HB&O Headlines - July 2019

22nd July 2019

Could you claim tax-free childcare this summer?

The school holidays are upon us and many parents will be faced with the familiar juggling act of managing work while keeping children occupied. While there are many activities and childcare options available, they come at a cost. However, many working parents could save money by making use of a relatively new tax-saving scheme.

HMRC recently closed its childcare vouchers scheme to new parents, replacing it with ‘tax-free childcare’. If eligible, the government will pay £2 for every £8 you pay your childcare provider. The eligibility criteria are broad and reasonably accessible for those who are self-employed as well as those in full and part time employment.
Before you rush to claim, please be aware that you cannot get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as claiming Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers.

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Navigating the tax implications of working from home 

Working from home offers all kinds of benefits, including the opportunity to create the perfect environment in which you can be most productive and the improvements to work-life balance that come with ditching the commute. There are advantages for businesses, too, assuming they trust their employees to work without direct supervision.

For example, if only a portion of your workforce is on site on any given day, you might be able to run a smaller office, saving on rent and operating costs.

Running a business from your home isn’t without tax implications, however, and it’s worth considering capital gains tax compliance, business expenses and other issues before deciding to go down this route.
The idea behind allowing self-employed people to deduct certain expenses from their turnover is that it gives a more accurate reflection of profits, and thus makes for a fairer tax bill.

What makes it tricky is working out what expenses count as allowable. The basic rule is that it covers any expense incurred ‘wholly, exclusively’ in the running of your business but working from home makes this distinction more difficult. For example, is your household electricity bill a legitimate business expense?

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VAT reverse charge for building and construction services: Breakfast Briefing

From October 2019, HMRC is introducing a 'domestic reverse charge' for certain categories of construction services in an effort to combat missing trader fraud. Through the new 'reverse charge' system, it will make it the customer's responsibility to account for the VAT on the receipt of a specific supply, rather than the supplier, which could have a

significant impact on smaller taxpayers affected by the change as VAT will be not be collected in by the supplier before having to pay it over to HMRC.

HB&O is planning to run a series of breakfast briefings later in the summer to help clients that believe they will be affected by the new scheme (either as a supplier or a customer) to navigate the changes. To attend, please register your interest and we will send you further details on the events once dates have been finalised.

Register your interest

HB&O appointed as auditor for Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Fund

HB&O has been appointed to audit the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Growth Fund Programme on behalf of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and Coventry City Council. The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Growth Fund is a package of £131 million Capital investment into the local area, matched by public and private investment.

The fund is designed to enable the local area to build on its advanced manufacturing and engineering strengths by investing in new transport infrastructure, public realm, business support and skills investment. With a number of major infrastructure investment projects completed and more underway, the Local Growth Fund is creating at least 7,500 jobs and apprenticeships and allows 3,400 homes to be built by the end of March 2021.
Investment of this scale requires careful management and close, independent scrutiny to ensure project claims are correct and that funds are used as intended.
HB&O’s local knowledge and expertise along with its cost-effective approach were all key factors in deciding who to appoint. Nick Abell, vice-chair of the CWLEP, said: “We have been extremely impressed by HB&O’s approach and commitment to client service. The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Growth Fund is vital to the future development of this region and it is essential that we make the most of every investment.”
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Is now the right time to review your mortgage?

Most mortgages come with an introductory offer or are set at a fixed rate for a fixed term. Keeping an eye on rates and deals once this period has ended could save homeowners a significant amount of money as newer, better deals may be available. In the current market, many providers are offering excellent low rate deals to attract new customers.
As such, it’s even more important to re-evaluate your individual situation to ensure you aren’t paying more than you need to.
Due to a relatively slow housing market, many people are choosing to make a long-term commitment by fixing their mortgage and improving their current property rather than incur the costs of moving house. By taking advantage of low interest rates, you could also get the funds you need for home improvement at a cost effective rate.
Whilst re-mortgaging may involve additional costs initially, lower rates and/or a new fixed rate often makes good financial sense in the long term. An independent mortgage specialist will be able to advise if switching would benefit you, bearing in mind your individual circumstances.
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HB&O donates £3,750 to help tackle social isolation and improve mental health and wellbeing 

Harrison Beale and Owen (HB&O) has recently donated £3,750 to two local projects: Time Out, which helps to tackle social isolation by providing companionship to lonely people; and Achieving Results in Communities Community Interest Company (ARC CIC) which transforms unused land into open spaces and encourages people to embrace nature for their wellbeing.

The projects were brought to HB&O’s attention by the Heart of England Community Foundation, which manages the firm’s grants and highlights charities to the firm that it could support.
Staff at HB&O collectively voted for both projects being impressed with the work they do in the community. Craig Payne, Charity Chairman at HB&O, said: “We’re very keen to support smaller local charities which don’t necessarily receive the same recognition as the larger charities do, when their work is equally as valuable to those who are in need.”

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HB&O property experts share practical tips at local event

HB&O’s property tax and mortgage specialists joined forces to share useful insights at an event held for those investing in Homes of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) this week. The free event was organised by Homemaker Properties and was designed to provide up to date advice and information for existing and potential investors.
Neil Allcroft, Senior Tax Manager at HB&O, talked delegates through some of the recent changes to tax legislation and offered practical tips on how to run a tax efficient property portfolio while
Independent mortgage broker, Ian Chetwynd, from HB&O Financial Services, talked through some of the particular challenges and opportunities for those seeking finance for an HMO.
To find out more about our tax and mortgage services, contact us on advice@hboltd.co.uk

HB&O sponsors Independent Business category at the 2019 Leamington Business Awards

HB&O is delighted to announce its continued support for the Leamington Business Awards through sponsorship of the Independent Business of the Year category for 2019. Mark Ashfield, HB&O Managing Director, has also been invited to join the judging panel alongside fellow judges, Louise Richards, Sarah Windrum and Roger Scott.
The Leamington Business Awards celebrates the achievements of local businesses of all types and sizes, and raises awareness of the great work being done throughout the town. The Independent Business of the Year award is traditionally one of the most hotly contested categories and recognises the overwhelming number of unique independent business that operate within the town.
Mark Ashfield said: “We are extremely proud to continue our involvement with the Leamington Business Awards. We have always been heavily involved with the event, from winning the professional services category four years ago, to organising the event on behalf of the town in recent years. As a local business ourselves, we have experienced how the awards can act as a catalyst in building strong professional relationships throughout the town as well as offering a platform for smaller businesses to thrive.”
The winners will be announced back where it all began at the iconic Royal Pump Rooms in November. Entry for the awards is now open via www.leamingtonbusinessawards.co.uk.
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