Posts tagged ‘Blog’

HMRC has had much success in collecting large amounts of tax from property related tax investigations recently, giving them more impetus to continue to challenge investors.

In particular, the widely used claim for PPR (Principal Private Residence) relief which significantly reduces exposure to Capital Gains Tax has been making headlines following a high profile debate about MP’s expenses.

Making a house a home

There+s+no+place+like+home_9d95e3_4741424In order to be eligible for PPR relief, you must be able to demonstrate that the investment property was your home at some point during your ownership.

The term “home” is key here, merely paying council tax and redirecting some of your post simply is not enough.  HMRC may require evidence that your personal artefacts were present enabling you to reside in the property with “home” comforts, but of course what makes a house a home is a very subjective matter.

Evidence

Perhaps the current trend of sharing your personal life on Social Media, will become useful after all?

Flipping and switching

If you are what’s known as a “property flipper” (regularly buying, refurbishing and selling on) or have elected to change your principal residence from one property to another, which you are perfectly entitled to, be warned that you may be putting your head above the proverbial parapet.

Protect your eligibility

If you need advice on how to ensure you get the very valuable PPR relief, then please feel free to get in touch.

 

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.

Blogging and social media is a regular topic of interest at The Business Club Cambridge.  In May, Chris Markham, Neil Hamilton-Meikle and I hosted a blogging workshop aimed at members who have often considered starting a blog but have procrastinated for too long.

Neil covered the basics of getting started such as choosing a platform, I discussed content generation and Chris gave some insights in to getting your blog noticed and generating meaningful business leads.

I thought it would be useful to share with you, the outline of my presentation.

Your Style…

Before you can generate constuctive ideas or devise a plan/strategy for your blog, you need to be clear about the style of your blog.

Your own personality and goals should determine this, but take time to consider:

  1. Your target audience.  Professionals? Niche? Mums at home? Young People?  What will they be interested in? How much time/money do they have to spend? What kind of language/grammer is appropriate?  Also, consider that readers may be your current client base, sharing knowledge is a great tool for client retention so don’t just think of it as a lead generation exercise.
  2. What “calls to action” need to be included to achieve your objectives.  For example, are you hoping for a call, a newsletter sign up or SEO for your main website?  Then ASK, be clear about what you want your readers to do.  Are there “key words” that you need to incorporate for SEO?
  3. How you will promote interaction (comments, social media sharing, bookmarking etc)  Blogging is all about sharing information to build trust amongst your peers and clients.
  4. How often will you post a blog?  And what time of the day/week/month is best for you and your audience?  To build rapport you need to blog regularly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean frequently.  Quality definitely overrules quantity.
  5. What are your competitors doing?  How will you differentiate yourself?
  6. What format will you use?  Short paragraphs, full articles, infographics, links, video…..
  7. Will you actively seek guest authors?  This is a great way to share readership, build alliances and double the social media impact, but be careful not to confuse your audience, the posts must be relevant to them and contribute to your overall strategy.

Once you have these issues clearly documented, you will find ideas for content everywhere you look and there is not enough time in the day to cover them, so a structured plan is essential.

Part 2 will look at what to write and how to generate ideas that will work.

 

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.

May 1960 Pay SlipNew powers to tackle PAYE debtors

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will have new powers to tackle companies which fail to pay their employees’ income tax and national insurance contributions.

Upfront demands

From April, HMRC will be able to demand an upfront security from firms it deems to pose a serious risk of not paying.  In particular, HMRC will be targeting companies which deduct money from their employees’ pay packets but have no intention of paying it to the tax office.

The new measures are an extension of existing powers which HMRC has in respect of VAT, insurance premium tax and  environmental taxes.

It is hard to believe that this a “new” power as without it compliant taxpayers are not being treated fairly.

PenaltyPossible penalties

Businesses failing to provide a security will face a fine of up to £5,000 which will be enforceable by the courts.

HMRC have said that employers facing genuine payment difficulties will not be affected by the change.

Source: Total Investor 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.

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.

 

Trustees Liability

In the past trustees have been worried that they may be personally liable for mistakes they make which put charitable assets at risk.

The Charities Act 2006 (which is still being implemented in phases) introduces two small but important changes.

Indemnity Insurance

If trustees act prudently, lawfully and in accordance with their governing document, then any liability trustees incur may be met by the charity’s resources.

Charities can take out insuracne to cover such circumstances.

Any breach of trust will result in the trustee being personally responsible fpr making good any loss to the charity.  Since trustees are acting  as a collective governing body, they will usually be jointly and severally responsible.

Personal Liability Insurance

Risk is when an outcome’s probability is known. Uncertainty is when an outcome’s probability is unknown.Trustees are now able to procure trustee indemnity insurance using the charity’s funds, to protect them from personal liability to third parties.  This is still deemed to be a trustee benefit but it is no longer a requirement to gain permission from the Charity Commission provided that the governing document does not prohibit it.

Fair use of charitable resources?

Trustees need to consider the nature or the charity’s activities, the degree of risk to which the trustees are exposed, the number of trustees to be covered and the cost to the charity of paying the premiums when deciding whether insurance is a good use of resources.

Of course, there is nothing stopping trustees from arranging and paying for their own policies.

 

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.

Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer and you make a donation to a registered charity, gift aid can be claimed by the charity.  Effectively, the Government give the basic rate tax that the donor has paid on the amount they have pledged, to the charity.

Even a smile is an act of charityFrom the year 2000 onwards there is no minimum or maximum donation value for applying gift aid.

The amount of gift aid pledged by taxpayers and not claimed by charities runs in to several million pounds.

If the donor is a 40% taxpayer, the charity will receive the basic rate tax, currently 20% and the donor can claim the remaining 20% via their Self-Assessment Tax Return.  They can therefore afford to donate more!

How

  1. The donor completes a Gift Aid declaration (see below) with their name, address and the date.
  2. The charity fills in a claim form and send it to HMRC.
  3. HMRC makes a payment direct to the charity for the amount of basic rate tax claimed.

Example Declaration

“I wish the enclosed donation for £xx and any future donations I make to this charity to be treated as a Gift Aid donation.  I am a UK taxpayer”

 

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.

 

88p 6 piece puzzle - solvedEconomic Contribution

There are approximately 200,000 registered charities in England and Wales, generating income of more than £50bn per annum (c.3% GDP)

Government grants/contracts make up up around 36% of funding. (27% in 1991)

80% of registered charities have annual income of less than £25k per year.

The sector employs around 750,000 paid staff and is governed by approximately 1 million trustees.

 

 

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.

 

History

Parry Block, The Mint Yard, King´s School, CanterburyThe first “charitable organisation” was the King’s School in Canterbury, formed in 597AD.

The Victorians were very philanthropic and created what we now recognise as NSPCC and Barnados.

It wasn’t until 1942 that Oxfam (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief) changed the face of the sector with it’s worldwide missions and opened one of the world’s first Charity shops in 1948.

 

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.

Lamborghini Gallardo SuperleggeraOn 1st March 2011, HMRC finally increased their allowable fuel rates to better reflect the sustantial increases in fuel prices we have all been suffering.

To make sure you are using the correct rate to get maximum tax benefit click here.

 

 

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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.

Earlier this year, a Court of Appeal held that a volunteer working for a charity could not pursue a claim under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 because she did not have a contract and didn’t qualify as an employee.  Although the case was in relation to disability discrimination, the principles apply to all other areas of discrimination.

Time for charities with volunteers to breathe a sigh of relief.  Or is it?  Charities who have volunteers must ensure that they are getting the relationship right, both in terms of the legal description and the practicalities of how volunteers work. 

To make sure you get it right follow these simple rules from Keeping HR Simple

 

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.

As an avid networker, I am constantly intrigued by “experts” offering networking advice to small business owners.

Personally, I have rarely struggled with networking.  In fact, I find it enjoyable and sometimes exhilarating, but I completely understand why for many it is an uncomfortable experience.

I recently read a blog post about being self-conscious when at networking events that I felt worthy of sharing with you, because it offers clear advice that I am in complete agreement with – It’s not about you!

http://myescapevelocity.com/take-the-self-out-of-self-consciousness-when-youre-networking


To summarise the author, Liz Strauss writes:

“Everyone likes an intelligent, interested person who gives us true attention.
We all like people who ask meaningful questions and listen to how we answer them.
I learned that being that person makes walking into a room of strangers easier to do”


So, next time you are at a networking event, stretching your comfort zone, anxious and sweaty palmed, take the heat off yourself and focus on others and you will be surprised what an adept networker you will become.

For further tips on developing your networking skills, try “Joined Up Networking” by Heather Townsend.

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.