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Warrener Stewart US Tax News

21 December 2015 • Tax Videos, US Tax returns

 

Now we are drawing to an end of the 2015 US tax year, here are a few updates worth noting going forward to 2016….

  • Change to the FBAR filing deadline
    Starting with the 2016 tax year, the FBAR filing deadline will change and is now be due on April 15th instead of June 30th. As with your Income Tax Returns, you can apply for a 6 month extension of time to file until October 15th. This should make things a bit simpler going forward as it means we actually have a bit more time and can file at the same time as the return.
  • Offshore Streamlined Filing Procedure is still open
    It remains the best time to get back into compliance with the IRS for individuals who have non-wilfully failed to file US tax returns and FBARs for some time whilst living overseas with the use of the Offshore Streamlined Filing Procedure. Using this procedure and subject to meeting the eligibility requirements  taxpayers can catch up on their affairs without incurring penalties for failure to fail and pay US taxes, however we don’t know how long this option will remain available or if any changes are likely to be made to make the terms less favourable.
  • WS are now Acceptance Agents!
    Damian Talbot has now qualified as a Certified Acceptance Agent which means that Warrener Stewart can now assist Non US citizens apply for US taxpayer ID numbers (ITIN’s) which is required for filing US returns who do not hold social security numbers. This saves individuals having to apply at the US Embassy or risk the IRS losing your original documentation.
  • New rates for Foreign Earned Income Exemption
    We can see a slight increase in the amount of Foreign Earned Income Exemptions available going forward to 2016 with $101,300 of foreign earnings being exemption from US tax, compared to $100,800 in 2015 and $99,200 in 2014.

 

Warrener Stewart joins the IRS Acceptance Agent Program

17 December 2015 • US Tax returns

Warrener Stewart’s head of Tax, Damian Talbot, has recently become an Authorized Acceptance Agent licensed by the American tax authority, the IRS, to help non-residents apply for their individual tax numbers. The US tax system can be complicated. Anyone who is not an American citizen, but is still required to file US tax returns as an ‘alien’, must have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Damian, who is also an EA (Enrolled Agent), decided to undertake the necessary additional training to become an Acceptance Agent to be able to offer clients a more extensive US Tax Service.

Commenting on his latest qualification he said; “Warrener Stewart has a number of clients whose personal and business tax affairs come under either the UK or US tax systems.  As an Enrolled Agent I was able to represent taxpayers but only if they already had their ITIN. Now we can offer a complete service for individuals who are new to filing US tax returns.”

 

Two accountants choose Warrener Stewart to develop their careers

02 December 2015 • Warrener Stewart News

Warrener Stewart is delighted to have recruited two new people to join the accountancy team; Anita Desai ACCA and Alex Eagle ACA.  Both have already qualified as accountants and chose Warrener Stewart having worked in other practices since they wanted to become more involved with clients and help them achieve their business aims.

WarrenerStewart_AnitaAndAlex_Image-(1).jpg

Following a degree in Accounting and Finance Anita, decided to become a qualified accountant. Having worked with clients in the media and entertainment industry she was keen to expand her knowledge of business by moving to a practice where she could develop a more analytical and client facing role.

Similarly, Alex having completed his training as a Chartered Accountant with a medium sized firm wanted to take on a more hands on role. Alex has first hand experience of working with a broad range of clients dealing with audit and accounts assignments at all levels. His move to Warrener Stewart will allow him to build a portfolio of clients to work closely with, while assessing and analysing their needs to ensure they reach their business goals.

Commenting on their appointment, Colin Edney said; “We are delighted to welcome Anita and Alex to our ever growing team. Both have a wealth of experience that our clients will directly benefit from.

One of the key things that we pride ourselves upon at Warrener Stewart is our partnership with clients, providing a vital link between a set of financial accounts and their financial goals. To do this means adopting a more joined up approach to accounting and finding candidates who have a desire to look beyond the numbers! In Anita and Alex we have found two very capable accountants with great business skills.”

 

Warrener Stewart Celebrates Autumn Statement Event

30 November 2015 •

With George Osborne’s 2015 Autumn Statement hitting the headlines on Thursday, 25th November, it seemed the perfect opportunity for the team at Warrener Stewart to discuss the topic of tax with our clients.
WarrenerStewart_AutumnStatement_Image.jpg

The evening was very well received, and a big thank you for the representatives from Grifco, Plena Capital, Le Bureau, Woodfords Solicitors, Cumberland Place, Painsmith, Templar Financial Planning and Quickfire Films Limited who were in attendance. All in all, it was a successful evening for Warrener Stewart and the tax team. 

Warrener Stewart's Response to the 2015 Autumn Statement

26 November 2015 • Warrener Stewart News

Today’s Autumn Statement was almost entirely devoid of changes to the tax system – a welcome respite following the myriad of new measures announced in the Budget this summer. There were however a few important announcements today, which should not be overlooked.

SDLT and Property

The most significant change was a further squeeze on buy-to-let landlords – this time, through a surcharge on SDLT. From 1 April 2016, the purchase of buy-to-let residential property will attract a 3% surcharge over and above the usual rates of SDLT. Together with the abolition of the 10% “wear & tear” allowance also taking effect next April, and the proposed restriction on mortgage interest relief from April 2017, this presents a three-pronged tax attack on private landlords.

The 3% SDLT surcharge will also apply to purchases of second homes (“additional residential properties”) from 1 April 2016 onwards.

It is proposed that corporate landlords and property investment funds which own 15 or more residential properties will be exempt from the 3% surcharge, although this is subject to policy consultation.

From April 2019, where capital gains tax is due on the disposal of a residential property, payment of the tax will be due within 30 days of completion. This is a significant change from the current Self-Assessment system, under which individuals have up to 22 months until CGT is payable, depending on the time of year of the disposal.

Tax on Dividends

Although nothing new was announced today, we would like to re-highlight the major changes to the taxation of dividends announced at the Budget. The rates of tax applicable to dividend income will increase by 7.5% at all income levels from April 2016, although this is mitigated to a certain extent to a new £5,000 tax-free allowance for dividends.

Individuals with substantial dividend income – in particular shareholders of owner-managed companies – should start planning their profit-extraction strategy as soon as possible, in order  to mitigate the impact of these changes.

Inheritance Tax

In a U-turn to policies announced before the general election, the Government has confirmed that no restrictions will be introduced on how ‘deeds of variation’ are used.  This valuable IHT planning tool therefore remains available going forward, although the Government has said it will continue to monitor their usage.

If you would like to explore what today’s Autumn Statement could mean for you and your business, please call 020 7731 6163 to talk to one of our tax team. You can also download our updated 2015 / 2016 tax card.

An evening with the Tax Team - Discussing the Autumn Statement

19 November 2015 •

Warrener Stewart’s tax team will be hosting an evening event at the Fulham Broadway Bar and Grill on Wednesday, 25th November to review the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

The evening event will allow clients and contacts of Warrener Stewart to discuss with the tax team how, if any, of the changes that Mr Osborne announces in his statement, might affect them or their business.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to mull over the day’s events,” says Damian Talbot, head of tax at Warrener Stewart. “Our tax team are normally inundated with calls from clients following any announcements from the government about tax issues. By holding an evening event, this will allow us to discuss in detail anything that immediately concerns them.”

The event, to be held in the Members Lounge, starts at 6pm when canapés and drinks will be served until 8.30pm. Anyone wishing to be included on the guest list should email Felicity Butler.

Update on the changes to the taxation of dividends

20 October 2015 • Tax Videos

Radical reforms to the dividend taxation system were introduced in the July 2015 budget which will take effect from the 6th April 2016. The most important effect is that the effective tax rate will increase by 7.5% across all bands. To illustrate, effective tax rates before, and on or after this date will be as follows;

  Old Regime - Nominal Old Regime – Effective New Regime
Basic Rate 10.00% 0.00% 7.50%
Higher Rate 32.50% 25.00% 32.50%
Additional Rate 37.50% 30.60% 38.10%

There are however two favourable changes.

  • Firstly the tax credit system is being abolished which means the end of ‘grossing up’. This system is why under the old regime, £9,000 of dividends actually counted as £10,000 for tax purposes. The practical effect of this change is that thresholds and bands will now be approached and crossed more slowly for a given level of physical distribution.
  • Secondly there is going to be a new tax free £5,000 dividend allowance which means that the first £5,000 of dividend income is effectively zero rated within whichever band it happens to sit.

Illustration 1

How someone with gross income of £100,000 will be affected

Say that a person with an owner managed business kept their gross income at £100,000 (so as not to lose their personal allowance). The old typical setup would have been to draw a salary of £8,000 with a net (i.e. ‘actual’) dividend of £82,800 (which translates to £92,000 grossed up – i.e. for tax).

We can see that in this case that the person would be £4780.37 worse off.

Illustration 2

Under the new regime however, the person might want to increase their dividends by £9,200 as with the abolition of ‘grossing up’, drawing £92,000 dividends would simply count as £92,000 for tax purposes. Therefore the person could physically receive £100,000 overall without starting to lose their personal allowance.

We can see that in this scenario the person would be £3,818.15 worse off. This is however a lower differential than the previous example.

Comparison of overall tax rates

We have developed a spreadsheet system which can test various scenarios, so if you think that these changes could affect you and your business, please call 020 7731 6163 to talk to one of our tax team. You can also download our updated 2015 / 2016 tax card.

 

A testing time for Team Warrener Stewart as they tackle Tough Mudder, Winchester

09 October 2015 •

True grit and determination took on a new meaning for the nine plucky team mates from Warrener Stewart who swapped crunching numbers for being well and truly counted in darkest, muddiest Hampshire! Keen to see if they could cope with the conditions on the notorious Tough Mudder obstacle course, Warrener Stewart staff, led by joint managing director Nick Morgan, took part in this grueling team event.

Whilst many enjoyed the late September autumn sunshine, the intrepid nine from Warrener Stewart pictured above, (L-R); Nick Morgan, David Collins, Mark Cook, Victoria Dent, Felicity Butler, Ashleigh Molton, Liz Henry, Ryan O’Connor and Marcus Bullen, pushed themselves to physical and mental limits. As Nick noted, some of the obstacles were extremely challenging with many of the team being forced to confront some of their worst fears simply to complete the very Tough, very Muddy and very Long (12 mile) course.

“My thanks go out to all of the crew for being such a great team and pulling together so tightly, it was an incredible achievement to get us (not least me) to the finish,” concedes Nick. “It was very tough indeed, much tougher than I had been expecting, but as the man said, the clue was in fact in the name!!”

David Collins takes 'being cool' to new limits.

 

Kick starting the new season

10 September 2015 •

In front of an enthusiastic, early season crowd which included local MP Justine Greening, on their newly installed 4G pitch Rosslyn Park did not disappoint. Their 1st XV side enjoyed a thumping win over new promoted Henley Hawks, scoring 62 to Henley's 12.

Warrener Stewart are amongst the proud sponsors of the prestigious rugby club this year and cheering on the Park was none other than Nick Morgan, Warrener Stewart's joint managing director. "It was a good solid start for the boys," commented Nick. "Hopefully they can keep this up and go one better than last year to win promotion this season. Good to see our new signboard sitting pretty beside the shiny new 4G Pitch."

Warrener Stewart offers a three year ACA training contract

07 August 2015 •

Warrener Stewart is offering the opportunity for a recent graduate or AAT qualified individual to join their audit and accounts team on a three year ACA training contract.

This is an opportunity to gain valuable on-the–job training whilst undertaking the professional study required to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. Speaking about the current vacancy Jon Last, the Director who oversees training, commented;

“Undertaking a recognised training programme like that of the ICAEW not only develops the technical skills required of a Chartered Accountant but, at Warrener Stewart, also provides a valuable insight into the work of an accountancy practice and helps foster an appreciation of the incredible range of work that is involved from technical aspects of auditing through to offering business and tax advice to small and medium sized companies.

We welcome applications from graduates or from those who’ve already studied accountancy and are AAT qualified.”

The anticipated start date is 1 September 2015. To apply please send your CV together with a covering letter to Jon Last either by post or email (jlast@warrenerstewart.com).

Warrener Stewart’s directors take part in Prudential RideLondon

05 August 2015 •

A two day cycling bonanza, the Prudential RideLondon, saw amateur cyclists take to closed roads of London to raise money for charity. Amongst the 25,000 cyclists who took up the challenge of the London-Surrey 100 ride on Sunday 2 August, were two of the directors of Fulham based accountants, Warrener Stewart; Nick Morgan and Jon Last.

Last year the intrepid pair battled against Hurricane Bertha as they competed in the circular route. This year thankfully the elements were kinder so they could enjoy the route which took them from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, through leafy Surrey suburbs, before completing the final stretch to Buckingham Palace cycling up the Mall.

“The Ride did not seem as grueling as last year,” observed Nick Morgan, “maybe that’s because the sun was shining this year and I took it a bit easier than Jon!”

Nevertheless the pair both returned good times; Jon managing an impressive 5 hours and 22 minutes, whilst Nick cycled the 100 miles in six and a half hours.

Their chosen charity, Shooting Star Chase, a leading children’s hospice charity, will benefit from a contribution of £2000. The money raised with be used to care for babies, children and young people with life limiting conditions, as well as providing much needed support and respite for their families. If you would like to make a donation please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Nick-Morgan9/

Update on the changes affecting Buy to Let tax relief

27 July 2015 • tax videos

The July 2015 Budget introduced several changes that could affect many landlords owning and renting residential property in the UK, below is a summary.

The key changes included

  1. The restriction of relief for mortgage interest from 2017/18.
  2. Abolishing the wear and tear allowance from April 2016.
  3. The increasing the rent-a-room relief to £7,500 from 2016/17.

Perhaps the most significant of these changes is the restriction in the mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax.  This restriction is being phased in over four years as shown in the below table.

Tax Year Interest eligible for full deduction  Interest restricted to basic rate relief
2017/18  75% 25%
2018/19  50% 50%
2019/20  25% 75%
2020/21  0% 100%

Tax effect of the change

To illustrate the mechanism by which the tax relief will be restricted please see the below example of a higher rate tax payer who receives rental income of £10,000 and the only other rental cost being interest of £8,000.

Rent        £10,000
Less: Interest eligible for full relief (£8,000 at 75%)  £(6,000)
Property income      £4,000
Taxed at 40% £1,600
Less: restricted interest relief (£8,000 x 25% x 20%) £(400)
Tax due £1,200

Previously the tax due would be based on the net figure of £2,000 which at 40% is £800.

Advice

From the above calculation it is clear that this will have a sizable effect on the tax due for a number of landlords especially when the restriction is fully implemented.

Given that the change is being phased in it is important to check the exposure and plan to mitigate any potential tax increase.

If you would like to discuss the above or any other tax matter please contact us at Warrener Stewart, you can also download our updated 2015 / 2016 tax card.

Summer Budget Highlights from Warrener Stewart

09 July 2015 • Tax Videos

George Osborne proclaimed his Summer 2015 budget as ‘a Budget for the working people of Britain’.

During the Chancellor’s unusually long speech he introduced wide-ranging changes to both the taxation and welfare system.

To see how the new changes could affect you and your business we have prepared overview of some of the key points and have a short video discussion featuring two of our tax consultants; Ryan Lane and Francis Kershaw.

Personal Allowance & Higher Rate Threshold – From April 2016 the Personal Allowance will be £11,000, rising to £12,500 by the end of the current Parliament in 2020. Similarly, the threshold at which higher earners must pay 40% tax initially increases to £43,000 next year, increasing again to £50,000 by the end of the Parliament.

Overhaul of Dividend Taxation – Currently basic rate tax payers do not pay tax on their dividends. From 2016 basic rate taxpayers who hold shares in a company will have to pay 7.5% tax on their dividends. For higher and additional rate taxpayers, they will be taxed on their dividends at 32.5% and 38.1% respectively. Everyone will however benefit from a tax free allowance for dividends of £5,000, and shares held within pension funds and ISAs will continue to receive dividends tax free.

Non-domiciled Individuals - Radical changes were announced to the tax rules which apply to ‘non-doms’, which will come into effect from 2017 onwards. In particular, individuals who have been resident in the UK for 15 out of the last 20 years will be unable to claim the remittance basis, and consequently will be taxed on their worldwide income and gains. ‘Non-doms’ with UK residential property in overseas structures will no longer avoid a UK IHT charge, and finally individuals born in the UK to UK parents will no longer be able to claim non-domicile status if they leave the UK but then subsequently return to take up residency.

Inheritance Tax - From 2017, an additional £175,000 allowance will be introduced where the family home is passed to children or grandchildren on death. This means that a couple will be able to pass up to £1m to the next generation without an IHT charge. However, the additional allowance is tapered away above £2m, such that the largest estates get no benefit from the new allowance.

Buy to Let Investors - Interest relief on rental property will be restricted to the basic rate of tax. The restriction will be phased in over four years, starting from April 2017. Additionally, from next year owners of furnished property will no longer be able to claim a 10% ‘wear & tear’ allowance: instead, a deduction will only be given for actually expenditure incurred.

Employment Allowance - From April 2016 the employment allowance will not be available where the director is the only employee in the company. For other businesses, the employment allowance will be increased to £3,000.

Corporation Tax - Corporation tax will be reduced to 19% in 2017 and further reduced to 18% in 2020.

National Living Wage - From April 2016, a new National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour for the over 25s will be introduced. This will rise to over £9 an hour by 2020.


If you would like to explore what this Budget Statement could mean for you and your business please call 020 7731 6163 to talk to one of our tax team, you can also download our updated 2015 / 2016 tax card.

Young accountant wins the longest drive

29 June 2015 •

Four of Warrener Stewart’s finest golfers, Nick Morgan, Jon Last, Gary Chapman and Charlie Dessain recently took part in Fulham Rotary Club’s Annual Team Golf Day.

This annual event designed to raise money for local Fulham charities was held at Coombe Wood Golf Club on Thursday 26th June. Whilst the Warrener Stewart fourball may have hit mid table obscurity, the youngest member of the team Charlie Dessain scooped the prize for the longest drive on the 13th. Charlie  (pictured with his prizes) managed a magnificent drive of 290 yards on the Par 4 hole.

“It was a fantastic day out” joint managing director Nick Morgan remarked (pictured in the buggy), “Our planning and analysis were as good as ever, but some slightly ‘bad luck’ with execution resulted in a less than favourable outcome!”

Fellow golfter, Gary Chapman helpfully added “Our retention of the ‘Pink Ball’ was unmatched by most on the day and Charlie's longest drive definitelty netted the best results!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warrener Stewart proudly sponsor local rugby club – Rosslyn Park FC

03 June 2015 • Sponsorship, Warrener Stewart News

Sealing their twenty five year relationship, Fulham based accountants, Warrener Stewart, are to sponsor one of London’s oldest and best known senior rugby clubs, Rosslyn Park for the forthcoming season 2015/16.

 This prestigious rugby club located along the Upper Richmond Road currently boasts over 3,000 members with players at all levels:– minis and youth, club and vets, girls and ladies, and not least the senior 1st XV which finished 2nd in the RFU National League 1 last season, just missing out on promotion to the Championship for a second year running.

Chartered accountants Warrener Stewart has a long and close association with the club, initiated by founding principal Peter Warrener who acted as Treasurer, Vice Chairman and finally Chairman. Nick Morgan, current joint managing director at Warrener Stewart, acted as Assistant Treasurer to Peter and went on to be Treasurer for a ten year stint, followed by a further five years as International Ticket Secretary. Nick Morgan and the tax team at Warrener Stewart, continue to provide professional advice and assistance to the club when required.

Nick comments; “It has been an honour to be involved with such a historic rugby club and help it negotiate the difficult path from the Corinthian era to the professional age, while continuing to thrive. A number of contemporary clubs were not so lucky, although luck has had little to do with it.” 

“Since we no longer volunteer at the club we decided we wanted to continue our support through sponsorship. Next season again promises to be very exciting,  with the 1st XV strong contenders for promotion and the addition of a new, state of the art, all-weather 4G pitch at the club’s Roehampton ground.”

Warrener Stewart celebrates the qualification of a second US tax expert

12 May 2015 • Warrener Stewart News

Tax experts Warrener Stewart now has two licensed IRS Enrolled Agents (EA) based at their Fulham offices following Ashleigh Molton’s qualification as an American Enrolled Agent in April.

Ashleigh, who holds a first class degree in Mathematics, joined Warrener Stewart back in July 2014 and immediately started studying to pass the American tax qualification, the Special Enrollment Examination. As a qualified EA Ashleigh can work with anyone who has is liable to pay American tax before the IRS. Being able to access a London based service is a real benefit to those needing help and advice on the complexities of the US Federal and State taxes from a non-resident perspective.

“I’m really pleased that Ashleigh has now qualified as an Enrolled Agent – we have seen a definite rise in the number of enquiries about US tax obligations,” notes Damian Talbot, head of taxation at Warrener Stewart.

“Under the current US tax system anyone with an American income source is liable for US Federal tax and possibly state taxes. Furthermore, US citizens who are currently living in the UK will probably still need to file a US return even where they expect to have no US tax liability. Through Ashleigh we can offer a cost effective service from our Fulham offices to the smaller clients who require straight forward US tax filing.”

An update on HMRC's Let Property Campaign

30 April 2015 • HMRC News, Tax Videos

Launched in autumn 2013, the Let Property Campaign provides buy-to-let and other private landlords an opportunity to make a full and voluntary disclosure on very favourable terms.

In 2014, around 40,000 landlords who failed to come forward voluntarily were sent a ‘promoted disclosure’ letter, however they would not receive the same favourable conditions as an ‘unprompted disclosure’.

Those who ignored the letter risk penalties of up to 100% of the unpaid liabilities, an investigation and in certain cases criminal prosecutions.

Process
Under the Let Property Campaign HMRC must be notified that you wish to make a disclosure. Once notified you have 3 months to bring your rental accounts up to date and complete the disclosure form. We have found this campaign very useful and to date all the offers we made to HMRC have been accepted.

Reason for making a disclosure
With increased data gathering actives, it is less likely a case of if, and more likely when, HMRC catches up with you.

Landlords with undeclared or under disclosed rental income who have not yet been contacted by HMRC and want to regularise their affairs should do so as soon as possible. Very favourable terms and affordable repayment plans can often be negotiated.

If you would like more information regarding this area please do not hesitate to contact us at Warrener Stewart call 020 7731 6163 and ask for the Tax Team.

Warrener Stewart makes two new signings to bolster accountancy team

27 April 2015 • Warrener Stewart News

Two part qualified accountants, Polish born Magda Rychter and English born Marcus Bullen, who completed his education in America, have chosen Fulham based accountants Warrener Stewart to complete their training as chartered accountants.

Warrener Stewart is one of a number of accountants who recognise the value of working whilst studying to become a Chartered Accountant, since it is an efficient way of learning about the complexities of accounting. Having initially started their training elsewhere both Magda and Marcus wanted to gain broader technical experience and work closely with clients. Consequently both were delighted to be offered the chance to develop their career with the Fulham based practice who specialise in helping small and medium sized business achieve their financial goals.

Upon completing a degree and Masters in Spatial Economics at the renowned University of Lodz in Poland, Magda decided to work within the private sector and choose to embark on a career in the UK. She initially worked within the finance departments for several high street brands, at the successful Tragus Group who operate Café Rouge and Bella Italia, before making the move to join fashion brand Phase Eight. Having worked within the confines of a finance department Magda realized she wanted the challenge of assessing the performance of the business as a whole so joined a small accountancy firm to study for her professional ACCA accountancy exams. To ensure a greater depth of knowledge and experience and work in a more client facing role, Magda was attracted to complete her training with Warrener Stewart.

The son of a merchant banker, Marcus has always been fascinated in how firms make money.  Having completed his education in America he made a conscious decision to develop his career back in the country of his birth. Following an initial two years learning about hedge funds, Marcus joined Ernst & Young in order to develop a career within accountancy working solely in Asset Management. He, like Magda, wanted to be more involved with clients, helping them to understand the business as a whole and helping them to reach their financial goals.

Commenting upon their appointments, director Jon Last who oversees Warrener Stewart’s trainee accountancy programme said; “We were delighted that Magda and Marcus choose to join our ever growing team of accountants and auditors based here in Fulham. They both have unique skills to offer clients; from her initial training in spatial economics Magda has a keen analytical mind. Whilst Marcus has a unique understanding of international business.”

David Bayman promoted to become an Associate at Warrener Stewart

17 April 2015 • Warrener Stewart News

In recognition of David Bayman’s long service at the south west London chartered accountants Warrener Stewart, the board recently agreed to promote him to be an Associate of the Firm.

David joined Warrener Stewart back in 2000; since then he has remained committed to delivering excellent client service to many small owner managed businesses.

“David has consistently supported both us the directors and fellow colleagues during the fifteen years he has worked here,” commented director, Nick Morgan. “We hugely appreciate his dedication and steadfast good, old fashioned hard work ethic – consequently we had no hesitation in making this appointment, which we all agree is fully deserved!”

2015 Budget Statement Highlights

19 March 2015 •

In the final Budget Statement of this Parliament, the Chancellor announced a number of new changes as well as reaffirming those introduced in his 2014 Autumn Statement.  Here is our initial reaction and overview of some of the key points that could affect you and your business.

You can also watch our video round up featuring Damian Talbot and Francis Kershaw.

“Help to Buy” ISA – This was one of the key changes announced in the Chancellor’s Budget to give help to first time buyers in raising deposits for house purchases.  Broadly, investments made into the ISA will be “topped up” by a 25% contribution from HMRC.  The example given was £12,000 invested by the taxpayer will be uplifted by a £3,000 injection by the Government.

Entrepreneurs Relief Changes – The announcements made in the 2014 Autumn Statement regarding the restriction on the availability of E.R. to Goodwill recognised that incorporation of a business will be included within the Finance Bill 2015.

Personal Savings Allowance – The Chancellor announced that from April 2016 the first £1,000 of interest earned on cash deposits will be tax-free for basic rate taxpayers.  This allowance will be restricted to £500 for higher rate taxpayers.

Class 2 National Insurance Contributions – This class of NIC currently paid by self-employed taxpayers is to be abolished over the next Parliament.  However, Class 4 NIC, which is also paid by the self-employed, is to be reformed accordingly.

Remittance Basis Charge – As announced in the Autumn Statement, new rates for UK resident/non-domiciled individuals utilising the remittance basis will be introduced from 6 April 2015. Individuals who have been resident in UK for more than 17 of the last 20 years will now incur a £90,000 remittance basis charge if they wish to utilise the remittance basis.

In addition, the £50,000 remittance basis charge which is incurred by UK resident/ non-domiciles who have been resident in the UK for more than 12 years has been increased to £60,000.

Personal Allowance – The personal allowance is to increase to £10,800 from April 2016.

Lifetime Allowance – The Lifetime Pension Allowance is to decrease from £1.25M to £1M.

Annuity Changes – Pensioners are to be able to effectively “sell back” their annuities without incurring a punitive tax charge.

Inheritance Tax and Deeds of Variation – There is to be a review of the use of Deeds of Variation to mitigate Inheritance Tax obligations over the next Parliament.  It is unclear at this time if this is to address specific contrived schemes or will be part of an overall review of IHT.

The end of the Annual Tax Return? – Over the course of the next Parliament the Treasury is intending to end the annual requirement to file tax returns for individuals.  It is unclear how an alternative system might work and we await further information with bated breath.

If you would like to explore what this Budget Statement could mean for you and your business please call 020 7731 6163 to talk to one of our tax team, you can also download our updated 2015 / 2016 tax card.
 

Going to extreme lengths – long standing Warrener Stewart client Martin Hartley takes the FA Cup to the southernmost point of the Globe

02 March 2015 •

As the football teams prepare for the Sixth Round of FA Cup fixtures this weekend the prestigious FA Cup continues it’s on its trip of a lifetime.

As part of the ‘Every game’s an adventure’ scheme; multi-award winning photographer, Martin Hartley who has been a client of Warrener Stewart’s for the past 10 years, took the cup on his South Pole expedition. He was lucky enough to take the cup on its own ‘adventure of a lifetime’ in between the third and fourth rounds. The iconic silver cup travelled with him in a kit bag on his latest expedition to the southernmost point where he introduced it to a colony of penguins

Martin said; “Taking the FA Cup to the South Pole was a truly exciting and unique journey, but it was just the beginning.” Since then the cup has been boating on the Cam and on a train with Roy Hodgson up to Preston!
 

VAT and the Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS)

26 February 2015 •

An important change took place on the 1 January 2015 regarding the VAT place of supply rules in respect of digital services.

The change in rules affects Business to Customer (B2C) supplies within the EU of:

1) Telecommunication services
2) Broadcasting services, and
3) e-services

As of 1 January 2015, instead of the place of supply for these services being in the country where the Business is established it will now be the country where the Customer is located.  The old rules will continue to apply up until 31 December 2014.

A UK business supplying the above digital services to non-business customers (B2C) in other EU member states will therefore have to charge and account for the VAT according to the local VAT rules of the customers country.  To properly account for the VAT under these new rules, the affected UK businesses would normally need to register for VAT in each EU member state in which they supply such services.

However, HMRC have introduced the Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) system which will enable an affected business to submit one quarterly return and payment to HMRC to account for the overseas VAT charged to its EU customers.

In order to register for the MOSS system with HMRC, the UK business must be registered for VAT in the UK.  There are special rules available for UK business that are not registered for UK but would still be caught under the local VAT rules of the country in which their customer resides.

This will represent an additional administrative requirement for those affected businesses and if your business provides telecommunication services, broadcasting services and/or e-services to customers in EU member states then please get in touch with us at Warrener Stewart in order that we may assist you.

Time is of the essence as the first VAT MOSS return will be for the quarter ended 31 March 2015, which will need to be submitted to HMRC by 20 April 2015.  Payment of the VAT will also be due at this time.

If you have any questions regarding your tax affairs in general please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7731 6163.
 

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

13 February 2015 •

On 30 September 2016 financial institutions in the Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and the British Overseas Territories (CDOTs) will automatically exchange information with HMRC in relation to UK residents holding financial assets in these CDOTs for the 2014 and 2015 calendar years.

UK resident non-domiciled individuals (RND) who have claimed the remittance basis of assessment on their tax returns can elect for the Alternative Reporting Regime (ARR) to apply and without this election, HM Revenue and Customs may receive information on these accounts and assets far in excess of what an individual is required to report on a UK tax return.

In order for the ARR to apply the following conditions must be satisfied:

1.    Reporting Financial Institution Election

The reporting financial institution must make a one-off election to their local tax authority in order to operate the ARR. The election must be received no later than:

•         30 May 2015 for Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man),
•         30 April 2015 for the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands,
•         30 September 2016 for Bermuda (direct election to HMRC).

2.    UK resident, Non-Dom Annual Election

The taxpayer will be required to submit an annual election to qualify for the ARR. The deadline for receipt of the first annual election is dependent on the jurisdiction in which the accounts or assets reside and must be received no later than:

•         30 May 2015 for Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man),
•         30 April 2015 for British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands,
•         Awaiting official guidance with respect to Bermuda.

3.    UK resident, Non-Dom Self-Certification

The taxpayer will also need to file a self-certification no later than 28 February following the relevant tax year. Therefore, in relation to the 2014/15 tax year your self-certification must be received no later than 28 February 2016

The election must include a written and signed confirmation of the following to the reporting offshore financial institution:

• Confirmation that your UK tax return for the relevant year contains a claim or statement that you are not domiciled in the UK,
• Confirmation that your UK tax return for the relevant year includes a claim to be taxed under the remittance basis and the remittance basis charge has been paid if relevant,
• Confirmation that to the best of your knowledge and belief your domicile status and claim to be taxed on the remittance basis is not being formally disputed by HMRC.

4.    Deadline for Disclosure

Should your offshore income or capital gains derived from your offshore assets in these territories have either been incorrectly reported or not reported at all, a tax disclosure must be submitted no later than:

• 30 September 2016 for Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man),
• 5 April 2015 for all other jurisdictions.

Moreover, we would strongly advise you to contact your offshore service providers and request details in relation to your offshore interests for the calendar years 2014 and 2015 as soon as possible.

If you have any questions regarding the introduction of the above or wish to speak to Warrener Stewart about your tax affairs in general please do not hesitate to contact us.

Just too good to be true….

12 February 2015 •

Fulham based Warrener Stewart’s two runners in the Craven Cottage 10K in aid of Prostate Cancer on Sunday 8 February, Nick Morgan and Francis Kershaw, both completed the course in under an hour. 

Despite training with fellow colleague Ryan O’Conner, he sadly missed the race due to technical difficulties, so the Warrener Stewart Chartered Accountant's team was bolstered by Nick’s son and one of his son’s friends. Not to be out done by his father, son Rick Morgan and his friend James Roach, raced around the Fulham road course to beat his father back to the pitchside in just 45 minutes.

Slightly breathlessly, Nick commented; “It was a very cold start but once Francis and I got into our stride it turned into a fine morning run along the Thames Tow Path."

When asked about his son’s victory, Nick’s response was; “I’m definitely getting too old for all this stuff!”

(pictured above, l-r: Nick Morgan, Rick Morgan, James Roach & Francis Kershaw)

On the run - Fulham based accountants Warrener Stewart are ready set go for the Fulham 10K

28 January 2015 •

Proving that he is ‘ready to run’ just as much as the new recruits who've recently joined Warrener Stewart, director Nick Morgan puts on his running shoes for the Fulham 10K run. 

Despite the fact the Fulham based Chartered Accountants, Warrener Stewart has seen their busiest January completing tax returns in advance of the deadline on January 31, Nick has found time to lead the training for the next charity run. He is being joined by two of the newest recruits to Warrener Stewart, tax specialist Francis Kershaw and trainee tax technician, Ryan O’Connor.

“Fitting in training around work has been hard,” admitted Nick, “at times it’s been more of a brisk walk in between client meetings, which is about as fast as I run these days anyhow! I've every confidence we’ll be ready for the race on which is on Sunday 8 February.”

The run is the Craven Cottage 10k “Winter Warmer” in aid of Prostate Cancer, organised by the Fulham Football Club Foundation. It starts at Craven Cottage and follows the Thames tow path inland, then over Hammersmith Bridge, down to Putney Bridge and back to Fulham FC. Nick adds, “The course never rises much above sea level, which suits us very nicely!”

How did it get so late so soon - deadline for self assessment tax returns looms

08 January 2015 •

With the self assessment tax filing deadline fast approaching on 31st January, Damian Talbot, head of taxation at Fulham based chartered tax advisors Warrener Stewart, shares some of the more amusing excuses people gave HMRC for not submitting their annual self assessment tax return before the due date.

As Damian points out all of these excuses were unsuccessful and the taxpayers would have incurred late filing penalties – claiming ‘my wife won’t give me my mail’ holds no sway with HMRC! 

With just three weeks to go until the filing deadline enlisting the help of Warrener Stewart to help you with your tax return is quick and easy, simply call 020 7731 6163 and ask for a member of our Tax Team.  In this case ‘better late than never’ can be an expensive option!

 

Two of Warrener Stewart’s directors make a difference to terminally ill children in South London

05 January 2015 •

Weeks of grueling cycling training for Fulham based accountants Nick Morgan and Jon Last of Warrener Stewart has meant that terminally ill children can have respite at one of two hospices run by Shooting Star Chase.

Nick and Jon signed up to raise money for the charity by taking part in the annual Prudential RideLondon Bike race; together they raised £3,500.

“We were really delighted when Nick Morgan and Jon Last chose to support Shooting Star Chase, by joining our team in the 2014 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100,” commented Karen Peffer the Challenge Events Fundraiser for the charity. “They raised a fantastic £3,500.  This money will help us to provide essential care and support to families who have a baby, child or young person with a life-limiting condition.

The families we care for rely upon our support and this can be especially poignant at this time of year.  The money raised by Nick and Jon could cover the costs of two emergency stays at one of our hospices, in Hampton or Guildford.  These visits offer a lifeline to the families, often at a time when they are emotionally and physically exhausted.”

“we were so impressed at their quick response times and ability to resolve even the most complicated financial problem”
Pen Hadow