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Practice Blog

We Are Recruiting

Professional Accountant/ Business Adviser

We are a relatively new firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers who have experienced substantial growth over the past four years. This has been achieved through the provision of outstanding client care and advicefrom our hugely experienced team of dedicated professionals.

To sustain this growth and meet the ever-changing demands of our expanding client base we require an additional resource to contribute immediately to the development of our business.

The successful candidate may be qualified or part qualified but will have a skill-set that will cope with:


Are you ready for the next challenge of joining a dynamic team and a growing business - developing your career to the limits that only you will set.

Remuneration and benefits will be wholly commensurate with qualification and experience and of course what you can bring to our team.

All applications by e mail to John.Collins@collins-partnership.co.uk

website at www.collins-partnership.co.uk.

The Annual Stocktake

As all good Auditors would tell you International Auditing Standards dictate that to obtain sufficient and appropriate audit evidence regarding the existence and condition of stock, attendance at the actual stocktake is important..........Aghhhhhhhhhh!!!

That can be tough especially with many businesses having 31st December year ends. Yes standing in some freezing remote manufacturing plant counting widgets on Hogmanay when the rest of the world is building up to the bells is no one's idea of fun is it. But I am reminded that good Auditors are not meant to have fun, or indeed be funny, as it would detract from their boring persona. Is that really me or am I uniquely different? I hope so.

I can recall some horrendous stocktakes over the years when if the truth be told I did question my sanity in pursuing such a professional career. On one occasion as a junior I stood all day in an engineering works counting drill cutting parts. You can imagine my utter dismay when after such a sterling effort and commitment to the cause I was told by the senior in charge of the job that what I had been counting wasn't actually part of the inventory - but don't worry it will be good experience for me in the future! Aye right!! I cannot repeat here where I told the senior the drill cutting parts should go.

Now then, counting beautiful Rolls Royce Motor Cars may just be a wee bit different - especially for someone with a passion for nice cars. What a wonderful job, looking at an array of all the different models and colours, a stocktake I happily step forward to every year and insist to my colleagues that my experience is needed for this difficult task. I suspect that particular tactic will not last for too much longer.

If the truth be told it's the only time that I will ever get close to a Rolls Royce - New Dawn seeing such a beautiful car at a stock count, but dreaming of "what if" is no bad thing. Surely I deserve it for all those days and nights counting washers and O rings. If we were all a wee bit more honest and open would we not all readily ask - is anyone, including the Auditing Standards Board, really that interested?

Salary Sacrifice Cutbacks

From 6 April 2017 the government will remove a range of tax efficient employee benefits including health screening, car leasing and mobile phone contracts. Act now to take advantage of the transitional rules.

Salary sacrifice schemes allow employers to provide non-cash benefits to their employees which ultimately save the employee money, as well as providing national insurance savings to the employer. So, by giving up part of your pre-tax salary to buy the benefit you don’t pay tax or national insurance on the amount sacrificed.

From 6 April 2017 all salary sacrifice arrangements with the exception of arrangements relating to pensions, cycle to work, childcare and ultra-low emission cars will be removed. This means that employees swapping salary for any benefit, other than those just mentioned, will pay the same tax as employees using their post-tax income.

By entering into contractual arrangements before 6 April 2017 employees can take advantage of the transitional rules and continue to take advantage of the tax savings until the earlier of a variation/renewal in contract or 6 April 2018 (or 6 April 2021) depending on the type of benefit.

Are you ready for the change, seek assistance from a member of our team by contacting us now.

It Pays To Be Married These Days!

Are you married or in a civil partnership? If so you may be eligible for the Marriage Allowance which came into force on 6 April 2015.

How it works?

Essentially the marriage allowance allows a low income partner to transfer a portion of their unused personal allowance (what you can earn before you start paying tax) to their higher earning spouse.

What is the criteria?

You must be married or in a civil partnership. Unfortunately just living together does not count.

One of you needs to be a non-tax payer (essentially earning under the personal allowance of £11,000 for 2016/17 (£10,600 for 2015/16)).

The other one of you needs to be a basic 20% rate taxpayer (couples with a higher or additional-rate taxpayer aren't eligible for this allowance). This means you'd normally need to earn less than £43,000 for 2016/17 (£42,385 for 2015/16).

Both of you must have been born on or after 6 April 1935.

How much can I claim back?

If you meet the above criteria for both the 2015/16 and 2016/17 tax years the Marriage Allowance permits you to transfer up to 10% of your personal allowance (for the two tax years, a total personal allowance of £21,600), resulting in the basic rate taxpayer getting back this amount of tax at the basic rate of 20%. So, up to £432. If you are only eligible for the 2016/17 tax year then you can get up to £220 in tax back.

How to check if you are eligible?

The lower income earner should go to the HMRC website and complete the online application form. All you will need is your partner's national insurance number. Otherwise, feel free to contact us.

Making Tax Digital

It seems that no sooner have businesses, and taxpayers generally, overcame the additional hurdles placed upon them by the Government in relation to compliance tax and other regulatory requirements, than another hurdle appears. Self-Assessment, IXBRL Filing, Real Time Information and Auto Enrolment are all hurdles to have been jumped recently and no sooner have these been cleared than another appears in the form of MTD - Making Tax Digital or as some would say "Making Tax Difficult".

In summary, and as far as we can see it at the moment, most businesses and letting clients will need to submit five sets of information a year to HMRC as distinct from one at the moment in the form of an annual tax return. These are four quarterly income and expenditure accounts in a specified format, followed by a final set of accounts with supporting tax return.

MTD is scheduled to start in 2018 and whilst the consultation process is still underway there is no question that the Government is committed to having this in place by the stated date. It is absolutely vital that steps are taken now to consider the impact of these new requirements and to ensure that both the taxpayer and their adviser are well prepared for the additional demands this will create.

Are you ready for the next hurdle, or are you saying what hurdle? Don't be a faller at the first, seek assistance now and contact us.

You Don't Ask And Try, You Will Never Succeed

There is a widely held misconception that the whole onus in keeping your personal taxation affairs in order lies firmly at the door of the individual taxpayer. Nothing could be further from the truth.

HMRC have a responsibility under legislation and the taxpayers charter of good practise, to ensure that best and timely use is made of information they hold on a taxpayers financial affairs. Indeed it is often the case that HMRC know more about the financial affairs of taxpayers than they know about themselves. This information requires to be used appropriately and timeously.

A very good example of this is in relation to the issue by HMRC of incorrect PAYE coding notices despite all relevant information being held by them. John Collins was recently passed a £4,500 demand received by an individual taxpayer covering a two year period and representing tax underpaid as a consequence of incorrect PAYE coding notices being issued by HMRC. John explains:

"This related to the commencement of the taxpayer being in receipt of OAP which clearly HMRC knew about but failed to include in adjusted PAYE coding notices. Consequently over a two year period a large underpayment of tax arose which came as a huge surprise to the innocent taxpayer. I wrote to HMRC suggesting that they had not made timely and best use of the information available to them and in all the circumstances the underpayment should be written off under the official error provisions. They agreed much to the astonishment of a very happy client."

The moral of the story.....not all news from HMRC need necessarily be bad! But you do need to be prepared to ask!

Have you received correspondence recently from HMRC that you wish us to look into further? If so, please contact us. The team at The Collins Partnership is on hand to help.

Rolls Royce Client, Requires Rolls Royce Service

Rolls Royce Client, Requires Rolls Royce Service

Following our involvement in the run up to the successful trade and asset acquisition of the Rolls Royce and Aston Martin dealerships in Edinburgh by Leven Cars Group, The Collins Partnership has been appointed group auditors and tax advisers. This was already a prestigious client of the firm but we are delighted that the success of the acquisition project has resulted in The Collins Partnership being appointed to provide professional services for the foreseeable future. We are very excited about this engagement and look forward to being involved in what will be exciting times ahead for the Leven Cars Group.


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