Self assessment and tax advice for Putney residents

Self Assessment and personal tax services for Putney residents

Self Assessment and tax services in Putney.

Putney residents can expect quick, accurate and cost-effective Self Assessment and other tax services from Tax Agility.

Each year, thousands of people miss the Self Assessment deadline, make careless mistakes when they rush to complete their tax returns, or pay more tax than necessary – you don’t have to be one of them if you work with Tax Agility, your local Personal Tax accountants in Putney.

We’re here to calculate your tax and apply the appropriate allowances, so you can spend more time focusing on your family and growing your personal wealth.

Tax Agility, your local Personal Tax accountants in Putney

Tax is a complex subject with regular changes, and one’s circumstances can also change with time, meaning tax regulations that once applied to you may not be applicable now. So working with a Personal Tax accountant like us is hugely beneficial. Each year, we carefully review your income versus tax obligation, as well as exploring legitimate tax-saving options to reduce your tax bill accordingly.

Our professional accounting services provide you with:

Self Assessment tax return

In the UK, self-employed individuals, partners in a business partnership, high earners (with income over £100k) and anyone whose income is not taxed under PAYE will need to file a Self Assessment tax return. In addition, trustees, landlords and people with Capital Gains may also need to complete a Self Assessment tax return. Turn to one of our ICAEW Chartered Accountants for help when it comes to Self Assessment. We can be your agent and file the tax return on your behalf, as well as sharing tax-saving tips and applying the appropriate allowances and reliefs so you don’t pay more tax than it is necessary.

Tax advice

Capital Gains, as well as income from rental, selling products online and doing freelancing work may mean you have more taxes to pay if you are unaware of legitimate options which may reduce your tax bill for the given year. Give your local Personal Tax accountant in Putney a call on 020 8108 0090 when you need independent and trusted tax advice.

Estate and Inheritance Tax planning

A good estate planning can effectively lower the Inheritance Tax your estate needs to pay, thereby safeguarding your hard-earned assets and allowing your loved ones to cherish your legacy.

Specialist services

From forming a sole proprietorship, selling a business to tax-saving investment options, you can count on us to give honest tax advice.

Why choose Tax Agility

  • You receive a responsive and friendly service
  • You get a personalised service tailored to your circumstances
  • Competitive pricing with no hidden charges
  • The convenience of a local Tax Agility office in Putney
  • We take care of the tedious information gathering process
  • We learn about the changing tax obligations so you don’t have to
  • We are professional and welcome your query, be it big or small
  • We aim to save you money

“I’ve been a client of Tax Agility for more than 10 years now. They always complete my Self Assessment and provide great tax-saving tips,” words from a happy customer.

Call Tax Agility on 020 8108 0090 for all your personal tax matters today.

Personalised tax advice

Everyone’s situation is unique and therefore, you should receive tax advice that is unique to you too. This is why our service focuses on you – you can decide the level of engagement you want and our fees are transparent with no hidden charges.

Being local to you in Putney means you can meet one of our personal tax professionals if you’d like. We’re here to help with questions pertaining to your tax and personal finances.

Visit our Putney personal tax return service page and you may also find these relevant pages useful:


Self assessment and tax advice for Wimbledon residents

Self Assessment and personal tax services for Wimbledon residents

Self Assessment and tax services in Wimbledon

Wimbledon residents can expect quick, accurate and cost-effective Self Assessment and other tax services from Tax Agility.

With good transport links to London and neighbouring boroughs, Wimbledon is an ideal hub for commercial activities. Having a thriving business and strong revenue come naturally the issues of tax. Thankfully, you can turn to Tax Agility, your local Personal Tax accountants in Wimbledon for honest and expert tax advice.

Tax Agility, your local Personal Tax accountants in Wimbledon

Working with a trusted Personal Tax accountant like our team at Tax Agility means you can avoid many common tax mistakes. We also actively look out for the latest allowances and reliefs that you are entitled to claim, so you don’t pay more tax than it is necessary.

Our professional accounting services provide you with:

Self Assessment tax return

If your income is not taxed under PAYE, you may need to file a Self Assessment tax return. Self-employed individuals, partners in a business partnership and high earners (with income over £100k) fall into the category. Trustees, landlords and people with Capital Gains may also need to complete a Self Assessment tax return. Let our ICAEW Chartered Accountants help you with Self Assessment and file on your behalf. With us working by your side, you won’t pay more tax than it is necessary while remain compliant with tax regulations.

Tax planning and advice

Tax planning looks at your income versus tax obligations, as well as using legitimate options to reduce your overall tax bill. Give your local Personal Tax accountant in Wimbledon a call on 020 8108 0090 for honest, trusted tax advice.

Estate and Inheritance Tax planning

A good estate planning can reduce the Inheritance Tax payable by your estate. Talk to us about estate and Inheritance Tax planning today.

Specialist services

From forming a sole proprietorship, selling a business to tax-saving investment options, you can count on us to give honest tax advice.

Why choose Tax Agility

  • You receive a responsive and friendly service
  • You get a personalised service tailored to your circumstances
  • Competitive pricing with no hidden charges
  • The convenience of a local Tax Agility office in Wimbledon
  • We take care of the tedious information gathering process
  • We learn about the changing tax obligations so you don’t have to
  • We are professional and welcome your query, be it big or small
  • We aim to save you money

“Tax Agility gives me a reliable and cost-effective service for my freelance work” – words from a happy customer.

Call Tax Agility on 020 8108 0090 for all your personal tax matters today.

Personalised tax advice

Everyone’s situation is unique and therefore, you should receive tax advice that is unique to you too. This is why our service focuses on you – you can decide the level of engagement you want and our fees are transparent with no hidden charges.

Visit our Wimbledon Personal Tax Return service page and you may also find these relevant pages useful:


Self assessment and tax advice for Richmond residents

Self Assessment and personal tax services for Richmond residents

Self Assessment and personal tax services in Richmond

Richmond-upon-Thames residents can expect quick, accurate and cost-effective Self Assessment and other tax services from Tax Agility.

A hard-working borough, Richmond-upon-Thames enjoys a higher employment rate than many other parts of London, according to the ONS data. As you work hard for your money, we work hard to keep it in your pocket.

Our Personal Tax accountants in Richmond-upon-Thames have a strong reputation in helping local residents with their taxes, from Self Assessment tax return, estate planning and Inheritance Tax, to Capital Gains and other tax advice. We offer honest, expert tax services that focus on you – you control how you want to engage us and our fees are transparent without hidden charges.

Tax Agility, your local Personal Tax accountants in Richmond-upon-Thames

Tax regulations, along with your circumstances, change with time. This means allowances and reliefs that applied to you before may not apply now. At the same time, new tax-saving schemes may arise and benefit you. Knowing what you’re entitled to claim and using legitimate options to reduce your tax bills are the jobs of our ICAEW chartered Personal Tax accountants.

Our professional accounting services provide you with:

Self Assessment tax return

Self-employed individuals, partners in a business partnership, high earners (with income over £100k) and anyone whose income is not taxed under PAYE will need to file a Self Assessment tax return. In addition, trustees, landlords and people with Capital Gains may also need to complete a Self Assessment tax return. You can engage us as your agent and let us handle your tax return on your behalf. We will also share tax-saving tips and make use of the appropriate allowances and reliefs so you don’t pay more tax than it is necessary.

Tax advice

Not every income is taxed under PAYE. Income from rental, working on freelance projects, selling products online, buying and selling items of value – they may require you to pay tax separately. Talk to us, your local Personal Tax accountant, if you would like to know if there are legitimate tax-saving options.

Estate and Inheritance Tax planning

A good estate planning can effectively lower the Inheritance Tax payable by your estate, thereby safeguarding your hard-earned assets and allowing your heirs to cherish your legacy.

Specialist services

From forming a sole proprietorship, selling a business to tax-saving investment options, you can count on us to give honest, expert tax advice.

Why choose Tax Agility

At Tax Agility, we don’t believe in creative accounting that will get you in trouble with HMRC. Instead, we keep ourselves updated with the latest tax regulations and legitimate tax-saving options to benefit you and our clients.

Benefits of using our services include:

  • You receive a responsive and friendly service
  • You get a personalised service tailored to your circumstances
  • Competitive pricing with no hidden charges
  • The convenience of a local Tax Agility office in Richmond-upon-Thames
  • We take care of the tedious information gathering process
  • We learn about the changing tax obligations so you don’t have to
  • We are professional and welcome your query, be it big or small
  • We aim to save you money

“I can rely on Donovan and his team to get my Self Assessment tax return right and save me money,” – words from a happy customer.

Call Tax Agility on 020 8108 0090 for all your personal tax matters today.

Personalised tax advice

Everyone’s situation is unique and therefore, you should receive tax advice that is unique to you too. This is why our service focuses on you – your income, tax obligation, and reliefs and allowances that can reduce your tax bill legitimately.

You can decide how you want to engage us and our fees are transparent with no hidden charges.

Being local to you in Richmond-upon-Thames means you can meet with one of our personal tax professionals if you’d like.

Visit our Richmond-upon-Thames personal tax return service page and the following articles may make a good read:


Personal Tax Help

Personal tax accountants for UK tax returns and tax-saving tips

Personal Tax help

You work hard for your money, so we work hard to keep it in your pocket.

“I want to do the right thing and pay taxes but I don't want to pay more than necessary. Can I trust you to do my taxes and save me from a big headache?” These were the words from a customer who was looking to find a Tax Accountant who can give her honest and expert tax advice. She came to us through a friend’s recommendation and she is now one of my many happy customers.

Knowing what you’re entitled to claim and using legitimate options to reduce your tax bills are the jobs of our Personal Tax accountants who are trusted by thousands of individuals in London, Richmond, Putney and Wimbledon with their taxes.

We specialise in providing honest, expert tax services and have built a strong reputation of excellence over the past few decades. Our professional and friendly service, along with our attention to detail and our mission to keep one’s finances in order, has helped many individuals to spend less time worrying about taxes but more time focusing on growing their personal wealth.

Call our Personal Tax accountants on 020 8108 0090.

Common tax mistakes we can help you to avoid

Tax is a complex subject so it is natural for self-employed individuals, investors, landlords, trustees and many more to have questions. Here are five common tax mistakes which our Personal Tax accountants can help you to avoid.

1. Forgetting to declare all your income

Forgetting to declare all your income – from money generated through your business activities, interests earned on bank accounts, dividends from shares, to extra income from selling products online – is not a risk worth taking. It is a mistake to assume that HMRC can’t find out your extra income – they can, they have teams to investigate individuals perceived to evade taxes.

2. Forgetting to claim tax reliefs

We have a client who continued to pay into a private pension from her last employment through direct debit but did not tell HMRC – until we stepped in to help her claim tax reliefs worth over a thousand pounds. There are many allowances and reliefs, some applicable to you and some don’t, so get the right advice to keep more money in your pocket.

3. Forgetting deadlines

About 11.1 million taxpayers filed a Self Assessment tax return in 2020 but nearly one million people missed the deadline, according to a BBC news report. Anyone with a genuine excuse can avoid fines but in many instances, people simply forget and have to pay penalties. With us working by your side, you will never miss a tax deadline again.

4. Wrongly claiming expenses

Wrongly claiming expenses happen often. It could be a landlord claiming capital expenditure (which can’t be deductible from rental income) or a self-employed individual carelessly claiming tax relief on the duality of purpose expenses, among other scenarios.

5. Not transferring unused allowances

Transferring one’s unused allowances to a spouse sounds easy but many people are not aware of this or simply do not know how to go about doing it.

Apart from the above, there are plenty more specific mistakes, like if you transfer an asset following a divorce, you may have to pay Capital Gains Tax, or not using a trust to manage your assets and safeguard them for your children even if it makes sense to do so, among others. As your circumstances are different from others, it is best to give our Personal Tax accountants a call on 020 8108 0090 or use the contact form to get in touch.

Our Personal Tax services

Self Assessment

Self-employed individuals, partners in a business partnership, high earners with income over £100,000 and anyone whose income is not taxed under PAYE will need to file a Self Assessment tax return. Trustees, landlords and homeowners with Capital Gains may also need to complete a Self Assessment tax return.

Our Personal Tax accountants, based in Richmond, Putney and Wimbledon are here to help with Self Assessment tax returns in the local areas. We are happy to share tax-saving tips and be your tax agent, handling your filing and making sure that applicable allowances and reliefs are used to your benefit.

Capital Gains Tax

Many items of value are subject to Capital Gains Tax when you make a profit from selling them but there are allowances and reliefs available. Our Personal Tax accountants can help you reduce your Capital Gains Tax legitimately by exploring options such as transferring certain assets to your spouse before the sale and choosing the right timing for the sale.

Personal investments

What kind of taxes you pay on investments depend upon the type of investments. For example, you don’t pay Capital Gains Tax on money in your ISA and you get tax reliefs if you invest through Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). Get solid tax advice from our chartered accountants today.

Trust and Inheritance Tax

Death is not a popular subject to be discussed among families and accordingly, many don’t do estate planning. As a result, when death happens, the estate of the deceased has to pay a substantial amount of Inheritance Tax. Our Personal Tax accountants can advise if trust could be used to reduce your Inheritance Tax, as well as discussing other options.

Self-employed tax advice

With a proven track record working with self-employed contractors or freelancers across London, we can offer useful tax-saving tips that help you and your business. As the needs of each person are different, we offer a range of accountancy packages so you can decide how much you want to spend and the right level of engagement. For more information, check out our Contractor Accountants page.

Exit planning

If you’re planning on leaving your business (whether through a merger, acquisition or otherwise), our experienced chartered accountants can help guide you through a range of options, recommending strategic moves that would offer you the greatest financial reward.

Tax investigations

If you are under investigation by HMRC or wish to make voluntary disclosures, rely on our expert knowledge to guide you. We can also negotiate on behalf of you.

Personal Tax planning

Lowering your tax bills legitimately requires effective planning, one that considers your income, your tax liability and what you want to achieve for yourself and your family, and the relevant tax regulations. Talk to us and see how we can help.

Specialist services

Circumstances can change for everyone. Starting a business, getting married, moving overseas, buying and selling houses – each of these circumstances may have an impact on your tax liability. Thankfully, you can rely on our Personal Tax accountants to help when you start a new chapter in life.

The benefits of hiring our Personal Tax accountants

  • You receive a responsive and friendly service
  • You get a personalised service tailored to your circumstances
  • You become tax-efficient and remain compliant with the tax rules
  • We offer competitive pricing with no hidden charges
  • We learn about the changing tax obligations so you don’t have to
  • We are professional and welcome your query, be it big or small
  • We aim to save you money
  • We look for long-term relationships
  • We are ICAEW chartered accountants

Call our Personal Tax accountants on 020 8108 0090.

Alternatively, use our contact form to get in touch.

Relevant pages:

You can also contact our local Personal Tax accountants in Richmond, Putney and Wimbledon, as well as our small business accountants in London.


Pension scheme

A brief pension guide to directors of a limited company

If you're a director of a limited company but haven't made pension contributions through your company, you could be missing out.

In the UK, under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer is required to enrol eligible staff into a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards it.

Pensions provide a win-win situation for both employers and employees. As the aim is to encourage individuals to save for their retirement, pensions allow your employees to get tax relief when you (the employer) take workplace pension contributions out of their salaries before deducting Income Tax. For a company, pension contributions reduce your company's taxable profits.

If you're a director of a limited company and if you're taking a low salary, you can make pension contributions straight from your company to your own pension pot too. This is a tax-efficient way to get money from your company while providing you with money which you can retire on. In this article, our small business accountants aim to explain how pension contributions can help your company and also you, the director of a limited company.

If you're a director of a limited company and you take salaries

In this scenario, assuming you're a director and also a salaried employee of a limited company in England, you may get tax relief on your pension contributions worth up to 100% of your annual earnings.

Here's an example: you and your company pay into your pension (maximum £40,000 a year), your pension provider then claims basic rate tax relief of 20% on the contributions you pay up to 100% of your annual earnings. In other words, you pay in £80, tax relief adds £20, so £100 goes into your pension.

If you're a director of a limited company and you take salaries and dividends

Many small business owners take a low salary and top up the income with dividends from profits. If you are in this scenario, the amount of pension tax relief you receive is limited to your salary earnings only as dividends are not considered as 'relevant UK earnings'.

But as a director of a limited company, you can make pension contributions straight from your company's pre-taxed income which helps your retirement and also being tax efficient.

The reasons many directors prefer this tax-efficient approach is because pension contributions in this instance may be considered as an allowable business expense if they are 'wholly and exclusively' for the purposes of business and they could save you corporate tax. In addition, the company also does not have to pay tax and National Insurance on the amounts it contributes to the pension pot as long as the figures are below the annual allowance which could range from anywhere between £10,000 and £40,000 per annum excluding any roll forward allowances. As the circumstances of each person are different from others, it is best to give one of our small business accountants a call on 020 8108 0090 for personalised advice.

The rules surrounding company pension contributions

While pension contributions made via your limited company are tax efficient, there are rules to follow.

Annual allowance

Beware that the annual allowance is £40,000 a year, unless you have earned sufficient income to trigger the pension tapering which could reduce the annual allowance down to £10,000. Anti-pension recycling rules can also reduce this annual allowance to a lower amount of £4,000 per annum.

In some instances, you may be able to pay over £40,000 a year if you have registered with a pension scheme but haven't used the £40,000 annual allowance in the previous three years.

Lifetime allowance

You need to pay tax if your pension pots are worth more than the lifetime allowance. At present (2020/21), the lifetime allowance amount is £1,073,100.

What counts towards your lifetime allowance can get complicated quickly as it depends on the type of pension pot you get, whether it is defined contribution or defined benefit. This is where a licensed pension advisor can help. Look for one who is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and has extensive experience in pension planning.

Amount invested

Technically you can invest as much as you like into a pension, but the amount should not exceed your company's income for the year. Also, if the amounts are 'excessive' for the value of work you undertake, they may prompt HMRC to ask questions.

Get professional advice

While our small business accountants can certainly help you become efficient from a tax perspective, chances are you need a qualified pension advisor to help you choose a pension scheme that best suits you, since there are several available. For the purpose of this article, we will highlight three popular schemes.

Self-invested personal pension

A self-invested personal pension (SIPP) is a flexible and portable personal pension scheme allowing you to invest in a wide range of assets. Some SIPPs can even get a mortgage to part-fund the purchase of a rental property and use the rental income to service the mortgage repayments as well as the costs of running the property.

Small self-administered pension scheme

A small self-administered pension scheme (SSAS) is often taken by company directors and senior staff. The main benefit of an SSAS is that it offers increased flexibility on where the scheme's assets can be invested. For instance, it can purchase the building the company occupies and lease it back to the company. An SSAS can also borrow money for investment purposes if the terms allow.

Multi-employer pension scheme

Many companies have now implemented a multi-employer pension scheme, which is essentially an umbrella term referring to workplace pension schemes that are accessed by different employers and their employees. NEST, the workplace pension trust set up by the government, is an example of a multi-employer pension scheme.

Pensions and tax are complex subjects

Pensions and tax are complex subjects. How much tax benefits you can get from company pension contributions depend on your individual circumstances and the latest tax rules. This is why we encourage small business owners to speak to one of our chartered accountants first. In addition, having a chat with a qualified pension advisor can also help you to choose the best pension package.

At Tax Agility, we have dedicated small business accountants based in PutneyRichmond and Central London. Everyone in our team understands that business owners and company directors work relentlessly to achieve their dreams, which is why we are keen to help you keep your hard-earned money by becoming tax efficient.

As we are ICAEW chartered accountants, you know that you can rely on us to give you honest answers and provide services with no hidden charges. In other words, you're in good hands with us working alongside you.

This blog is a general summary. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstance.

 

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Investors

Small Business: How to attract investors

Making your small business attractive to investors requires thorough preparation, a great plan, a winning pitch and a habit to think win-win.

Investors

Whether it’s a loan from a high street bank, an angel investor or through an online crowdfunding platform, securing some investment in your small business allows you to take that leap forward, develop new products and/or services, expand your market and increase sales.

In this article, our small business accountants look specifically at how you can make your small business attractive to investors, allowing them to invest in your company and help you grow your business.

Preparation is key

In the wise words of Alexander Graham Bell, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”. In this instance, before even looking for investment, take a moment to examine every aspect of your business and understand the accounts. The reason is simple – if you have a realistic understanding of your business and the marketplace, you will have a healthy dose of confidence and enthusiasm, which in turn will allow potential investors to see that there is potential in your business.

Write a great business plan

At the heart of many successful businesses is a clear, detailed, well-written and well-researched business plan. The main objective of the business plan is to help you prioritise – the plan gives you direction, maps out strategies and helps you to manage challenges along the way. Coincidentally, your business plan can also help you get additional funding that will fuel business growth.

To attract investors, your business plan should clearly set out the unique selling points of your brand/product, provide a thorough analysis of your business SWOTs (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and of your competitors. It should clearly outline your operating costs, provide realistic sales and profit projections, and the marketing strategies you will use to achieve them.

Know your numbers

Sound financial management is a critical aspect of running a business. Financial data aren’t just a bunch of random numbers – they can tell you when is the best time to purchase inventory, how to set an optimal price structure, and where savings can be made, among others.

Become fluent in discussing your turnover, gross profit margin, operating costs and projected sales figures. If you aren’t a numbers person, call upon a professional small business accountant like our team at Tax Agility. We can help to review and analyse the numbers, giving you an accurate picture of the financial performance of your company. By reviewing data, we can also give you a clear understanding of how much capital you may need from the investors and how the investment arrangement might work.

Call your trusted small business accountants today on 020 8108 0090.

Have a winning pitch

When it comes to a winning pitch, it is wise to have a few versions tailored for different audiences. Have a short 60-second pitch that sums up what your company does and its ambitions. Craft a version that highlights why you are different and what problems your business is helping to solve. You can also include some financial numbers and positive feedback from your customers in another version. Take your time to develop the different versions and craft them over time.

Pitching is a real skill and it takes time to master. Practise whenever you can, and use feedback to hone your pitch to perfection. When you can deliver your pitch confidently, fluently and naturally to the right audience, you are already halfway to success.

Think win-win

Be clear on what you need from an investor. Money is essential but ideally, you also want to gain from the experience and connections of your investor. You want to learn from them, get the right advice and be introduced to the right people for the next stage of business growth. If your exit strategy is planned many years from now, you need an investor who is committed to working with you for the long haul too.

On the other hand, be clear on the benefits to your investors too. It stands to reason that any investor looking for a sound financial return will want some assurances on the benefits they can expect and when. But investors have other reasons to say “yes”. They may invest in a project because it is interesting, challenging, something exciting for them to be a part of. They may also be looking to broaden or deepen their investment portfolio in particular industries or markets. So step into their shoes and understand what makes them tick.

Funding options

Most companies acquire additional funding through debt financing or equity financing.

A debt-style financing option means you borrow money and pay it back with interest. The advantages of this type of financing include:

  • There are quite a few reputable lenders out there and some may consider your loan without collateral if your company’s financial track records are sound.
  • The interest rates can be low, especially if you seek out government-backed schemes.
  • Interest paid on business loans is a deductible expense.
  • Unlike equity financing, debt financing means you retain ownership of your company.

Debt financing does have its limitations and they include:

  • Lenders do not lend you money on the basis of a great idea. They want to see good track records.
  • They may ask for collateral or want you to guarantee the loan personally. This means you are putting your personal asset at risk.
  • Paying off loans is easy when your business is profitable, but challenging when the business hits a rough patch.

Equity financing means the investors will gain a share of your business – if this is on the table, talk to one of our small business accountants about the legal and financial implications of equity financing first.

The advantages of equity financing include:

  • There is no need to make any ongoing repayment. Instead, you can now channel the money to spur growth.
  • Your investors tend to have valuable experience and connections, which in turn will help your business further.

The disadvantages of equity financing include:

  • You don’t have full control of your company now. You will be sharing all profits and potential advantages with your investors.
  • Disagreements may break out. Sometimes bad personal relationships can overshadow a company’s performance.

If you’d like to know more about different types of funding, follow the link to The complete guide to business funding.

Finding investors

If you’re serious about business funding, you should actively seek out angel investors, put your pitch on a crowdfunding site, or talk to your bank manager. You may also want to convince your friends and relatives to loan you money and help your business expand – but be careful as mixing business with your personal life can lead to conflicts. It may be worth seeking legal advice and drafting a contract to help minimise any ill-feeling should things not go to plan.

You could also try a warm approach like talking to friends at networking sessions or a cold approach such as talking to strangers at industry conventions. The idea that someone may know someone who can help is sound, but don’t assume that it is guaranteed.

Choose your investors carefully

It is tempting to strike a deal with the first person you meet with an open wallet. But when securing investment in your business, it pays to be discerning. Striking a deal with the right people and on the right terms can create a mutually-beneficial relationship supporting the sustainable growth of your business. Working with the wrong investors however, could create unnecessary stress and stifle potential opportunities.

Welcome diversity

Consider attracting a broader range of investors to your business to open up exciting and valuable opportunities. Your team of investors will bring a more diverse breadth of knowledge and experience to the table, helping you better navigate new markets and grow your business.

It’s more than the money

Raising the capital you need to develop your business is, of course, the key reason to seek investors. But your investors can be so much more than a source of cash. They may have considerable experience, business skills, industry knowledge, and valuable wisdom and contacts. Keen to see your business thrive, investors can act as an effective business consultancy service. They may come with expertise in specific fields such as marketing, finance, strategy, logistics or law. They can help you make inroads into new markets.

Your investors can also act as valuable mentors: providing advice, encouraging you and keeping you going when you want to give up. An ideal investor genuinely cares about your business, they will be happy to invest themselves in your success, not just their money.

It isn’t just about the business, it’s about you too

While you need to convince your investors that your business plan is sound and your numbers add up, beware that most investors are investing in you and they are interested in who you are and how you work. So here three tips which can help to foster a promising relationship with your investors.

Be accessible

Reassure investors that you run a tight ship and that their valuable investment is in a safe pair of hands. Answer the phone when they call and respond to their email enquiries promptly. Never appear evasive. Communicate with clarity, honesty and professionalism at all times to help build their trust in you.

Be honest

Any investor worth their salt is primed to detect the tiniest whiff of hogwash. If you are tempted to tell a few fibs to make your company look more promising than it is, you will get found out, damaging the trust that you may never get back.

So present an honest picture of your business and what you can deliver. Be open about any potential obstacles or threats you perceive and have a strategy to deal with them.

Be a leader

Investors are shrewd business leaders who know how to stay focus by delegating tasks they aren’t good at to people who can do them better. If you are the person who insists on doing everything yourself, sooner or later you will push yourself to breaking point. Learn to lead by delegating tasks and engage at the right level.

Tax Agility can help your small business

At Tax Agility, our team of chartered accountants based in Putney, Richmond and Central London have been helping small business owners. We are here to make sure your accounts are accurate, profitability is maximised, and growth opportunities are identified.

When it comes to attracting investors for your small business, there are many ways which we can help. For instance, we can help you to prepare realistic forecasts and answer any questions they may have pertaining to the numbers. We can also recommend best practices that help your company run efficiently and in compliance with the authority.

If an equity financing is on the table, we will work with you to value your business (so you know what you’re swapping in exchange for funding), along with legal and financial implications you may face.

Call us today on 020 8108 0090. Alternatively, use our online form to arrange a complimentary, no-obligation meeting.

This blog is a general summary. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstance.

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Britain’s SMEs Lack Effective Leadership & Management Skills

Do you lack effective leadership & management skills?

According to the recent Growing Your Small Business report by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), shortfalls in effective leadership and business management skills are holding back the growth and productivity of Britain’s SMEs.

The report, which was launched last month at the House of Commons, focused on the importance of SME owners not just hiring good managers in every area of their business in the first place, but also on the need to improve their current employees management and effective leadership prospects across the board by providing regular management training sessions and developing new talent.

In the report, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute, Ann Francke, notes that “Small businesses are a vital part of our economy, employing over 15 million people, with a combined turnover of £1.6 trillion… Their growth is being held back by poor management and leadership. It’s the leading reason for business failures.”

Areas of Improvement

Some of the main points, and areas of improvement, covered in the report are as follows:

Poor SME management is now the leading cause of failure in small businesses, accounting for 56% of all insolvencies,
Conversely, improved management personnel has been identified as the key factor in the growth of medium-sized businesses.

Despite this, many SME owners perceive time and cost as barriers to entry in providing management training sessions for their employees, yet the CMI argue that improving management and leadership within an SME is a key factor in strengthening its growth and reducing the chance of the business failing.

SME Productivity and Employment Growth Held Back

According to data collected by the CMI from a wide subsection of British businesses, nearly half (44 percent) of small and medium-sized businesses that were founded in 2011 had failed by 2014, with just 16 percent of new businesses across the country currently considered to be fast-growing.

Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute, Anne Kiem, was clear in her assessment of the importance of management training sessions, noting that: “The evidence shows that small business productivity and survival are greatly improved through the application of business and management education.”

The report found that just 41 percent of small businesses across Britain provided management training sessions for their staff over the last year, compared to 89 percent of businesses with more than 250 employees. Micro-businesses with less than 24 employees faired even worse, with just 36 percent having provided management training sessions for their staff over the last twelve months.

Experienced SME Accountants

You can never underestimate the importance of working alongside good managers in every area of your business. When you hire an accountant, such as our experienced professionals here at Tax Agility, we can work to manage the financial side of your business for you.

Contact Us

To speak with a professional accountant to discuss how we can help manage the financial side of your business, or for anything else, contact us today on 020 8780 2349 or get in touch with us via our contact page to arrange a complimentary, no-obligation meeting.


New Dividend Allowance to Replace Dividend Tax Credit

From April 2016, a new Dividend Allowance is due to replace the current Dividend Tax Credit, with the headline rates of dividend tax due to change as a result.

Available to anyone with a dividend income, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in July’s emergency (summer) Budget that the new Dividend Allowance will allow you to earn £5,000 of dividend income, tax free, with you only having to pay tax on dividend income received above this amount.

Our clients should note that the new Dividend Allowance will not reduce your total income for tax purposes: any dividends you receive will continue to count towards your basic or higher tax rate bands, and may in turn increase the rate of tax payable on dividends received above the £5,000 tax-free allowance. The new allowance will simply mean you’re not liable to pay tax on the first £5,000 of any dividend income you receive.

Headline Rates

Under the new Dividend Allowance comes new headline rates payable on dividend taxes. When you receive dividend payments over £5,000 in a single tax year you’ll be liable to pay tax on these payments at the following rates:

  • 7.5 percent in the basic rate band (currently 0 percent),
  • 32.5 percent in the higher rate band (currently 25 percent),
  • 38.1 percent in the additional rate band (currently 30.56 percent).

It’s important to note that basic rate tax payers are currently paying 0 percent on dividend payments over £5,000 as under the current Dividend Tax Credit system any tax liabilities above this amount are normally covered by the enclosed tax credit.

Because dividends are the most common, and preferred method for owners and investors in small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to pay themselves, dividends are often seen as the highest point of your income. For this reason, only those receiving a significant portion of dividend income will pay more tax under the new Dividend Allowance, as the above figures show. The Government predict that investors receiving a small to modest income from company shares will receive a cut in their dividend tax payments, or see no change in payments owed.

Dividend Exemptions

Despite the changes the new Dividend Allowance will bring, the exemptions available under the current system are due to remain.

Any dividends you receive into pension funds that are currently exempt from tax will continue to be received tax free. The same is true for dividends received on shares you may hold in an Individual Savings Account (ISA).

Experienced Tax Accountants

Here at Tax Agility we believe that if you’re an SME owner considering incorporation, you shouldn’t allow the rules of the new Dividend Allowance to affect your decision too much. Though the choice to incorporate should always be taken on a case-by-case basis, we recommend speaking with you accountant regarding any questions and concerns you may have.

To speak with a professional accountant to discuss the new Dividend Allowance, or for anything else, contact us today on 020 8780 2349 or get in touch with us via our contact page to arrange a complimentary, no obligation meeting.


The Importance of Cash Flow Management Can’t Be Undersold

In a recent report issued by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), small business start-ups were called upon to improve their cash flow management skills in an effort to avoid burning through their financial resources at too fast a pace.

This consideration came as a result of a survey conducted by the ICAEW whereby 23 percent of all small business advisors surveyed said that proper cash flow management is the biggest hurdle start-ups have to overcome in their business, but just 16 percent of start-up entrepreneurs who were asked the same question believed this to be among their chief concerns.

Ahead of proper cash flow management, the survey uncovered that 28 percent of the start-up entrepreneurs surveyed claimed that not getting enough customers and a failure of their business to make enough money caused them the most concerns.

Skewed Perceptions

These skewed perceptions and false assumptions of what allows a start-up to remain in business can be damaging to the prospects of, well, exactly that.

Referencing the report, director of business at the ICAEW Stephen Ibbotson noted that “Entrepreneurs’ perceptions of what they think will be the challenges they face as a start-up and the reality they actually encounter are very different. These false assumptions can often lead to businesses not fulfilling their maximum potential and at worse, failing completely.”

However, there is some cause for hope. Of the start-up entrepreneurs surveyed by the ICAEW, 68 percent agreed that working with an experienced business advisor is ‘extremely useful’ for any start-up business.

5.5 Million Private Sector Businesses

A Government report released earlier this month stated that there are now 5.4 million private sector businesses in the UK; a new record; with this figure accounting for 900,000 new businesses since 2010.

The report also stated that small businesses contribute 48 percent of all private sector employment, adding £1.2 trillion turnover to the British economy. With 75 percent of start-up entrepreneurs surveyed by the ICAEW claiming that starting up their business was more difficult than they originally thought it would be, the importance of proper cash flow management is more crucial than ever.

Experienced Start-Up Accountants

Here at Tax Agility we do more than just prepare your accounts. Our experienced start-up accountants can work with you to improve your cash flow management processes, all while providing appropriate advice surrounding the financials of your business. If your cash flow management system need an entire overhaul, we can even work with you to prepare budgets and cash flow projections to get you back on track.

To speak with a professional accountant to discuss how we can improve your cash flow management processes, or for anything else, contact us today on 020 8780 2349 or get in touch with us via our contact page to arrange a complimentary, no obligation meeting.


What is The Help to Buy ISA?

help to buy isaThe Help to Buy ISA (Individual Savings Account) is an ISA designed to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder by allowing them to save up to £200 a month into the ISA, with the promise that once you purchase a property (worth up to £450,000 in London, and £250,000 outside the capital) the government will increase your ISA savings by 25 percent, up to a total of £3,000.

This means if you save a total of £12,000 into your Help to Buy ISA, the government will top this up by the full £3,000 to give you a total of £15,000. You may make an initial deposit of £1,000 into your individual account, with your deposit also qualifying for a 25 percent government boost.

It should be noted that the Help to Buy ISA is only available to individuals 16 years old and above, and it’s only payable to those purchasing a property within the UK. Purchases of overseas properties do not qualify under the scheme. The Help to Buy ISA cannot be used if the property is to be rented (let) out.

Couples’ Advantage

One thing which makes the Help to Buy ISA especially tempting to couples and partners, married or not, is that they’re available on a one per person basis, rather than a one per home basis. This means that you and your spouse can both pay into your own Help to Buy ISA, saving a total of £24,000 between the two accounts, and receiving a total of £6,000 from the government.

This applies not just to romantically involved individuals, but also to friends and family members who are purchasing a home together.

When’s it Available, and for How Long

The Help to Buy ISA is available through banks and building societies across the UK from this Autumn (2015). New accounts will only be available for four years, but once you’ve opened an account there’s no limit on how long it can be held.

In terms of the ISA itself there is no minimum monthly deposit, but your bonus can only be collected (upon purchase of a home) once your qualifying savings reach the minimum amount of £400, meaning you have saved a total of £1,600, with the government topping this up to £2,000.

Under the scheme’s rules of saving a maximum of just £200 a month, it will take you just over four and a half years to qualify for the maximum bonus of £3,000, should you wish for it. If you and your partner, friend, or family member also have a Help to Buy ISA you may choose to ‘cash in’ sooner.

Experienced Personal Accountants

To speak with a professional accountant to discuss the Help to Buy ISA, and whether it’s a good scheme for you to partake in, contact us today on 020 8780 2349 or get in touch with us via our contact page to arrange a complimentary, no-obligation meeting.