As we take a deep breath and consider our business planning options for 2022, the relevance of accurate, readily accessible accounting data has never been more apparent.

Without up-to-date, real-time data we cannot make the judgements that may mean the difference between survival and failure this coming year..

What is changing in 2022?

Why this sudden interest in sprucing-up record keeping?

We are used to recording historical data in order to comply with annual accounts production, annual tax returns and quarterly VAT returns.

The emphasis in this context is to meet filing deadlines and avoid interest and tax penalties. Usually, we are looking at historical figures to meet these demands.

What is unfolding in the coming year is the need to know how you are placed financially, day by day. This will be necessary to combat the present COVID-19 challenges and HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) changes.

MTD will require you to upload quarterly, not annual data to HMRC, and to achieve this, your bookkeeping needs to be up-to-date and accurate.

Aren’t the Making Tax Digital changes some time away?

MTD for VAT is already required and will be extended to all VAT registered businesses from April 2022. Returns can only be made if the underlying data is in a format that can link with HMRC’s servers.

MTD for income tax purposes will require sole traders to upload quarterly business data and is due to commence April 2024. This will be followed by similar demands for partnerships and companies in the following two years.

Business owners should ensure their records will be compliant as soon as possible as the conversion process, from manual or ineffective computerised systems, to effective and approved online bookkeeping systems, will take some time.

And don’t forget, we can help you with accessing real-time data to keep an eye on current financial challenges as COVID-19 continues to disrupt business activity.

How we can help

We would like to offer you the following range of services to deal with these challenges:

  1. If you still using manual bookkeeping records or spreadsheets, we can recommend inexpensive, cloud-based accounting software that you can use and will be MTD compliant.
  2. If you already use computerised accounts software, we can check to see if it will be suitable for MTD purposes.
  3. Once your software is in place, we can provide initial training to show you how to process bank, sales, and other transactions.
  4. Finally, we could access your accounts data quarterly and make sure that the numbers produced make sense. This could include a discussion of quarterly results and help you meet any upcoming financial challenges sooner rather than later.

The key to success in 2022 will depend to a large extent on your ability to gather, record and interpret your business results in real-time. The days of relying on instinct and historical data, that may be months out of date, are long-gone.

Call An Accounting Gem now so we can discuss your options

Let us help you manage your business challenges in the coming year.

A basic review of your bookkeeping is the best place to start. No point in building a wall if the foundations are missing.

Call now on 01473 744700 so we can discuss your options.

 As UK regional governments turn the screw to limit the spread of the new COVID Omicron variant, we have set out below how you can access details of the current financial support that is available to UK business owners affected by these changes.

Major grant options, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, are now retired. But there are still options available.

As you would expect, there are numerous sources of funding, and much will depend on the location and status of your business.

There is a facility on the gov.uk website, a process that involves entering basic information about your business into an online multi-choice form.

The link is: https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

Please call An Accounting Gem if you need our help to complete the questions raised on the online form.

When completed, you will be presented with a list of the present grants and other funding available to your business.

There does not appear to be a facility on the report provided to save it to your local drive. To do this requires a couple of simple keystrokes. With your curser on the report page:

  • Press Ctrl and A (this highlights all the text on the web page)
  • Press Ctrl and P (this open a printer dialogue box)

You can now print a copy, or more usefully, save a copy.

To save the document change the Print destination dropdown from your default printer to [Save as PDF].

An Accounting Gem’s blog will take you through the tax allowances and reliefs that will help you celebrate with your business colleagues, family and friends this Christmas and New Year holiday period and claim any costs as a tax-allowable deduction.

Christmas magic and tax write-off

Christmas is usually a time for people to get together, and an opportunity for you to celebrate with your team. That’s been difficult in recent years, but this year, perhaps can be a bit better. So, instead of the usual Christmas party, why not do something a bit different?

Don’t underrate team building

As the economy starts to move towards higher activity levels we are increasingly living in a world of skill and labour shortages. Team building can help to develop trust which is an important element of keeping your people happy.
Team building activities are fully tax deductible and do not have to be open to all employees.
Other tax breaks available

The tax breaks you could utilise this Christmas include:

• You can spend up to £50 per employee as long as it’s not in the form of cash or vouchers and isn’t a payment required by contractual obligations or as a reward for work performance.
• If you are organising an annual Christmas party or other social activity – that is open to all your employees – you can spend on average up to £150 per person (inc. VAT). Guests of staff are included in the overall headcount. As long as you comply with these conditions you can deduct the total cost from your taxable profits.
• All costs must be considered, including the costs of transport to and from the event, accommodation provided, and VAT. The total cost of the event is divided by the number attending to find the average cost. If the limit of £150 per head is exceeded then individual members of staff will be taxable on their average cost, plus the cost for any guests they were permitted to bring.
• VAT input tax can be recovered on staff entertaining expenditure. If the guests of staff are also invited to the event the input tax should be apportioned, as the VAT applicable to non-staff is not recoverable. However, if non-staff attendees pay a reasonable contribution to the event, all the VAT can be reclaimed and of course output tax should be accounted for on the amount of the contributions.

Still time to get organised

If you have a year-end event in mind to de-stress your team this Christmas and are concerned to make sure that there are no issues claiming a full tax deduction for any costs involved, please call An Accounting Gem on 01473 744700.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2022!

Could you find useful employment for a young person in your business, and have the costs met 100% by government sponsorship?

What is Kickstart?

The scheme was launched September 2020 and aims to find employers who are willing to take on 16 to 24-year-olds, who are claiming Universal Credit, and at risk of long-term unemployment.

No hidden costs

The government will pay 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance, and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.

Employers can top up these rates at their own cost and offer training and support to find a full-time job. Government will also assist by providing employers up to £1,500 towards the cost of any training and support provided.

Deadline for applications midday, 17 December 2021

If you are interested in this scheme, applications must be lodged by 17 December 2021.
Employers who have an existing application will not be able to add new jobs after this date.
Employers that do make a successful application can spread the job start dates until 31 March 2022.

Find out more

Full details of the scheme and how to apply can be found on the GOV.UK website at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-online-for-a-kickstart-scheme-grant

If you are bullish about your business prospects in the coming year, and under-resourced staff-wise, this may be an opportunity to plug that resourcing gap, do so without any monetary impact on your budgets, and provide an opportunity for a young person to find their feet in the world of work.

Landlords Tax Planning Check List 2020-21

What you can write off against tax for replacement of domestic items in your rented properties

At An Accounting Gem we often get asked by our clients to clarify what can be claimed if domestic items in your rented property are replaced.

The following notes are a short summary of GOV.UK published material regarding the Replacement of Domestic Items Relief (RDIR).

When you cannot claim

You cannot claim this relief if:
• The replaced items are in a property classified as a Furnished Holiday Let for tax purposes.
• You use the Rent-a-Room Scheme.
• The purchase is the initial cost of a domestic item(s) for a dwelling house. PLANNING NOTE: if you are purchasing a rental property with domestic items included, make sure that the contract itemises and values these items as this will then constitute the initial cost.

When you can claim

As the name implies, you can claim when a domestic item in your rented properties is replaced, subject to the above exclusions, and the item is for the exclusive use of your tenants and the old items are no longer available to tenants.

What are domestic items?

The examples quoted by HMRC are:
• movable furniture for example beds, free-standing wardrobes, sofas
• furnishings for example curtains, linens, carpets, floor coverings,
• household appliances for example televisions, fridges, freezers,
• kitchenware for example crockery, cutlery.

What if the replacement is an improvement?

For example, if a new sofa costs £800 but a sofa bed costs £950, you can only claim the £800 as a deduction and no relief is available for the £150.

What if you sell the replaced item?

The amount of your claim would be the cost of the replacement plus the cost of acquiring or disposing of the old item, less any amount received on disposal of the old item.
The claim would also need to exclude any improvement cost, see above.

Please call An Accounting Gem on 01473 744700 if you need advice regarding the tax position of a specific purchase.

Most of us would rather avoid the word “tax” and yet tax planning offers a unique opportunity to reduce the amount of tax that you pay and make a positive contribution to your efforts to outpace the current economic downturn and emerge financially more secure.

The rest of this blog does sketch out some of the opportunities for individuals and businesses to save tax, more importantly, it also sets out the case for investing in an appropriate level of tax planning; for you or your business.

What our tax planning services do not offer

We are all entitled to use the present tax legislation to minimise our tax payments. What we are not entitled to do is evade tax by adopting strategies that stretch the credibility of laws set by parliament beyond those originally intended. Penalties for engaging in tax schemes that would be challenged by HMRC as tax evasion can be punitive and in some cases are treated as fraud.

What does tax planning achieve?

Tax planning achieves two major outcomes:

• It reveals one-off tax saving opportunities, but it also reveals ongoing tax savings; savings that you will reap for many years with no further investment in professional advice required.
• Without straying into tax evasion, tax planning will also ensure you pay the minimum tax applicable to your circumstances, and no more…
HMRC are tax collectors. They are obliged to publish details of the tax savings options open to you, but under no obligation to tell you. A review of your personal and business circumstances is required in order to do this and this is what tax planning advice will provide.

In the following three sections we outline some of the areas that we could cover as part of an annual tax planning review. But these are just the tip of the tax planning iceberg.

Personal tax planning objectives

• Take advantage of all allowances and reliefs to which you are entitled.
• Direct your income into tax-free forms – for example, tax-free benefits in kind.
• Advising on the tax benefits of certain investment opportunities; the Enterprise Investment Scheme for example.
• Consider pension payments as a way to reduce taxes, particularly higher rates of income tax.
• Share income producing assets with family members.
• Consider use of companies to shelter income from higher rates of income tax.

Company tax planning objectives

• Choosing the best tax structure for your company if incorporating a self-employed business.
• Maximise tax relief for investment in new or used vehicles, plant or other equipment.
• Formulating the best mix of profit extraction choices: salary, dividends, pension contributions, rents or interest.
• Choosing the best tax strategy when you dispose of your business.

VAT

• Deciding when to register or deregister.
• Choosing the most beneficial special scheme if available.
• Dealing with complications if your part of your business turnover is partially exempt.

There is no one-scheme-fits-all approach

Every person and company, to some extent, is unique. Good advice for one would be bad advice for another. This is why listening to banter shared in your local may not be the best place to pick up advice.

There is no substitute for discussing tax planning options with a qualified tax practitioner.

How much does tax planning cost?

Cost may not be the most appropriate word to use. This blog proclaims that tax planning is a sound investment. Accordingly, we will always strive to ensure that you secure a return on your investment. This will not always result in the tax savings we achieve exceeding the cost of our services.

For example, changes in legislation may require changes in the way you organise your financial affairs for the current tax year and in future tax years. In which case it is necessary to consider the long-term tax savings with any short-term fees payable in order to make a true comparison.

One thing is clear. We will always determine the positive benefits of our advice whether this be a reduction in taxes payable or the avoidance of penalties and interest charges that may arise if no advice is taken. We will also provide you with a quote for our fees before undertaking any planning work on your behalf.

When should you seek advice?

Change is the motivating factor; has tax legislation or your personal or business circumstances changed?

Ideally, we should discuss these changes – whenever possible – BEFORE the change occurs.

Waiting until after the event, for example, after your business year end, may be too late to take appropriate action.

Tax planning is not a formulaic exercise, at its best, it is reshaping existing strategy in order to minimise the tax effects of change on existing planning.

And so, the quick answer to this question is talk to us. If you are going to buy or sell a property, experience a change in your personal circumstance, want to buy or sell a business or consider any other options that impact your personal finances or business affairs, pick up the phone.

If your personal or business financial affairs warrant a periodic review, we would suggest that this is considered annually to ring-fence any changes in legislation or any other circumstances.

One thing is clear, being informed and taking appropriate action has never been more necessary. As the events of the last year have demonstrated.

If this is of any interest please call the team at An Accounting Gem on 01473 744700.

On 27 October 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave his second Budget speech of the year. As significant tax changes had been announced in the March Budget, this was widely expected to be more about spending than taxation. Many of these spending plans had been announced before the Budget, earning the Chancellor a rebuke from the Deputy Speaker.

Despite the huge costs of Covid, the Chancellor announced a 3.8% annual increases in spending for all government departments. He also said that he would start reducing taxes by the end of the current Parliament, due in 2024.


Basis period reform

Basis period reform is to take place from 6 April 2024. This is a radical change that will see the end of traditional basis periods for income tax. It will also end overlap relief. The new system is called “tax year basis”

At present, the self-employed pay tax in arrears under what is called the current year basis. The new provisions will see the self-employed pay tax on the profits earned during the tax year, regardless of the accounting date. It will bring the self-employed into line with employees, landlords and investors.

The change starts to take effect in the tax year from 6 April 2023 to 5 April 2024. In this year, tax will be charged on the profits under the old basis, plus profits earned from the day after the accounting date to 5 April 2024 minus overlap relief. This means that taxpayers with accounting dates early in the tax year could find themselves with very large tax bills for that year. The government is considering allowing that additional tax to be paid over five years. The tax year basis starts from 6 April 2024.

These transitional arrangements differ markedly from 1994 when the income tax system moved from previous year basis to current year basis. Then, the government dealt with taxing two years in one year by taking the average of the two years. This allowed many tax planning opportunities which the government is clearly not prepared to allow again.

The HMRC press release states that the change takes place from 2023 with 2022/23 as the transition year. It is assumed that the Budget book has given the correct dates.

Income tax rates

Income tax rates are unchanged from what has been previously announced. The individual savings account (ISA) limit remains at £20,000, and the junior ISA limit remains at £9,000.

It is reaffirmed that sole traders and landlords have an extra year to prepare for Making Tax Digital. This will now be introduced from 6 April 2024, except for general partnerships from 6 April 2025.

Health and Social Care Levy

A new levy, the Health and Social Care Levy, will apply from 6 April 2023. The funds raised for the levy will be ring fenced to meet health and adult social care costs. Payment of the levy is linked to earnings on which a qualifying National Insurance contribution is payable. This is a Class 1 (employee’s and employer’s) contribution, a Class 1A contribution, a Class 1B contribution and a Class 4 contribution. The levy is payable at the rate of 1.25% on the earnings on which a National Insurance contribution would be due.

However, unlike National Insurance contributions, an individual’s liability to pay the Health and Social Care Levy does not come to an end when the individual reaches state pension age.
Additional changes mean that from October 2023, a cap is introduced on the amount that an eligible person will have to contribute to the costs of personal care over their lifetime. This is to be set at £86,000.

An Accounting Gem can advise on the impact of the Levy and what the costs cap will mean for you.

Dividend tax increases

As part of the funding plan for health and social care, dividend tax rates are similarly increased by 1.25% from 6 April 2022.

If you operate your business through a personal or family company and you extract profits in the form of a small salary plus dividends you will typically pay little or no National Insurance. As the Health and Social Care Levy is linked to National Insurance contributions, where this low salary strategy is adopted, you will either not pay the levy or pay it at a low rate. To address this and to ensure those operating through a personal or family company contribute towards health and social care costs, dividend tax rates are being increased by the amount of the levy.

From 6 April 2022, the ordinary dividend tax rate will be 8.75% (currently 7.5%), the upper dividend tax rate will be 33.75% (currently 32.5%) and the higher dividend tax rate will be 39.35% (currently 38.1%).

The increase in the dividend tax rates will also impact on your profit extraction strategy. As the increase does not come into effect until 6 April 2022, it may be useful to review your dividend policy for 2021/22 to decide whether it is worth taking more dividends in 2021/22 to take advantage of the current, lower, rates. Whether this is beneficial will depend on your personal circumstances. An Accounting Gem can help you decide.

The increases in the dividend tax rates will also affect you if you receive dividends from investments in shares.

Capital gains tax

Capital gains tax rates are unchanged. The 30-day time limit for reporting disposals of UK property is extended to 60 days. This change applies from 27 October 2021. The 30-day limit has proved to be too short in practice.

National insurance rates for 2022/23 will be increased by 3.1%, apart from the upper earnings limit for class 1 national insurance paid by employees and their employers, and the class 2 and 3 rates. These are all unchanged.

The normal minimum pension age is to rise from 55 to 57 from 6 April 2028, as previously announced. This is the minimum age at which a pension scheme member may take benefits. The change does not affect police or other uniformed bodies. It does not change provisions allowing people to take benefits because of ill health. The age increased from 50 to 55 in 2010. The increase to 57 is in line with the increase in state pension age from 66 to 67 in 2028.

Emergency powers are to be given to ministers to allow income tax and national insurance reliefs to deal with disasters and national emergencies.

Annual investment allowance

The annual investment allowance (AIA) is a capital allowance that allows a business to deduct 100% of expenditure on most plant and machinery from its taxable profits. Since its introduction in 2008, it has applied at seven different limits ranging from £25,000 to £1 million. The limit was due to revert from £1 million to £200,000 on 1 January 2021. In March, this change was deferred by one year to 1 January 2022. It has now been deferred again to March 2023. This means that the annual investment allowance is £1 million for all periods from 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2023.

Super-Deduction

A company may claim 130% of expenditure under the new super-deduction for expenditure between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2023. So AIA is only claimed when the super-deduction cannot be. As the super-deduction has no monetary limit, this is only likely to apply when the super-deduction cannot be claimed. This applies to expenditure by businesses that are not companies, such as partnerships and sole traders, and to company expenditure outside the two-year window for super-deduction.

Cross-border loss relief

Cross-border loss relief is abolished from 27 October 2021. This means that the limited right to claim UK tax relief for overseas losses is the same for EU countries as for non-EU countries.

Business rates

Business rates are retained despite calls for them to be replaced, particularly for shops which are disadvantaged compared to online retailers. Many shops now pay no rates because of many reliefs already announced. Several changes were announced.

First, premises will be revalued every three years rather then five years.

Second, from April 2023, businesses will have a one-year exemption for any improvements they make. So if a hotel adds bedrooms, or a shop expands its premises, it will have a year before it pays the higher rate. Third, there will be a new green investment relief such as when a business premises installs solar panels. There are some further changes such as providing transitional relief when a revaluation leads to a large increase.

Business rates are calculated by multiplying the rateable value by a “multiplier”. This is a lower figure where the rateable value is below £51,000. From 1 April 2020, the multiplier in England (outside City of London) has been 0.512, or 0.499 for small businesses (if they pay rates at all). These rates were not increased for 2021/22, and are again not increased for a further year to April 2023.

The hospitality sector, which was given a one-year holiday from business rates, will have a 50% reduction in rates for another year, 2022/23, to a maximum amount of £110,000.

Indirect tax

VAT

VAT rates are unchanged. There are some specific changes in rules. An interim second-hand margin scheme is to be introduced in Northern Ireland for used motor vehicles supplied from Great Britain. The VAT exemption for dental prostheses imports is extended to include treatment by dental technicians.

Vehicle excise duty

Vehicle excise duty rates (road tax) for heavy goods vehicles are not increased for 2022/23. Rates for cars, vans and other vehicles are increased in line with inflation.

Research and development

Research and development attracts generous tax relief. A business can claim up to 230% of the expenditure against taxable profits. For companies not yet making profits, this allowance can be exchanged for a cash payment of 13%.

The scope of research and development is widened to include data and cloud computing costs.

Despite these generous reliefs, much of this research and development is not benefiting the UK. So tax reliefs will “refocus the reliefs towards innovation in the UK”. There will also be changes to prevent abuse of the relief. Further details will be published later.

Residential property developer tax

A new residential property developer tax is introduced from April 2022, as previously announced. The tax is charged on profits that companies and corporate groups derive from UK residential property development. The tax is 4% on profits Exceeding £25 million a year. The sums raised will be applied to building safety remediation, such as removing fire-risk cladding.

Tax Evasion

HMRC is being provided with an additional £292 million over three years to tackle tax evasion. A further £55 million is allocated to tackle abuse of the coronavirus schemes. HMRC also receives additional funding to make the tax computer system more comprehensive and robust.

Non-tax matters

There were some significant announcements in non-tax matters.

The national living wage rate increases by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour. This is paid to all workers aged 23 and above. Other national minimum wage rates are:

• 21 to 22 years old: from £8.36 to £9.18
• 18 to 20 years old: from £6.56 to £6.83
• 16 to 17 years old: from £4.62 to £4.81
• apprentice rate: from £4.30 to £4.81

The recovery loan scheme is extended to 30 June 2022 to ensure that lenders continue to support small and medium-sized businesses.

Spending commitments include £5.9 billion of capital expenditure for the National Health Service, although this includes money already announced. There are also large commitments for education, justice, defence, housing, local government, energy, employment, environment and transport. Many spending plans are given in detail such as better roadside toilets for lorry drivers and a new Beatles centre in Liverpool.

If you need any information or advice on any of the announcements please call An Accounting Gem on 01473 744700

HMRC have delayed the implementation of MTD for Income Tax Self Assessment by a further year.

You will now need to be ready to make your first quarterly uploads to HMRC from April 2024.

It may seem that we have plenty of time to achieve readiness, but experience has shown that getting from point A to point B can be challenging, especially if you add COVID issues into the mix.

Who will be affected?

If you are a sole traders or owner of a buy-to-let property with turnover from these combined sources of more than £10,000.

The quarterly reporting dates are fixed. The first tax year affected is 2024-25 and assuming that clients’ accounting period are coterminous that means:

1. The first report will be due in August 2024.
2. The second report will be due in November 2024.
3. Self-Assessment tax return for 2023-24 (the previous tax year) will be due by 31 January 2025.
4. The third report will be due in February 2025.
5. The fourth report will be due in May 2025.
6. The fifth and final year-end report will be January 2026.

HMRC are expecting that tax payers will want to match their accounting periods to 6 April or 31 March. Otherwise, the reporting needs will need to be time apportioned for MTD for ITSA.

If it is thought that changes to year-ends are appropriate, then this is going to change basis periods for tax and may bring in overlap profit calculations.

The MTD Reports need to be made to HMRC by 7 August, 7 November, 7 February and 7 May.

Other considerations

Partnerships will not be integrated with MTD for Income Tax until April 2025.

Tax payments

• Any tax liability will need to be paid by 31 January of the next year (as is currently the case).
• You will be allowed to voluntarily pay taxes as you go: the detail is still being decided and subject to change…..
• Eventually, it is possible you will be required to make four payments per year on account of tax.

Penalties

• Before the recent announced implementation delay (from April 2023 to April 2024) it was intended that there would be no late filing penalties for at least a year while the new system beds in. According to the new information released, implementation and late filing penalties will now both apply from April 2024.
• Penalties already apply for errors in returns or documents.
• Late payment interest already applies.
• HMRC say there may be in year nudges to tax payers

MTD for Corporation Tax is due to start in April 2026, which gives companies time to bed in the ITSA changes and get the systems and work flows correct before the next big change. So, it is imperative to start thinking about these issues now.

The first step

At An Accounting Gem we are digital experts and aim to support all sole traders and landlords that will be required to use the MTD, a filing platform to convert from manual to digital accounting software as soon as possible.

If you need to know more about MTD or any other accounting or tax issues please call us on 01473 744700

Since April 2020, all UK residential properties disposed of by UK resident taxpayers – that create a taxable gain for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) purposes – will have to be reported to HMRC within 30-days of the disposal. Any CGT payable will have to be paid over to HMRC in the same 30-day window. Generally, this will include sales of second homes and buy-to-let property.

What if I sell a property and don’t make a taxable profit?

The new 30-day disclosure deadline only applies, in practice, to property disposals that create a taxable gain. For example, if you sell a buy-to-let property and make a loss on the sale, you will not have to make a return within the 30-day window.

Does this mean I have to submit a tax return every time I sell a property?

Effectively, yes, it does, although restricted to details of any property disposal that creates a chargeable gain. Penalties may apply if you file outside the 30-day window.

How do I work out how much tax is payable?

As part of the 30-day submission to HMRC, you are required to estimate the amount of CGT payable based on your present understanding of the factors that affect this liability. As your other earnings will determine if the CGT you pay is at 18% or 28% – or a mix of the two – estimating these other earnings and getting the number-crunching right will be no mean feat.

During the 30-day window, you will need to: prepare a formal computation and a calculation of the CGT due, submit both to HMRC and pay any CGT this computation reveals.

At the end of the tax year during which you made the disposal, you will also need to include the computation again as part of your actual return. This annual confirmation of the gain may result in an over or underpayment of tax. The annual return will be based on actual data and not the estimated data used to comply with the 30-day rule.

We can help. Read the section that follows.

Advise us in advance if you intend to sell a chargeable property 

We can only help you meet the 30-day deadline if we have the required information about the disposal on the day you sell. The stepped approach set out below is our suggested timeline for gathering and reporting each gain:

  1. Before the completion date, advise us which property is to be sold and the estimated selling price and sales costs.
  2. We will immediately draw together the data we have about the property and confirm that this is correct. This will not only include the purchase price but also improvements made since you bought the property.
  3. We will use this information to prepare a draft computation (based on our prior knowledge of your tax affairs) and advise you of the possible CGT payable 30-days after the sale completes.
  4. When the sale does complete, we can adjust the numbers for any final changes in the sale particulars and agree the computation with you.
  5. Once agreed, we can file the CGT computation with HMRC and advise you when and where you should pay any tax due.

To meet these relatively new reporting regulations, we will need to move quickly to meet the 30-day deadline. We would request that you contact us immediately if you are planning to sell by calling 01473 744700, or by sending an email to contactus@accountinggem.co.uk.

This month, we’re excited to shine a spotlight on: James Spencer, Owner of Spartan IT Systems

Tell us a little about Spartan and what they do?
Spartan IT Systems was started at the very beginning of the pandemic. What began as a need to keep myself working while businesses were no longer hiring IT contractors – turned into an enterprise I have become very passionate about and devoted myself to. We can manage any IT requirement a small or medium business might require. From expanding or maintaining the network infrastructure to desktop and server support. Our services and contracts are designed to remove the element of IT from your day-to-day worries and responsibilities. No more time spent trying to fix the printer or search for a new one – you just give us a call. No more time spent trying to set up a new desk and login information for a new staff member – just email us the details. No more worrying that your company data is backed up and secure in the event of a disaster – we will be watching over it. Almost any IT-related job you can think of, we can support and maintain.

Where are you based?
We are based in Ipswich but provide support to the entirety of Suffolk. Remote support or one-off projects are available further afield, but our locality is greatly responsible for our fast response times.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Spartan
I have been working in the IT sector professionally for almost 15 years. I grew up to boxes of floppy disks and the sound of dial-up modems – me and technology have grown together ever since. I have worked for multiple IT support companies and contracted for many big businesses such as Greene King and Co-Op. This has allowed me to see the gaps in service and quality many companies receive from their current IT support. As I have a direct say in how Spartan operates, I can ensure these instances are addressed straight away, ensuring the customer is informed, confident, and assured. Your business’s IT infrastructure is our only priority.

What does an average day look like for you?
An average day for me at present can vary depending on the latest government announcements on lock-downs. However, by and large, it will consist of a morning spent remotely checking backups/servers and compiling reports, including any remote desktop support required (installing printers, resolving PC issues, etc). In the afternoon, I tend to focus on all the physical jobs – site security camera installs, building or repairing hardware, quotation visits, network expansions. As our services are so inclusive, no two days are the same.

Any spare time I have that isn’t spent responding to emails is used to learn about smart and automated homes. From my blinds and curtains closing automatically when the sun sets, office and conservatory lights turning on and off based on motion and the time of day, the robovac scheduling to vacuum during the night, and being able to turn off every light in the house when I go to sleep by saying three words. The irony being that I don’t believe all the time I have saved from automating my household covers the time I have spent researching and learning about it. But at the very least, I can save many others their time.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
My motivation is simple – I get to do something I am interested in and passionate about, which I am very thankful for. Every day is a learning experience which means I am never drawn down by the monotony of repetitive tasks. While some may count sheep to drift off, I will be mentally mapping out a project I am either working on or plan to start. I will wake up to my alarm in the morning and before I have even left the bedroom, I have drawn together all the mentally scattered pieces of my plan from the night before, ready for action.

What has been your favourite project so far?
I often confuse favourite with frustrating when it comes to IT. One of the main joys of this job is resolving a particularly difficult issue. A customer will often apologise for approaching me with a task that isn’t straight forward, but unaware that I will be just as satisfied as them, if not more so, when I provide a resolution. 

With this in mind – I think my favourite project so far was installing multiple security cameras on a barn situated 100 yards from the property. The challenge here was to get internet access to an outbuilding located so far from the main property and router. After a bit of experimentation and research, we overcame that hurdle. Getting that follow-up thank you email from the customer saying everything is working better than they imagined makes my day.

I would say as much as the projects themselves are the customers and companies, I get to meet. From Catteries, Kennels, and stables where I am surrounded by animals, to soap manufacturers and stately homes where I see places normally closed off from the public.

What’s the biggest challenge your customers face and how do you help them fix it?
I think the main challenge for my customers is understanding their own infrastructure and IT resources. When a computer crashes with a blue screen and a jargon error message whenever you turn it on – the customer doesn’t have the time or knowledge to know how to fix it. If their internet speed has suddenly ground to a halt, the customer might not know where to start to speed it up again. Many times, there are services and resources they have access to but never utilize to their full potential. Like subscribing to an Office 356 platform and not using the free cloud storage, or not using the built-in wi-fi performance enhancements of a router to stabilize connections. 

Understanding all this and trying to operate a business can understandably be too much for many individuals. We help by not only being there to resolve any issues but also to suggest performance and efficiency solutions. All with updates, reports, and full visibility, so the business is in complete control.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I believe that many people have a certain stereotype in mind when they think of the IT guy, and I completely agree with that stereotype. By and large, we are generally reclusive and not very socially adaptive, an unfortunate cost of spending years in front of computer screens. 

I was fortunate to grow up around a family of pub owners. I spent a lot of my early years working in various pubs, restaurants, and catering industries. This gave me an early education in interacting and relating to people from all warps of life. As I grew with the rise of technology, those lessons stayed with me. They allowed me to provide a service based on years of experience and allow me to sympathise and communicate with a customer effectively.

Website: https://spartanitsystems.co.uk/
Email: Support@SpartanITSystems.co.uk
Telephone: 0785 4479 528

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