5 Purchases You Didn’t Know Were Tax Deductible

With the tax year ending, it’s time to declare and pay your tax. For business owners, every penny matters, which is why it’s vital to thoroughly go through your yearly expenses as well as income and find any tax-deductible expenses that can allow you to pay less on your tax to ensure you’re paying a fair and accurate rate. BNA Consulting has put together a quick list of 5 purchases relevant to the business that you might not have known were tax deductible. If you’ve purchased any of these items or services for your business during the tax year, you can claim money back and save on your taxes!

  1. Phones

Some business owners can spend hours on the phone with clients and associates. If you use your phone for work, you can claim the expenses back for business calls made on a landline or from your mobile phone. To do this your phone contract or landline bills must be in the name of your business or company, or you need to keep a record of business-related calls as opposed to personal calls if you work using your home landline. With mobile phones, so long as the contract is in the company’s name and personal use is kept to a reasonable minimum then the whole cost of the contract is tax deductible! Get in touch with BNA Consulting to find out more about this process.

  1. Subscriptions

Subscriptions related to your business can be either fully or partially tax deductible. For example, if you require a Microsoft subscription for your business, then this counts as professional subscriptions and can be deducted from your tax total. This also includes trade or professional journals that help you in your work and trade body or professional organisation memberships if its related to your business. The key to all these tax-deductible purchases is that they have to be directly related to your business, so things such as gym memberships are unlikely to be tax deductible unless you can relate it directly as an essential requirement of your work.

  1. Car, Van and Transport Expenses

Keep a record of any travel expenses that come from professional needs, such as travelling to and from a meeting or needing to hire a car. This doesn’t include your travel to and from home and the office, but for any extra required travel, you can make a claim. This not only includes taxis, public transport and air travel but also insurance, repairs and servicing, vehicle licence fees, fuel, parking, breakdown cover, hotel rooms and meals on overnight business trips. However, this will not include non-business related travel or any fines you may receive.

  1. Office, Property and Equipment

You can claim for capital allowances on any item or asset you require for your business, including computers, internet, stationary and rent for business premises. This can include postage costs, printing supplies, a new laptop or computer, business software or computer software, as well as bigger costs like business and water rates, utility bills, security and property insurance. If you work from home, you can claim back on the space you use as your office – i.e. if it’s only one room in your home you use for work you may be able to claim a proportion of your costs such as heating and electricity.

  1. Staff Parties

There is a fair and reasonable allowance for staff parties for small businesses which are usually deductible for key events, such as the Christmas Party or an annual dinner. This won’t cover large, extravagant events, but if the annual cost of staff parties is kept to around £150 a head and below this should be tax deductible. But be warned, this will only cover one or two event functions, so if you’re having staff parties every couple of months you won’t be covered.

Utilising these tax-deductible purchases on your tax declaration can save you a vast amount in tax and will allow your business to run cost efficiently and sensibly. However, keeping track of these expenditures and declaring them correctly can be an arduous, tricky process – it requires you to keep detailed records, receipts and invoices in a simple, methodical system which can be time-consuming and easy to lose track of.

If you want to ensure you’re getting your best tax rate for your business, get in touch with the experts at BNA Consulting – we know everything you can claim back for and will help file and declare it correctly. We look forward to hearing from you and saving your business time and money!

Spring Clean your Finances with BNA Consulting’s Guide

Spring is here! The sun is shining, the new tax year has begun, and soon the sandals and BBQs will be coming out. For these few months of sun you want to be carefree and enjoying yourself, knowing that everything in your financial life is in order and that you’re well set up for the financial year ahead. This is why now is the perfect time to spring clean your finances, and BNA Consulting is here to help! Take a look at our handy guide for how to spring clean your finances.

  1. Examine and organise your paperwork

Before setting up anything new, it’s important to go through the old. That means doing the boring stuff by buckling down and reviewing all of your paperwork. This includes bank statements, utility and phone bills, insurance policies, receipts and invoices, both online and on paper. Create or improve your current organisation system so you know exactly where everything is, and that you’ve culled the paperwork you don’t need. Be careful doing this, don’t just throw everything away, but be honest and thorough about what is essential and organise it – you’ll thank yourself later! This also gives you a clear idea of the state of your finances which will help you moving forward.

  1. Cut unnecessary expenses

Every little helps, so going through your finances and daily expenditures to work out what’s essential and what’s an unnecessary luxury will go a long way in getting your finances under control. Go through your subscriptions, such as the magazine subscription that you never read or the gym membership you never use, and consider more cost-effective alternatives, such as going to a leisure centre when you have time, or actually remembering to cancel the subscription after the free trial period is up! There are also plenty of free money saving and money tracking apps that will help you look at how much you’re spending and make sure you’re always getting the best deal – you’ll be amazed when you see how much goes on takeaway coffee and Ubers alone! Being aware of these expenses, small and large, will help you cut and save where you need to.

  1. Make the most of your money

There’s no point having your money sit in an account without any benefits – instead, do your research and find out which account will suit you and your goals best. There are plenty of products and schemes available out there which will help support your financial plans, you just need to find it! For example, if your goal is to buy a house, getting a lifetime ISA gives you great advantages, such as a 25% government boost to under 40s annual savings to help first-time buyers save for a deposit. Whatever your financial aims, with the expertise of BNA Consulting you can make the most of your money with intelligent and informed options at your fingertips.

  1. Cover all bases

While sorting through your paperwork and getting your finances in order, be smart with your money and leave no stone unturned. You may have assets that have laid hidden and unclaimed which have been overlooked. Go through old shares, forgotten pensions, old savings accounts and life policies to ensure that you’ve claimed everything you can – you could get a surprise boost to your accounts! Equally, be smart with how you save and invest your money. Don’t put them all into stocks or shares, but equally don’t put every penny into just one savings account when you could be gaining much more. Diversify and spread your money across different investment strategies so that you always have the potential to profit, such as stocks or a shares ISA. This does come with risks, but can deliver great results if done correctly, and with the advice of the experts.

  1. Talk to the professionals

And speaking of the experts…if you want to be absolutely sure you’re really making the most of your finances and that they’re both in order and earning you more, it’s always best to get in touch with the professionals to help you thoroughly go through your finances. This stops the whole process from being overwhelming, and that you’re doing the right thing with the best advice so you can rest easy! Here at BNA Consulting, our English and Russian Accountants have a long track record of excellent financial services, meaning we can help you with every step of your finances so they’re spick and span.

So there you have it! By taking these steps you’ll be on your way to financial perfection in order and prepared for the financial year, so when it comes to April and tax season you’ll be organised, in control and reaping the benefits of your saving, investments and financial acumen. As ever, BNA Consulting is here to help with all and any of your accounting and financial needs, so get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you spring clean and manage your finances.

BNA Consulting

3 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Professional Accountant

BNA Consulting is here to help you when it comes to running a business, there are a thousand things you need to consider and keep on top of. One of the most vital things that you need to be 100% sure of is that your accounts are in order – this means taxes sorted, employees paid, books balanced and plenty more. Going through all these logistics yourself can be a gruelling affair – but someone has to do it! With that in mind, here are three reasons why you need to hire a professional accountant.

1. BNA Consulting allows you to focus on your business

One of the key, obvious reasons why it’s in your best interests to hire a professional account is that it gives you time to focus on your own business, or even just your own life, helping you maintain a healthy work/life balance rather than taxing invoices and tax forms home with you. Rather than getting bogged down in the precise, often confusing details of accounting, you can pass the buck onto an expert who you can trust – a professional accountant whose whole job is to sort through your finances and help keep them in order.

With expert help from a professional accountant, you’ll never have to worry about finance or tax deadlines, bookkeeping or payments. It also means you’ll have detailed and accurate financial records for all elements of your business and expenses, which leaves your business at less risk to financial errors or a visit from the IRS, giving you one less thing to worry about. All of this means you don’t have to get tied up in the nitty-gritty specifics of your finances and leave it to an expert, so you can get back to what you’re an expert in – running your business.

Russian Accountants in London

2. Expert Advice

Hiring a professional accountant also means that you have access to the invaluable resource of expert financial advice. Your accountant will know exactly what your business does and how it’s doing financially, which means they will be able to provide you accurate and informed guidance on financial decisions. This could relate to whether it’s the right time to expand your business, how to expand while being fiscally responsible if an investment is a wise move and how to best reach your financial goals. They can also help you lay out a strategic financial plan if you’re creating a new business and can give you a unique and instrumental perspective on both your company and your finances, helping you to create a financially stable business while still moving forward and growing for the future.

3. Save Money, Time and Energy while staying protected

Ultimately, hiring a professional accountant like BNA Consulting saves you a world of worry – but in the long term, they’re also more likely to save you money, even when considering the cost of hiring them in the first place. During tax season, most businesses are desperately trying to maximise their deductions, when really it’s too late for this. An accountant will be working on maximising your deductions throughout the financial year and helping you plan strategically and accordingly – so when tax season and end of year deductions come around, you’re fully prepared and have every base covered. Similarly, you’ll save money just be avoiding any financial mistakes, which can lead to surprise fees or fines. You get all these benefits while also saving yourself valuable time and energy, so you can rest assured your business’ financial matters are in good hands.

Ultimately, hiring a professional accountant for you or your business has plenty of benefits, and can help take your business to new heights. Here at BNA Consulting, our English and Russian Accountants have a proven track record of excellence and a wealth of knowledge and are conveniently based in London. We’re here to consult, advise and take care of your business, so you have peace of mind when it comes to your finances.

Get in touch with BNA Consulting today to find out how we can help you.

Setup a Limited Company

Limited Company

How to Correctly set up a Limited Company in the UK

If you’re setting up a business in the UK, it is a wise move to run your business as a limited company. Setting your business up as a limited company means it is recognised as a legal entity. In other words, it is legally separate from the people who run it. This includes its finances, which are made separate from your personal ones, and you can keep any profits it makes after paying tax. Making your business a limited company has many benefits, but it can also be quite complex to set up. Here are a few things for you to keep in mind if you’re considering setting up a limited company:

The Details

When it comes to setting up your limited company in the UK, you’ll need to register with Companies House. Before you can do this you need to be sure of a few details about your company. Primarily, you need an apt company name, a list of the name(s) of its director(s), an official company address, and details of the company’s shares. As well as this, according to Gov.UK you need at least one shareholder to allow you to check your SIC code (Standard Industrial Classification) which identifies what your company does. You’ll also need an agreed upon ‘memorandum and articles of association’, which is a written contract by the shareholders confirming their agreement to create the company. This reasonably extensive list is just the basics of what you need before you can even register your limited company in the UK. If this seems like a lot to get in order, some guidance from an expert may be reassuring when setting up your limited company. At BNA Consulting we’re experts in the whole process, meaning we can help guide you to make sure everything is taken care of and the process runs smoothly. We’re well versed in advising with Companies House administration tasks, such as registering the office, secretarial services, bookkeeping, business plan preparation and monthly/quarterly account management. Whatever your need or unsure of, BNA Consulting is happy to help.

Finance

You’ll also need to consider the calculation and administration of PAYE/NI to your employees, as well as calculations of monthly dividends and administration of quarterly VAT returns. Again, if you’re busy running your company, it can be easier and be comforting to hand over these precise, time-consuming and complex financial duties to experts who are used to the procedures in place. At BNA Consulting we frequently deal with the preparation of income tax returns, routine tax queries, preparation of annual accounts and the company’s corporation tax, as well as the CT600 return (Company Tax Return). Our English and Russian speaking accountants also specialise in the preparation of the annual return to Companies House, so you won’t get caught out. We can also help you set up the company bank account to ensure its separate from your personal finances quickly and easily, either through our reliable HSBC partners or with your preferred bank.

BNA Consulting’s services can be tailored to your needs. Whatever you’re unsure of, need help with, or even just need checking over, our expert team of English and Russian speaking accountants will be able to guide and help you, meaning you can rest assured that your limited company has been set up correctly by UK standards and is prepared for the responsibilities it will have to fulfil in the future. As well as helping you set up your limited company in the UK, we can remain with you annually to keep you on top of everything. Get in touch with BNA Consulting today to find out more about how we can help you to set up a limited company in the UK.

happy businesswoman

How to find small business accountants in London

When starting a small business, you already have a long list of things to take care of – but somewhere near the top of this list should be finding an accountant.

Finding the correct accountant for your small business is essential to your success – choose the wrong one and your business and profit margins will suffer. With this in mind, it’s important to find the right small business accountants for you.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing an accountant for your small business.

Cover for everything

What services does your accountant offer? If they’re offering the bare minimum for a high rate they’re not going to be effective partners for you, and you don’t want to be going through lots of different people or companies to do different tasks for your business.

Ideally, you should find small business accounting services in London who can provide everything you need as well as those who know what your business will require, including payroll, bookkeeping for start ups, VAT, CIS, self-assessment, annual accounts, annual returns, benefits applications, UTR (Unique Tax Reference numbers) and more.

annual report

You want to partner with an experienced, skilled small business accountant who not only offers all these services, but can tell you exactly what you need to do to make sure your small business is fully covered as well as using its money effectively. This means everything is done under the same blanket and nothing gets forgotten or overlooked – which means you won’t get caught out down the line.

Personality Matters

You will have to work closely with your accountant and need to feel that you trust them. They will be dealing with some vital procedures for your small business and will have intimate knowledge of your money and business profits.

This is why it’s important that you feel your accountant is both honest and open. We’d always recommend someone you feel speaks frankly – you are going to need to ask them direct questions and need to feel that they’ll answer honestly rather than skirt around the question.

happy businesswoman

For example, when asking what their fees are or how much something is going to cost you, there’s no point beating around the bush. Meet your accountant face-to-face before hiring them to check that they are a person you can rely on, as well as a person who understands your business.

Do Your Research

There are so many small business accountants in London to choose from – it can be easy to get overwhelmed. However, you don’t want to go with just the first small business accounting services you see advertised on Google.

Do your research to find out which accountant will suit you and your business needs best – this includes in terms of cost, services offered and location. You should also check other people’s reviews of the accountants to find out more about the way they work, and you can also check if the accountants you’re considering are members of organisations such as ICAEW or ACCA.

Ideally you need someone who fits with your business and understands the goals you’re trying to achieve. In other words, if you’re running a small business, getting a large business accountant may not be the right match for you and won’t provide relevant insights into your business needs.

This is why you should opt specifically for an accountant for small businesses or start ups, preferably with experience or expertise in your specific niche of business. Who you choose to be your accountant is essentially a business partner for you, so choose wisely.

Conclusion

Here at BNA Consulting, we are a highly experienced, skilled team of English and Russian accountants in London.

We aim to provide small businesses with all the support they need, so you can rest assured that your business’ financial and legal needs have been taken care of.

We are flexible and can be available for you whenever you need us. At BNA Consulting, we consider you a partner, so we’ll do everything we can to help your small business’ accounting concerns so you can focus on business as usual.

calculating payroll

How To Do Payroll: Guide to Understanding Payroll

Payroll is an essential part of your business; as well as issuing regular paychecks legally and on time to your employees, payroll is also responsible for handling payroll tax and deductions like benefits and pension payments and withholding taxes, such as for National Insurance.

If your payroll department falls short or makes a mistake it can have massive ramifications for you, your employees and your business.  That’s why it’s vital for you to know what you’re doing and what is expected of your business in terms of basic payroll. We’ve put together a quick and handy guide on understanding payroll as an independent business.

Payroll: Outsourcing Companies

The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to take the time to deal with of all the responsibilities that come with managing your own payroll month to month, or whether you want to outsource the payroll process to another company and give yourself the time to focus on your business instead. In many cases this can be the right thing for your business; you’ll save you time and can feel comforted knowing that an expert payroll company is taking care of the bulk of the payroll responsibilities.

payroll company

However, if you do choose to receive payroll services from a consultant, make sure they understand your business and are reliable and trustworthy. You need to make sure they are the kind of company or consultants you know will get the work done on time and precisely so you don’t face any problems with HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs). If you choose the right agency you’ll feel you’ll have some extra, expert support and one less thing to deal with each month.

Keeping Organised for Basic Payroll

Tax months run from the 6th of one month to the 5th of the next month. It is vital that you stay on top of things to make sure you get everything processed and submitted on time. Every month before payday for your employees you must record their pay, calculate any deductions from their pay such as Income Tax, calculate the employer’s National Insurance contribution that you’ll need to pay on their earnings, produce payslips for each employee and report their pay and deductions to HMRC in a Full Payments Submission (FPS).

All this needs to be completed accurately and on time. Then in the next tax month you’ll be able to view what you owe from your FPS online and claim any reductions. You have to make sure you pay HRMC by the 22nd online or face a penalty. With the right system you can keep on top of all these duties, but it can be time-consuming and is very detail-orientated, which is why sometimes outsourcing your payroll duties to a payroll consultancy firm may be right for your business.

Payroll Calculating and Software

These days there is some of the best payroll software out there to date which will help you report to HMRC. This software will also help you record your employee’s details and keep it up to date, working out how much you need to pay HMRC, calculating statutory pay (like sick pay or maternity leave pay), produce payslips and working out your employees’ pay and deductions.

calculating payroll

This means your employees will all be getting the right pay and you’ll know you’re paying the right taxes – it makes life so much easier. There is plenty of choice of online payroll software, both paid and free – it’s just a matter of choosing which will be right for your business.

Companies such as Sage Payroll, Xero and APS (Automatic Payroll Systems Inc.) have great reviews at a varied price scale – but take a look online yourself to find out more about payroll software and working out which one is best for you. https://www.softwareadvice.com/uk/hr/payroll-software-comparison/

Payroll for businesses

Some of what your business is required to do for payroll depends on the scale of your business and how much you and your employees are earning each month, but the above points are key to every business as you begin to tackle payroll and all the responsibilities that come with it.

If you need more information, advice or support, feel free to get in touch with us at BNA Consulting – we’re always happy to lend a hand and provide you with expert financial advice.

 

CIS RETURNS

CIS Returns: How BNA Consulting can help You

BNA Consulting recommends that you should register as both if you fall under both categories. This ensures you are safely covered and are ensured the best rate. If a subcontractor doesn’t register for the scheme, contractors must deduct 30% from your payments to put towards your tax and National Insurance rather than just 20% with the CIS Returns scheme.

You don’t have to register if you do any of the following construction-related work:
• Architecture and surveying
• Delivering materials
• Making materials used in construction (including plant and machinery)
• Carpet fitting
• Scaffolding hire (with no labour)
However, if you’re unsure it is always best to contact us to check what you need to do.

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS Returns) is a scheme that contractors have to register for in the UK. As part of the scheme, contractors deduct money from a subcontractor’s payments and pass it to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). These deductions count towards the subcontractor’s tax and National Insurance.

Part of this process means contacting HM Revenue and Customs monthly to inform them of payments you’ve made to subcontractors through what’s called a monthly return. This is where BNA Consulting can help! We can make sure the process of filing your monthly returns is hassle-free to give you one less thing to worry about. It’s important to get help and be fully advised and certain that you’ve gone through the process correctly to avoid surprise fees, penalties and issues. With the help of BNA Consulting, the whole process is simple and easy.

BNA Consulting is an English and Russian Accounting and Consulting firm based in London. Our aim is to help you fully understand your business needs to give you real peace of mind, knowing the paperwork, tax and accounting is in safe hands. We have years of hands-on experience and knowledge of the CIS scheme, meaning we can give you full support through the whole process from both English or Russian speaking accountants. We can help you register for the scheme as a contractor and guide you through the process to make sure you submit your returns accurately and on time to avoid any penalties or issues. As well as our expertise and guidance we can offer your firm:
• Electronic filing of monthly returns
• Online verification of subcontractors
• Submission of annual returns

For subcontractors, who do not have to sign up, we can provide advice so you’re supported if any issues or problems arise. We can also help you work out if you qualify as a contractor or a subcontractor, explaining the key factors which will assign you to either category.

You need to register as a contractor if:
• You pay subcontractors for construction work
• Your business doesn’t run a construction focused work environment but you spend an average of over £1 million a year on construction during a 3-year period.

You should register as a subcontractor if:
• You do any construction work for a contractor
• You’re self-employed and work for a contractor
• You’re the owner of a limited company
• You’re a partner in a partnership or trust

This gives you a rough outline of what registering for the CIS Scheme and submitting your returns will entail, but it’s always best to get in touch with the experts to find out what CIS considers construction work, how your monthly return needs to be laid out and much more for a very reasonable fee. You can count on BNA Consulting to help you every step of the way for efficient, accurate and honest advice and service. Check our long list of expert accounting and consulting services available in both English and Russian on our website and get in touch with us by emailing info@bnaconsulting.co.uk or call on 0044 747 3979 774.

Our team looks forward to hearing from you!