HMRC outlines points-based late payment penalties

At the start of December, HMRC announced plans to introduce a driving penalty ‘points’ system to punish late-paying taxpayers.
The points-based system would be introduced as part of the shift towards ‘Making Tax Digital (MTD),’ which will see many taxpayers submitting tax returns more regularly.
Now the tax authority has outlined their plans in more detail, suggesting that tax customers will receive a point every time they fail to submit on time.

CloudAccountant are now Receipt Bank Bronze Partners

Expenses can be a hassle to deal with and they cost time and money to process. To help you with the paper war CloudAccountant are expanding our range of approved providers that integrate with Xero and sort this problem for you. Our latest partnership means that we are now Receipt Bank Bronze Partners.

Receipt Bank provides a receipt and invoice processing service that gathers together your receipts and invoices, scans them, converts the receipts into useful data and then sends them directly into Xero.

Receipt Bank extracts all the relevant information from the receipt/expense but has clever features such as identifying which bank account you have paid from using the 4 digits of your card on the receipt. It then matches that payment to the relevant bank account in Xero. Uploading receipts for processing anywhere in the world is easy via email, the web, or use the Smartphone app to send receipts on the move.

If saving yourself some time and hassle sounds like something you would be interested in please contact your account manager to find out more.

Was the budget kind to the self-employed?
Editor | 24 November 2017
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Having been battered by some recent budget statements, contractors and other self-employed workers might have had a sense of foreboding as Philip Hammond stood to deliver his budget speech to the Commons yesterday.
Rumours circulating in the run-up to budget day didn’t help matters. It was widely reported that the Chancellor could extend public-sector IR35 compliance rules to the private sector and it was rumoured that the VAT threshold could be lowered.

Five steps to get your side business set up for tax

In today’s economy, many people choose to supplement their full or part-time income by setting up a small business on the side.
It might be using a particular skill to complete some ‘on the side’ freelance work, or attempting to earn money from a hobby like crocheting or knitting.
For many, the ‘side hustle’ is just a way of earning some extra cash, but others treat it like a passion project that they would like to see growing to replace their full-time job.

CloudAccountant obtains Xero Platinum status

This month CloudAccountant are pleased to report that they have attained the prestigious Platinum partner status with award winning cloud accounting software Xero.

Platinum represents the highest partner status achievable and CloudAccountant have worked with the Xero team since back in early 2015 having embraced the platform as the leading player in the cloud accounting market. It was clear early on that this disruptive technology would enable a greater collaboration in real time with our clients and this has certainly proven to be the case.

SME business numbers skyrocket
Editor | 11 December 2017
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The number of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) has skyrocketed in the UK.
The Government now estimates that there are 5.7 million private sector businesses at the start of 2017 and 99.9% of these companies were SMEs.
This represents an increase of 197,000 businesses set up since the start of 2016 and a whopping 2.2 million since 2000.
That’s an increase of 64% in 17 years.

Four simple tips for managing your own books

So you’ve set up your own business. Now the hard work begins.
Your head is probably swimming with ideas, possibilities and strategies that could help your business grow.
One thing you probably aren’t thinking about is bookkeeping. Recording financial information is not really the fun part of starting a new business – but it is crucial to start-up success.
You don’t have to waste money employing someone to manage the books for you, handling it yourself doesn’t need to be daunting.

6 tips for avoiding an HMRC investigation
Editor | 21 November 2017
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HMRC investigations are scary affairs. Sure, some might say, if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn’t be worried. But there is always the chance that you made an innocent, but costly mistake in the last six years of filing your taxes.
And besides, tax investigations can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you employ an accountant to straighten out all of your affairs.

If you have a Business PayPal account, you can set up an automatic bank feed in Xero.

If you have a Business PayPal account, you can set up an automatic bank feed in Xero. New transactions are imported every 24 hours. If you use multiple currencies in PayPal, then you can import each currency separately using Xero’s multi-currency capability, powered by XE.com.

PayPal bank feeds are far superior than importing your PayPal statements manually. As you may have experienced, PayPal statements have the tendancy of having line items in there that do not actually affect your balance. When you import this into Xero it can become difficult to reconcile the bank. To keep your accounts clean, Xero will only import transactions that change your PayPal balance – so you don’t need to deal with credit card purchases on your PayPal account or with currency conversions.

Should eBay sellers and Airbnb hosts pay tax?

Many Brits like to make some extra income by selling items on eBay or renting out a room on Airbnb, but many are unsure whether they have to pay tax on these earnings.
Now, cloud accountancy software company FreeAgent has warned these online sellers and room sharers that they could face a £100 fine if they don’t submit a tax return and risk further penalties for any outstanding tax.
HMRC is getting more sophisticated at tracking these kinds of online transactions and, as always, ignorance is not an excuse that washes with the taxman.

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