Welcome to the February 2017 Newsletter from BPU Ltd

Leading business groups have given their reactions to Prime Minister Theresa May's recent Brexit speech, in which she set out the government's priorities for negotiating the UK's exit from the EU.

Following the Prime Minister's announcement that the UK will not remain in the Single Market, the Confederation of British Industry has called on the government to deliver on the objectives for a 'smooth and orderly exit'.

Meanwhile, with the end of the financial year drawing ever closer, we outline some key tax-saving tips and strategies to consider ahead of 5 April.

BPU Budget Breakfast 2017 - Cardiff City Stadium

BPU are holding their annual Budget Breakfast summary on Thursday 9th March from 8am onwards at the 'Fred Keenor' suite at Cardiff City Stadium, Leckwith Road, Cardiff, CF11 8AZ. We hope to see as many of you there as possible to provide you with an overview of the Chancellor's budget and key highlights that will affect individuals and businesses alike.

We will also provide you with some top tax tips for the coming year as well as an open Q&A session to finish.

To secure your place please email our Marketing Manager, Rachele Phillips on rachelep@bpuaccountants.co.uk

We look forward to seeing you there!

Planning ahead for the 5 April year end

With the 5 April fast approaching, you may wish to consider implementing some tax-saving strategies ahead of the new financial year. There are a number of measures to consider, some of which are outlined below.

Utilise your ISA allowance

ISAs offer a tax-efficient way to save. You may wish to invest in a combination of cash or stocks and shares, up to an overall annual subscription limit of £15,240 for 2016/17. Savers are only permitted to save into a maximum of one Cash ISA, one Stocks and Shares ISA and one Innovative Finance ISA per year.

You have until 5 April 2017 to make your 2016/17 ISA investment. The annual subscription limit will rise to £20,000 from 6 April 2017.

Make the most of capital allowances 

Businesses may be able to write off the costs of capital assets against their taxable profits, by using capital allowances.

The tax system provides an Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) of 100% on the first £200,000 of investment in plant and machinery (excluding cars). The AIA can be used by businesses of any size and most business structures.

Build a tax-efficient retirement plan

Many people do not take full advantage of tax reliefs and (tax-deductible) employer contributions when building a fund for their retirement. However, personal contributions to pension schemes could attract tax relief worth up to 60%.

Contributions must be paid on or before 5 April 2017 to be applied against 2016/17 income.

Alternative Investments

Many clients who have maximised their ISA and Pension contributions often look for alternative tax-efficient investments.  A Venture Capital Trust (VCT) is a type of investment trust launched by the Government in 1995 to encourage investment into UK small and medium sized companies by offering investors Income Tax relief of 30% on contributions and tax free dividends and capital gains.  The Income Tax relief is usually most appealing to investors.  A £10,000 investment in a VCT would remove £3,000 off the investor's income tax.  The relief is paid up front but must be repaid to HMRC if the VCT is surrendered during the first five years.

Holding VCTs allows an investor to benefit from the advantages that smaller companies offer but investing in smaller companies is inevitably perceived as more risky than mainstream equity and bond funds.  VCTs should generally only be considered as a smaller part of a larger investment portfolio.

While the deadline for investment in VCTs is the 5th April, we would strongly encourage early investment as the demand for VCTs may outstrip supply and many schemes often close earlier in March.

For more information on how to minimise your tax liability before the 5 April year end, please visit the Your Money section of our website or contact Ian Sinclair on ians@bpuaccountants.co.uk or Martin Knight on martink@bpuaccountants.co.uk or Tel: 02920 734100.

Independent financial advice is available from BPU Financial Solutions Limited which is an Appointed Representative of Chartergroup Financial Management Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Please note the value of any investment can go down as well as up and is not guaranteed and you may not get back the amount originally invested.  The contents of this document do not constitute advice and should not be taken as a recommendation to purchase or invest in any product.  Before taking any decisions, we suggest you seek advice from a qualified Independent Financial Adviser .

Exam Success

Well done to our students, Joe Milford and Sophie Ong, on their excellent Business Strategy exam results and completion of their professional stage ACA qualification. Also congratulations goes out to Rozie Khan for gaining her AAT qualification.  Well done to everyone for all your hard work!

BPU Baby News

Congratulations to Colin Russell, Director at BPU, on becoming a grandfather for the first time in January to Kady Grace. Mother and daughter are both doing very well.

Business groups call for 'pro-business Brexit'

Business groups have called on the Prime Minister to deliver on the objectives for a 'smooth and orderly exit' from the EU, following Prime Minister Theresa May's recent Brexit speech.

While ruling out any possibility of the UK remaining inside the Single Market, the 12-point 'Plan for Britain' highlighted the government's stated commitment to negotiate for the 'freest possible trade' with European countries, as well as its ambitions to create new trade agreements with countries outside the EU.

Prior to the speech, leading business groups in the UK had jointly signed a letter outlining their priorities for British businesses across all sectors for 2017, and pledged to work alongside firms to help them overcome the challenges posed by Brexit.

The letter, which was signed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Federation of Small Businesses, amongst others, outlines the business groups' aim of making 2017 'a year of progress and success'.

The Prime Minister's Brexit speech was greeted with mixed reactions from the business world, with the Institute of Directors welcoming the news that the changes will be phased in: 'Whatever the shape of the final trade deal, a smooth and orderly departure is in the whole country's interests, so businesses will support the commitment to a phased process of implementation.'

Meanwhile, the CBI said that businesses would also welcome the 'greater clarity' and the 'ambition to create a more prosperous, open and global Britain'.

However, the British Chambers of Commerce stated that many businesses would have come away from the Prime Minister's speech knowing 'little more' about the likely outcome of any Brexit negotiations than they did before.

In order to begin the Brexit process, the government has set an end of March deadline for triggering Article 50 - the legal process that will mark the beginning of two years of EU exit talks.

In a separate development, the Supreme Court has ruled that Parliament must vote on whether Article 50 can be triggered, although the government will not be required to consult the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies.

The government has pledged to introduce a Brexit bill in Parliament within days, with Brexit Minister David Davies stating: 'This government is determined to deliver on the decision taken by the people of the United Kingdom in the referendum granted to them by this House to leave the European Union'.

 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

'I want us to be a secure, prosperous, tolerant country - a magnet for international talent and a home to the pioneers and innovators who will shape the world ahead.'
Prime Minister Theresa May outlines her vision for Britain's future outside of the EU.

ON OUR WEBSITE

Useful information for individuals

For a comprehensive bank of guides covering inheritance tax planning, ISAs and much more, please visit the Your Money area of our website.

A wealth of resources for businesses

With topics ranging from working from home to forming a limited company, the Your Business section is a hub of useful information for businesses.

Business groups publish Budget wish lists

Ahead of the 2017 Spring Budget on 8 March, business groups have set out their wishes and priorities for both business and the UK economy

Click here for the full story

CBI publishes Brexit guide for businesses

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has published a Brexit guide for businesses, which provides advice and support in regards to trade between the UK and the rest of the world

Click here for the full story

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BPU Chartered Accountants is the trading name of BPU Ltd Company number 3723948 registered in Wales. Registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

BPU Financial Solutions Ltd is an Appointed Representative of ValidPath Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ValidPath Limited is entered on the Financial Services register (www.fca.org.uk/register) under reference 197107.

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