Tax and finance insights

Our take on the accounting issues that matter to you, including guidance on what tax rules mean in the real world and practical tips on running your business.

Contractors: Umbrella vs limited company

One of the first questions you have to think about when you start work as a contractor surrounds business structure: should you incorporate your business or work under an umbrella company? While the majority of contractors go with the limited company option, there are growing numbers of umbrella...

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Startups: how to choose your trading entity

Out of 5.7 million private sector businesses in the UK, 60% are sole traders, while 33% operate as companies and 7% as partnerships. Choosing which of these structures will work for your new business is one of the first decisions you’ll need to make, and it’s not one to be taken lightly. Your...

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Travel expenses for sole traders

For many sole traders, travel is one of the main expenses involved in running a business. Whether you’re making frequent journeys to complete day-to-day work or just taking the occasional business trip, the costs can add up significantly over time. You can claim the costs of travel as business...

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IR35 changes: will you be affected?

With a complex set of rules to navigate and the threat of high tax costs, IR35 is an anxiety-inducing subject for many contractors. But after changing the way the legislation works for public sector contracts last year, the government is now planning to roll out similar reforms to IR35 in the...

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Investing in property

A series of tax changes over recent years have taken their toll on residential landlords, with purchases of buy-to-let mortgages falling 22% from 2017 to 2018 according to UK Finance. In April 2016, the government introduced a 3% stamp duty surcharge on purchases of additional homes, including...

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Making Tax Digital update

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is the government’s plan to modernise the tax system through digital records and reporting. It’s intended to replace paper reporting and eventually bring an end to self-assessment, making it easier for businesses and individuals to keep track of their tax affairs. After...

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GDPR: what’s changed?

After several years of preparation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on 25 May 2018. With more responsibility placed on organisations and severe penalties for non-compliance hanging over business owners’ heads, it’s easy to get caught up in a sense of panic. It’s...

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Dividends: tax-free allowance reduced

Since several reforms to dividend taxation in recent years, taking dividends is no longer as tax-advantageous an option as it once was. The most recent change to dividends came into effect on 6 April 2018, when the tax-free allowance was reduced from £5,000 to £2,000. How are dividends taxed?...

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Tax and finance: 7 changes for 2018/19

The 2018/19 tax year has just begun, bringing with it some new tax and finance measures. Whether you’re looking to plan your personal finances or prepare your business for the year ahead, here’s a reminder of some of the key changes that came in on or before 6 April 2018. 1) The personal allowance...

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Spring Statement round-up

Chancellor Philip Hammond told the House of Commons he was feeling “positively Tigger-like” as he presented his Spring Statement 2018 on 13 March. But how many bouncy things did his speech have in store? As it turned out, very little new information was announced. In line with the government’s...

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