How do I depreciate an asset?

Jordan Macey

April 21, 2021

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Small Business Accounting

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How does tax change as a contractor?

The biggest change when working as a contractor compared with say working as an employee is that you will become a lot more aware of the taxes you are paying. This because contractors have a lot more control over their finances and taxes with the added responsibility of making sure this is paid correctly and on time.

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How to find an accountant

If you have a company, or are starting one, then you will need an accountant.

Though you could do all your accounts yourself, in practice few business owners have the time.

An accountant also checks that you are doing everything correctly, and is a useful reference for both HMRC and financial institutions should you ever need to apply for a loan.

The trouble is that finding the accountant who is right for you is never easy.

You do not want to pay more than you have to, but are low-cost, self-service, internet-based accountancy packages really the best fit for your business needs?

In this article we shall break down that option and its alternatives for you, as we answer the key questions that are occupying your mind right now:

  • Do I need an accountant?
  • What should I look for in an accountant?
  • How do I find the best accountant for me?

The purpose of this article is to give you the context and background you need to ask the right questions-especially when you may not yet know what those questions are.

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What are Capital Allowances?

Capital allowance is an expenditure you can claim on assets you purchase for use in your business.

In addition to the purchase of business assets, you can also claim capital allowances for renovating business premises in disadvantaged areas in the UK, extracting minerals, research and development, patents and more. Further information can be found on the HMRC website.

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How do I receive tax free childcare?

To get tax-free childcare, you need to:

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Contractor Accounting Services

We pride ourselves on providing an unparalleled level of support that will make you feel valued, eliminate your admin and ensure you're being as tax efficient as possible.

VAT registration & filing

We'll registered your company for VAT, and ensure VAT is always filed well ahead of the deadline. We will ask you to confirm that you're happy for us to automatically file your VAT without having to approve it which will ensure that we can get this filed as soon as possible.

We'll also help you get setup with a Direct Debit for HMRC so that you can make your VATpayments automatically without having to manually do this every quarter. This saves you time and the stress of ensuring you've paid on time, and importantly will make sure you don't have to pay a penalty for a missed deadline.

Annual accounts

We aim to complete your annual accounts well ahead of schedule to ensure you have complete financial records.

Corporation tax

You should never have to guess how much corporation tax is due. We'll make sure you know how much is due and when it's due.

Confirmation statement

We'll make sure to keep your Companies House account up to date and ensure your confirmation statement is filed on time.

Self assessment

We include a Self Assessment with our operate and grow packages and this is also available as an additional £99+VAT one-off charge.

Tax efficiency

From your salary, dividends, pension, investments and company expenses, we'll help you optimise your tax.

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My tax code is incorrect ‚- how do I change it?

If your tax code is incorrect, you can use HMRC's check your Income Tax service to notify them. If you're not able to use the online service, you may get in touch with HMRC through other contact methods.

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What are Benefits in kind?

Benefits in kind-also commonly referred to as fringe benefits or perks-are benefits provided to a director or employee that aren't included in their salary or wages. These can be assets or services, such as company cars, private health insurance or non-business travel and entertainment expenses.

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5 Common Small Business Accounting Mistakes & How to Fix Them

A broad swath of small business owners are tackling the myriad tasks required to pay bills, invoice customers, cut checks to employees and contend with past-due accounts, among other accounting tasks.

While that might work for very small businesses, it often opens the door for firms to make accounting mistakes that undermine their growth and siphon precious time and mental focus from other important areas of their business.

Here are five accounting mistakes that can derail growth for small businesses and how to avoid them.

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What are Trivial Benefits?

A staff benefit is deemed to be a 'trivial benefit' when:

  • it costs £50 or less to provide
  • it isn't cash or a cash voucher
  • it isn't a reward for an employee's work or performance
  • it isn't included in the terms of an employee's contract

You're not required to pay tax on, or notify HMRC about trivial benefits.

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Creating your business budget

Running a business involves catering for many aspects of the business that can bog you down.

You can even forget crucial roles, such as monitoring your small business finances. Although budgeting may not be the best and most exciting part of running an enterprise, it is fundamental for success.

When starting a new business, a budget is a vital part of your business plan. Once the business is open and operational, then budgeting becomes an essential exercise that takes place annually or quarterly.

A budget comprises of fixed and variable costs accompanied by the allocation of monies to reflect business objectives.

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How do I pay Scottish income tax?

When you fill in your Self Assessment tax return online, you can check the tick box to inform HMRC that you pay Scottish income tax.

If you're employed or get a pension, your tax code will start with an ‘S'. This is an indication for your employer or pension provider to deduct tax at the Scottish rate.

See HMRC's resource for more information on Scottish income tax.

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Company car tax: The basics explained (and recent changes you need to know)

The tax implications of providing a company car can be complex-and made even more confusing by HMRC's tax changes.

To help you along, we've put together an article that will guide you through the essentials.

We'll start with the basics, explaining who pays for company car tax and how it is calculated, before we run you through a quick summary of tax rates changes that were announced in July 2019.

Our article will likely answer the key questions that you have surrounding company car tax, but bear in mind that it isn't a substitute for professional advice. If you have further questions about tax and how it affects your business, do reach out our accountants at Forma for personalised advice.

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How much should accounting cost?

As a new business owner, you'll often find yourself juggling numerous roles and tasks-from growing your business, to managing your operations, financesand taxes.

In addition, you're now required to meet your legal obligations as a limited company director-such as filing the necessary paperwork and accounts on time-or you'll risk being penalised.

Staying on top of all of these tasks can feel overwhelming, and here's where a limited company accountant comes into the picture.

Below, we'll look into:

  • What you can expect to pay for limited accounting packages
  • Services that are included in the cost
  • FAQs relating to choosing a limited company accounting provider
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How to make and send an invoice for your clients

You've delivered your work, and it's time to receive your payment.

Before that, you'll need to make an invoice. It's an important document: not only does it help you obtain money you're owed, it also serves as evidence of a transaction in the event that you need to seek legal action to handle non-paying clients.

If this is new to you, you might be wondering: How do I create an invoice, and what must I include? Are there best practices or tips I need to know?

We'll answer all of these questions below:

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What are the 2020/21 Income Tax & National Insurance rates?

The income tax rates, along with the Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance rates for 2020/21 are as follows:

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How do I submit a tax refund?

As a self-employed person, you're not required to make a separate claim for a tax refund, as you can claim it through your Self Assessment tax return.

If you've overpaid your payments on account, you can request a refund by completing form SA303.

If you've made a mistake on your Self Assessment tax return, you need to amend or correct the return using the Self Assessment portal. You may be asked to show proof of evidence.

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Accountant Checklist Guide

  • Why you may need an accountant
  • Key areas an accountant can help
  • Questions to ask an accountant
  • Accountant checklist
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How do accountants charge contractors?

Like with all service offerings, you can find contractor accountants at pretty much every price point. Some accountants will charge by the hour, some by piece of work or like ourselves, will offer a fixed monthly fee covering everything you will need in one clear package.

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What can accountants help contractors with?

The goals for accountant's is to help businesses with tax and compliance duties whilst providing strategic advice to save money and time, allowing the business to focus on it's core activities.

Everyone knows that accountants will complete tax returns and accounts but the very best accountants will go one step further in ensuring the very best for the business.

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What is Capital Gains tax & what are the rates?

Every business owner, or any individual who sells a capital asset should be aware that a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) may apply. Therefore, it's important that you have a basic understanding of the rules surrounding CGT-and we'll explain more about the essentials in our article below.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax paid on profits made when you sell or dispose of an asset. As its name suggests, it's the gain you make that is taxed-and not the amount you receive for the asset.

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