Corona Virus Information

COVID 19 ( Coronavirus ) INFORMATION

We are all watching the news and the spread of the virus throughout the UK.
As a firm we want to reassure our clients that we are taking necessary precautions and we are following UK Government guidance.
Our procedures, policies, and requests to our clients and visitors to our offices are :

1.      Our offices will remain open until such time as legislation forces closure.

2.      In the event of closure our staff would be able to work remotely.

3.      Our offices have increased hand washes available, along with hand sanitizers, and anti virus wipes for work surfaces.

4.      We will ask all visitors to use our hand cleaning products in the office, upon arrival.

5.      Our staff have been informed of Government guidance and how to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

6.      If any of our staff have symptoms, they have been advised to self isolate.

7.      We will avoid unnecessary meetings, and aim to complete work for clients via electronic means wherever possible.

8.      Where meetings are unavoidable, these will be held in our second office which has a boardroom table in excess of 2 metres.

9.      Some of our staff will in any event be working remotely at home.

10.      None of our staff as far as we are aware have visited any of the category 1 high risk areas in the world.

11.      The various services which we provide to clients have at least 3 different members of staff who can provide the expertise.

12.      We do not currently feel that there will be a shortage of expertise in any particular area.

13.      We ask clients to send us their relevant information for accounts, and the upcoming 2020 tax returns ASAP.
If we are forced to close the office then we will still be able to deal with your affairs efficiently and timely as long as we have the information to hand.

14.      We ask clients to use the appropriate means of communication with us.
A telephone call for more detailed advice, or email for simple advice or non urgent advice.


Budget Summary 2019/20

Trick or Treat?

Philip Hammond joked that he had avoided giving his speech on Halloween night itself because it would have been simply too tempting for the caption writers, and had avoided Christmas because he did not want to appear in cartoons disguised as Santa Claus. Even so, he was determined to honour the Prime Minister’s recent declaration that austerity was over. He repeated again and again that ‘the British people’s hard work has paid off’ and the fiscal rigour of the past eight years has allowed him at last to share out some of the benefits.

Mrs May had already committed £20 billion of spending to the NHS, but Mr Hammond still managed to raise tax allowances to the level promised for 2020 in the election manifesto a year early, a tax ‘giveaway’ of nearly £3 billion next year. Other big figures include the freeze on fuel duty for the ninth successive year, help for the transition to Universal Credit, a temporary increase for tax allowances on plant and machinery, and extra relief from business rates for small retailers. Very few tax raising measures were announced, even in the small print of the mass of information that is released on the internet when the Chancellor sits down. There really has not been a Budget like this in recent years.

The great unknown, of course – not quite an elephant in the room, because the Chancellor did refer to it – is the outcome of the negotiations with the EU on the terms of our leaving. If we get a good trade deal, as the Chancellor confidently expects, there will be a ‘double dividend’ – an end of uncertainty, and no more need for the reserves he has been holding back in case we do not reach agreement. If ‘no deal’ is the outcome, he hinted that the outlook would then be so different that it might be necessary to upgrade the Spring Statement to a full ‘fiscal event’ – another Budget with a different plan.

An opposition MP shouted that Mr Hammond ‘won’t be here next year’. He affably responded that she had made the same interjection during his previous two Budgets as well. He clearly expects to implement the plans that are summarised in this booklet. In the meantime, we will be happy to discuss the impact of his proposals on you and your finances.

Significant points
  • Manifesto pledge to raise Personal Allowance to £12,500 and higher rate threshold to £50,000 fulfilled a year early, in 2019/20.
  • Off payroll working reforms to be extended to private sector engagers from April 2020.
  • No changes to pension relief apart from inflation uplift to Lifetime Allowance.
  • Tightening of CGT rules on Entrepreneurs’ Relief and Main Residence Exemption.
  • Annual Investment Allowance for plant and machinery increased to £1 million for two years from 1 January 2019.
  • New capital allowance for construction of commercial buildings introduced for expenditure from 29 October 2018.
  • First-time buyers’ relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax extended to shared ownership schemes.


Minimum Wage Increases

From 1st April 2018 both the National Living Wage ( NLW ) and the National Minimum Wage ( NMW ) will be increasing. These rates are the legal minimum that you must pay your workers. An employee can report an underpayment of wages via a straightforward online form, and also make a claim at Tribunal for the underpayment. The Tribunal fees have also now been removed, meaning it will cost an employee nothing to commence the claim.

The NLW will rise from £7.50 per hour to £7.83 per hour. This is an increase of 4.4% and is the biggest rise since 2008. The NLW applies to workers aged 25 and over.

The NMW increases as follows :

  • a) workers aged 21-24 : from £7.05 to £7.38 per hour
  • b) workers aged 18-20 : from £5.60 to £5.90 per hour
  • c) workers over compulsory school age but not yet 18 : from £4.05 to £4.20 per hour
  • d) apprentice rate  :   from £3.50 to £3.70 per hour  

All employers MUST ensure that they comply with this legislation to avoid back payments, penalties, Tribunal claims, and being named on the Government Register for all to see!