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It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
Abraham Lincoln

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The National Insurance Contributions (NICs) Employment Allowance

The Chancellor announced the creation of a NICs Employment Allowance in the 2013 Budget. This is planned to start on 6 April 2014 and moved a step closer to becoming law with the First Reading of the Bill on 14 October 2013.

Businesses, Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs will be able to reduce their Employer Class 1 NICs bill by up to £2,000 per year. The Employment Allowance will be straightforward to claim using standard payroll software.

More details on how to claim the Employment Allowance will be available in the New Year – there is no need to call HM Revenue & Customs or do anything to claim the Employment Allowance now.

IRIS buys cloud accounts company KashFlow

Accounts and payroll firm IRIS has bought cloud-based bookkeeping software company KashFlow, creating a combined user base of more than 60,000 accountancy firms and smaller businesses in the UK.

According to IRIS, it will continue to provide its OpenBooks product to existing customers through online accounting company FreeAgent but expects to add functionality through a “close tie-in” between the IRIS Accountancy Suite and KashFlow bookkeeping in the cloud.

The acquisition, the terms of which were not disclosed, brings IRIS expertise in cloud bookkeeping software and gives KashFlow greater sales, marketing and support resources.

KashFlow was set up in 2006, initially selling software to Federation of Small Businesses and Prince’s Trust members.

“Around half of all UK accountancy firms already use IRIS to run their business. Now they will be able to collaborate with their clients through tight integration with the KashFlow cloud bookkeeping system,” its CEO, Duane Jackson, said in a statement.

“Being part of the wider IRIS Software Group not only gives us direct access to a significant section of the UK accountancy and SME sector but it also makes us part of a wider suite of cloud offerings.”

IRIS Software Group CEO Phill Robinson said KashFlow’s cloud services fitted well with his company’s existing suite of products.

 

New Employee Shareholder Status

The Government thinks that employees who own shares in their employing company feel more involved in that business and hence are happy and loyal employees. So it has introduced a new share scheme from 1st September 2013 which allows you, as an employer, to give your employees tax-free shares in your company, but in return the employees must give up some key employment rights.

How does this work?

The employee must sign a fresh employment contract called an ’employee shareholder’ contract, then they must be issued with shares worth at least £2,000 (and up to £50,000) in their employing company. When the individual sells those shares any gain arising on that disposal is completely exempt from capital gains tax. However, any gain up to £10,900 (for 2013/14) would be tax free anyway.

Normally where shares are awarded to an employee their value is treated as taxable income for that employee, unless the shares are issued under an approved share scheme. In this case the first £2,000 worth of shares awarded will be free of income tax and NIC, but not any further shares.

The downside is the employee must surrender all of following rights to take up employee shareholder status and receive the free shares:

  • compensation for unfair dismissal, apart from when this is automatically unfair or relates to anti-discrimination law;
  • request for time off for studying or training;
  • request for flexible working; and
  • statutory redundancy pay.

Also the employee must give 16 weeks’ notice (instead of 8 weeks) when returning from maternity or adoption leave.

This sounds like an attractive deal for an entrepreneur who doesn’t care about his own employment rights. However, any person who holds 25% or more of the company (alone or with associates) can’t take up employee shareholder status and enjoy the tax-free shares. So this share scheme can only be used to give shares to employees who don’t already have a significant share in the company.

Before implementing this scheme you should take employment law advice, and specialist advice on how to value your company’s shares. The employees should also take independent advice before signing away their employment rights, but you, as their employer, can pay for that advice with no tax consequences.

Personal Allowances

Personal Allowances The latest budget has confirmed that the basic personal allowance will be increased from the current £8,105 to £9,440 for 2013/14. The Coalition Government plan to ultimately raise the allowance to £10,000 from 2014/15. The additional tax rate of 50% is reduced to 45% for 2013/14 for taxable income over £150,000.

National Minimum Wage – 1st October 2013

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1st October 2013 National Minimum Wage rates increase on this day:

The adult rate increases by 12p to £6.31 per hour.

The 18-20 year olds rate increases by 5p to £5.03 per hour.

The 16-17 year olds rate increases by 4p to £3.72 per hour.

The apprentice rate will increase by 3p to £2.68 per hour.

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New cloud invoicing Software – Banc Pay

BancPay is an intelligent cloud invoicing service that allows all types of companies to create & exchange invoices electronically to improve cash flow & reduce administration costs. BancPay is free during 2013

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What is BancPay?

BancPay is a paperless invoicing system that helps businesses reduce administration costs and manage cash flow by automating the way invoices are handled.

BancPay removes the hassle of dealing with all those different types of invoices you have to send or receive. BancPay handles; paper, PDF, scanned image, web form and electronic invoices.

BancPay operates in the Cloud, offers greater security, drastically reduces paper handling, allows you to know what is happening to your invoices and helps the environment by reducing paper and transport costs.

BancPay supports multiple languages and multiple currencies – so if you have subsidiaries across the globe, or are looking to expand internationally, BancPay is there to support you.

By using Cloud commerce, businesses can send, receive, approve or refer their invoices without the additional costs of printing and posting by mail. BancPay is fast, simple and flexible. So flexible, that every company can create their own business network of suppliers and customers.

We know that running a business is more than just sending and receiving invoices, it’s also about managing your finances. So BancPay allows you to see the status of all your invoices and when they will be paid. This helps you to improve your cash flow and benefit from early payment discount opportunities.

Imagine a paperless invoicing system. Imagine BancPay.