possible.

HMRC Update – September 2010

An email from “HMRC Online Services – test@test.com’ is being issued, stating the recipient has one new alert message and should log in to their Online Account to read it.  The link in the email directs you to a fraudulent website where personal data is requested.  If you receive this notification, please forward it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Friendly, approachable, reliable professionals

At George Hay, we are experienced in all areas of taxation and can advise you on whether a genuine tax refund is due. If you are in any doubt about any communications you have received regarding a refund, please speak to us.

Disclaimer: This article is for general guidance only.  All taxation planning should only be undertaken after appropriate professional advice.  George Hay Chartered Accountants are registered to carry on audit work and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you have discovered that you have underpaid VAT  to HM Revenue & Customs and are concerned what action you should take, read on. 

When did the error occur?

TaxHMRC are now able to look back at the previous four years records should they chose to carry out an inspection whereas previously they were only able to look at the previous three years.

The extra year is not all bad news it also means should you have made an error in your favour you now have an extra year to rectify it.

Declaring errors

For accounting errors beginning on or after 1 July 2008, businesses can adjust past errors on the next VAT return they submit providing the error is less than £10,000 or one per cent of the Box 6 turnover figure up to a maximum of £50,000. Any errors above these amounts must be notified to HMRC on a separate form.

Penalty charge noticePenalties

A new penalty system was introduced for VAT returns due to be submitted after 1 April 2009.  Penalties are now charged based on a percentage of the VAT payable.

If an error has been made but reasonable care has been taken then no penalty is applicable, but deliberate or concealed errors are dealt with more seriously and can attract a penalty equal to 200% of the VAT undeclared.


Honesty is always the best policy

Should you have made a mistake and are likely to incur a penalty then honesty is your best policy, as this can lead to a reduction in the penalty charged. But beware if you have already been notified of a visit by HMRC voluntary disclosure before they carry out their inspection will not reduce your penalty.

Evading VAT registration

Failing to register your business for VAT when it should have been can be costly.  Now that HM Revenue & Customs  manage direct and indirect taxes it is easy for them carry out checks with regards to business turnover.

The annual registration limit increased to £70,000 from 1 April 2010.

And finally,

Don’t forget, all new businesses and those with a turnover over £100,000 must now submit their VAT Return electronically. If you have not already registered make sure you do as soon as possible. Do not leave it until the day your return is due it will be too late. For more information click here

 

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

I tweet  and network with many different people working in the charity sector and find that many of them have their ‘Broadcast’ button stuck on.  “Help us…”, ‘Donate here…”, “We need more followers..”   There are a few exceptions to this of course, such as @eczemasupport  and @freshties  who are real people taking the time to support others, and you will see me regularly conversing with them online

Personal and ‘to the point’

So, when I received this message from a charity connection of mine via Linked In, I could not help but be touched.  The author had taken the time to tell a ‘real’ story, with a compelling message that gave me reason to revisit their website to refresh my mind regarding their objectives.  The message was personal and did not overwhelm me with facts and did not feel intrusive.

Focus on IMPACT

It simply focussed on an example of the IMPACT the Charity’s objectives were  having on real people – not the brand, not statistics and not how desperate they are for your money. 

And of course, I clicked the giving page and donated: Perfect charity PR with intended result achieved. 

My opinion

My only comment would be (because I always have to have my ‘two pennies worth’) to take the time to personalise the message, so it was even less of a broadcast and more of a friendly communication and perhaps leave the fundraising link until after the ‘real’ story.

 

 

 

 

Gabby’s Message

Dear Friend

I doubt if you know how flat footed I am, so this personal challenge [5k run] is not an easy one for me! It is also for an extremely worthy cause and I would be really grateful if you would do your bit to support me!

Please visit my fundraising page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GabriellaBeddows

27 of the children that we support, spent this weekend at the Malvern Hills Outdoor Centre as part of our Noah’s Ark Activity Weekend. It is a very difficult time for the young people, helping them to discover and understand their feelings.  One of the young ladies wrote on our facebook wall:

“Thank you so much for such a brilliant and life changing weekend! I’ve met such kind, lovely people, and made some beautiful new friends including all the staff that were on camp!  Words cannot explain how grateful I am for everything you have done for me and how it’s helped me!  I didn’t know that I could ever move on after my Grandma’s death and you’ve helped me to achieve that so I honestly can’t thank you enough! “

With many thanks x

Gabby Beddows
Noah’s Ark Trust
Chief Executive

T: 01905 340019
F: 01905 745121
M: 07967 467958
E: gbeddows@noahsarktrust.co.uk
W: http://www.noahsarktrust.co.uk

If you are not aware of the work of this organisation, please take a moment to look at their website.

Working hard…..

Gabby says “Coming to terms with the death of a loved one is difficult enough for an adult, but for a child or young person it can be overwhelming.  Children regularly tell us that they feel isolated, misunderstood, to blame, angry, sad and struggle to cope with the finality of it all.  

At Noah’s Ark Trust  we help them through their bereavement, offering one-to-one support and guidance along with activity weekends where they can meet other bereaved children.  The service is offered free of charge to families in Herefordshire & Worcestershire and there lies our biggest challenge during this current economic climate. Last year we supported over 800 children and raised over £450,000. We are working hard to raise the essential funds we need to help these children towards a brighter future.

Your ‘two pennies worth’

Of course, I am an accountant working in the Charity Sector, not a marketing/PR professional.  If you are experienced in dealing with the 3rd sector, both Gabby and I would be pleased to hear your views on this type of PR activity, please leave a comment.

 


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.


PAYE notices of coding are notorious for being erroneous, but HMRC have surpassed themselves with this computer generated nightmare that not only leads to extra work and a lot of confusion but may even leave you paying too much tax.

Multiple Notices

In the last few months you may have received several Notices of Coding all showing different codes for the tax year 2010/11. There have been a number of instances where taxpayers have been receiving one tax code one day followed by a different one the next or even more than one code in one day. This has left many people bewildered and uncertain about exactly what tax code will be operated against their income and many of the codes issued are wrong anyway.

New HMRC  system

The problems have occurred as a result of HM Revenue & Customs recently introducing a new system for issuing coding notices called the National Insurance and PAYE Service (NPS). The new service has brought to light various discrepancies in their records and so they have been trying to rectify the errors, hence so many codes being issued all at once. They expect to complete their review by mid April 2010 which will hopefully bring an end to all the confusion.

Resolution?

Any problems occurring as a result of an incorrect code will ultimately be resolved at the end of the tax year once a taxpayer submits their 2010/11 Tax Return to HMRC. However if serious problems are not dealt with near the beginning of the tax year it could result in a large underpayment arising for some people which it may not be possible to collect via a later year’s tax code.  If you are not required to file a Tax Return, over or underpayments may go undetected for quite some time.

A careful review is necessary

In view of the problems which have occurred it is important that any codes received for 2010/11 are reviewed fully. If you believe that your code is incorrect you should either contact your advisor if you have one or HMRC as soon as possible.

Need help?

As agents we receive a copy of the majority of PAYE Coding Notices issued to our clients and therefore we are able solve many of the matters arising before problems begin to appear. We have discovered various reasons for an incorrect code but the problems particularly appear to have affected those with multiple employments. Close scrutiny of your code is therefore important.


Disclaimer: This article is for general guidance only.  All taxation planning should only be undertaken after appropriate professional advice.  George Hay Chartered Accountants are registered to carry on audit work and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.


The new ‘VAT online service’ (VOS) was launched by H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in November in prepartion for the compulsory online filing of VAT returns and electronic payment of liabiliies for VAT periods commencing 1st April 2010.

These new regulations will be enforced and effect all

  • existing VAT registered businesses with a turnover (excluding VAT) of £100,000 or more (taken from the previous four returns submitted)
  • businesses that register for VAT on or after 1st April 2010, regardless of turnover.

 

Once your business has been required to file online once, it must continue to do so.  The only exemptions are businesses involved in an insolvency procedure or those who have satisfied HMRC that the religious beliefs are incompatible with the requirement to use electronic communications!

If your business is VAT registered, you can expect to receive a letter from HMRC during February 2010 notifying you of your obligations.

There are proposals for this to be just the first step of the process and that all VAT registered businesses should manage their VAT returns and payments electronically from 1st April 2011.

The new VOS will enable users to

  • Register for VAT
  • Enrol for electronic filing
  • View previously submitted electronic returns
  • Set up email alerts to remind business owners of when returns should be submitted

Of course, if you do not want to be burdened with this, your accountant will be able to act as your agent in the same way as they can file payroll and self-assessment returns.  They will ask you to an authority to act (HMRC form 64-8 is not adequate for VOS) and may re-issue their letter of engagement to clarify the terms of this service.

More information can be sought from your accountant or HMRC’s online services website


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post

This is a very short post just to let you know that the easy-to-read guidance offered by H M Revenue & Customs on the Gift Aid scheme has been updated.

If you are, or are thinking of running a gift aid scheme for your deserving cause, I highly recommend you read this http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/charities/gift_aid/basics.htm

I would particularly like to highlight the fact that the time limit for making a claim has reduced to 4 years.


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

Why is it that some people are successful and some are not? Why is it that are some people paid millions a year while some are on minimum wage?

If you’re struggling to get by and you hear of someone making a HUGE amount of money it may seem unjust and unfair. But, as Jim Rohn would say, it’s all about the value you bring to the marketplace.

So it would seem that the other person is more valuable to the marketplace than you are.

The good thing is you can increase your value, and hence increase your income, and you can start today. However, Jim explains better than I do.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

With thanks to my twitterbuddy,  Mark Hibbitts

Self-assessment deadlines have changed – don’t be late!

H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are working hard to encourage businesses and individual taxpayers to file online to help them become more efficient and effective.  As part of this strategy they have changed the deadline if you wish to continue submitting a paper Return.

j0434804Generally, if you are sent a notice to complete a Tax Return you must return it completed before the later of 31 October following the end of the tax year and three months following the date of issue of the notice. Failure to do so will result in a £100 penalty regardless of the tax due. This is a significant change, so beware. (£100 per partner if the Return relates to a partnership)

For paper returns submitted by this date, HMRC will:

  • calculate your tax for you (though you or your accountant can calculate it for yourself if you want)
  • tell you what to pay by the following 31 January
  • collect tax through your tax code (if possible) where you owe less than £2,000.

Returns sent via HMRC’s website or an electronic service provided by your accountant may be submitted up to 31 January.  There are many advantages of electronic submission which all our clients benefit from, the main ones being:

  • Tax Returns are processed almost immediately and an acknowledgement of successful submission is provided.
  • Your liability is calculated automatically and any refund due is issued by the system direct to your bank account.  Typically this occurs within 10 working days and saves banking and postage costs/time.  Manual processing can take weeks, sometimes months.
  • PAYE coding notices are updated and re-issued without delay (if appropriate)
  • The lack of ‘human’ intervention prevents processing errors and re-enforces the process now, check later strategy intended for Self-Assessment

There are a few situations where online tax returns can’t be made. In these cases the submission deadline is 31 January.Its about Time Series II

Companies House deadlines and penalties have changed too…..

If you operate your business through a Limited Company please be aware that the accounts filing deadline has been reduced by one month for accounting periods beginning on or after 6th April 2008.

A private company now only has 21 months from incorporation or in subsequent years nine months from its’ accounting period end to submit financial statements to Companies House.

From 1st February 2009 the late filing penalties imposed by Companies House have also become a lot more onerous.

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If your accounts or Tax Returns are not up to date,

call us for a free no obligation consultation. 01480 426500

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.