01704 546 000
Love Xero accounting

How to use Xero: Tips & tricks to make Xero REALLY work for you

Here at Kirkwood Wilson Accountants, we are all about giving you that one priceless gift back, TIME! It’s the one thing that we never seem to have enough of, and the one thing that we always waste lots of, especially when it comes to admin tasks. Learning about a new piece of software can be daunting and can take time. So to give you some of that time back, we’re here to show you exactly how to use Xero as a time saving device.  Discover some of our very best Xero tips and tricks for making this incredible software really work for you and your business.

1. Use Direct Bank Feeds

Almost all banks now have the ability to connect to Xero directly, and this is called a Direct Bank Feed. Natwest, Barclays, Santander, Lloyds, HSBC, Paypal and some online banks such as Starling allow their account holders to upload information from the banking system straight into your Xero software. This can be done as often as you like, you are in complete control of it. From here you can also set up bank rules which streamlines everything even more.

Using Direct Bank Feeds means no more typing in manual transactions, which means less time bookkeeping and MORE time for you! 

2. Set up repeating invoices

Almost all our clients pay us on a monthly basis. The amount is the same every month, so we use the Repeating Invoice template to cut down on the amount of time spent invoicing out. This will also work on invoices that YOU pay every month, for example, window cleaning. This is usually the same amount every month, and when your bank feed is connected, Xero will automatically want to match the payment to that Repeating Invoice amount. If the person paying you/person you are paying is the same every month but the amount changes, Xero can be set so that you can edit the amounts BEFORE they go out. More time back for you!  

3. Keep track of your debtors

You can use Invoice Reminders in Xero if one of your clients has not paid their invoice to you. You can tailor the email that is sent to your client so it’s a little more personal too. 

4. Make bulk payments

Anything you can do in bulk will ultimately save you time somewhere. If you are responsible for and/or know what all the payments to suppliers are for and you are comfortable that you can pay all of the invoices you are entering on to the system, then do it all in bulk! 

This also works very well if you have an assistant who might be entering the supplier invoices on (potentially using an add-on like Receipt Bank) and you have to approve the invoice. 

5. Invest in some add-ons

Xero as it is, on its own, will work tremendously for you and your business. It will even take some of the work away from you which is always a bonus. However, if you have a lot of receipts, expenses or a lot of debt to chase, then adding an app can give you so much MORE time back. 

At Kirkwood Wilson, we use Receipt Bank for expenses and Chaser for credit control. We’ve been using these add-ons for a long time now, and the difference is incredible. Credit control used to take us at least 2 days a week, now we can have it all done in 1 afternoon, sometimes less. 

6. Set up your system properly at the start

If you populate as many fields as possible and set the system up as well as you can right at the very beginning, you’re going to be able to do a lot more with it. There are so many different types of reports that you can access to help run your business, but you need to have the information in there to start with. You can also build your own reports (which we’ve also done here at KWA).

Helping you learn how to use Xero

As Xero Gold Partners, we’re well versed in getting our clients set up with Xero. If you need a hand getting started with Xero, or want to talk to us about any of the Xero tips and tricks listed here, get in touch with one of our Xero Champions today who’d be delighted to show you exactly how to use Xero. Call us on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected]

Houses of Parliament

Budget Update 2021 Summary

We can’t quite believe we’re talking about another tax year already, but Rishi Sunak has delivered his Spring Budget Update.

There wasn’t quite as many updates as we would have ordinarily expected, but we’ve done our best to summarise the main points for you below.

Personal Tax

There will be an increase to the tax-free personal allowance to £12,570 for the 21/22 tax year. There will also be an increase to the point at which you begin paying higher rate tax; this will move to £50,270. The additional rate band will remain frozen at £150,000.

These thresholds will remain in place until the end of the 2025/26 tax year.

There will be an increase the threshold for class 1 contributions for employees and class 4 NICs for self-employed people to £9,568 in the 21/22 tax year.

Class 2 NICs for the self-employed will remain at £3.05 per week for 21/22 and the upper earnings limit and upper profits limit will increase to £50,270.

The capital gains tax annual exempt amount will remain in place at £12,300 until 25/26.

There will be no changes to the lifetime limit of £1m for qualifying gains for Business Asset Disposal Relief. The 10% tax rate on these qualifying gains remains the same.

Company van benefits for private use on a van will rise to £3,500. The company van fuel benefit charge will increase from to £669. The company car fuel benefit will rise to £24,600 (upon which the BIK % will be applied). All of these change will take place from 6 April 21.

Any losses arising from sole trade or partnership businesses may be carried back for 3 years (as opposed to the usual 1 year limit) for the 20/21 and 21/22 tax years.

Company Tax

Corporation Tax rates will increase from 1 April 2023. For companies where profits are less than £50,000, the rate will remain at 19%. Where profits range from £50,001 and £250,000, companies will pay the main rate (25%), however this will be reduced by a marginal relief which essentially creates a tapered Corporation Tax rate.

Corporation Tax losses, which occur in accounting periods ending in the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2022, can be carried back for 3 years (rather than the usual 1 year).

There will be a ‘super deduction’ for qualifying purchases of plant and machinery between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2023. 130% first year allowances will apply to these main rate asset purchases. A 50% first year capital allowance will be available or qualifying special-rates assets.

The annual investment allowance will reduce to £200,000 from 1 January 2022. The rate of £1m will apply until then.

We hope the above gives you an idea of the changes that have taken place. If you have any queries, please let us know and our team will be happy to help. Send us a message through our contact page or email us [email protected]

amazon accountants - add to cart button

Why choose Kirkwood Wilson to be your Amazon accountants?

With so many people turning to online shopping throughout the pandemic, the trend of starting  e-commerce businesses has accelerated hugely – and is here to stay. Whether you’re a new start-up business selling through Amazon or an existing company who has expanded their sales to include an on-line element, no doubt Amazon is one of your sales platforms of choice. 

There can be a lot to learn and juggle, whether you are selling through Amazon central or using Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon). Whatever your choice of fulfilment place and process, why not take the heat off when it comes to Amazon FBA accounting? Kirkwood Wilson are experienced in working with small businesses who sell through e-commerce platforms, so if you are looking specifically for someone who can help with accounting for Amazon sellers, then you’ve come to the right place. Find out more about what it means to use experienced Amazon accountants and how we can help you.

How does accounting for Amazon sellers differ from standard accounting?

If you want to make the most of your potential consumer market, you are likely to be selling into Europe as well as the UK. Whether shipping from here or holding stock and fulfilling directly from elsewhere in Europe, it can be difficult to keep track of the VAT requirements across each separate country.

amazon accountantsAs an Amazon seller, you are responsible for ensuring that you are VAT compliant, but if this sends you into a cold sweat, no need to panic; as experienced Amazon accountants we will help you with this aspect of your business and make sure that your Amazon FBA accounting is fully compliant with EU law and that your tax returns are always accurate. 

What support do we offer around accounting for Amazon sellers?

If you’re looking for Amazon FBA accounting support, we know that you’ve already handed over your stock to a third party; whilst this takes the hassle out of despatch and offers your customers a faster, cheaper delivery, it can be daunting to know that your personal touch and direct control over service levels have been removed.

However, this doesn’t mean that Amazon FBA accounting has to be nerve wracking too – we will guide you through every step. The existing requirement to move to digital accounting means that many people are already looking for cloud-based accounting software; if you are also selling through Amazon, accountancy packages such as Xero are a perfect solution. 

Xero has full functionality to integrate directly with Amazon central so that accounting for Amazon sellers could not be easier. As Xero Gold Partners, Kirkwood Wilson will guide you through the Amazon FBA accounting set-up so that you have a seamless transition. 

The benefits for Amazon sellers accounting through Xero include:

  • Simple reconciliation of Amazon FBA transactions into Xero
  • Synchronisation of your inventory between Amazon and Xero so that you are always on top of your stock levels
  • Cash flow management through direct integration between Xero and Amazon Central
  • Full control of your finances across Amazon as well as Etsy and eBay

Why choose Kirkwood Wilson to be your Amazon accountants?

The team here at Kirkwood Wilson love working with innovative business start-ups and on-line sellers who want to capture the market whilst it is primed for online sales. 

If you would like to see how we have helped similar businesses with their Amazon FBA accounting, why not check out our case study on MAD Fashions who we helped to successfully integrate Xero with Amazon and PayPal as well as their cloud-based stock system.

 If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, or are already there and would like some support from someone who understands accounting for Amazon sellers, then don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected]

Kirkwood Wilson are Local accountants in Lancashire

How to protect your cash flow following challenging times

Cash flow is king in all businesses, but for small businesses, when times are tight and cash is expensive to borrow, it’s more important than ever to be in control of your cash flow and plan for the future. We take a look at why managing cash flow is important and how you can go about managing cash flow in a small business.

Why is managing cash flow important?

One of the things that can seem strange when first starting a business is that even if your business is making a profit, it can still end up in trouble through lack of cash. 

Whilst profit is important, knowing where your break-even point is will help you to manage your business and ensure long-term growth and success. Even so, breaking even is not the key factor in the day-to-day running of a business because it exists on paper rather than in the bank. 

By adequately managing cash flow in your small business, you ensure that you have enough in the bank to be able to afford to pay your suppliers, your staff and yourself. If you have more money leaving your bank account than arriving into it for any sustained period, you will not have the available cash flow to make critical payments. 

How can small businesses protect their cash flow?

There are a number of ways to manage cash flow in a small business to allow for greater protection. Some of these include:

Keeping a cash flow forecast:

A cash flow forecast is important. It predicts how much cash will be available to the business at any given time and is usually based on projected sales versus projected costs. Based on this forecast you would adjust your expenditure to ensure that the amount of cash in the business is not depleted, whilst focusing on controlling debtor days (the speed at which your customers pay you). The better you can forecast the sales, limit expenditure and control collection the more robust your cash flow will be.

Insurance:

Credit insurance protects against bad debt and debtor insolvency. If a customer doesn’t pay your invoice the insurance will cover any goods or services you have supplied in line with designated credit limits.

Managing creditors and debt collection:

Keep on top of monies owed to you by your customers by placing an expectation on them from the start about their payment terms and then using reminders and regular chases. Use a set of standard criteria to judge whether to allow credit and enforce those standards to protect your own interests. 

There are ways of encouraging clients to pay faster using incentives, especially useful if you have customers who are regularly letting you down but you do not want to remove or reduce their credit. If you can’t do debt collection internally there are external debt collection services that will assist with late payments and bad debt. Outsourcing your credit control can improve collection times and debt collection agencies can also be tasked with recovering outstanding invoices from non-payers.

Managing creditors:

Negotiate good terms with your suppliers by making your payment timescales as long as you can in order to maximise the time you can hold onto that cash and collect your own debt. However, be aware of any penalties for late payment; don’t increase your outgoings by overextending a supplier’s goodwill. 

Invoice financing:

This is basically borrowing against unpaid invoices. Once the invoice is sent to the customer you have access to an amount of the invoice value – although usually quite an expensive service, it greatly improves cash flow.

Reconcile regularly:

Keeping accurate and up-to-date records will help you to keep on top of your cash flow. Accountancy software has facilities to help you with managing cash flow in a small business so make the most of it to keep the administrative work to a minimum and allow you to focus on the day-to-day running of the business. 

Challenging times or not, managing cash flow in a small business will not only help you to stay financially viable and in control of your destiny, but it will give you peace of mind and a feeling of security. When times are tight and your cash is depleted it can be worrying, and although it can seem easier to bury your head in the sand, the reasons covered in this article are exactly why managing cash flow is important; it will give you the best chance of ensuring your business succeeds in the longer term. 

If you would like support in managing cash flow in a small business, why not get in touch with us to find out what kinds of services we offer. Call KWA on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected].

Cloud Accounting

What is cloud accounting?

Cloud accounting has been growing in popularity for a long while, but with the restrictions on travel, face-to-face meetings and consultations, its benefits have turned into necessities for many businesses. The efficiencies gained and user-friendly experience offered by cloud-based accounting are now recognised widely as the future for all businesses. Find out more about cloud accounting and its advantages below. 

How does cloud accounting work?

Accountancy desktop software has been used by businesses for almost as long as desktop PCs have been in circulation, providing electronic means of storing, accessing and reporting on data electronically. The difference with cloud accounting is that the accounting software is hosted on remote servers and accessed via the internet. 

What are the benefits of cloud accounting?

There are a whole range of benefits to using cloud accounting services and software. Because the data is stored remotely and all the functions of the application are performed on the server side (‘in the cloud’), employees in other departments or locations can access the same data at the same time on the same version of the software. Additionally, the software provider is responsible for backing up the data and maintaining the software, so the worry of your data being safe and backed-up is removed, as is the need for time and money spent on software updates. 

Why is cloud accounting good for business?

Businesses of all sizes, types and locations use cloud accounting, and for good reason: it is more reliable, easier to use, more cost effective and more efficient than traditional options. Added to that HMRC’s requirement for all business finances to be digitised, it makes perfect sense that cloud accounting is the chosen solution. Here are some of those reasons in more detail:

  • Reliability: any software which is cloud-based takes away the need for you to spend time ensuring that you are using the latest version, downloading and updating the package and paying to apply security fixes. All of this is taken out of your hands and is the responsibility of the software provider. Added to that you can rest assured that your data is always backed up and available to you anytime, anywhere.
  • Ease of use: cloud accounting software can be used at your convenience, on any device, in any location provided you have access to the internet. In terms of flexibility, that takes some beating! Added to this the fact that APIs allow most packages to integrate with other systems that you work with (including your bank) to pull in relevant information, the need for manual uploads and keying in information is removed. Finally, most cloud-based accounting software comes with a range of extremely useful ‘off the shelf’ reporting tools, allowing you to view data in almost any configuration and providing you with helpful business insights in real time. 
  • Cost effective: cloud accounting packages come under the umbrella of ‘software as a service’, this means that you don’t have to buy and renew your own individual licences. The monthly subscription cost includes all software updates (handled remotely) and data storage. 
  • Efficiency: collaboration is a critical feature of cloud accounting. A colleague working in a different office or from home can access any information they need and discuss the detail with someone else looking at that same data, and expenses can be uploaded remotely by individuals as they spend and travel, rather than having to receive paper copies and do this manually. Access levels can be applied depending on the user’s authority and clearance level. Finally, your accountant can be given access to this same software to work remotely on it, assist you with any queries and provide you with timely advice, helping you to grow your business while you work. 

What is the best cloud accounting software?

There are a range of cloud accounting software options on the market. Some of the more common ones include:

QuickBooks

One of the original cloud accounting providers, QuickBooks is often chosen by freelancers and small businesses because of the package options available at a basic level. The reporting and monitoring tools are great, and there is the option to download and reconcile transactions. The drawback of QuickBooks is that there is a limitation on the number of users, and it doesn’t allow for barcode scanning. 

Xero

A popular choice for all sizes of business, Xero has excellent functionality when it comes to invoicing, payroll, inventory and expenses. With apps for iPhone and Android it is super mobile friendly, and includes some quirky features such as a car mileage tracker and the facility to quote projects and then track profitability. With very few drawbacks, the only minor complaint is that the starter pack limits the number of transactions per month.

Sage

Sage is extremely well known as a desktop accounting package for small businesses. This can now be upgraded to a cloud-based account but the solution is more of a hybrid than a solely cloud accounting option. The main differentiating feature of Sage is that it integrates with Office 365. Because of the longevity of the software, Sage has quite a complex set of tools and may not be the best option for sole traders and simpler business structures. 

Cloud accounting with a local accountants you can trust

If you would like to learn more about how cloud accounting could work with your business to provide some of the benefits revealed in this article, get in touch with Kirkwood Wilson for a more in-depth discussion on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected].

Accounting Service 3

What to consider when starting a business post-COVID

With many industries struggling as a result of the lockdowns and the changes in spending habits of customers during the course of the pandemic, many people are looking at the option of going it alone. Whether taking an existing skill and going freelance, upskilling for a change in direction, or branching out from employment because you have found a new niche market, there are a whole new generation of business start-ups in the making. We explore what to consider when starting a business to give you the best chance at success.

Is there a demand?

It sounds like an obvious question, but even many large businesses fall into this trap. Having a great idea is one thing, but if nobody outside of your immediate circle wants to buy your product or service, it will be a short-lived enterprise. 

One of the first things to consider when starting a business is what kind of demand there will be for your offering. Do some market research; choose the right channel for your prospective customers and ask questions. If you’re looking at a B2C online business, get on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or If it’s a B2B business, use LinkedIn, join a networking group and start making connections. Now, more than ever before, there is a sense of community among small businesses and you will find that people are honest, and will be generous with their advice and their time if you find the right group.

What is your niche?

If you are planning to start a puppuccino van in your local dog park where there is a flow of cash-rich dog owners passing through all day looking for a treat for their pampered pooch, well then you can probably say you’ve found your niche. If you’re looking to become one of many providing a service like graphic design, marketing or accountancy, you probably need to think more carefully. 

What makes you stand out from the others? What expertise do you have that they don’t? The smaller your target market and the more specific your expertise, the more likely you are to gain traction.

How will you market your business?

When we think about what to consider when starting a business post-COVID, we need to carefully consider what that means in terms of timescale. General consensus is that COVID will not disappear overnight. Instead it is more likely that restrictions will be gradually lifted and the virus may well be with us for a long time to come. This means that digital marketing will remain critical.

If you have time available to you whilst we’re still in lockdown, use it to learn about marketing. Find out which channels your customers use, where they hang out both virtually and physically – and learn how to use the tools to advertise to them within that sphere. Think about the type of business name, communication style and adverts that might appeal to them. Get right under their skin so that when you are ready to launch, you know how to attract the right people to buy your product. 

Do you have the right skills and resources?

Find out what skills you need that you don’t currently have; anything from food hygiene qualifications to health and safety, website design, sales skills and accounting are all things you might have to touch on at some point. You don’t have to become an expert in everything – you can outsource all of the above to other experts who will help you, but keep in mind that their expertise comes at a cost. One of the great things that COVID has produced is a huge amount of online information and learning, much of which is free to access.

Employees

Will you need to employ someone? Depending on the type of business you start, you might be able to partner up with other freelancers, who may be more expensive by the hour than an employee but you can afford to use them only as and when you need them. If you do need to employ, start putting feelers out in the market to find the best talent so that interested parties are primed and ready when you need them.

How will you get paid?

Your customers will need to pay you for your time or products. If you are providing a service to other businesses then you will need to invoice them in order to receive payment. With HMRC’s requirement for all businesses’ finances to be digital, you will need to use software for this, which means finding a software package within your budget and capabilities. 

If you are planning to be a sole trader or a very small business, then one of the basic packages from a cloud-based accounting solution like Xero would be ideal. If your business needs are more complex, it may be worth consulting an accountancy services provider to help with the set up and ongoing demands. 

Don’t leave this part of the business process until you need to bill someone – get yourself organised from the outset and it will make the whole process run smoothly, allowing you to really relish that joy at raising your first invoice.

If you will be working with the general public and selling goods or services in person, COVID has seen the development of some great contactless solutions for small businesses. Companies such as iZettle have released basic card readers that integrate with Xero for a seamless and user-friendly way to take payments safely.

Do you need capital?

If you need cashflow or investment from the outset then consider crowd funding schemes or investors. There is cash in the economy at the moment but one of the problems is that people with excess funds are limited on where they can spend it thanks to lockdown, meaning there is a huge opportunity for them to invest in you. Alternatively, there are a number of bank loans, grants and schemes in place to help new and small businesses. 

What to consider when starting a business

When you start to think about what to consider when starting a business you may initially feel overwhelmed, but make a plan, set yourself small goals and start doing some research. If you approach your business in bite-sized chunks and you really believe in yourself you will make it happen just like every other business owner has done since trading began. If you need any help or advice with accounting options including cloud accounting software, why not talk to us on 01704 546000 or email [email protected]

Digital accounting with Kirkwood Wilson

Kirkwood Wilson: 2020 review

We’re a little bit late to the “What have we learnt from 2020” party, but we thought that this year in particular was worth reflecting on. It would be far too easy, when looking back on 2020, to focus on the negatives (as it feels that there have been quite a few!), but there have also been a lot of positives.

Kirkwood Wilson Accountants: What we learnt in 2020

  • We have long been advocates of everything ‘cloud’ and as a business we were already cloud-based. This meant that when Boris addressed the nation back in March 2020 and told us to work from home, we simply unplugged our tech, went home and hit the ground running. 
  • We started out having a few Zoom calls a week, this quickly went down to one main meeting a week for the whole team, and then each department had their own calls which meant we were working much more efficiently. 
  • We’re great at helping each other. Not everyone is technically minded, and luckily we have a select few who are our techie go-to’s who are only too happy to help their colleagues out in their hour of need.
  • We sharpened up on our communication skills. Like most businesses, we had lost the art of communication along the way, and we now have far more voice calls than we did before. It’s good to talk, and this is also great for our mental health.
  • Every day is a school day. We have always been incredibly focussed on nurturing and harnessing our talented team, and we weren’t going to let a pandemic stop us! Our fantastic team of trainees have all re-enrolled on their respective courses, distanced of course, and we have also had some in-house training via Zoom. 
  • We have great ears! With each update to new laws and different government grants and schemes, we took so many calls from our clients. At times we had to put our accounting ears to one side and have some difficult conversations with clients. It’s nice to have some more less formal conversations with clients, after all, we’re human too, and it’s nice to just be heard. 
  • Our team looks great in loungewear! 2020 was definitely the year of the lounge pants and the oversized sweatshirt. It’s been nice to see everyone a little more relaxed and less ‘done up’

Key learning from our clients

  • Some clients have had their hands forced into the online world, but because we’re already there, we have been able to guide most of them through it, which feels very rewarding. Our clients have faced more or less the same struggles as we have here, communication with their team, control over the business, and educating on different and more efficient practices.
  • We have several clients in the leisure and retail sector who remain closed for business due to the current restrictions, but we are still having catch up calls to discuss ideas for re-opening their doors, ideas for cash flow, and generally chatting (we’re very good listeners).
  • We have helped lots of clients get their online shops set up, so there’s still a revenue stream coming in for them, and this continues to be our focus. How can we help you through this?

Our key takeaway from 2020

2020 has been a thought-provoking year, and has made us question everything we do and how we do it, is there a better way to do things? How can we be more efficient and still provide our clients with the service that they deserve? 

It has also made us realise that behind every CEO and MD is more than likely a bored child desperate for some attention whilst we’ve ‘got calls’. Or a furloughed partner who is pulling out their hair because they can’t go to the gym or see their friends. It’s made us realise that despite our different paths, different views, that we really are in this together and we just want to help as many people as we can.

What does 2021 hold for Kirkwood Wilson and our clients?

There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and whilst not everyone might not be on board with it, there is a vaccine which has already started rolling out across the country, which is fantastic news. This should mean that we soon start to see businesses across all sectors opening back up again and offices buzzing with the sound of conversations about “when we were working from home”. We will be able to travel safely and enjoy some time away with our families.

2021 might also mean that some of the changes that you adopted at the start of lockdown will continue, and will now just form a part of your normal practise. You might have introduced flexible working, a different office dress-code, better and more efficient practices within the office environment (and at home).

For us, we’re doing what we normally do, looking for ways to help our clients get the most back from their businesses. Helping their business work for them, and giving them more time back to spend doing the things they really like to do. It’s what we genuinely enjoy doing ourselves.

We really hope that 2021 is a better and happier year for everyone. 

 

An update for self-employed people from Kirkwood Wilson

Please note, this article is applicable to self-employed people only. If you trade through a Limited company you cannot claim this grant. However, you may know people for whom this may be relevant. Here at Kirkwood Wilson, we want to keep you fully updated on all coronavirus support schemes.

The UK Government has extended the support available under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for self-employed people affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). A third grant will cover the period from 1‌‌ ‌November 2020 to 29‌‌ ‌January 2021. If you’re eligible, you’ll be able to claim the third grant at any time from 4‌‌ ‌December 2020 to 29‌‌ ‌January 2021.

The rules on who is eligible to claim are different to those for the previous SEISS grants. However, you still need to have submitted a Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019 showing self-employment income in order to claim (unless one of the existing exceptions applies).

This article informs you all about claiming the third grant. A fourth grant will also be available from February 2021 to April 2021. We’ll tell you more about that nearer the time, including how much it will be and the rules for claiming.

How much is the third grant?

The third grant will be based on 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single taxable instalment capped at £7,500.

Am I eligible to claim?

To make a claim for the third grant, you must meet a number of conditions, and make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your trading profits will be significantly reduced due to coronavirus.

As previously, the third grant will also be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance and must also be reported on 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax returns.

As before, to make a claim for the third grant, you must:

  • Be self-employed or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust
  • Have traded in both the tax years 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020.
For the third SEISS grant you must also:
  • Either be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand, or have been previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
  • Declare that you intend to continue to trade, or restart trading, and reasonably believe that the impact on your business will cause a significant reduction in trading profits
  • Only claim if the reduction in profits is caused by reduced business activity, capacity or demand, or inability to trade due to coronavirus. Reduction in profits due to increased costs (such as having to buy masks) does not make a business eligible for the third SEISS grant.

When deciding whether the reduction is significant, you’ll need to consider your wider business circumstances.
HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe that your trading profits will be significantly reduced compared to what you would otherwise expect to achieve during this period.

Your business must have been impacted on or after 1 November 2020, and you must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus, resulting in reduced activity, capacity or demand, or a temporary inability to trade.

How do I claim?

If you’re eligible for the third grant, you can claim on GOV‌‌‌.UK at any time from 4‌‌ ‌December 2020 to 29‌‌ ‌January 2021, by searching ‘Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension’.

Making a claim online is easy using your Government Gateway account. You can do it on a smartphone and it only takes five minutes. If you’re unable to claim online, or feel you would like more support, you can call the HMRC helpline on 0800‌‌ ‌024 1222. It may take longer to complete your claim over the phone.

You don’t need to work out your grant, HMRC will do that for you. Once you’ve submitted your claim (confirming that you meet the eligibility criteria) HMRC will use the information in your previous tax returns to calculate the grant you’re entitled to. They will then pay the money directly into your bank account within six working days.

As always, if you need any help at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and contact our Tax Department on 01704 546000, and we will help wherever we can. Please be aware though that you must make this claim yourself, we are unable to do this for you.

HMRC extends CGT 30-day reporting period

HMRC extends CGT 30-day reporting period

Introduced in April 2020, there is a new requirement for UK residents to report and pay capital gains tax (CGT) on disposals of UK residential properties. This is a new requirement for UK residents as non-residents have had an obligation to pay this since 2015. In our latest article, the team at Kirkwood Wilson provide some guidance on reporting disposals to HMRC, specifically through their online system.

More information on the CGT 30-day reporting period

As of the 6th April 2020, HMRC introduced new rules regarding the reporting of CGT, Capital Gains Tax. These new rules were regarding the disposals of UK residential property and required both UK and non-UK residents to comply. As of the 6th April 2020, any gains of residential properties should be reported within 30 days.

As part of these new rules, individuals are required to register for their own Government Gateway account and set up an online account.

Reporting CGT

UK residents are now required to report gains on UK residential property, only in circumstances where tax is due. This can include:

A deemed disposal
A gift of a residential property
Or a disposal of a principal private residence that does not qualify for full relief.

It is important to note that the requirements for non-residents are wider and apply even where no tax is due.

On 19 August 2020, HMRC upgraded the system to allow gains on second and subsequent disposals to be reported online.

Previously the system could only be used for the first disposal in any tax year and subsequent disposals had to be reported on a paper return.

The system now also allows capacitors (those holding power of attorney) and personal representatives to report gains.

HMRC and CGT 30-day reporting

As stated by HMRC, due to coronavirus (Covid-19), they did not issue late penalties to any transactions completed between 6 April and 30 June 2020, provided the gain was reported and any tax due paid by 31 July 2020. Anyone who completes the sale of a property from 1 July 2020 onwards has 30 calendar days to report and pay the tax due.

Transactions completed from 1 July 2020 will receive a late filing penalty if they are not reported within 30 calendar days. Interest will be charged if the tax remains unpaid after 30 days for all transactions from 6 April 2020.

Kirkwood Wilson and financial advice

So, to sum up, any gains of residential properties since 6.4.20 should be reported within 30 days.

Here at Kirkwood Wilson, we are happy to help with any financial worries or concerns. If the announcement of the 30-day CGT reporting has confused you or is something you require some support with, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Connecting Receipt Bank with your Futrli app

Connecting Receipt Bank with your Futrli app

Here at Kirkwood Wilson, we are passionate about staying up to date with the latest accounting software. We are always on the lookout for new technologies that can help our clients to achieve their accounting goals. Read on to find out more about Futrli and how connecting it to your Receipt Bank app can help you to improve your financial records.

What is Futrli?

Futrli is an accounting app for the UK market that was formerly known as CrunchBoards. This app allows you to create financial forecasts and reports based on either financial or non-financial data. Here at Kirkwood Wilson Accountants, we advocate Futrli for medium to large businesses that often require much more extensive reporting on their budgets, KPIs and cash flow.

Through Futrli, business owners can receive both their financial and non-financial KPIs, with the ability to generate 3-way forecasts across a 10-year period. This is part of what makes Futrli such a popular accounting app in the UK. Not only this, but Futrli can also provide you with multiple “what if” scenarios for different circumstances. So you always have an idea of how things will play out for your business.

Find out more about Futrli by reading our blog post, ‘What is the Futrli app and how can it help you?’.

What is the Receipt Bank app?

Receipt Bank is a UK accounting app that claims to be “the #1 remote working tool for accountants and bookkeepers”. This accounting app works to connect business accountants with their clients by capturing receipts and data in an instant. You simply need to snap a picture of any receipts relating to your business, and the Receipt Bank app does the rest. It extracts the data to remove any of the key details that the accountant will need, and stores this securely on a cloud-based system. This means that your data is only accessible by approved parties.

Here at Kirkwood Wilson, one of the reasons we love the Receipt Bank app so much is that it can seamlessly integrate with the leading accounting, payroll and payment software. This means that Receipt Bank fits seamlessly into a complete end-to-end solution that will meet your business needs.

How Receipt Bank works

The Receipt Bank app is a great way to capture, store and keep track of all of your business receipts, bills, invoices and bank statements to share with your accounting team. You simply need to use your phone to take a photo of the bill, receipt, invoice or bank statement and then upload to the Receipt Bank app from anywhere on-the-go. What will you do with the extra time saved by scrapping time-consuming financial admin?

Connecting Receipt Bank with your Futrli app

Whilst Futrli turns your bookkeeping data into daily insights, Receipt Bank is a secure way to upload and store all forms of business transaction data. Coupled with Futrli’s prediction and planning software, Receipt Bank can assist in helping you make the right decisions to keep your business growing. To connect, you simply need to integrate your Receipt Bank app with the Futrli app in your account settings.

Speak to Kirkwood Wilson to find out how accounting apps can help you

We believe that accounting should be made simple for our clients. This is why we are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting accounting apps that will help you to make the process easier, whilst we do the hard work! This way, we can continue to deliver you our excellent service, whilst also saving you time to focus on the bigger picture – growing your business.

If you want advice on the best accounting apps or how we can help you to get your accounts in order, get in touch with us today. We are always on hand to help you with any of your accounting queries.