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


September 28. 2020

Winter Economy Plan

Rishi Sunak announced his Winter Economy Plan on Thursday 24th September. Rishi’s support was based on the outlook that 'People want to see us focused on the here and now'. Two key updates for the self-employed are outlined below.

The SEISS grant will be extended with two additional grants, the first covering the period November to January and the second covering February to April. The grant will be based on 20% of your profit and to qualify for the grants your must have qualified for the previous grants. Also, you must be trading but be facing reduced demand due to Covid-19. 

Paying HMRC

Previously, the Treasury had given anyone with a July 2020 Payment on Account a 6-month extension, allowing this payment to be made in January 2021. The Chancellor has also announced a further extension for all individuals due to pay HMRC in January 2021 (including the above payment on Account). It appears this extension will be in the way of a 12-month payment plan with HMRC, running from February 2021 to January 2022. To qualify you must owe HMRC less than £30,000. Unlike the previous extension an individual will have to apply for this extension, however, no guidance has been issued on how to make the application yet.

Further updates and advice will be issued as we know more. 


July 29. 2020


There is no doubting that the last few months have been extremely tough, and as we move through the restart and recovery there will be more changes to come. Hopefully, you are back in the passenger seat, raring to go and let’s hope we move through the rest of 2020 in a more positive way.

The lockdown saw the driver training industry come to a halt and home-schooling became a reality for many, as did the growth in Tik Tok challenges and baking banana bread! Many took to keeping themselves busy and it was also great to hear about driving instructors putting their skills to great use, I mean there is no one better than a driving instructor to take on a driving role for a supermarket, courier or the NHS.

With the mix of getting back to your day job and making lessons as safe as possible, we know you will have a lot to think about now. We wanted to make sure you have not missed any support that is available to you, especially as things are ever-changing. We do know a lot of self-employed fell through the cracks of the Government support and the mini Budget on the 8th July was the last chance saloon for some freelance sectors. There has been a lot to take in over recent months so here are a few areas to recap:


  • Based on 70% of your trading profits
  • Your business must have been adversely affected from 14th July
  • Applications for the second and final grant are due to go live on the 17th August
  • If parents and those who adopted, took time out of trading to care for children within the first 12 months of birth or 12 months of an adoption placement they will now be able to use either their 2017/2018 or both 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 self-assessments for the basis of their SEISS eligibility. All other eligibility criteria remain the same.


  • HMRC automatically deferred the July payments that were due
  • You must pay by the 31st Jan 2021 if you deferred your July tax payment
  • Remember your tax bill for the 2019/2020 tax year is also due 31st Jan 2021


  • Provides access to borrowing that is between £2,000 and up to 25% of your turnover (up to a maximum of £50,000).
  • No repayments for 12 months
  • Make sure you have your 2019/2020 tax return done so the latest figures are included
  • Always seek financial advice prior to borrowing


You might not have done your 19/20 tax return just yet (don’t worry, you have until the 31st Jan 21 to file online) but we wanted to highlight a few things ahead of your 20/21 return and to help you give your business that self-care that it needs.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is still on the horizon, MTD is HMRCs plan to mandate digital record keeping. COVID-19 and the support provided by HMRC has been priority over recent months, but we are monitoring Making Tax Digital updates. Small changes now will mean it is an easier transition when the time comes. If you are not used to keeping digital records or operating through software it is best to get comfortable ahead of the change. A bookkeeping routine is important, yes you will likely prefer to watch the latest Netflix release, but it will help you to understand your businesses cashflow. It is one of the most important financial management tasks so that you know the income and outgoings of your business. This way you know if you have any cash reserves, vitally important when you see a period of reduced income. The best way to put it: 

Both SEISS grants are taxable and need to be recorded as income on the 20/21 tax return, make sure you record the amounts you received on the dates you received them.

Do not forget to include all PPE expenses, that relate to your business, in your tax returns. You are unlikely to have ever purchased such items for your business before, but the costs of such items will quickly add up.

We always advise clients to have separate business and personal bank accounts, it will make your life easier in the long run. Especially when looking for transactions or if an HMRC investigation ever pops up. You might also want another account to set aside your savings for your tax liabilities, out of sight and out of mind hopefully means it is easier to keep that pot of funds available. 

There is no one size fits all approach to this recovery, do what is best for you and your business. Reach out for help when you need it, stay safe, be aware of scams and most importantly try not to panic. 

May 14. 2020

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The online service is now available for the SEISS. You will need to apply through your Government Gateway ID. HMRC have said if you cannot claim online, there will be an alternative way to claim, as yet we don’t know what this will be. If you are eligible, HMRC will give you a date from which you can complete your claim. We would advise you to use the Government Gateway to do this, using this online service is beneficial to access other tools such as pension forecasts and National Insurance contributions

As soon as you complete your claim you will be advised if it has been approved and you should receive your payment within 6 working days.
If you haven’t already checked your eligibility you can do so via this link https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference
To complete your claim, you will need the following information:

  • Self-Assessment UTR 
  • National Insurance number 
  • Government Gateway user ID and password - if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online via the above link
  • bank account number and sort code you want the grant to be paid into 

You will also have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus.
As always be vigilant, if you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam. You should email it to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and then delete it.
This process and the guidelines surrounding it are new and constantly evolving, we will continue to share relevant updates with you as information is released.

March 27. 2020


The Chancellor has 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 
HMRC are aiming to contact all eligible individuals by mid-May and process payments by early June. HMRC will confirm the amount that you are due to receive. HMRC have confirmed that you will need to have a Government Gateway ID to apply for the grant. If you do not already have one, you can register when HMRC contact you regarding your grant application. If you would prefer to register now, follow this link  https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account

In the meantime in addition to making a claim for the grant, you can claim Universal Credit, continue to work self-employed or seek employment in a PAYE role.

If you need any support during this difficult time do reach out to the 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


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


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


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


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?

To qualify one partner must have total income below the personal allowance which for 2016/17 was £11,000 (2017/18 £11,500) and the other must be a basic rate taxpayer. 

If you are surrendering your allowances to your partner and your gross income for 2016/17 is between £9,900 and £11,000 then the reduction in your allowances would then mean you would become a taxpayer so a claim would not be worthwhile.

If either partner is a higher rate tax payer then no claim can be made.

The allowance can only be used against Income Tax so a claim would not be applicable if your only liability for the year was Class 2 and/or Class 4 National Insurance Contributions. 

How do I apply?

A claim must be made by telephoning HMRC on 0300 200 3300 or online at www.gov.uk/marriageallowance. Your tax liability will not be reduced if an online or telephone claim has not been made.

Unfortunately, we cannot make the claim for you as HMRC will not allow agents to make the claim on their clients’ behalf.

Your tax return is not for the purposes of making a claim. Instead, upon receipt of your tax return, HMRC will make an amendment to your tax liability and advise you of the revised amounts payable.

The person who calls HMRC must be the person who is transferring the allowances (i.e. the person with income below £11,000 in 2016/17 or £11,500 in 2017/18).

When first making a claim HMRC will review earlier years, back to 2015/16, and back date the claim for any years where you have not made a claim but were eligible to do so.

For more information call FBTC, the tax experts!

March 15. 2017

Budget Update: Class 4 National Insurance Contributions

Due to substantial pressures from its own backbenchers the Government has announced that the increases from 2018 and 2019 will not now go ahead.

See below the full text of Chancellor Philip Hammond's letter to Conservative MPs explaining his decision to drop National Insurance increases announced in last week's Budget.

Dear Colleague

I am writing to clarify the Government's position with regard to the changes to National Insurance contributions (NICs) for the self-employed, announced in last week's Budget.

As I set out last Wednesday, the gap between benefits available to the self-employed and those in employment has closed significantly over the last few years - most notably by the introduction of the new State Pension in April 2016, worth an additional £1,800 to a self-employed person for each year of retirement.

It remains our judgment that the current differences in benefit entitlement no longer justify the scale of difference in the level of total NICs paid in respect of employees and the self-employed.

Colleagues will be aware that there has been a sharp increase in self-employment over the last few years. Most commentators believe that at least part of the increase is driven by differences in tax treatment.

HMRC estimates that the cost to the public finances of this trend is around £5bn this year alone and the parallel increase in incorporation will cost more than £6bn a year by the end of the Parliament. This represents a significant risk to the tax base and thus to the funding of our public services.

The measures I announced in the Budget sought to reflect more fairly the differences in entitlement in the contributions made by the self-employed and addresses the challenge of sustainability of the tax base.

The Government continues to believe that this is the right approach.

Since the Budget, however, there has been much comment on the question of commitments made in our 2015 manifesto. Ahead of Autumn Statement last year, the Prime Minister and I decided that, however difficult the fiscal challenges we face, the tax-lock and spending ring-fence commitments we have made for this Parliament should be honoured in full. I made this clear in the Autumn Statement speech.

As far as National Insurance contributions are concerned, the locks were legislated for in the National Insurance contributions (Rate Ceilings) Act 2015.

When that Bill was introduced, it was made clear that the lock would apply only to Class 1 contributions (employer and employee). The measures proposed in the Budget fall within the constraints set out by the tax-lock legislation and the spending ring-fences.

However, in light-of the debate over the last few days it is clear that compliance with the "legislative" test of the Manifesto commitment is not adequate.

It is very important both to me and to the Prime Minister that we are compliant not just with the letter, but also the spirit, of the commitments that were made.

In light of what has emerged as a clear view among colleagues and a significant section of the public, I have decided not to proceed with the Class 4 NIC measures set out in the Budget.

There will be no increases in NICs rates in this Parliament. We will continue with the abolition of Class 2 NICs from April 2018. The cost of the changes I am announcing today will be funded by measures to be announced in the Autumn Budget.

I undertook in the Budget speech to consult over the summer on options to address the principal outstanding difference in benefit entitlement between employed and self-employed: parental benefits. We now intend to widen this exercise to look at the other areas of difference in treatment, alongside the Government's consideration of the forthcoming report by Matthew Taylor, CEO of the RSA, on the implication of different ways of working for employment rights.

Once we have completed these pieces of work, the Government will set out how it intends to take forward, and fund, reforms in this area.

I plan to make a statement in the House later today.

Philip Hammond

#selfemployed #class4NIC #TAX

March 10. 2017

The FBTC Budget Highlights

The Spring Budget 2017 was presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 8th March 2017.

This will be the last Spring Budget. In future, the Budget will be held in autumn, commencing from autumn 2017. Many of the changes announced in the Budget commence the following 5th April, giving more time for planning and implementation.

With regards to proposals specifically affecting the driving instructor industry, the Chancellor has announced a 2% increase in Insurance Premium Tax from June 2017 which will, of course, impact Car Insurance premiums.

Significant changes are also coming in respect of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). From 6th April 2017, for cars registered after 1st April 2017, there will be a first-year rate of up to £2,000, depending on the vehicles’ CO2 emissions and then a standard rate of £140. The standard rate will be increased in the first five years by £310 if the vehicle list price is more than £40,000.

For vehicles registered between 1st March 2001 and 31st March 2017, VED will increase by Retail Price Index (RPI) from 6 April 2017. The average increase will be £5 per year. 

From an individual taxpayer’s point of view, the following points were the key announcements made: 

 Personal Tax rates and allowances

    • The personal allowance will increase from £11,000 to £11,500 from 6th April 2017.

    • This increase is part of the Governments’ continued commitment to increase the personal allowance to £12,500 by the end of the current parliament.

    • The threshold at which the personal allowance is reduced remains at £100,000. The personal allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 of income above £100,000. This means that anyone with income over £123,000 in 2017/18, does not qualify for personal allowances.

    • From 6th April 2017, the threshold at which individuals begin to pay tax at the higher rate of 40% will increase from £43,000 to £45,000.  This increase is part of the Government’s continued commitment to raise the threshold to £50,000 by the end of the current parliament.

    • The threshold at which individuals will be liable to pay tax at the rate of 45% remains at £150,000.

    • Married Couples allowance will continue to be available where one applicant was born before 6th April 1935 and from 6th April 2017 neither applicant earns more than £28,000 (£27,700 in 16/17).

    • From 6th April 2018, this will result in a minimum tax saving of £326 (£322 in 16/17) and the maximum tax saving of £844.50 (£835.50 in 16/17).

    • Those who don’t qualify for Married Couples allowance, may qualify for Marriage Allowance. To qualify for Marriage Allowance one applicant must not be a taxpayer and the other must not be a higher rate taxpayer. From 6th April 2018, this will result in a tax saving of £230 (£220 in 16/17).

Capital gains tax (CGT)

    • From 6th April 2017, the annual exemption for CGT will increase to £11,300 (£11,100 in 16/17).

    • The rates of CGT remain unchanged at 10% for basic rate taxpayers (18% for residential property) and 20% for higher rate taxpayers (28% for residential property).


Since 6th April 2016, all bank and building society interest has been paid gross.

    • If your non-savings income is below the tax free personal allowances detailed above, then the balance can be used against savings income.

    • In addition to any “spare” personal allowances, basic rate taxpayers can earn a further £6,000 of savings income tax free and higher rate taxpayers can earn £5,500.

    • The ISA allowance will rise from £15,240 to £20,000 from 6th April 2017.

    • The ISA allowance also includes, from 6th April 2017, a new Lifetime ISA allowance. This will allow those under 40 years old to invest up to £4,000 per year and receive a bonus of 25% up to a maximum of £1,000 each year. Deposits can be made every year up to the age of 50. The funds can then be withdrawn from the age of 60. Funds can be withdrawn earlier if they are going to be used for a first-time house purchase.  They can also be used if you are terminally ill or are moving to a different Lifetime ISA provider. If you withdraw for any other reason before the age of 60 then you will have to pay a charge of 25% of the amount withdrawn.

    • There is also a “Junior ISA” available for under 18’s. From 6th April 2017, up to a maximum of £4,128 (£4,080 in 16/17) can be invested.

    • From 6th April 2017, the tax-free lifetime allowance on contributions to pension pots remains at £1 million and the maximum annual allowance limit remains at £40,000. 

Dividend Income

      Savings income does not include dividend income.

    • From 6th April 2017, the first £5,000 of any dividend income will be taxed at 0%. Above this threshold, basic rate taxpayers will pay 7.5% dividend tax, higher rate taxpayers 32.5% and additional rate taxpayers 38.1%.
    • From 6th April 2018, the limit will be reduced to £2,000. 

National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s)

    • From 6th April 2017, Class 2 NIC’s will be due on profits in excess of £6,025 (£5,965 in 16/17). This equates to a weekly rate of £2.85 (£2.80 in 16/17).

    • From 6th April 2017 Class 4 NIC’s will be due on profits in excess of £8,164 (£8,060 in 16/17) at the rate of 9%, which is unchanged from 16/17. Profits above £45,000 (£43,000 in 16/17) will be liable at 2%.

    • Class 2 NIC’s will be abolished from 6th April 2018 and the self-employed will only pay Class 4 NIC’s.  The change will see an increase in Class 4 NIC’s to 10% from 6th April 2018 and to 11% from 6th April 2019.  However, due to public outcry from the ‘white van man’, the legislation for the proposal will not now likely to be introduced until autumn 2017.

Other notable points

    • The Corporation Tax rate for Limited companies will be cut to 19% from April 2017 and to 17% from April 2020.

    • The VAT threshold will increase from £83,000 to £85,000 from 1st April 2017.

    • Capital allowances for plant and machinery will remain at 100% for first £200,000 of first year additions (FYA). The main rate will remain unchanged at 18% and the special rate will remain at 8%.

Trading and property income allowances

    • The Government will create two new income tax allowances of £1,000 each, for trading and property income. The allowances can be deducted from income instead of actual expenses.

Making Tax Digital (MTD)


    • HMRC have confirmed that from 6th April 2018 the self-employed whose turnover or property income is over the VAT threshold (£85,000), will have to submit their business records quarterly with non VAT registered businesses joining MTD from 6th April 2019.

    • An exemption has been proposed for businesses with a turnover of below £10,000. However, HMRC are still considering this proposal.

If you would like to chat to us about how any of the above will affect you, then please contact us here.



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