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www.stevejbicknell.com blog smashes through 300,000 hits!

Steve J Bicknell Tel 01202 025252

Blog 300000

http://www.stevejbicknell.com has now had over 300,000 views, nearly 200,000 unique visitors and on Sunday reached a new daily views high of 1,396 views in a single day!

I think that’s pretty impressive for a Tax and Accounting Blog!

Looking at phone

We have over 7,000 followers and our most popular day is Tuesday and the best time is 1pm, which is interesting as last year it was Wednesday at 10am.

Our top 3 blogs of all time are:

  1. https://stevejbicknell.com/2012/04/07/a-quick-guide-to-vat-on-sandwiches-takeaway-food-cakes-and-pasties/
  2. https://stevejbicknell.com/2013/01/31/self-assessment-payment-shipley-or-cumbernauld/
  3. https://stevejbicknell.com/2012/12/15/when-should-you-charge-vat-on-inter-company-recharges/

January 2016 has had the highest monthly number of hits at 12,000

So why do people read my blog?

  1. Useful Content – I learned a long time ago that if you want followers and readers you have to write about things that will interest as wider audience as possible. My blog is about Accounting and Tax, which you might think is boring but it does affect everyone, we all pay tax! and…

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Photos can be bad for Business!

Steve J Bicknell Tel 01202 025252

Woman with cocktail in the beach bar during tropical vacation

Do you think photos are important? would you use a photo like this on Linked In?

What does your head shot say about you? Using a photo taken at a wedding or on holiday with a glass of wine in your hand, or one taken 20 years ago, maybe sending out the wrong message and costing you thousands in lost opportunties.

How you present yourself matters, with social media you are your own brand.

For example lets say you are an accountant.

  • Accountants love Blue, 66% of accountants will choose blue and 55% of the top accounting practices use Blue in logos
  • Accountants need to seen as experts
  • They are reliable, organised, trustworthy and accurate

So would you choose this accountant? is being funny a skill you want in an accountant?

Or this accountant? Much more professional possibly a little too serious?

Your image really…

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What do you expect from an accountant!

Steve J Bicknell Tel 01202 025252

Time for the Expert!

The world of accountancy is changing quickly and the days of the dull lion tamer are running out fast

We aren’t all as extreme as the ‘The Accountant 2016’, we definitely don’t work for criminal gangs!

This is the image that I think a modern accountant should have, someone who can solve your problems

There are 2 key reasons why small businesses expect more from their accountant.

  1. In recent years we have seen a huge growth in Cloud Accounting Systems such as Sage One and Xero and automation of payments and bank feeds, its no longer enough for accountants just to provide book keeping or year end accounts and tax.
  2. Business owners want personalised, tailored partnerships with their accountant who need to be true business experts

As Paul Surtees MD of Capitalise says…

Rather than simply easing their professional burden, leading accountants are using technology to go beyond their core…

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What if you write off an intercompany or directors loan?

Steve J Bicknell Tel 01202 025252

with computer

Connected party loans are a problem area especially if the loan is impaired (ie the borrower may not be able to repay the debt)

Individual Loans written-off

If an individual makes a loan to a company and this is subsequently written-off, the company will have a non-trading loan relationship credit equal to the amount written off.

If the loan was made to an unquoted trading company, the individual will crystalise a capital loss equal to the amount of the loan written off. This will be available to set off against capital gains arising in the year of write-off or in subsequent years.ACCA

The situation, however, becomes more complicated where the parties are connected. The general rule is that where the debtor and creditor in a loan relationship are connected in any part of an accounting period and the whole or part of a loan is written off, then this…

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HMRC continue to target small businesses – are you ready for a visit?

Steve J Bicknell Tel 01202 025252

I want you

According to recent reports HMRC has increased the number of small business investigations and they continue to be seen as soft targets.

About 7% of tax inspections are random, the majority are triggered because HMRC believes that something is wrong.

What can you do to reduce your chances of being selected:

1. File your tax returns on time and pay what you owe – If you file late or at the last minute HMRC will think you are disorganised and as such there are more likely to be errors in the return

2. Declare all your income – HMRC get details of bank interest and other sources of income, sometimes they test them and match them to returns

3. Use an accountant – Unrepresented taxpayers are more likely to be looked at, mainly because many of them don’t know what they are doing

4. Trends – if your business doesn’t…

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Where can you find a trusted professional?

Steve J Bicknell Tel 01202 025252

An overworked office worker

The internet is full of sites that allow you to search a list of ‘trusted’ experts and get quotes.

But you are choosing from a select few who have decided to pay for leads, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best choice.

Most organisations will have google recommendations and feedback which does help although some sites only show positive feedback.

I have recently came across http://www.bark.com

The Association of UK Accountants has recently partnered with Bark.

“People turn to Bark every day to find pros to help them with everything from lawn mowing to legal representation,” says Bark cofounder Kai Feller. “We’re committed to finding the highest quality professionals for our users, and this new partnership with the Association of UK Accountants will make it even easier for us to help entrepreneurs throughout the UK find quality business accountants.”

Bark How it works

There are lots of great things about Bark

  1. It shows…

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Don’t forget to deduct expenses – common expenses that you can set against your rental income

The Chancellor appears to have it in for landlords at the moment. There is the stamp duty land tax supplement of 3% on purchases of second and subsequent residential properties where completion is on or after 1 April 2016, the restriction in interest rate relief from April 2017 onwards, and the failure to benefit from the cut in capital gains tax from 6 April 2016.

In this harsher climate, it is perhaps worthwhile making sure you have not overlooked any deductible expenses when working out your profit for your property rental business.

Wholly and exclusively

The wholly and exclusively rule applies to determine whether an expense is deductible – if it has been incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the property rental business, it passes this test.

Revenue not capital

A deduction against profits is only available if the expenditure is revenue in nature rather than capital. Broadly, revenue expenses are those incurred in the day-to-day running of the business. By contrast, capital expenditure is that incurred in purchasing or improving an asset, and would include costs of extending or improving the property, a fitted kitchen or expenditure on office equipment or vehicles. However, a deduction is available for replacement furnishings from April 2016.

Expenses checklist

The following is a list of common expenses that may be deducted when computing profits (as long as the wholly and exclusively test is met):

  • interest on loans to buy the property (but not capital repayments);
  • letting agents’ fees;
  • accountants’ fees;
  • legal fees for lets of a year or less or for renewing a lease of 50 years or less;
  • utility bills (e.g. gas, electricity);
  • buildings and contents insurance;
  • cleaning costs;
  • maintenance costs (but not improvements);
  • costs of a gardener;
  • telephone calls;
  • stationery and postage;
  • advertising;
  • staff costs;
  • ground rent and service charges; and
  • council tax.

This list is not exhaustive.

Replacement of furnishings

From April 2016 a deduction is available for the costs of replacing furniture, furnishings, appliances (including white goods) and kitchenware. The amount of the deduction is the cost of the replacement item (capped at the cost of an equivalent to the item replaced if the replacement is superior to the original) plus any incidental costs of acquiring the new item (such as delivery) or disposing of the old item, less anything received for the old item.

This deduction replaces the 10% wear and tear allowance but, unlike the wear and tear allowance, is not limited to furnished lets.

Need to know: Make sure you have taken out all of your deductible expenses when working out the tax on your property rental income.

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