Pensions Bill

February 2007

More people than ever would be entitled to a full basic state pension as a result of measures included in the new Pensions Bill, which had its second reading in the middle of January.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, John Hutton, said ‘This Bill would create a more generous, fairer state system. It would be of particular benefit to women and carers, who often lose out in the current system.’

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, the reforms included in the Bill should mean that around three quarters of women would be entitled to a full basic state pension in 2010, compared to around 50% if the system was not reformed. By 2020 around 90% of women would have a full entitlement.

Internet Link: Press Release

Homeworking Costs for the Self Employed

February 2007

HMRC have revised their guidance on the deductibility of household expenses for those people who work from home on a self employed basis. This has always been a complex area and case law has meant that the rules were at least very confusing!

The guidance appears to represent a relaxation of the rules and also offers some clarification and examples of the costs which are deductible.

Internet Links: HMRC guidance and HMRC examples

Construction Industry Contractors – Employees or Not?

February 2007

Construction companies across the Midlands are being targeted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) who have sent thousands of letters to contractors and sub-contractors regarding their self-employment status. Some of these status enquiries have led to some construction companies receiving huge PAYE bills.

In response to the confusion, Sutton Coldfield based accountants and business advisers Weatherer Bailey Bragg LLP, have organised a free to attend seminar which aims to clarify the situation for all involved.

The event is being held at the Ramada Hotel, Penns Lane, Walmley, on Tuesday 13th March.

Patrick Bragg, senior partner at Weatherer Bailey Bragg LLP, comments: “The new Construction Industry Scheme changes come into effect on the 6th April 2007. One of the main objectives of the new Scheme to be introduced is to ensure that businesses who are required to operate the Scheme comply with the tax obligations. HMRC have stated that compliance with the new Scheme will be closely monitored, and if businesses do not comply they will be penalised and it may also mean the loss of gross payment status.

“At this Seminar our expert speakers will provide you with a clear understanding of the requirements for operating the new Scheme, such as how to keep sub-contractors self-employed, practicalities of the new CIS Rules and details of Penalties incurred for non-compliance. As an addition to this agenda we shall also cover a short session looking at Inland Revenue interventions and the new Van Scale Benefit Charges which come into force from April 2007.

“I would urge anyone who thinks they may be affected to come along for some free advice.”

The event is free to attend but advance booking is required. To confirm your place please click here or call 0121 355 1901.

New Service for Entrepreneurs

February 2007

In response to the ever growing number of owner managed businesses across the region, Sutton Coldfield based accountants and business advisers Weatherer Bailey Bragg LLP has just launched a dedicated entrepreneurial services division.

The specialist team is being headed up by partner Richard Miner, who has extensive experience in the field. Richard will be advising a full range of clients from the midlands and beyond on raising finance, constructing business plans and value enhancement, as well as exit strategies for the region’s growing number of people looking to start, expand or sell their own business.

Richard comments: “Weatherer Bailey Bragg has always done this sort of work, but when I joined the practice 12 months ago the other partners were as keen as I was to make a bigger impact in the local market place. We have seen people looking to go it alone, looking to buy into existing businesses as well as realise the value in a business they may have built over many years. It’s been an amazing last 12 months in which we’ve handled deals worth more than £25 million.

“We are confident this new division of the practice will help anyone looking to raise the capital in order to fulfil their dreams of being their own boss.”

Having joined Weatherer Bailey Bragg one year ago, Richard was previously group finance director with a large Midlands based international manufacturer and before that an audit and corporate finance partner with a national firm of accountants.

For more information call Weatherer Bailey Bragg LLP on 0121 355 1901.

Changes Required to Websites and Electronic Documents

February 2007

The government has recently issued new legislation extending the requirements for companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) to provide certain particulars about themselves on their websites and in electronic versions of all documents.

The new legislation became effective from 1 January 2007 and there are penalties for those who do not comply.

The changes mean that companies and LLPs must disclose their name, place of registration, registered number and the address of their registered office on their websites. This information must already be included on business letters and order forms. The new legislation extends the requirements to include this information to such documents in electronic format. As so many of us now conduct business correspondence by email, this has implications for the amount of information that must be included.

Please do get in touch if you want any more clarification on this.

Internet Link: Statutory Instrument