Annual Investment Allowance Increase

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Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsA temporary increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) up to £1,000,000 for a two-year period was recently announced by HMRC.  The increase is applicable from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020, at which point it will reduce back to £200,000.  The timing of the change means that for businesses which do not have a 31 December year end, a hybrid level of AIA will initially be available.  Below is a note of the AIA available based on the year end date of the business in 2019:

The significant size of the temporary increase means that, more than ever, it is important to consider the timing of any purchase of assets to ensure that maximum tax relief can be obtained.

For further advice on AIA, or any aspects of capital allowances, please contact us via e-mail on adviser@drummondlaurie.co.uk or phone 01324 441250.

Drummond Laurie MTD Ready!

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Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsWe are delighted to announce we have now successfully submitted our first VAT MTD live submissions on behalf of a few of our clients who joined our pilot early ahead of the 1st April 2019 deadline.  During this time, we have been able to test the MTD sign up process and software for our clients to ensure we are fully ready to answer all their questions and advise them of their best course of action to be MTD compliant.

Here’s a reminder of what MTD is.

It will introduce a requirement for all businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold (£85,000) to keep digital records. For businesses with a turnover below the threshold, it´s not compulsory, but they may also opt to file their VAT returns through MTD.

How will it work?

Under MTD, the following information must be kept using functional compatible software approved by HMRC:

  • Name and address of the VAT registered person
  • Address of the VAT registered person’s principal place of business
  • The VAT registration number
  • The VAT accounting schemes
  • The date and value of each supply made, and the type of VAT charged
  • The date and value of each supply received, plus the amount of any input tax that needs to be recovered
  • The VAT exclusive value of each of the following outputs: standard rated, reduced rated, zero-rated, exempt or outside the scope.

How can my company prepare?

If you are a Drummond Laurie client, we will be in touch with you very soon to discuss your specific needs and advise you of how to progress using our knowledge from the pilot.

Businesses will have to submit their VAT returns under MTD for VAT quarters beginning April 2019. The first step to ensuring MTD compliance is to ensure your accounting package will be deemed ‘functional compatible software’ for MTD purposes.

If you have concerns around this or need some assistance, we can help, email adviser@drummondlaurie.co.uk or call 01324 441250 as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Data Security

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Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsWith the tax deadline just passed we thought it would be a good time to remind you all to be aware of fraudulent e-mails or telephone calls which appear to be on the increase in the digital world that we all now live in and these can have a devastating effect on businesses and the individuals involved.

E-mails

If you do receive an e-mail which appears to be from a “legitimate source” you should always be suspicious if it is asking for you to divulge personal or private information, or perhaps requesting you to make an urgent transfer to a supplier – particularly where new bank details are provided for the payment.

Here are a few simple tips on how to spot a suspicious email

  • When you receive an email you should check it for signs that it may not be from the company it appears to be from. To check this you can use your mouse to hover the cursor over the senders name / e-mail address or right-click on the sender name and you should see the email address behind it.
  • Check the email address itself carefully. Is it the same as the email address you usually receive emails from, or just similar?
  • The message within the e-mail isn’t personalised or uses the wrong name or contains poor spelling or grammar. You may also notice that the e-mail is not written in the usual “tone” as you would expect.
  • Check the email subject line; anything along the lines of “There is a secure message waiting for you”, “Security Alert”, “System Upgrade” and so on should be treated as suspect.
  • Look for a prompt to click on a hyperlink or a button, or to download a file – something like “Verify your account or password” or “update your security details”. These will likely take you to a copycat website where you will be prompted to enter your full details. To verify hyperlinks simply open a new tab and do a quick search within a new tab for the company or organisation. Click on their website and then compare the URL addresses.
  • Be suspicious of any message that creates a sense of urgency, such as “If you don’t respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed”. A legitimate company will not create a false sense of urgency.
  • Finally and most importantly, where you do receive a request to make an urgent payment to a supplier, member of staff or anyone else – please always pick up the phone or go and speak to the person making the request and verify this in person to ensure it is genuine.

Remember, never respond to any suspicious emails and don’t click on any links or attachments within them. Also consider reviewing your internal procedures to assist in stopping the effects of any emails that do get through here

Bogus phone calls

We have recently became aware of clients receiving calls from individuals claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) advising you that they have not received a payment of tax / VAT or PAYE and that this is now overdue.

During the call they will appear genuine however please be cautious of anyone asking for your bank or credit card information over the phone. If you are unsure at all it would be our advice to end the call immediately and to contact HMRC, using the correct contact information direct from their website, to verify the situation. You may notice during a “bogus phone call” that the caller is applying pressure to get personal information from you.

 

 

 

Burns & The Taxman

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Today as we celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns we also reflect on one of his career choices, one that is very close to our hearts, especially at this time of the year!  We do hope that our team manage a wee break to enjoy some haggis as they are all working extremely hard to ensure our clients have their tax returns filed on time.

His various, ill-fated ventures as a farmer had left Burns totally disillusioned with working on the land so, just before his 29th birthday, he decided to put his education to better use by seeking a steady, well-paid job as an exciseman.  An exciseman was employed by the government in what today would be HM Revenue & Customs to ensure that people paid their taxes, particularly where related to alcohol. It was not a “trade” that was admired by the common people and it would be fare to say that excisemen at this time were, to say the least, unpopular!

There is some evidence to suggest that he was not 100% comfortable in his profession. This is illustrated in this poem, The Deil’s Awa wi’ th’ Exciseman (The Devil has Taken the Exciseman).

 

 

New Associate Director at Drummond Laurie

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Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsWe are delighted to announce that Greig Brown has recently been promoted to Associate Director.  Greig qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2007 and is well known in the local business community. He is responsible for managing our audit portfolio as well as looking after a number of other clients and is also the current Chairman of  the Bairns Business Club.

We thought we’d ask Greig a few questions and share them with you; 

Where were you born?

I’m a Falkirk Bairn

Did you always want to be an accountant, if not what did you want to do?

I wanted to be a professional footballer but lack of ability put paid to that.  I studied genetics at University so just a small change to accounts! 

Do you have any pets?

I have a 3 year old golden retriever called Archie

Where is your favourite place in the World?

Western Canada

If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?

A new calculator 

Finally, share with us one of your favourite pictures. 

2017/18 Self-Assessment Tax Deadline Approaching!

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Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsIt’s that time of year again when the focus in the office is on self-assessment tax returns with the deadline of the 31st January fast approaching. As always it will be a busy month for the team ensuring that returns are submitted on time.

Missing tax deadlines can be costly, as shown here, it is therefore very important that clients get their tax information into their advisers early and ensure they pay their tax liabilities on time.If you haven’t already done the following, then ACTION is required immediately:

  • Provided your adviser with your 17/18 tax information
  • Signed and returned your 17/18 tax return for lodging
  • Made arrangements to pay your tax liability by the 31st January 2019

At Drummond Laurie we are always here to help and if you would like to know more about the tax or other services we offer, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

Maternity leave over…back to work!

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Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsOur New Year started well with both Margaret Bunyan and Gillian Hunt returning to work, we’re delighted to welcome them back especially in one of our busiest months!

Owen and Rory are sure to miss their mummies but they have both made the most of their time at home with their babies.  

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year to all clients and friends of Drummond Laurie.  I hope that 2019 is a happy, healthy and prosperous one for everyone.Drummond Laurie Chartered Accountants

In many ways, the events which we are living through at the moment are unprecedented.  Leaving the European Union is proving to be a much more complex and divisive matter than most of us in the UK could ever have contemplated.  Our political leaders on the whole are using the issue to attempt to score points for their own party at the expense of the greater good of the country.  We can only hope that common sense and a realisation that they are elected to serve us, the people, will kick in very soon and see a sensible and workable outcome arrived at.  At the same time, we are seeing a fast tide of globalisation coming towards us and a world where we can do business with people on the other side of the world as easily as with our next door neighbours.  Meanwhile, the Scottish Government don’t appear to believe that in a shrinking world and with more migration than ever before, their policy of turning Scotland into the highest taxed region of the UK will have a detrimental long-term impact on our ability to attract highly skilled workers to come to our country.

As 29th March 2019 fast approaches the practical issues of leaving the EU are now firmly in the sights of many businesses.  For example, any business which exports or imports goods and services  to and from the EU will require guidance on the VAT implications very soon in the event of a no deal Brexit.  At the very same time, of course, we are also faced with the implementation of Making Tax Digital which will initially impact any VAT registered business.  Once again, guidance should be sought to ensure compliance with yet more HMRC red tape.  To complete the hat-trick of Q2 challenges of course, we will also see the final increase [for now] in the Pension Auto-enrolment contribution levels.  This will affect employers and employees alike and we should ensure that everyone is prepared for the impact on both Profit & Loss accounts and on payslips come April of this year.

Looking beyond the self inflicted challenges of Brexit, what else should businesses be focusing on as we enter a New Year?  As always, you should be planning ahead, setting out your goals and aspirations for the year ahead and seeking to avoid surprises as far as possible.  Consider what are the greatest risks to your plan and look to take mitigating action now, wherever possible.  For those businesses in growth mode, consider what are the things most likely to constrain your growth and attempt to be proactive in ensuring that these do not happen.  In general, there are four areas of constraint; people, space, systems and cash.  Assess your own business and ensure that your growth plans for the coming year are not going to be hampered by not adequately planning for any one of these factors far enough in advance.

As always, our team at Drummond Laurie stand ready to provide advice and guidance on all of the above and the many more challenges which will lie ahead of us in the coming year.  Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss these at any time.

Best wishes

David

Merry Christmas, a time for giving & Santa!

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This year we, as every year, we like to give back within our community.  This year we heard about the Kersiebank Community Project, based in Grangmouth,  it is in an area that is considered in the top 10% in Scotland for poverty and deprivation.  We appreciate how lucky we are and realise that on our doorstep there are families who are not so fortunate.

To raise some money we did our Step Challenge in November, 30 members of the Drummond Laurie team took part and all paid for the pleasure!  It was amazing between us all we did over 9.5M steps!  We also had  a soup day, cakes, our favourite, and a raffle.

We supplied Kersiebank with some winter coats, toys and gifts and today we were delighted to be able to present them with a cheque for £1000.

Here’s a couple of pictures when Santa visited us earlier this week!

 

 

 

 

 

Be Inspired…Education & Learning

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Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsYesterday we had a fantastic day at the DYW Forth Valley’s inaugural Conference.

The event was about engaging educators and employers in developing innovative partnerships to support Scotland’s Young Workforce.  As a local employer it is so important to take the time to support our young people, almost a third of our team are studying while working to achieve qualifications such as C.A. or ACCA.

There are lots of options available for young people and we were able to facilitate at some of the breakout sessions.  Our session “Standing Out from the Crowd” together with Forth Valley College was about some of the options for work based learning.  Hear more about our ICAS school leaver route HERE.

Jessica one of our ICAS trainees has also written a case study and if you’d like a copy please get in touch, email adviser@drummondlaurie.co.uk.

 

 

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