0344 984 2515
If you are a current client please call: 0344 984 4445
accounts

Articles

March 27. 2020

COVID-19: SUPPORT FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED

The Chancellor has now announced support for self-employed individuals. The main points to note are:

  •  A taxable grant will be available equal to 80% of your annual profit averaged over three years, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month
  • To be able to claim this grant your annual profits must be below £50,000
  • The majority of your income must come from self-employment
  • You must have been trading before 5th April 2019 and filed at least 1 annual tax return
  • Your 2018/19 Tax Return, if not already submitted (normal submission deadline 31st January 2020) must be submitted within four weeks from today
  • HMRC hope to have the facility in place by June 2020
  • HMRC will contact all those eligible to make a claim directly
  • The claims will be back dated from the beginning of the lock-down and paid in a single lump sum 
There is of course more details to come on this scheme, we will share more as the information becomes available.  
In the meantime, if you need assistance do reach out to the help and support that is out there;

Your GP 

Stay safe!

March 13. 2020

Budget 2020

The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Budget on the 11th March 2020. Said to be a ‘people’s budget for the people’s government’ there was a key topic throughout, COVID–19. Mr Sunak stated the NHS will get ‘whatever it needs, whatever the cost’.

COVID – 19

The Budget announcements bring numerous temporary measures which are set to assist with the current worldwide pandemic. The measures have been put in place to help support those affected by COVID-19, whether that be as an individual or a business.

The chancellor also commented on those advised to self-isolate, even if they do not show symptoms, they are to receive statutory sick pay (SSP) if eligible.

Those who are not eligible for SSP, such as self-employed individuals, will see Employment Support Allowance (ESA) paid quicker with the qualifying number of sick days reduced from 8 to 1. This means that once you have got your sick note from 111 you can then contact the Department of Work & Pensions and begin the process of claiming ESA. Click here to find out more about ESA.

ESA is paid to those who are too sick to work, provided they meet certain conditions. It is worth £73.10 a week, or £57.90 for the under-25s.

If you do find yourself in a position where you need to access such benefits, we would always advise taking the medical advice from 111 and contacting the Department for Work & Pensions who can advise you fully on the processes you need to follow.

A 100% reduction in Business Rates for Small business’s was also introduced in the Budget, more interesting for a lot of very small business was a £3,000 grant which appears to be aimed at all small businesses. There is very little guidance available on this at the moment, we will follow up on this once information on who can apply and how to apply has been issued.

Finally, HMRC have been asked to assist taxpayers with payments to them, to that end a new team to deal with Time to Pay arrangements for business’s affected by Coronavirus has been set up. If you find your capital reserves are running low and you are worried about paying your next bill, we strongly recommend you call them on 0800 015 9559.

As Mr Sunak stated, ‘the current situation is temporary’, ‘life will return to normal’. However, ‘for a period, it is going to be tough’.

Will we see more money in our pockets?

The honest answer, probably not but the following are factors that provide an element of positivity. 

  • From the 1st April the National Insurance threshold is increasing from £8,632 to £9,500, meaning you can earn more profit before paying Class 4 National Insurance.
  • Fuel Duty will be frozen for the 10th consecutive year and there will also be a freeze in duty rates for beer, ciders and spirts. 
  • Another tax to be cut is VAT on digital books, newspapers and magazines.
  • The 5% rate of VAT on sanitary products - referred to as the "tampon tax" - will babolished from January. 
  • People can put a lot more into tax-free savings for children. The allowance for Junior ISA’s (Individual Savings Accounts) and Child Trust Funds will be increased from £4,368 to £9,000 in April. However, the typical amount saved is only about £1,000. 

The personal allowance will remain at £12,500 and there will be no changes to the tax rates. Additionally, for the self-employed there will be a slight increase in Class 2 payments, from £3.00 per week to £3.05.

Once thing we won’t need to brace ourselves for is the mammoth number of potholes in our roads. A massive £2.5bn is set to be invested within our local roads. Let’s see how that one pans out!

So, from supporting businesses, highlighting green priorities and supporting those in need it was a budget delivered in challenging times and one that saw some substantial spending commitments.


February 3. 2020

FBTC Accountancy Services receives Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award 2020

FBTC Accountancy Services are thrilled to have won the Feefo Platinum Trusted Service award. This is an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers. Feefo have given the Platinum Trusted Service award to FBTC as they have achieved Gold standard for three consecutive years.
 
Alan Gott, FBTC Manager, commented: ‘We greatly appreciate clients taking the time to leave us feedback. Here at FBTC we take pride in supporting clients to the best of our ability’.


Congratulating FBTC on winning this year’s award, Steph Heasman, Director of Customer Success at Feefo, commented: “The Trusted Service award has always been about recognising companies that go way beyond the norm in customer experience and generate great feedback from happy customers.  


Well done team!



January 21. 2020

Another positive year ahead for the Driver Training Industry

FBTC are excited to share another year’s analysis on the Driver Training Industry. The report focuses on the key areas of Driving Instructors’ workload, earnings and levels of job satisfaction. A continued trend from last year is the presence of a smarter working week and high levels of job satisfaction.  

The overall findings of this year’s survey show another positive year;


Read the full 2020 Driving Instructor Review here 2020 Annual UK Driving Instructor Review.pdf (401KB)

November 22. 2019

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

With 70 days go to file your 2018/2019 tax return, what are you waiting for? With plenty of fun and games to be had between now and the end of January don’t delay your tax return any more. You never know what could happen between now and the tax return filing deadline. Such as unforeseen circumstances to technical difficulties, to realising you don’t have all the required information or just getting caught up in the festivities! 
Last year 750,000 self-employed people missed the filing deadline and instantly received £100 penalty. HMRC received this massive amount of income from penalties and I am sure you would rather get some bargains in the January sales than pay for an unnecessary fine.
 
From those that missed the filing deadline there were some, let’s say creative, reasons reported to HMRC, which included;

  • My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me
  •  I’m too short to reach the post box
  •  I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn
  • Our junior member of staff registered our client in Self-Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses
  •  My boiler had broken, and my fingers were too cold to typo

Having all the information is one thing, completing the return, using your allowances and paying the correct amount of tax is another. 
Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, said: “Help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time but it’s unfair to the majority of honest taxpayers when others make bogus claims."

So, what do you need to complete your tax return, aside from a little less procrastination:
It is always good to check your options and instructing an accountant to support you with your tax affairs isn’t a bad thing! Yes, you will have to pay for the service, but it is an allowable business expense. which is included within your total outgoings and deducted from your total income.
Did you know 2,616 taxpayers submitted their tax return on Christmas Day last year! Don’t be included in this figure this year, spend more time listening for sleigh bells and less time on your self-assessment. 

About FBTC Accountancy Services 
Covering the whole of the UK, FBTC provides service to more than 2,000 clients. Wrapped up in one £30 monthly fee, FBTC will: 

  • Self-employment registration 
  • Compilation of annual accounts 
  • Annual tax returns 
  • All communications with HM Revenue & Customs 
  • Access to making tax digital compliant software  
  • Tax and accountancy advice 

To contact the team for a no obligation chat click here and complete the enquiry form to the right.

 

October 1. 2019

FBTC will keep you OnBalance

FBTC Accountancy Services have now released their new bookkeeping software, which is included as part of the all-inclusive £30 monthly fee. All FBTC clients will be provided with the Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliant software, that will make bookkeeping easy!

The MTD compliant software allows you to add income and expenses with a click of a button, scan your receipts and submit business records directly to FBTC.

The accounting software is perfect for small businesses and FBTC have taken time to ensure it is right for their clients. Alan Gott, FBTC Manager is thrilled with the new software, ‘We have just started rolling the new software out to clients and it is great to receive such positive feedback already, it is definitely the highlight of 2019 for the team and our clients’.

The secure access system called OnBalance, is an extremely accessible system that allows users to access data anytime and anywhere. As it is cloud based software all you need is an internet connection to log in. Perfect when you are out and about running your business. You can keep records on a real time basis which will mean you save time when it comes to record keeping and juggling your work life balance.

As FBTC will take care of maintaining, updating and continuous improvement of the system you will always be running the latest and greatest version.

The further benefit of the software is that you can easily separate your transactions, for example if you have multiple trades and/or property income. Before FBTC invite you to start using the software they will set it up to include each of your trades meaning you can simply register, login and start recording transactions within minutes. Once you have entered transactions the handy dashboard will give you some of the key performance indicators of your business such as total turnover and expenses.

So, what else would make the completion of your tax return easier, other than a great accountant and first-class bookkeeping software? We think quick submission to your accountant is vitally important. With a click of a button you can send FBTC your data instantly. Using OnBalance with FBTC, will also give you MTD compliance as you are keeping digital records and using software to submit your records.

MTD, for those that are non-VAT registered, isn’t now set to be mandated until April 2021 at the earliest and HMRC do need to confirm an exact roadmap of how it will be enforced but FBTC are keeping abreast of the MTD updates as they are published and will keep you fully informed.

If you would like to know more about the software or joining FBTC Accountancy Services complete theSend us an enquiryform to your right or call us on 0344 984 2515.

February 8. 2019

FBTC Accountancy Services receives Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award 2019

For the third year running, FBTC have won the Feefo Gold Trusted Service award. The award is an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real clients.

 

Created by Feefo, Trusted Service is awarded only to those businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine reviews and insights. Those that meet the high standard, based on the number of reviews they have collected, and their average rating, receive the award. FBTC achieved a Feefo service rating of 4.8/5 throughout 2018.

 

As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of a business’ commitment to outstanding service.

 

Alan Gott, FBTC Manager commented: “At FBTC we want to be more than just a voice on the phone, we care about the people we talk to. For our clients to have picked up on this and for them to take the time to give us such great reviews is really appreciated by us all. Feefo enabled us to consistently improve throughout 2018 and now we’re looking forward to another successful year ahead.”

 

Congratulating FBTC Accountancy Services on winning this year’s award, Matt West, CEO at Feefo, commented: “The Trusted Service award has always been about recognising those companies that excel beyond the norm. I’m looking forward to the continual success of the businesses that work in partnership with us throughout 2019.”


About FBTC Accountancy Services

 

Established over 20 years ago, FBTC is a specialist accountancy service for Driving Instructors and the self-employed. Covering the whole of the UK, FBTC provides service to more than 2,000 clients. FBTC provide a totally comprehensive service:

   Self-employment registration

   Compilation of annual accounts

   Annual tax returns

   All communications with HM Revenue & Customs

   Access to members only area of FBTC website

   Tax and accountancy advice

   Free online cashbook

All for an affordable monthly fee.

 

For further information:

0344 984 2515

info@fbtc.co.uk

January 23. 2019

UK Driver Training Industry - Workload, earnings and job satisfaction

As an Accountancy Service that supports over 2,000 UK Driver Training professionals, FBTC are in a unique position to be able to comment on the health of the industry through the FBTC Annual UK Driving Instructor Review 2019.

This year’s study provides further insight into Driving Instructors’ workload, earnings and levels of job satisfaction in what is clearly a dynamic and evolving marketplace.

Read our full report to learn more about the inflation busting increase in the instructor's average hourly rate and remarkably high levels of job satisfaction

Click here for the full report 2019 Annual UK Driving Instructor.pdf (515KB)

December 3. 2018

Take a chance on yourself, You will love it...

FBTC client Sue, from www.HealingHandsInUk.com, is an alternative therapist - a Reiki Master, Teacher and Practitioner! Sue has shared her experience of self-employment; “It's a tough market and there are quite a few people in my business, like any other, who are very competitive in advertising”. 

What Sue loves the most about self-employment is being able to own and take pride in her hard work and achievements. Sue comments, “It feels very satisfying to take full credit and responsibility for my progress and success”. This is evidence for Sue as she has recently been voted into "The Top Three Therapists". This was done by an independent reviewer.

Sue continued with “Of course being my own boss and being able to choose my working hours is a massive bonus. I truly thrive on the challenges of being able to make a difference in people's lives by what I do. “It's tremendously motivating to see people feel healthier and being able to enjoy their lives by overcoming their most debilitating conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression or get rid of their addictions to smoking, alcohol or drugs”. 

Initially, Sue did face some challenges, “The hardest part for me was to manage my accounting and knowing what I can or can't do. Thank goodness for FBTC's speciality with advising and managing my accounts. It was also tricky to finance and find an affordable and suitable premise to work from at first". 

Sue’s advice to anyone starting a business is to not fear hard work and challenges. Have a vision, believe in your abilities and follow your dreams.

November 30. 2018

Eat local, spend local, enjoy local!

Small Business Saturday takes place each year on the first Saturday of December, it is all about shopping locally, supporting small businesses and contributing towards their success. In 2017, £748 million was reportedly spent with small businesses in the UK, many actively participating by offering promotions and discounts to acknowledge the day.

Kelly Tolhurst, Small Business Minister commented: “With more than 1,000 starting up every day, the UK’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy”.

Café Lush, owners Louisa and Sharon have been trading since April 2018 and stated; “We wanted to be able to work around our families, making the work life balance easier! We now have the flexibility and control over how we want to run our business and the rewards make it so worthwhile”.

Here at FBTC Accountancy Services we support a range of small businesses and sole traders, so we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to highlight this day. We wanted to send a virtual high 5 and well done to all those small businesses out there. Keep up the good work and remember the reasons why you decided to take the leap into self-employment in the first place.

We have decided to bring you a daily dose of small business motivation over the next 5 days. This will include comments from our clients, a bit about their business and why they became self-employed. 

March 8. 2018

It is no longer a man’s world

International Women’s Day has been recognised since the 1900’s, each year the 8th March is about celebrating women globally. Today’s society recognises the value that women bring to individual communities and collectively to the world.

There is still a commitment to the original aim, which is, to achieve full gender equality for women. According to the Global Gender Gap Index 2017, the gender gap is expected to be closed in 100 years. Yes, 100 years! But one things for sure it is no longer a man’s world.

The number of women in self-employment has grown consistently since 2001. The sky is the limit when you are your own boss and there is not a glass ceiling in sight. The flexibility that comes with self-employment allows women to balance their working life and personal commitments entirely how they wish. The element of freedom also means your mind has the flexibility it needs to make good decisions.

Could this mean self-employment is the dream for most women?

Cathi, an Approved Driving Instructor from Barnsley advised FBTC ‘I held down five Head of Department, of Foreign Languages posts. After 31 years working full time, nonstop, I needed more flexibility. 18 months ago, I contacted RED Driving School and embarked on my training. I am now qualified as an Approved Driving Instructor and very satisfied with my new life’.

Like Audrey Hepburn said, ‘Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible’. 

March 6. 2018

AWARDED FEEFO GOLD TRUSTED SERVICE AWARD 2018

FBTC Accountancy Services has won the Feefo Gold Service award, an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real clients.

 

Created by Feefo, Trusted Service is awarded only to those businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine ratings and reviews. Those that meet the high standard, based on the number of reviews they have collected, and their average rating, are awarded. A badge of honour, this accreditation remains unique, as it is based purely on the interactions with verified customers. As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of a business’ commitment to outstanding service.

 

Andrew Briscoe, FBTC Accountancy Services commented: “It’s a real honour to receive this award from Feefo. To be recognised for delivering exceptional experiences to our clients is a great achievement. We’ve been working hard to ensure our clients receive the best service possible, and being able to listen, understand and respond to their needs has enabled us to improve our offering in 2017. We’re looking forward to another successful year ahead.”


Speaking on this year's award, Andrew Mabbutt, CEO at Feefo, commented 'The Trusted Service award has always been about recognising those companies that go the extra mile. Once again, we have seen many incredible businesses using Feefo to its full potential, to provide truly memorable experiences for their customers – and rightly being awarded with our most prestigious accreditation. I look forward to the continual success of the businesses that work in partnership with Feefo throughout 2018'.

 

Feefo is a ratings and reviews, and customer analytics platform that provides the tools to collect genuine, purchase-verified reviews on behalf of over 4,000 businesses. Feefo ensures that all feedback is authentic, by matching it to a legitimate transaction; this is in order to increase consumer confidence and combat the rising issue of fake reviews.

 

About Feefo

Feefo is a global reviews and customer analytics solution to boost business & build trust. Feefo collects reliable customer feedback to deliver up to date insights so businesses and consumers can make better decisions. Feefo does this on behalf of 4,000 companies, providing reviews and customer analytics for more than 5,000 websites. Clients include Expedia, AXA, Next, The White Company, Moss Bros, Notonthehighstreet.com & Tepilo. For more information please visit: www.feefo.com

 

 

July 28. 2017

Fair Play, Fair Pay

The Gender Pay gap was highlighted again recently following the BBC’s powerful publication of its top earners. Sir Philip Hampton, who is co-chairing a review into increasing the number of women in senior business roles, stated this week he has “never, ever had a woman ask for a pay rise” and “there isn’t a list long enough for all men who’ve asked. Lots of men have trooped into my office saying they are underpaid, but no woman has ever done that.” He also comments “I suspect they let it happen because they weren’t doing much about it.”

Would you agree with this?

This isn’t the case in the driving instruction industry. Our research has found that female instructors are earning more than males. Women are working similar hours to men but they are working smarter, charging higher lesson rates and bringing home an extra £35 per week.

The Annual Driving Instructor Review 2017 was completed by us earlier this year. Overall the review showed, year on year, weekly gross income for female driving instructors has risen by 19.5%, in an industry that is proving one of the most progressive.

Andrew Briscoe, manager of FBTC, said: "With women representing less than a quarter of all driving instructors in the UK, any increase in learner demand makes it possible for female driving instructors throughout the industry to increase their hourly rate ".

Read the full Annual Driving Instructor Review here.

July 21. 2017

MAKING TAX DIGITAL UPDATE

HMRC are introducing fundamental changes to the way the tax systems works. The original intention was for MTD to commence from 6 April 2018, they then delayed it for some until 6 April 2019. Last week the government announced that MTD will only apply to businesses from 6th April 2019 whose turnover is above the VAT threshold. For all remaining business the start date has been pushed back until at least 5 April 2020. However, it will be possible to submit business records under MTD, on a voluntary basis before then.


HMRC are running a pilot scheme to help get MTD up and running correctly. FBTC have been invited to join the pilot and we are now working with both HMRC and our software providers. We will make the move to the digital revolution easy and hassle free for you. If you would like to know more about our online cashbook, in preparation for MTD, call the office for more information 0344 984 4445.

March 21. 2017

Love is.....sharing your tax allowance

This was introduced in the 2015/16 tax year and allows, in certain circumstances, the transfer of 10% of unused personal allowances between spouses or civil partners.

For the 2015/16 tax year, you may be eligible to transfer £1,060 of your personal allowance between each other which represents a tax reduction of £212.00.

For the 2016/17 tax year, you may be eligible to transfer £1,100 of your personal allowance between each other which represents a tax reduction of £220.00.

For the 2017/18 tax year, you may be eligible to transfer £1,150 of your personal allowance between each other which represents a tax reduction of £230.00.  

How do I qualify?