Month: October 2014

Who needs to complete a tax return?

self assessment forms

The  deadline for online self-assessment is round the corner and with all the talk about tax returns I have found it interesting, listening to people’s views regarding the completion of them. Just to clarify some of the misunderstanding surrounding who needs to complete one I have summarised below the most common reasons for needing to complete a tax return.

1. You are a self-employed sole trader or a partner in a business partnership

You will need to complete a return even if your profit is under the personal allowance, if you make a loss or if it’s your final year of trading.

2. You are a company director

3. Your annual income is £100,000 or more -you may have higher or additional tax to pay that hasn’t been collected through your tax code.

4. You have income from savings, investments or property

If you receive £10k or more from your taxed savings/investments and £2.5k or more from untaxed savings.

If you receive £10k or more from property(before deducting allowable expenses) and £2.5k or more from property (after deducting your allowable expenses)

5. If you are employed and want to claim expenses of £2.5k or more

6. You or your partner receive child benefit and your income is over £50,000

7. You have Capital Gains Tax to pay e.g you have sold, given away or otherwise disposed of an asset such as a holiday home or shares.

The key point is that you will need to complete a tax return even if you don’t have to pay any tax or you’ve already paid it.

If you are not sure whether you need to fill in a tax return you can use the very useful toolkit on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/check-if-you-need-a-tax-return

If you would like to chat about any of the above or need assistance in completing your return please get in touch to organise a free no obligations meeting. http://www.winchesterbookkeeping.co.uk

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The benefits of using online accounting software

Xero accounting software

Some of the more forward thinking Accountants are now jumping on the cloud bandwagon and embracing the benefits that online accounting software can bring to both client and Accountant. I, myself am a recent convert to Xero. Below I summarise some of the key benefits.

1. Cost savings

No purchase of hardware or software is required. There is no need for maintenance, backups or upgrades. Instead you pay a very reasonably priced monthly subscription for usage which can be stopped at any time. Bookkeeping costs are kept to a minimum as automatic bank feeds and other auto matching facilities speed up the bank reconciliation process, saving hours of manual checking and posting.

2. Bookkeeping is made easier

Xero software is incredibly user friendly and is very easy to navigate. Terminology has been tweaked to avoid accounting speak. Data can be reconciled very quickly and simply. The online invoicing facility is excellent. This in turn should encourage faster payment and better cash-flow.

3. View your accounts in the cloud

Xero is web based so you can work where you want and when you want with 24/7 access from any internet connection in the world using a PC, laptop, smartphone or MAC. All you need is a web browser. When you work on the same data as your accountant and at the same time, there is no need to share a computer or exchange files.

4. Real time view of the health of  your business

The ease and simplicity of Xero encourages small business owners to be much more in tune with their financial situation. One of the great benefits is that your cash-flow position can be viewed in real time allowing you to identify issues, respond to change and take action quickly. Your Accountant in turn will be able to be more responsive and give much better insight and advice.

In my mind, Xero is one of the best accounting software solutions on offer for micro to small sized businesses. I have yet to find a small business owner disappointed with the results. Take a listen to some happy customers…https://www.xero.com/uk/

If you would like a free no obligation chat about your requirements do call on 07596 516670

Karen Upcraft

The Winchester Bookkeeping Company