Attention! Attention! Know Your Pension!

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Attention! Attention! Know Your Pension!

26 April 2018    |     admin     | 2 Comments


Life begins at 55. Well, possibly … depending on the pension arrangements you’ve made. You see, at 55 you and your employees can start drawing on your pension, and if it’s a good one, that means you’re free to wave goodbye to work for ever. Not many people are aware of automatic enrollment pension schemes and how they work, but having a healthy pension is a vital part of having a fulfilling life.


So, how does this pension scheme work? Well…


By law, every employer needs to create a platform to contribute to a pension with a minimum of 2% and this will continue to increase to 3% in the next tax year. For those of you who are employers it is important to know that to remain a qualifying scheme, all automatic enrollment pension schemes with contribution rates that would be below the minimum amount after the rate increases must apply the higher rates.So, if you’re an employer: make sure you pay in the right amount, otherwise you’re breaking the law. If you’re an employee – you’re going to have to pay in a minimum of 3% this year, rising to 5% next year.



Is that all clear? For most of us it’ll take us until we’re 55 to work out what that all that means. A healthy pension equals a happy employee!



Want to know more about your responsibilities as an employer or have a question about accounting? Give us a call!


020 7118 5555

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The decline of Blackberry RIM – three key lessons for entrepreneurs

30 October 2013    |     admin     | No Comments

The Canadian smartphone manufacturer Blackberry RIM is currently on the rocks. This is in stark contrast to five years ago, when Blackberry dominated the business smartphone market, and the iPhone was, to the corporate world, merely the new kid on the block. What then can we learn from the decline of Blackberry RIM?

Blackberry RIM

1) If you are first to market it’s always harder to stay on top

With its natty, easy-to-grasp, keyboard Blackberry was the first to penetrate the corporate marketplace with a smartphone that became addictive for millions. However, being first to a marketplace presents peculiar challenges, as Netscape also discovered to its cost. There’s immediately an onus on the successful business to be on the defensive, thus developing a damaging siege mentality: To be avoided like the plague.

2) Focus on what people do more than “markets”.

Don’t just be happy with charts from the marketing wonks; go out and be amongst users of your products. Find out their daily needs and wants. People’s needs and habits change. You need to be on hand observing those changes, and reflecting on the real-world implications for your product line.

3) Being brave enough to fail makes you less likely to fail

Finally, there needs to be something almost madcap about your passion for innovation. Occasionally you may release a real turkey, but by being ever-flexible, and super-innovative, you are far more likely to keep in step with the times; and more likely to prevent your company from sinking in to obsolescence.

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How High Income Child Benefit Charge will Affect You

27 September 2013    |     admin     | No Comments

Households that include higher earners need to be aware of the rules now. You will be affected by the High Income Child Benefit charge (HICBC) if you, or your partner, have an individual income of more than £50,000 and one of you is receiving Child Benefit. The changes may also apply if someone else receives Child Benefit for a child who lives with you.

The details:

You will be affected by the changes if during a tax year any of the following applies to you:

• You have an individual income of more than £50,000 and are entitled to receive Child Benefit

• You have an individual income of more than £50,000 and live (or have lived) with a partner who’s entitled to receive Child Benefit

• Both you and your partner have an income of more than £50,000 per year, you have the higher income and one of you is entitled to receive Child Benefit

• You have an individual income of more than £50,000 and both of the following apply:

– Someone else is entitled to receive Child Benefit for a child who lives with you; and

– They are entitled because they contribute at least an equivalent amount towards the child’s care


It doesn’t matter if the child who is living with you is not your own child.



Who is not affected?

You won’t be affected if you and your partner each have an individual income below £50,000 for a tax year; or neither you nor your partner is entitled (or has been entitled) to receive Child Benefit.

Options if you are affected

If you are affected, you have two options:


1. Keep receiving Child Benefit payments – but if you do you will need to declare the amount you or your partner are entitled to by filling in a tax return each year and registering for Self Assessment if you haven’t done so already.

2.  Tell the Child Benefit Office that you want to stop receiving Child Benefit payments – in which case you won’t be liable for the new tax charge and won’t need to fill in a tax return (unless you need to for other reasons).


How the charge is calculated.


Individual’s adjusted net income is £54,000 and that person is entitled to Child Benefit for two children.

The tax charge will be worked out as follows:

Step one: income over £50,000 = £4,000

Step two: Child Benefit for two children from 7th January 2013 to 5th April 2013 = £1,752.40 x 3/12 months = £438

Step three: determine the percentage rate to be applied to the result from step one, so £4,000 ÷ 100 = 40 (%)

Step four: £438 x 40% = £175

The tax charge for 2012/13 will be = £175


How to pay the Tax Charge

If you are liable for the High Income Child Benefit charge you can choose to pay it in a lump sum through Self Assessment or you can choose to pay it through your tax code from 6th April 2013.

But if you choose to pay the tax charge through your tax code, you will still need to complete a Self Assessment tax return.

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