Our News

New rules on fees for card payments

Until recently businesses were able to charge their customers a fee for the costs involved in processing debit and credit card payments. This was usually a set amount for smaller transactions (e.g. 50p for transactions under £10) or a percentage of the price (e.g. 3% of the price of the goods or service).

That all changed earlier this month, with businesses now no longer permitted to charge a fee to their customers for opting to pay by debit or credit card. The new rules also extend to payment methods linked to credit and debit cards, such as PayPal or Apple Pay.

However, businesses are still allowed to levy a surcharge if customers pay by cash or cheque. It is also still permissible to add booking or administration fees if these also apply to other payment options being offered to customers.

As some companies have so far relied on such charges to cover the cost of processing card payments, they could replace the fees by increasing their prices or charging a service fee to all customers, no matter which method of payment a customer uses. It is expected that some businesses, particularly smaller retailers, will stop accepting cards altogether if they cannot absorb the costs in some way.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions or would like more information.

Call us on 01592 630048

Email us at info@edenfyfe.com

Eden Fyfe Business Banquet

It was fantastic to see such a great turnout at our first Eden Fyfe Business Banquet, our new monthly lunch-time networking event specifically for local professional services businesses. Thanks to Beijing Banquet, our permanent venue, for excellent food and service. We look forward to seeing everyone again at next month’s event!

SME business succession: it makes sense to plan head

Sometimes when you’re so busy running your business on a day-to-day basis, it can be difficult to find the time or energy to give any thought to your ultimate exit strategy. In fact, many small and medium-sized (SME) business owners and managers have no succession plan in place for their company.

Why’s that a problem? Well, it takes time to develop and implement a succession plan that ensures the best deal for both the owner and those who will remain with the company if it continues to exist. If it’s left too late, it may not be possible to maximise the company’s value. In a worst case scenario, the owner could find themselves financially unable to retire when they want to do so.

So, it makes sense to be prepared and plan well ahead. We would advise SME owners and managers to start by thinking about:

  • Their personal goals and plans. When is the owner planning to retire? What, if any, involvement with the company do they want to have following the sale? Do the current managers or employees have ambitions to buy the business themselves? Where might they get funding from?
  • A five-year plan for the business. What will the business look like in five years’ time? Which growth opportunities can be grasped? Are there any plans to launch new products or services, or maybe enter new markets?
  • The business’s financial performance. How is it is performing now and can this be improved?
  • The business’s valuation. How much is it worth now? What might it be worth in future?

When it comes to exiting a business, a sale is the most common route. There are essentially four main types of business sale:

  1. Sell the business to a third party;
  2. Sell the business to management;
  3. Sell the business to employees;
  4. Sell the assets of the business.

The first three options involve the business continuing to exist, while the last one results in the business ceasing to exist.

Selling to a third party could mean selling the whole business or parts of it to a competitor. Or it could even be selling to a management team that has formed to buy into the business, otherwise known as a Management Buy In. Alternatively, it could involve passing the business to children or other family members. Selling to the company’s existing management is known as a Management Buy Out, while selling to the firm’s employees could be undertaken via a vehicle such as an Employee Ownership Trust.

Whichever option is pursued, the business and/or its assets will need to be marketed to attract buyers, it will need to be valued, due diligence will be undertaken by the buyers, negotiations will take place, the sale will need to be agreed, clearance will be required from HMRC, and so on. All of this can take a significant period of time.

The pros and cons of each option, both for the owner and for the business, should be considered carefully. It’s crucial that the best possible advice is sought to help owners and managers explore these options and decide on the best one. It’s vital to select the right agents - accountant, auditor, lawyer and selling agents - to assist in the process. Their experience and expertise will prove invaluable in helping make the succession plan a success.

It’s also imperative to consider and plan for the impact on other stakeholders, such as the management team, staff, customers and suppliers. This is particularly important if the company will continue as a going concern. All will need time to transition.

And finally, we can never forget to account for tax! In addition to Corporation Tax and Income Tax, there’s Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to be considered. It can’t be avoided, although the Annual Exemption (the annual tax-free allowance) and Entrepreneurs Relief may reduce the CGT bill.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions or would like more information.

Call us on 01592 630048

Email us at info@edenfyfe.com

Is your business ready for the new pound coin?

We’re now less than three months away from the 15 October deadline when the old round pound will cease to be legal tender.

If you haven’t already done so, we would advise you to update your systems, upgrade your equipment and machines to accept the new 12-sided £1 coin, and inform your customers accordingly ahead of 15 October.

If your equipment and machines continue to accept the old round pound coins after 15 October, your business may be at risk of being targeted with counterfeit coins.

We would also suggest that you bank round and 12-sided pound coins in separate bags, bank your round pound coins first, when possible, and encourage your customers to spend their round pounds before the October deadline.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions or would like more information.

Call us on 01592 630048

Email us at info@edenfyfe.com

What worries people most about tax?

During April and May 2017 Eden Fyfe Accounts conducted a survey of clients and contacts to determine what concerns people in Fife most about their tax affairs. This note provides a summary of the findings.

We would like to thank everyone who took part in the research. All respondents were entered into a prize draw to thank them for their time and co-operation, and Claire Brown of Glenrothes-based A G Brown Fabrications was the lucky winner of the £50 Marks & Spencer gift voucher. 

The Findings

Five issues emerged as the most worrying for people when dealing with tax, with a third or more of respondents indicating that these cause them most concern:

  1. Keeping up-to-date with tax rules and regulations (75% of respondents);
  2. Not knowing the different types of tax (67%);
  3. Complicated rules (58%);
  4. Worries about paying too much tax (42%);
  5. Not knowing how to deal with a tax investigation by HMRC (33%).

% of respondents

Lisa Bray, Director of Eden Fyfe Accounts, commented:

”Tax can be a complicated business, with frequent changes being made to the rules and regulations that can sometimes confuse people who are not dealing with tax issues every day. Our team members are fully up-to-speed with all the latest changes and types of tax, and are here to pass this knowledge on to our clients. We also ensure that all our clients are paying the correct amount of tax. Finally, we offer a tax investigations package to help clients be prepared should HM Revenue & Customs launch an enquiry into their tax affairs.

We will use the results of this survey to provide our clients and contacts with helpful information to guide them and keep them up-to-date. Even in this online age, there are always times when people need or wish to speak to someone for some advice and reassurance. Our team are always on hand to answer any questions and explain any issues anyone has about tax and accounting.”

If you have any questions or would like more information about either this survey or Eden Fyfe Accounts’ services, please visit www.edenfyfe.com or contact Lisa Bray on 01592 630048 and at lisa.bray@edenfyfe.com.

Newly Self-Employed - The Basics

Have you recently become self-employed or know someone who has? Come along to our free event presented by Lisa Bray of Eden Fyfe Accounts:

Newly Self-Employed - The Basics

23 June 
09:30 to 12:30
Glenrothes

You will find out how to register your business with HMRC, what is meant by employment status and the different classes of NI contributions. You will also find out how to create and maintain a basic record keeping system and understand the tax return cycle, payments to HMRC and possible penalties.

Click here to book: www.bgateway.com

What worries you most about tax?

We are undertaking a short survey about what concerns people most about their tax affairs. This will help us tailor the information we provide to clients and contacts about dealing with tax issues.

We would appreciate if you would spare a couple of minutes to take part. To say thanks for your time, we will enter you into a prize draw for the chance to win a £50 M&S voucher

There is just one question, which you can answer by clicking on the following link (you may need to cut and paste the link into your browser):

www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/edenfyfetax

All responses are entirely confidential and will not be shared with any other parties.

Many thanks,

Lisa Bray
Director, Eden Fyfe Accounts

Tax investigations - be prepared

Would you be prepared if HM Revenue & Customs decided to open an enquiry into your tax affairs? 

HMRC enquiries can cost thousands of pounds in professional representation to achieve a satisfactory result. They can also take up a lot of your time and be stressful.

Our Tax Investigations package will provide you with an expert technical defence and full professional representation from one of our tax specialists in the event of a tax enquiry.  The service will run until 14 December 2017, and can be automatically renewed.

You will need to have this protection in place already at the time you receive correspondence from HMRC, therefore we recommend that you do not delay in subscribing. Simply complete the application form and return it to us as soon as possible.

Click here to download:

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or wish to discuss in more detail.

Exploring Succession Options/Transitioning to Employee Ownership

As part of Fife Business Week 2016 ( 7 - 11 November) Eden Fyfe Accounts are offering the following free event:

Exploring Succession Options/Transitioning to Employee Ownership

WHEN: 8 Nov 2pm – 4pm

WHO: Scottish Enterprise/Eden Fyfe Accounts

WHERE: Business Gateway Fife, Glenrothes

BOOK: 01592 630048 or via info@edenfyfe.com

More info here: http://scotlandb2b.co.uk/2016/10/17/free-hr-events-in-the-kingdom-as-part-of-fife-business-week-2016

Ceilidh raises over £5,000 for charity

Our Charity Ceilidh last month proved to be a tremendous success, raising a whopping £5,392.47 for The Barker Trust.

As the event’s main sponsor, Eden Fyfe Accounts would like to thank everyone who came along and had a fantastic evening, all those who made a donation but couldn’t make it along, the other sponsors (Multiprint, Skene Group, Flying Colours and Owen Buchanan Builders & Skips) for their valuable support, the many organisations and individuals who donated so many great prizes for the auction and prize draws, and last but not least, the Corn Exchange in Cupar, which was an excellent venue.  A great time was had by all!

We also wish Tom Barker all the very best for his exciting World Challenge expedition this summer. Good luck Tom, we hope you have the time of your life!

Time is running out to save £'000s on residential buy to let property purchases

Stamp duty (now called Land and Building Transaction Tax, or LBTT, in Scotland) for residential buy to let properties and second homes with a purchase price of over £40,000 is due to change in just under a month’s time. From 1 April 2016 such purchases will attract an additional 3% stamp duty surcharge.

This means any residential properties bought as second homes or buy to let properties with a completion date on or after 1 April 2016 will incur an extra 3% charge, which may be quite significant depending on the purchase price of the property.  A couple of examples below shows what level of taxes will be due when the new rules come into force on 1 April 2016:

Example 1
Before April 2016
Purchase Price: £85,000
LBTT: £0
From April 2016
Purchase Price: £85,000
LBTT: £2,550

Example 2
Before April 2016
Purchase Price: £150,000
LBTT: £100
From April 2016
Purchase Price: £150,000
LBTT: £4,600                  

If you are thinking about buying a residential buy to let property or second home, or are in the process of buying either, you should think about a completion date before the end of March 2016 to save yourself £000’s in tax. 

If you would like further information about these, please contact Rebecca McDonald at Eden Fyfe on 01592 630048 or email rebecca.mcdonald@edenfyfe.com 

(Please note this is based on current rates for Scotland only)

Eden Fyfe is now a Certified Sage One Gold Partner

Eden Fyfe has become a Sage One Certified Advisor –Gold Partner.  Sage One is the online accounts and payroll software designed specifically for start-ups and small businesses from Sage (UK) Limited.  It’s straightforward to use and secure, enabling businesses to manage their accounts and payroll efficiently and safely. 

If you’re the owner of a small business or are starting up a new one and would like more information about Sage One, please get in touch with Pamela Clark at pamela.clark@edenfyfe.com or call 01592 630048.

Annual Investment Allowance

Due to forthcoming changes in the maximum amount of the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), it's essential to think as soon as possible about the timing of any spend on plant and machinery to ensure that you take advantage of the maximum tax yield.

The AIA provides a 100% deduction for the cost of most plant and machinery (not cars) purchased by a business, up to an annual limit and is available to most businesses.

The maximum amount of the AIA was temporarily increased to £500,000 from April 2014 until 31 December 2015. The level of the maximum AIA will now be set permanently at £200,000 for all qualifying investment in plant and machinery made on or after 1 January 2016.

Where a business has a chargeable period which spans 1 January 2016, there are transitional rules for calculating the maximum AIA for that period.

Lisa Bray, a director of Eden Fyfe Accounts, comments: "The timing of the expenditure around 1 January 2016 is critical for businesses with a chargeable period which straddles this date. For example, a company with a 31 March year end has an AIA limit for the year to 31 March 2016 as follows:

April 2015 - December 2015: 9/12 x £500,000 = £375,000
January 2016 - March 2016: 3/12 x £200,000 = £50,000
Total: £425,000

However, any AIA available on expenditure in the second period would be limited to the time apportioned maximum in that period. So, for expenditure incurred on or after 1 January until 31 March 2016, the maximum amount of relief will only be £50,000.

So, it's critical that businesses consider the timing of any forthcoming spend on plant and machinery now to obtain maximum tax relief."

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss in more detail.

New dividend tax rules: what they mean for you

Important changes being made to company dividends are coming into force early next year.  What are they, and how will they affect you?  If you’re the owner of a small to medium sized business, now’s the time to act.

The current arrangement

Currently all UK dividends are paid with a notional 10% tax credit, so for every £1,000 of dividend income received it is assumed that £111 of income tax has already been paid (the total dividend is therefore £1,111). This means that basic rate tax payers have no further income tax liability on dividends received as the effective rate of tax is 0%. If you are a higher rate tax payer the “effective” rate is 25%, and 30.6% if you are an additional rate tax payer.

The new rules and their impact on you

In the summer 2015 budget, the Government announced that from April 2016 it was changing the way dividends are taxed to a new ‘simpler system’ and this 10% tax credit, and therefore the effective tax rates, are being abolished. Under new legislation the first £5,000 of dividends will be tax free and the remainder taxed at the following rates:

7.5% on dividend income within the basic rate band
32.5% on dividend income within the higher rate band
38.1% on dividend income within the additional rate band
 

These changes will impact heavily on the SME market where directors of owner managed companies typically take a lower salary equivalent to the personal allowance and then take additional income via dividends which under current rules would result in earnings up to the basic rate band each year with no income tax to pay (basic rate band for 2016/17 is £43,000). The changes do not however impact on the Corporation Tax payable of 20% on company profits calculated before taking dividends into account.  For this same scenario under the new legislation, income tax will now be due as follows:

Total income of £43,000 received as £11,000 salary and £32,000 dividends: 

Total income                                £43,000
Less: personal allowance               (£11,000)
                                                   £32,000
Dividend allowance                       (£5,000)
                                                   £27,000
Taxed at 7.5%                               £2,025*

*This does not take into account national insurance amounts due. 

Therefore on the levels above individuals will be worse off by £2,025.

What can you do?

Our key message is to maximise where possible dividends in the tax year to 5 April 2016 before the new rules come into force. Even if your company does not have the available funds at present to pay out additional dividends, remember that a dividend can be declared in the 2015/16 tax year and allocated to your director’s loan account and paid at a later date when cash flow permits. The company must however have sufficient reserves for dividends to be drawn.

Some very small limited company owners may find it useful to consider an alternative structure, such as sole trader or partnership, particularly if they feel trading as a limited company may now be a more expensive way to operate their business.

The time to act is now.  Our advice would be to undertake tax planning to ensure you are taking your remuneration as tax efficiently as possible.

For further information and to discuss, please contact us.

Sage One Certified Advisor

Eden Fyfe has become a Sage One Certified Advisor.  Sage One is the online accounts and payroll software designed specifically for start-ups and small businesses from Sage (UK) Limited.  It’s straightforward to use and secure, enabling businesses to manage their accounts and payroll efficiently and safely.

If you’re the owner of a small business or are starting up a new one and would like more information about Sage One, please get in touch with Pamela Clark at pamela.clark@edenfyfe.com or call 01592 630048.

Fresh new image

We have changed our name from Fife Accounts to Eden Fyfe and unveiled a fresh, new corporate identity.

Lisa Bray, Eden Fyfe director, explained: “We felt that it’s time to modernise our identity to reflect more accurately the type of business we are: professional and reliable, while at the same time modern and progressive, offering a high quality, value for money service.

We wanted to retain and demonstrate our strong links to Fife. Eden is for the River Eden that runs through the Kingdom and Fyfe is a stylised version of Fife, just to be a little different!

As well as a new name, logo and corporate colours, our website has changed to www.edenfyfe.com.

However, everything else remains the same; it’s very much business as usual for us. We’re the same people providing the same services to the same clients from the same place!

The group now has a team of 25 staff, and ambitious plans to grow the business and the range of services we offer from our Fife base in the coming years.”

 

Keeping your records the easy way (and it’s FREE!)

Join us today and we can provide you with an easy to use bookkeeping system that will save you time and money and allow you to better control your business.

The key features of our bookkeeping software program are:

  • We set-up everything for you and provide support and guidance. The training typically lasts about an hour and can be done at our place or yours.
  • There are Video tutorials making it easy for you if you need them.
  • Screens look similar to a manual or spreadsheet system by using columns and it is very easy to use.
  • All features can be switched on or off which means you only see and use the features appropriate to your business.
  • You can use the software to record money in and money out, keep track of who owes who and complete your VAT return if you are VAT registered. There is the choice between cash or invoice accounting for VAT and the ability to monitor more than one bank account and credit cards. Reports and graphs help you understand exactly what is going on. We will discuss what you need with you and set up the software accordingly.
  • Secure data. Your accounting data can be sent quickly and easily to us for safe keeping and also for review.
  • Live update means you are always using the latest version of the software, so you can benefit from the latest features. There are also no disks to install to keep the software up to date, making the whole process hassle-free.

The five benefits of using our small business accounting software are:

  • Time savings
  • Improved financial control
  • Better management information
  • Protection from tax investigations
  • Faster and more proactive advice from us

And best of all it is FREE.

Contact Lisa Bray on 01592 630048 for your free no obligation meeting to discuss your business and how our software can help you. Alternatively email lisa.bray@edenfyfe.com.

Here is what our clients are saying about it:

“We took the opportunity to join Eden Fyfe Accounts when we set up our business in 2011 and have been very impressed with their overall service and commitment that they have shown to us.  Eden Fyfe Accounts introduced us to their bookkeeping software recently and we have found it to be of great value to the business.  It is efficient and very user friendly and we were given excellent one to one training to learn how to operate it.  Well done Eden Fyfe Accounts, keep up the good work”.

Eden Fyfe Accounts Achieve Accolade from Investors in People

Eden Fyfe Accounts, Accountants and Business Advisors based in Newark Business Park, Glenrothes, have successfully renewed their Investors in People status.

The firm, established in 2007, is known for its commitment and service not only to clients but to its team of employees. Joanne Thomas from Investors in People said “I was really impressed by every member of the team I met. They are motivated, highly committed to providing excellent service to clients and proud to work for the group. You are keen to support your staff in any way possible and provide excellent training and many opportunities for career development.”

Christine Convy, Managing Director at Eden Fyfe Accounts, said “this is a great achievement for our firm and also for our team of hard working individuals. We invest heavily in the training and welfare of our staff, providing them with the tools and skills necessary to ensure our clients are given a timely, efficient and professional service. Exceeding the standard in our Award is encouraging to us all and clearly demonstrates the commitment of our personnel. Knowing our team, they will be looking to aim for gold status in the future.”

For more information about our services please contact Lisa Bray on 01592 630048 or alternatively email lisa.bray@edenfyfe.com.