Posts tagged ‘Business Forms’

The end of the tax year is almost here, so those of you who administer the payroll function for your business are nearing a busy time and need to ensure you are prepared for a few changes which occur this year.

Online Filing

The first change affects those who have not previously filed their Employer Annual Return online. 2009/10 is the first year that online filing is mandatory for all employers regardless of the size of the business. Paper filing of forms is no longer an option. Therefore if you have not previously been registered for electronic filing you must ensure you now register with HMRC’s PAYE Online Service which can be done via the HMRC website.

Late Payment Penalties

Another change which will affect employers from May 2010 is the introduction of late payment penalties if your PAYE is paid late. Currently interest is only charged when the PAYE payment is received late at the end of the tax year.

From May 2010 your PAYE payment will need to be received on time either each month or each quarter depending upon which basis you pay.  Businesses will have to ensure that HMRC always receive postal payments by the 19th of the month or that electronic payments are received in HMRC’s bank account by 22nd of the month to avoid a late payment penalty. The new late payment penalties will apply to all employers and contractors that do not pay on time.

Details of whether you have incurred a penalty will not be sent out until April 2011 but will apply for the whole of the 2010/11 tax year. Penalties will start at 1% of the late amount and will increase to 4% depending upon how many times you pay late. You will not have to pay a penalty if only one payment is late unless it is more than six months late. Payments that are more than six months late may attract a penalty of 5% and a further 5% if still outstanding after more than twelve months.

This is an important change for employers who should ensure they get in to the practice of paying their liability on time each month not just at the payroll year end to avoid any extra costs.

If you have any queries regarding the preparation of your payroll my colleagues at our in-house payroll bureau PayScheme will be happy to help. Contact a member of the team direct on 01767 220199.

 

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.

Forms and more forms, rules and regulations, sign here, don’t forget this, do that…

Entrepreneurs are often discouraged by the bewildering amount of bureaucracy and problems which they come up against.  But with a simple checklist of tasks and a little support, your small business could be up and running in no time.

Do I need an accountant?

It is not essential, but advisable.  An accountant will have the specialist knowledge and experience to assist your business, help you make decisions about the future and relieve you of most of the administrative burden associated with being self-employed; enabling you to devote more time to developing your business and earn that all important cash.

If you are going to engage an accountant it is essential that you involve them from the outset.  Decisions taken at the early stages can affect your business for many years to come.  For example, they can advise you on the best structure for your business and how to deal with other people that have a stake in your business.  (I will deal with some of these points in a future ‘accountancy’ post)

How do I find an accountant?

There are many ways to source professional services, but the key is to find someone you can trust and can work with.  You may be discussing sensitive issues so you need to be comfortable communicating with them.  Ask other business people for recommendations and introductions or attend networking events where you have the opportunity to speak to a potential adviser and find out whether they suit you and your business. Check that they are qualified, as this will ensure the quality of their services is regularly monitored.     Look no further! www.georgehay.co.uk

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Assuming you plan to operate a sole trader, here are a few pointers for you to consider.


  • Inform H M Revenue and Customs

You must inform the Tax Office that you are operating a business as a self-employed person so that  a ‘self-assessment record’ can be created. This will ensure you are issued with a Tax Return

You will also pay Class 2 National Insurance.  This ensures you are paying enough NIC to keep a continuous record should you need to claim benefits or a state pension in the future.  

If your household income is low, also ask them for tax credits application pack.


  • Open a business bank account

It is important to open a business bank account, not only will your bank be disgruntled if you continue to use your personal banking facilities for business, it will be difficult to segregate business transactions from personal, which may lead to complications later.  Shop around for the best deals, most high street banks offer free business banking for the first year for start-ups and don’t forget to build a relationship with your business bank manager, they have a lot of business experience to share with you.


  • Keep adequate records

You do not have to be a trained bookkeeper to maintain adequate business records; however failure to do so could make life very difficult if H M Revenue and Customs randomly pick your business for an enquiry as you will be unable to substantiate the amounts you have declared. In fact, you may find that you are not claiming relief for all that you are entitled if you do not have a clear record of your transactions.

Maintaining records is also a key part of managing an effective business as they will allow you to review your performance, check your customers are settling their accounts and assist you in managing cash flow.
  • VAT Registration

If your turnover exceeds the registration limit in any rolling twelve month period, registration is compulsory.  Until then, the decision whether to voluntarily register is dependant on your customers.  Generally, if they are registered, you may as well be.


  • Taxation

The tax year runs to 5th April.  Soon after this date you will receive a Tax Return.  You may need professional assistance with completing this, but if the business is very small and you have kept adequate records, it is fairly straight forward so should not cost you an arm and a leg!  This form must be completed and submitted to H M Revenue and Customs by the following 31st January.  If you are not completing the form online, it must be submitted 31st October. The Tax Office will calculate your liabilities for you, before they fall due on 31st January.


  • Business Support

There are many sources of business support for small businesses.  Search on the internet for local networking organisations, where you will find like minded individuals who are experiencing similar anxieties as you.  You may also find these networks are a valuable source of contacts for developing your business.

Find out if you have an Enterprise Agency or Business Link in your area.  These supply consultancy and workshops at heavily subsidised rates.

Ask your professional advisers, such as your accountant or bank manager, if they don’t know the answer, they should know some one who does.


  •  Business insurance

Can be an expensive overhead for a new business, but needs to be considered carefully.


  • Think positively

You are only as good as you believe you are….


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.