The National Minimum Wage rates are set to change on 1 October 2016. For further details consult
Archives for September 2016
It is quite common to invoice a customer with terms of “30 days or net monthly account”. Small customers will be expected to pay within 30 days, while large customers will be expected to pay at the end of the month following the month of the invoice, so an invoice sent in August would be settled by 30 September 2016. Large companies do it this way because they may receive several invoices from a supplier, and will want to settle all of them with one payment when they do their cheque run. It would be a good idea for the supplier to send a statement at the start of September listing outstanding invoices. Typically the cheque run would be about the 24th to the 26th of the month. If you give credit and have debts to collect, then you might like to have a discussion with accountants such as us.
If you had income or capital gains for the year ended 5 April 2016 which HM Revenue & Customs don’t know about, then you must tell them by the deadline of 5 October 2016 so they can send you a tax return to complete. There is no need to tell them about employment income if you have a form P60.
It is now possible for anyone to go on the Companies House website and set up their own company. Previously this was typically a task for accountants or solicitors, and it was usually delegated to a company formation agent. Now it is open to anybody.
Value Added Tax returns for the quarter ended 31 August 2016 are due to be submitted by 7 October 2016, and any payment which is due should be made electronically by the same date.
A few years ago I conceived the idea that accountants could process bank statements using optical character recognition. Quite a few other people had the same idea, but my advantage was that of being both a computer programmer and a working accountant. Knowing the records we get, what I wanted was a system with lots of graceful degradation. What happens, for example, if there are a few scribbles on the bank statements? The frequency of scribbling is such that any standard OCR system will be wrecked, but it is still inept to abandon OCR. These are just the bank statements we get in the real world.
The usual way to obtain a pension in retirement is to save up a considerable sum of money, and then to go to an insurance company to buy an annuity. This is a contract for the insurance company to pay an income to the annuitant for the remainder of his or her life. In the classical annuity, if you buy it and then die the next day, you get nothing. If you live a very long time, you do well out of it. There are various schemes for paying a guaranteed amount for a number of years whether you live or not, but all they are doing is returning your capital plus a bit of interest. That interest is derived from investments in Government bonds since anything else would be just too risky.
If a company does not submit a corporation tax return, then HM Revenue and Customs will issue what they call a Determination. This is their estimate of the corporation tax that is due. If a business, which may be a sole trader or partnership, does not submit a Value Added Tax return, then the Revenue will issue what they call an Assessment. Again this is their estimate of the tax that is due. Both the Determination and the Assessment can then be acted upon by a debt collector. The Revenue sometimes have to deal with some very dilatory people, and this is their standard procedure.
If you are on the receiving end of a Determination or an Assessment, then you have no right of appeal!
Small private companies with a year end of 31 December 2015 and into their second or later year of existence should submit their accounts to Companies House by 30 September 2016 in order to avoid a Late Filing Penalty.
We shall shortly be seeing some new plastic £5 notes appearing. These notes will be the familiar blue colour and will feature Sir Winston Churchill on the reverse. The notes are made of a waterproof polymer material, or plastic for short, and have various new security features. The Scottish banks will follow shortly with their own plastic notes, although Clydesdale Bank has already made one issue.