WELCOME to our first newsletter from all the team at Optimum Professional Services, the go to team for business and personal accountancy and legal advice.
We are enjoying the move we made to our offices at Vicarage Court in Stratton, which has really given a fillip to our enthusiastic team.
We are also delighted to welcome new additions.
Rob Stokes has joined as Director at Optimum. Rob has been working in finance for more than 20 years and was partner/director at his previous business. He specialises in providing advisory and compliance services to a range of clients, from sole traders to international businesses and Academy Trusts.
We also welcome Megan Williams, as accounts senior and Dorothy Grafton, as payroll clerk.
Full steam ahead for Making Tax Digital
HMRC’s Making Tax Digital regime began its rollout in April this year, and businesses which are VAT registered and over the £85,000 turnover threshold have already been brought into the system.
Even if your business joined Making Tax Digital (MTD) and your turnover has subsequently dropped below £85,000, you are required to carry on filing returns using MTD compatible software.
However, for other businesses – landlords and incorporated businesses with a turnover under £85,000 – the timing of the introduction of MTD is now less clear. The government had originally planned to introduce MTD for most of the rest of the business community from April 2020, including those businesses whose turnover is below the VAT threshold but are voluntarily VAT registered.
This timetable has now slipped, and the introduction has been deferred. There is one date that hasn’t changed. There is a small minority of businesses, over the VAT threshold, which have more complex requirements. Their start date was deferred from April to 1 October, and this date remains in place.
At Optimum, we are guiding businesses through MTD requirements and helping them to successfully file VAT returns under the new regime.
It seems inevitable that all other businesses will then be brought into the system, to file VAT returns each quarter through MTD. Therefore we expect an announcement will follow that all businesses still outside MTD will need to file quarterly returns, irrespective of their VAT status, from a point not too far distant.
Our advice is to prepare now by using MTD compatible software, so you are ready to go. We can also offer our clients who use QuickBooks a preferential rate for their subscription.
Our tax team are on hand to talk to you if you have any queries or concerns – please just get in touch.
We like to get involved in supporting the local community in which we live and work, so were delighted to once again sponsor an annual clay shoot to raise funds for TWIGS.
Based in Swindon, TWIGS is a community garden scheme which runs projects to support people with mental health issues, and those living with dementia.
This year, we have picked two further charities to support: MIND, which focuses on mental health, and children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent. Each week a different member of the team bakes and we all chip in to buy and enjoy the cakes – such hard work!
Our next fundraiser is a quiz, on 10 October, at The Village Hotel, Shaw Ridge, which promises to be a fun night. If you would like to enter a team, please contact office manager Tracey Heath for more details.
We also stage regular networking and themed events to support local businesses, which are always free to attend – see ‘Dates for your Diary’ below for more details.
Legal and accountancy under one roof
The benefits of having a one-stop shop for legal and accountancy services were ably demonstrated recently, when we were asked to step in to help with the affairs of a large farm estate, whose owner had died.
Solicitors had been appointed by the executors to deal with the probate side but were unable to proceed to probate being granted because of outstanding tax matters.
The executors called in the accountancy team at Optimum, and we were quickly able to work out the value of the outstanding tax liability. Because a large amount of stocks, shares and property were involved, income tax on dividends and rental income, and Capital Gains Tax, were due.
After our intervention, the estate was quickly wound up and the beneficiaries received their inheritance.
The executors agreed that, had they been aware they could access both legal and accountancy services from Optimum, they would have engaged us for the entire process. The whole matter would have been dealt with far more swiftly.
Focus on the Swindon property market
For Swindon and Wiltshire homeowners and property investors, the future of the town is promising. Figures released earlier this year reveal the average time for houses to be on the market is shorter here than anywhere else in the UK.
Our instructions for sales of residential properties remain buoyant, and development is going on all the time, with the likes of Tadpole Garden Village and Badbury Park.
Developers are also creating accommodation space in the town centre, such as the former Alexander House office building near the railway station being turned into The Lock apartments. The electrification of the railway cutting the journey time to London, and the planned Crossrail, are together making Swindon an attractive place to live and work, which is good news for the property market.
However, if you are looking to invest in another property, or are already a second homeowner, landlord or property investor, do be aware of new rules that come into force in April regarding Capital Gains Tax (or CGT).
Currently, if as a UK resident you sell property incurring CGT, you must pay this by January 31 after the end of the tax year in which the gain arose.
However, from 6 April 2020 the rules are changing. Anyone selling a property where CGT is due will need to settle this liability within 30 days of the completion of the sale.
This could create cashflow difficulties in getting the funds to be able to pay the tax in such a short time.
The advice from the legal team here at Optimum is that any landlords, second homeowners or property investors thinking of selling within the next 12 months should seek our advice to determine the ‘tax cost’ of selling before or after 6 April 2020.
For accountancy and legal help for you, your business or your family please get in touch with the Optimum team. Our accountancy services include personal tax and business tax, business development, cloud accounting, audit, bookkeeping and payroll. On the legal side, we can help you with buying and selling property, remortgaging, equity release, and all commercial property legal issues.
If you require more information on the services Optimum provides, or would like to know more about, or would like to book onto the forthcoming events email: email@example.com, phone 01793 538 198, or call into the offices at:
Vicarage Court, 160 Ermin Street, Stratton, Swindon, SN3 4NE.
Informal networking 7.30 until 9am
Fun night to support our nominated charities.
7.30pm The Village Hotel, Shaw Ridge
Please contact Tracey Heath to secure your place by calling the office: 01793 538 198 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org