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Do YOU know when your tax return is due?

Posted 16th October 2019 at 9:19 am

self-assessment deadline

The deadline for filing the 2018/19 self-assessment return online is 31 January 2020*. While this deadline may seem ages away, with Christmas (and Brexit!) on the horizon it could be easy to get distracted until you realise that you only have a few weeks left to submit. A late filing penalty is charged if the return is filed late, even if it is only late by one day and/or there is no tax to pay. You can avoid a fine by submitting your return well before the deadline, which means that now is a great time to be preparing all... Read more

IR35: Off-payroll working rules extended

Posted 8th October 2019 at 8:53 pm


From 6th April 2020, the off-payroll working (IR35) rules that apply to the public sector are being extended to medium and large organisations within the private sector. The rules apply to organisations who pay for services to be provided by a personal service company.   What is a personal service company? A personal service company is typically a Limited Company with a sole director, which carries out work for a small number of clients. Many organisations engage consultants or contractors through this type of arrangement. Through IR35 legislation, HMRC are now clamping down on this practice if it is specifically... Read more

Get on your bike with the Cycle to Work scheme!

Posted 2nd October 2019 at 9:44 am

cycle to work

The Cycle to Work scheme has now been running for 20 years, but recently the government announced a change which will allow you to buy an e-bike tax free. Previously the scheme was capped at £1000, but there are few electric bikes available for less than this amount, so the government has now removed this cap. This means that employers’ schemes can now provide e-bikes and equipment worth more than £1000. These changes have been made to promote the use of e-bikes, which the Department for Transport hopes will help tackle congestion and therefore speed up commuting time. The move... Read more

How to be disruptive

Posted 25th September 2019 at 8:39 am


Disruption is the buzz word that’s taking over the business world at the moment. Unlike at school where it was something that would get you sent to the Head Teacher, disruption in business is a positive strategy which is born from innovation. Disruptive innovation is the process by which a new product or service becomes popular enough to displace an established one. A great example of this is Netflix, which has almost single-handedly caused the global death of video rental shops. But it’s not just the big brands that can be disruptive. Small businesses are often really well placed to... Read more

The Science of Happiness

Posted 10th September 2019 at 4:56 pm


When asked what we want out of life, although many of us would love a fancy car, a big house, and a large salary, most of us would probably say that we just want to be happy! In today’s modern world, with longer working hours, constant connectivity through our devices, and the turbulent state of domestic and global politics, more and more of us are finding true happiness harder to achieve. Recognising this problem, Yale University’s Professor Laurie Santos introduced her ‘Psychology and the Good Life’ course, which quickly became the most oversubscribed course in Yale’s history. Professor Santos has... Read more

Celebrating 21 Years of National Payroll Week

Posted 4th September 2019 at 8:45 am


Yes, believe it or not, National Payroll Week is a thing! Unfortunately for our payroll team, this doesn’t mean they get the week off, or even a cake, but it does give us a chance to showcase the fantastic work that they do!   Legislation & Compliance Legislation around payroll and auto-enrolment is constantly changing and can be daunting to get to grips with. Our team can take care of all the tricky questions, leaving you fully compliant with current legislative guidelines.   Deadlines & Submissions There’s nothing more stressful than knowing you have a deadline coming up, whether that’s... Read more

Back to School: Improve your skills this September

Posted 28th August 2019 at 9:03 am


While January is the time that most people make their New Year Resolutions, September is traditionally a time for educational new beginnings. Maybe you want to enhance your business skills, gain a qualification, or even just learn a new skill for fun? There are a myriad of options for adult education available across our region to suit every schedule and budget.   Enhance your business skills  Our region has two of the most well-respected business schools in the country, offering everything from professional certification in coaching & mentoring, marketing or HR, or full business masters degrees. Check out the courses... Read more

How to beat the Post-Holiday Blues

Posted 21st August 2019 at 9:40 am

post-holiday blues

Many of us spend months of the year looking forward to our summer holiday break, but when we place so much significance on our annual getaway, our return to real life can give us a case of the post-holiday blues. So how can we enjoy the benefits of a well-earned break, without suffering from negative mood afterwards?   Accept that your feelings are normal When you’ve looked forward to your holiday for months, and enjoyed it to its full, of course ‘real life’ is going to feel like a let-down! Knowing that these feelings are normal can help you to... Read more

Should you harness the power of the Flash Sale?

Posted 13th August 2019 at 6:03 pm

flash sale

A flash sale is a restricted sale of products or services, usually limited by either time or stock availability – 24-48 hours only, or ‘when they’re gone, they’re gone’! Most flash sales involve big price cuts on single items, but some also utilise strategies such as Buy-One-Get-One-Free (BOGOF), free insurance, extended warranties, or free credit. The most famous examples of flash sales are Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which many of the larger high street and online retailers get involved with. However it is possible for you to organise your own individual flash sale to suit your own business needs... Read more

Donate to charity and save tax

Posted 7th August 2019 at 7:15 am

gift aid

Did you know that if you’re a higher rate taxpayer, you can claim tax relief on charitable donations you’ve made through Gift Aid? Most people know that the Gift Aid scheme allows charities to claim back the tax you’ve paid on your donation at 20%. So, for every £1 you give to charity, the charity can claim an extra 25p from HMRC without it costing you any extra. However, if you’re a higher rate taxpayer you pay 40% tax. This means that you yourself can claim the difference between the basic rate of tax claimed by the charity through the... Read more