Welcome to BPU's 2018 Winter Newsletter

5 is the Magic Number

BPU is pleased to announce the appointment of five new members of staff through its various training programmes.

New Recruits (from L-R) : Front row - Lois Jones, Joanna Thomas, Emily Wu.
Back row - Kieran Newton and Stefan Dakovic.

Graduates Lois Jones and Emily Wu are completing BPU’s three year graduate training scheme to study and qualify as Chartered Accountants as they learn on the job. Lois, a fluent welsh speaker was a Administrative Finance Assistant for The Welsh Book Council prior to graduating from Cardiff University. Emily graduated from Swansea University and both have a degree in Accounting and Finance.

Stefan Dakovic and Joanna Thomas are completing the AAT qualification in book-keeping through the Welsh Governments Apprentice Scheme. Stefan previously worked for the NHS in the finance department and joined BPU from Deloitte where he was a Tax Technician. Joanna was keen to complete her AAT having had previous experience in book-keeping whilst working for a financial advisory firm. Kieran Newton joins BPU’s tax department and is working towards his ATT qualification having previously completed an AAT in book-keeping.

Huw Palin, Managing Director at BPU said: “We have close connections with local education establishments and this means we can attract the best new trainees. Working towards these qualifications through BPU allows new staff to gain hands-on experience with Welsh SME businesses and benefit from paid study leave.”

BPU is committed to investing in its people and offers continuous training. Andrew Miller started his career at BPU as a graduate trainee and is now a Director at BPU.

Huw continued: “Offering these types of training schemes only highlights our commitment to building a solid team."

BPU Baby Boom

Our Director Andrew Miller and his wife Carly welcomed their beautiful baby boy Jack on 20th October 2018 weighing 7lb 11oz.  Jack will soon be balancing the books - with two accountants as parents it must be in the blood! The BPU team are thrilled for the Miller family and can’t wait to meet Jack.

Gorgeous Girl: Baby Hollie

Tax Assistant Ashley Wareham and his partner Emma had a baby girl on 3rd December 2018 weighing 7lb 10oz. They have named her Hollie Merriam and both mother and baby are doing well. Ashley is finding the late nights and early mornings a little taxing but nothing compares to January in the tax department! Hurry back Ashley we need you!

Celebrating 30 years at BPU

Our long-standing administrator and receptionist Barbara Carter celebrated 30 years working at BPU. Barbara joined BPU in September 1988 and knows everything there is to know about BPU. She also has special powers when it comes to finding files and seems to know where everything is in the office! She is often out and about delivering and collecting client work as well as making sure everyone is ok and has cake on their birthday! We don’t know what we would do without her.  Congratulations Barbara on 30 years at BPU.

Tax Update

Don’t miss tax return deadline!
BPU’s tax team are working hard to contact all clients and make sure all self assessment tax returns are filed online and on time – deadline 31st January 2019. If you need help filing your tax return please email martink@bpuaccountants.co.uk

Budget Highlights
Chancellor Phillip Hammond delivered his second Autumn Budget in October. To read our full budget report please click here: BPU Budget Report 2018 

Please see below an outline of the main points raised in the budget that could affect you and your business:
  • Planned increase in income tax personal allowance- will rise by £650 in April 19 to £12,500.
  • Higher rate income tax personal allowance- will also increase from £46,350 to £50,000 in April 19.
  • Annual Investment Allowance (AIA)- Temporarily increased from £200,000 to £1m. This change will run from 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2020, to make full use of this benefit the timing of the capital spend needs to be correct – contact us for more info.
  • Structures and Building Allowance (SBA) relief - for qualifying expenditure on new non-residential structures and buildings on physical construction work not on cost for land and dwellings that are entered into or after 29th October 2018.
  • Employment Allowance - Access restricted from April 2020 to employers with an employer NIC liability below £100,000 in their previous tax year.
  • Off Payroll Working Rules - Responsibility for operating this and deducting tax and NICs due will move to individuals in the organisation, agency or other third party. Small companies will be exempt.
  • VAT threshold - to remain unchanged until April 2022.
  • Charities - increase in the small trading tax exemption limit from £50,000 to £80,000 and lower band from £5,000 to £8,000. This will change for incorporated charities from 1st April 2019 and after 6th April 2019 for incorporated charities.
  • Entrepreneurs Relief - The minimum qualifying period has been extended from one year to two years.

Making Tax Digital - Are you ready?

The Government is phasing in its Making Tax Digital (MTD) regime, which will see all taxpayers move to a fully digital tax system. All businesses and individuals will be required to register, file, pay and update their information via a secure online tax account.

Businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 must keep digital records for VAT purposes and use MTD 'functional compatible software'. Functional compatible software means a software programme that meets the new requirements including:

- Keeping records digitally.
- Preserving digital records in digital form.
- Creating a VAT return from the digital records held in the software and providing HMRC with this information digitally.
- Providing HMRC with VAT Data on a voluntary basis.
- Receiving information from HMRC via API platform that the business has compiled.

Firms are required to keep digital records in a range of compatible software programmes; the use of manual spreadsheets is not allowed. HMRC has clearly stated that copying by hand or manual inputting is not permitted and cut and paste will also not be acceptable.

Is my accounts software MTD compatible?
Unless you have the most up to date version of your accounts software this is unlikely. Various versions of Sage are MTD compliant as is QuickBooks online and Xero.  A number of our clients are upgrading their software packages to ensure they meet the MTD requirements.

We can help
We can offer you advice and help you to upgrade your software to ensure you are MTD ready. We also provide training to ensure that you can use the new functional MTD compatible software. For further information on MTD please contact Dawn Bevan on 02920 734100
or email  dawnb@bpuaccountants.co.uk

To read our Making Tax Digital Fact Sheet please click here

Past, Present and Future......

Our staff at BPU Financial Solutions Ltd have been constantly evolving our advice process since we started providing independent financial advice in 2012.  The business now has over £33 million of Funds Under Advice on behalf of some 300 active clients.  We have also been kept very busy throughout the year following the move to a bigger advisory support network called ValidPath.

As the economies of the world move ever-onwards, each seemingly with their own troubles, the global outlook is showing signs of slowing growth.  We live in a very 'connected' world where the immediate nature of communications and 'tweets' means that events across the world very quickly have an impact here.  Stock markets are jittery and this year we have seen the return of volatility in the markets unlike the steadier and sustained growth periods seen in 2016 and 2017:

FTSE All Share Index - 3 Years to 14/12/2018 (source: London Stock Exchange)

As we move through 2019 it will be interesting to see how the global markets react, but let's not mention the B word as this newsletter is not long enough for that discussion... While we can never guarantee the level of future investment returns, we will be reviewing plans and looking to reduce investment costs where we can find appropriate ways to do so.  One thing we avoid at all costs is any attempt to second-guess the markets and our general approach, therefore, is to invest appropriately and to stay invested.

This being the case it is more important than ever to be as sure as we can be that we have the 'right mix' of investment assets to underpin our objectives and lifestyles.  Over the last few months we have been trialling a wholy independent system to help our clients understand their own 'risk profile' and gain some insight into the most appropriate investment solutions and mixture of assets for them.

We have discovered new ways to control 'risk' and also to significantly reduce the cost of investing.  This is brought about by changing the technology we use and new research and investment propositions that ValidPath have been able to share with us.  We look forward to sharing this with you.

Thank you for your support in 2018 and we looking forward to working with you in what will undoubtedly be an 'interesting' 2019.

To read our latest Guide to Investing click here

Ian Sinclair, Independent Financial Adviser
Email: ians@bpufinancialsolutions.co.uk

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. The value of investments and the income from them can go down. You may not get back the original amount invested.

BPU Continues to Support Big Issue

BPU is proud to support The Big Issue for another year and has renewed its Big List Subscription. This is such an important charity and one which is very close to our hearts. Please support if you can.

On Our Website

6th December - UK businesses urged to prepare now for potential 'no deal' Brexit

4th December - ICAEW urges employers to consider the tax implications of a seasonal party

29th November - HMRC writes to taxpayers ahead of introduction of Welsh rates of income tax

23rd November - Committee warns small firms 'could pay heavy price' for MTD for VAT

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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 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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