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Online accounting & payroll software for British business & charities

Budgeting for business

22.03.2017

Liberty Accounts makes the process of preparing a budget easy with tools including use of historic data and seasonality. Prepare a budget in moments for the accounts that you want to budget for and, if using branches and activities, for cost centres.

 

From: bookkeeping-

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Small Charitable Donations

04.04.2017

In December 2016 the Small Charitable Donations and Childcare Payments Bill, designed to simplify and strengthen the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, and will come into effect at the start of the this tax year. The Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme (GASDS), introduced in 2013, was originally expected to raise £100m a year but has fallen well short only delivering just over a quarter of that figure currently. With the reforms included in the bill the government estimates the amount of Gift Aid claimed by charities under the scheme will increase by £15m a year. The scheme is intended for occasions where donors don't have time to stop and the provide details required for a gift aid declaration - such as putting money into a charity bucket. Charities are able to claim these repayments on small donations of £20 or less, up to an annual cap. However, as identified on a survey by NCVO, small charities in particular are struggling to make use of the scheme due to complex access requirements which was reflected in the scheme’s usage statistics - only 29% of the number of charities projected to claim in 2014/15 did so (ref: NCVO Briefing). This Bill removes some criteria for charities to access the Scheme, such as the requirement to have made successful gift aid claims in previous years. Also donations made by contactless payment will be covered but this hasn't been extended to cheques, text donations or online payments. A charity’s annual claim under GASDS is capped by reference to its annual claim under Gift Aid (the ‘matching rule’). In addition, a charity that is connected with one or more other charities has to share the annual £8,000 (increasing from the current £5,000) main allowance. Finally, the scheme allows a charity to make an additional claim in respect of donations it has raised as part of its charitable activities in a community building – such as a village hall, town hall or place of worship. The aim of these rules is to allow charities operating in a similar way but structured differently to have the same entitlement to top-up payments. For example, a charity may have several branches but registered as one charity or, alternatively, another charity may have the same structure but each branch may be registered as a separate charity. For further information see Parliament Explanatory Notes

 

From: blog

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New Flat Rate VAT Rules

15.03.2017

From 1st April 2017 new rules regarding Flat Rate VAT will be applied that may affect your business. The Flat Rate Scheme was introduced to simplify business record keeping and make the calculation of VAT payable to HMRC much easier and, as a result, many small businesses under the income threshold of £150,000 adopted the scheme. Whilst the principle was to simplify record keeping the VAT payable to HMRC was intended to be broadly the same as the amount payable if not using the scheme. However, in their calculations HMRC hadn’t considered the potential benefit, or as they refer to it ‘abuse of the scheme’, for what they call ‘Limited Cost Traders’. A limited cost trader is defined a business that spends less than 2% of its turnover on goods (not services) in an accounting period. Of course it’s not as straightforward as that as costs cannot include: capital goods (such as new equipment used in a business); food and drink (such as lunches for staff); vehicles or parts for vehicles (unless running a vehicle hiring business); if total spend is less than £1,000 a year even if this is more than 2% of turnover on goods. If you are a limited cost trader a higher flat rate percentage of 16.5% must be applied from 1st April. If you are unsure whether this change applies to you please seek advice from your professional adviser.

 

From: business

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