Category Archives: Blog

Looking Forward – Tax Planning

By | Blog | No Comments

Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsWith the end of the 2018/19 tax year fast approaching (5th April 2019), it is important to consider whether you have made full use of the tax allowances which are available.  

 

Pension Contributions

Each UK tax payer has an annual allowance of £40,000 which can be invested into a pension.  The allowance can be carried forward for a maximum of 3 years, so if no contributions have been made in prior years there could be allowances of up to £160,000 available, including the current year.

For limited companies, contributions are allowable for tax purposes resulting in a reduction in corporation tax liabilities.

For sole traders and partnerships, tax relief is available at the highest rate of tax resulting in a reduction in income tax liabilities.

Dividend Allowance

Dividends up to £2,000 are tax free for each tax payer.  For those who are married, an effective way to utilise this exemption would be to ensure assets returning dividends are jointly owned by spouses meaning both individuals allowances can be used.

Individual Savings Accounts (ISA’s)

Up to £20,000 per tax year can be invested by each tax payer into ISA’s.  Interest and capital gains from returns generated by funds held within an ISA are not subject to income tax or capital gains tax.  With funds generally available to withdraw at any time, ISA’s offer a tax efficient investment while also offering an element of flexibility to the individual.

Marriage Allowance

For married couples or civil partners where one spouse earns below the personal allowance (£11,850) and the other is not a higher rate tax payer, there is the opportunity to transfer 10% of your personal allowance.

These are just a few of the options available – for more details please contact us via e-mail on adviser@drummondlaurie.co.uk or phone 01324 441250.

Plan for the Future

By | Blog | No Comments

Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsEstate planning is a difficult area for many to think about and as a result is often not addressed. As professional advisers we encourage our clients to think about the future and ensure that their affairs are in order, their wishes can be upheld and any taxes are minimised. Everyone is different and the action needed therefore varies.

Having an up to date will in place which reflects your current wishes is arguably one of the most important things you can do. A will is a legally binding document which states how you wish your estate to be handled upon death. Not only does it make things easier for your loved ones, it can also help prevent a lengthy and costly legal process.

Another important legal document is a power of attorney (PoA). This document is drawn up when you have the capacity to do so and gives someone, known as the attorney, the legal authority to take action and make decisions on your behalf in relation to your financial/property matters and/or personal welfare. A PoA will be used when you become incapable and thus unable to make decisions yourself, although can be used prior to this to help you with your finances. Without a PoA your family/friends potentially could have to go to court to seek authority to act on your behalf.

It is important that you regularly review your plans and ensure that such documents as your will and PoA are up to date and reflect your current wishes.

It’s never too early to plan for the future and speaking with professional advisers such as ourselves is often crucial in successful succession planning. If you have any concerns around this or need some assistance, we can be contacted on 01324 441 250 or adviser@drummondlaurie.co.uk

Welcome Holly!

By | Blog | No Comments

Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsHolly joined us a couple of weeks ago as an Accounts Assistant who will be working in both the Grangemouth and Perth offices.

Holly graduated last year from the University of Stirling with a BAcc Hons in Accountancy & Economics, she is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead and hopes to start studying towards becoming a Chartered Accountant with ICAS in September this year.

In her spare time she enjoys going on holiday, cooking and reading.

Annual Investment Allowance Increase

By | Blog | No Comments

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!

By | Blog | No Comments

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

By | Blog | No Comments

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

By | Blog | No Comments

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

By | Blog | No Comments

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!

By | Blog | No Comments

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!

By | Blog | No Comments

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.  

Let's Get Started: Contact Us