Monthly Archives: June 2014

Private Use of Business Premises

A small number of businesses also use their business premises as their home, such as pubs, guest houses and B & B’s. It is often difficult to separate the private use element of your business premise expenses such as light and heat and other utilities, food, non-alcoholic drinks, household goods etc.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have introduced simplified expenses with which you deduct a monthly flat rate for private use from your total business expenses. The flat rate depends on how many people use the business premises each month as a private home.

This means you don’t have to work out the split between your private and business use of the premises.

The monthly flat rate covering 2013/14 and also 2014/15 is:

1 person using the premises – £350 per month (£4,200 per year)

2 people using the premises – £500 per month (£6,000 per year)

3 or more people using the premises – £650 per month ((£7,800 per year)

The flat rate does not cover mortgage interest, rent, council tax or rates. You still need to work out the private proportion of these separately and not claim tax relief on the private proportion.

An HMRC example: you live at the premises

You and your partner run a B & B and live there the entire year. Your overall business premises expenses (eg. utilities, food, household goods etc) are £15,000.

Calculation:

Flat rate: 12 months x £500 per month = £6,000

For tax purposes you can claim £15,000 less £6,000 = £9,000

An HMRC example: your child sometimes lives at the premises

You and your partner run a B & B and live there the entire year. Your child is at university for 9 months a year but comes back at home 3 months in the summer.

Calculation:

Flat rate: 9 months x £500 per month = £4,500

Flat rate: 3 months x £650 per month = £1,950

Total = £6,450

For tax purposes you can claim £15,000 less £6,450 = £8,550

What you need to know:

  • you’ll be asked by your accountant to make estimates about some of your business expenses
  • you have to be a sole trader or business partnership to use flat rate ‘simplified expenses’
  • Limited Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships are not eligible

If you live on your business premises ask your accountant for advice and help on working out the private element of  your business premises.

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Cloud Bookkeeping is the Future

At the Dales Accountancy Service we have adopted online based bookkeeping and payroll software packages in order to provide a more pro-active service to our clients.

Most recently, we have moved to accreditation with an award winning online bookkeeping and payroll software package.

We have now added online bookkeeping and payroll software company KashFlow to our portfolio which enables accountants and their clients to easily access their own financial records at any time, whenever they have access to the internet.

Online bookkeeping and payroll software is considered by many to be the way that the industry is heading because it enables businesses to keep a constant eye on their company’s financial position without having to install costly and bulky software direct onto their computers.

The KashFlow cloud bookkeeping and payroll system is easy to use, with continuous functionality development and we can now talk to clients and update records in real time without having to wait for clients to send in reams of paperwork.

All the records held on the system are stored behind a state of the art encryption system that prevents data from being accessed or passed on without the user’s permission.

KashFlow will now be included on the list of approved cloud bookkeeping and payroll packages for clients and will be recommended to suitable businesses in our growing client base.

We wanted to find a product that was easy to use for our clients that haven’t had any bookkeeping or payroll training, but still enabled us as their accountants to ‘hold their hand’ throughout the year and to extract the information we need to provide a quality service. We’ve found exactly that in KashFlow. The fact that we can access data live over the internet means we can be more pro-active in advising clients and reduce the chance of errors.

KashFlow launched its flagship product, an online tool specifically designed to help owner-managers in small businesses to manage their books, in mid 2005. Since that time it has quickly won a significant share of the valuable bookkeeping software market along with launching a new direct-to accountant division in 2006.

In late 2007 KashFlow won a Business Software Satisfaction Award, judged entirely by customer feedback, for the category of web-based accounting, beating the likes of Sage and Netsuite.

In June 2008, KashFlow became the first bookkeeping software package to be certified by PayPal for integration with its payment platform. PayPal and KashFlow now work in partnership to provide a seamless, end-to-end, payment processing and bookkeeping system.

At the moment, as well as KashFlow, we can support clients using Quickbooks Online, Clearbooks and Sage One as well as desktop versions of Sage, Quickbooks and various other packages.

For further information or to book a free 14 day trial to KashFlow email Glynn Harby (click on Glynn Harby or click on the email envelope below).

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GameOver Zeus virus threat – Time to Tighten Up Our Internet Security?

Malicious threats are becoming more prevalent, camouflaged and sophisticated.

Whether we connect to the internet for personal use or business, if we are affected by a virus such as the current GameOver Zeus virus that has infected more than 15,000 machines in the United Kingdom alone and nearly 250,000 worldwide we could be financially out of pocket and professionally compromised.

This computer virus has been designed by a criminal gang based in Russia and the Uktraine. The virus searches your computer system to gain access to banking and financial information. It is believed that this virus alone has been responsible for £60 million in losses to individuals and businesses.

In addition, this virus also distributes an aggressive program called CryptoLocker which encrypts files on a computer and then demands a ransom to release your computer from it. The ransom is about £300. If other financial information is obtained, they may obtain much larger sums.

The powers that be have temporarily stopped the virus but believe that this is only temporary and it may be active again in a couple of weeks.

Advice has been provided in the press including ensuring your computer has the latest operating systems and your anti-virus software is up to date.

I have decided to move away from the normal anti-virus software packages and have moved to Sophos UTM (Unified Threat Management) and my computers and laptops are now monitored remotely through a ‘managed endpoint service’ through my IT service supplier ASE Computers in Harrogate.

With this solution, I have a robust anti-virus package and the equivalent of an in-house internet/IT security department for protection of my network, email, web & web server, endpoint and wireless  protection for just a few pounds a year.

ASE Computers, who provide this service to me, received an award at the Sophos Europe, Middle East and Africa Conference for ‘Best Newcomer 2013/14’ for service and solution delivery.

Check out the Sophos brochure and videos:

http://www.sophos.com/en-us/medialibrary/PDFs/factsheets/sophosutmoverviewdsna.pdf

https://player.vimeo.com/video/69276551?width=800&height=450&iframe=true&portrait=0

https://player.vimeo.com/video/72547485?width=800&height=450&iframe=true&portrait=0

For more information contact Tom Ellis at ASE Computers on 01423 870050 or visit their web site http://www.asecomputers.co.uk

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Monthly Client E-Newsletter January to June 2014

The June 2014 monthly Client E-Newsletter is now available below:

DAS-Client_ENews_June_2014

And in case you missed them, the January to May 2014 issues are available below:

DAS-Client_ENews_May_2014

DAS-Client_ENews_April_2014

Client_ENews_March_2014

Client_ENews_February_2014

Client_ENews_January_2014

Call me if you would like further information on the contents of the Client Newsletters.

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