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How switching from spreadsheets to cloud accounting can help small business owners

February 25, 2015

A staple of business life for decades, the spreadsheet was adopted on a mass scale in the late 1980s and 90s alongside desktop computers. The fact that it is still used today is testament to the fact that it really was one of the killer apps of its time. Increasingly, however, in the age of […]

Travel and accommodation expenses for the self-employed

February 10, 2015

Are you a self-employed individual? Do you have to travel on business, and does that travel ever entail an overnight stay away from your home? Do you know exactly which of the travel and accommodation expenses you can legitimately claim back? If you get it wrong, you could pay too much tax, or worse still […]

How are limited company dividends taxed?

January 26, 2015

If you are a limited company shareholder, you may have to pay personal tax on any dividend income you receive. This article outlines how company dividends are taxed.

Top 10 tips on choosing an accountant for your start-up or small business

September 27, 2014

Most small business owners say that their accountant is their most valuable advisor – a good accountant will keep your books in order, help with tax planning, and will ensure that you meet all your tax deadlines. Here are some tips from the ByteStart team to help you choose the best accountant:

Book-keeping basics every small business owner must know

July 8, 2014

Few people start a new business so they can do paperwork. Spending time adding up receipts or pushing invoices around a desk is nobody’s idea of fun – unless you’re starting up as a book-keeper or accountant! Unfortunately it’s a necessary evil and something you need to stay on top of in your new business. […]

VatChat 3 – Special VAT schemes available to UK firms

May 1, 2014

HMRC have provided a range of special schemes that apply to smaller businesses. They are designed to reduce administration, but also (in some cases) to assist cash flow.

VatChat 2 – How to pay and reclaim VAT

May 1, 2014

This second guide in ByteStart’s 3-Part VATChat series; outlines how VAT registered businesses should charge VAT on their goods and services, and how to reclaim VAT on purchases and costs.

VatChat 1 – An introduction to VAT

April 30, 2014

In the first in a short series of Value Added Tax bulletins for small businesses, Les Howard looks at what VAT is, and when you must register your business.

ByteStart’s 60-second guide to Value Added Tax (VAT) for start-ups and small businesses

April 1, 2014

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax on the final consumption of certain goods and services in the home market but is collected at every stage of production and distribution. Most business-related goods and services will therefore be subject to VAT.

Budget 2014 – Summary of main points of interest for small business owners

March 20, 2014

Following George Osborne’s delivery of the 2014 Budget, here is a summary of the main tax changes and announcements that will be of interest to those that own and run small businesses:

Running a home office – can you claim on expenses?

January 29, 2014

As more and more people choose to work from home, the question of how you can reclaim any home office expenses is frequently asked. The general HMRC rule for claiming tax relief on business expenses is that you can only reclaim costs that have been ‘wholly and exclusively’ incurred in connection with your trade.

Top 10 tax tips for small businesses

January 15, 2014

Tax isn’t the most exciting part of running your own business, but it is an issue that you will have to tackle at some point. To help you to quickly get to grips with the subject, here are some handy tax tips based on our findings of working with small businesses over the past decade, […]

How to get the best value from your accountant

November 12, 2013

In this article, we look at the role accountants play, and how to ensure you choose the right firm for your business.

What is a balance sheet and how do you create one?

April 29, 2013

If you choose to set up a limited company when you start your business, there’s a lot more paperwork involved. It’s one the downsides of going limited (the biggest upside of course being that you limit your liability should the business go under). One of the many pieces of paperwork you will have to generate […]

Summary of personal tax changes from 6th April 2013

April 6, 2013

Many tax rates and allowances changed on 6th April 2013, as the new personal tax year began. This year, the RTI (Real Time Information) payroll rules also came into effect.

Tax rates for small business owners – 2013/14

March 26, 2013

Following the 2013 Budget, here is our summary of the main tax rates, tax bands, and allowances for the 2013/2014 tax year, with particular reference to data which will affect the typical small business owner. If you are looking for figures for the 2014/15 tax year, you will find them in ByteStart’s guide to the […]

Corporation Tax rates to be aligned from April 2015

March 25, 2013

Large firms are set to enjoy another Corporation Tax cut following Budget 2013, but while the headline rate has been reduced significantly under the current Government, small companies will not benefit.

Could your business benefit from the £2,000 Employers’ NI allowance?

March 22, 2013

The most talked-about small business announcement from Budget 2013 is the implementation of a new ‘Employment Allowance’, which will reduce firms’ Employers’ NI bills by up to £2,000 from April 2014.

Business owners urged to make most of tax reliefs before year end

March 11, 2013

With the tax year end on the horizon once again, and significant changes to tax rates taking effect from April 2013, we examine how individuals can make the most of the currently available tax reliefs.

Are you affected by the new Child Benefit rules?

January 7, 2013

Controversial changes to the Child Benefit regime went live on 7th January 2013. The benefit is no longer universal, and will be reduced when one parent earns over £50,000 per year, and scrapped entirely when earnings reach £60,000.

How to keep your accounting records secure

November 2, 2012

Here are some essential tips for the self employed, and limited company owners, on how to keep your accounting records safe, and how long you are required to keep them for.

Child benefit shake-up – will you be affected?

October 30, 2012

From 7th January 2013, Child Benefit (CB) will be means tested for the first time. HMRC are sending out letters to taxpayers over the coming weeks. So, how will you be affected?

Inheritance tax – how to minimise your liability

October 8, 2012

Small business owners who work hard to build up their businesses may feel that the current IHT regime is unfair. In this article, we look at things you can do to escape this oft-resented tax.

High tech tax incentives – are you claiming all you can?

October 4, 2012

There are lots of financial incentives out there for businesses in the high-tech sector at the moment, but many businesses are not claiming all they are entitled to because they simply aren’t aware that they can.

VAT tips for small businesses

July 9, 2012

In this article, we look at some simple VAT tips which could save your business time and money.

Summary of tax rates and allowances for 2012/13

March 22, 2012

Following changes announced in Budget 2012, here are the main tax changes, rates and allowances for the 2012/13 tax year.

Stamp Duty – A Small Business Guide

March 15, 2012

This guide looks at the types of Stamp Duty your business may be liable for; Stamp Duty Land Tax on property transactions, Stamp Duty Reserve Tax and Stamp Duty on share transactions.

Who will pay the highest rate of income tax in 2011-12?

March 1, 2012

As the tax year draws to an end, self employed people and limited company owners should consider their tax saving strategies, to ensure that they do not have to pay the highest rate of tax on their hard-earned income.

Guide to Business Rates

February 19, 2012

Just as you have to pay council tax on your home, so your business must cough up business rates for its premises. They can be a pain and an easily overlooked cost when you are starting your business. In some circumstances, you may even have to pay business rates if you run a business from […]

Tax planning opportunities for business owners prior to 5th April 2012

February 2, 2012

The end of the 2011-12 tax year is fast approaching – 5 April 2012. In this article, we look at some of the issues that you may like to consider while there is still time to act.

VAT pitfalls you should be aware of

February 2, 2012

If you are registered for VAT, have to file a VAT return in the near future, or are concerned about putting the wrong amounts on your VAT return, here are 5 VAT traps to watch out for.

HMRC to reduce tax benefits available to shareholders of dissolved limited companies via (ESC) C16

December 20, 2011

HMRC has announced that it is to an impose a Capital Gains Tax ceiling on the amount of capital that can be distributed to shareholders when a limited company is wound up, before income tax is applied.

The self-assessment New Year hangover

December 19, 2011

It’s okay to have a hangover on New Year’s Day but don’t let the suffering continue into the year. January 31st has always been a key date in the small business calendar – it marks the deadline for submitting online tax returns.

Tax reliefs available for the annual Christmas party

December 15, 2011

If you are organising a well-deserved works party this Christmas HFM Accountants have summarised the current tax reliefs available:

This Halloween, don’t be scared of your books

October 27, 2011

Are you tempted to duck under the bedclothes on the night of October 31st and try and shut out the “Ghosties and ghoulies and lang-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night”? Is your business bookkeeping also something you try and hide away at the back of your mind and forget about? Emily […]

Guide to the main HMRC payroll forms for small businesses

October 17, 2011

When you run a small business, either as a sole trader, partnership or limited company, there will always be a number of HMRC forms you will need to be aware of. Although your accountant will typically take care of many of your form-filling duties, we have summarised what the most common forms are used for […]