If you only employ one or two people, then your Staging Date for Auto-Enrolment may not be until the autumn of 2017. However, it is now time to start thinking about exactly what you will do to enroll your employee(s) into an appropriate pension scheme.
Archives for October 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 September would be settled by 31 October 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 computerised cheque run. It would be a good idea for the supplier to have sent a statement at the start of October 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.
Value Added Tax returns for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 are due to be submitted by 7 November 2016, and any payment which is due should be made electronically by the same date.
We welcome the Government’s decision not to proceed with allowing people to cash in their pension fund, and may wonder why taxpayer’s money was ever wasted on this stupid idea in the first place. If you want a pension, then there is no substitute for buying an annuity. We have tried modelling various drawdown schemes on a spreadsheet, but the upshot is that the putative pensioner will always run out of money if he or she lives long enough. It is only the annuity, which is based upon a cross-subsidy from other pensioners who die earlier, which can guarantee a lifelong pension even in extreme old age. Pension contributions get favourable tax treatment because it is in the State’s interest that people do not impoverish themselves in old age, and it is the traditional pension fund, which is applied to buying an annuity, which is the vehicle which ensures this.
As accountants we might point out that if you can take a lump-sum on retirement, either 25% or three years’ worth, then you should take it because it is the one big tax break which you may get in your life. You may then be able to use it to buy a purchased life annuity which has a more favourable tax treatment. Alternatively you could invest it and live off the interest or dividends, or you could spend it on items of a capital nature. If you don’t take the lump sum, then income from it is taxed at the full rate.
If you had any income or capital gains for the income tax year ended 5 April 2016, then you should have told the Revenue by 5 October 2016 so they get an opportunity to send you a tax return. This tax return, if it is on paper, would need to be filed by 31 October 2016. If you miss these deadlines then in theory you can be fined. In practice you should just go and see accountants such as David Porthouse and Co and not worry. If we are given warning, with any time in November being more than ample, then we can get your tax return filed by the electronic deadline of 31 January 2017.
You could in principle do your own electronic filing, in which case your electronic filing deadline would also be 31 January 2017. However, if you have left things this long then that is a good hint that it is time to engage some accountants.
If you want to file a paper tax return to report income and capital gains for the tax year ended 5 April 2016, then the deadline is 31 October 2016. If you are able to file electronically, then the deadline is 31 January 2017. Just being realistic, if you have left things this long, then it might be time to contact accountants such as David Porthouse and Co who always file electronically.
If your trading venture has made a loss, then obviously no tax will be due, but you should still prepare accounts and file a tax return. In the ordinary course of events, this loss can be carried forward to future years and offset against future profits to reduce the tax payable. This is only fair. It is after all just a matter of convention that we prepare annual accounts. If a business venture were to last several years, such as a sea voyage in times gone by, then we might instead prepare “venture accounts” and be taxed on the total venture profit instead.
Small private companies with a year end of 31 January 2016 and into their second or later year of existence should submit their accounts to Companies House by 31 October 2016 in order to avoid a Late Filing Penalty.
Sometimes when you are an employer, you might have happened to have made no wage or salary payments at all for a PAYE month such as the month from 6 September to 5 October 2016, in which case you must submit electronically an Employer Payment Summary as a NIL return by 19 October. This is too easy to overlook.
If you engage an accountant or a payroll bureau to do your wages, then this will be taken care of. In our case we keep a diary and do a batch of payrolls at about the same time each month. Our payroll files are bright yellow like the P30BC booklet so we do not overlook them.
Employers must make Second Quarter payments of PAYE and NICs by 19 October 2016 if settled by cheque. If you pay electronically, then you have until 22 October to make the payment. Tax retained under the Construction Industry Scheme must also be paid by the same date.