Knowledge is power…… and can save tax!

It’s been longer than I’d of liked since my last blog post…..needless to say it’s been a busy period.  During the time since my last blog post there has been a recurring theme. This is that tax is complicated, so it really is worth investing in proper advice when your preparing your tax return.

Of course I would say this, but I thought I would give a couple of examples of where knowledge of the tax system and associated paperwork, has led to me either obtaining refunds or significantly reducing the tax demands issued by HMRC.

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Who doesn’t love to receive a testimonial?

We all love to receive a nice testimonial, but I was completely blown away by the one we received last month from a relatively new client (The Konjac Sponge Company), who have only been with me for around ten months.  I guess this blog post is a shameless plug of that testimonial!!  It’s always nice to hear directly from clients that they think you’re doing a good job.

With that in mind, if you or someone you know is looking for an accountant please pass them my details or point them towards this post!

Testimonial for SBA accountants of Leighton Buzzard from The Konjac Sponge Company

It’s always good to know you’re providing a good service

Bookkeeping made easy peezy….

With so many choices on how to keep your books we think Xero is the best option for small businesses.

Plus until the end of March 2015 we can offer two months’ free subscription worth over £40!!


Owner managed businesses have a wide choice when it comes to the ways they can undertake and record their bookkeeping. Below are the more common ones, along with our preferred method and supplier:

Manual books
OK, there’s not many of these around these days, but I do know a few people that are still using them!

These are frequently used and I am always amazed by the mistakes they contain. There are often errors in the formulas, the formatting could be improved, wrong dates are included – all of which can lead to additional time and costs at the year end.

Bookkeeping packages
These rely on backups of the software being emailed to accountants at the year end.  Not to mention the need of data backups and disaster recovery in case your computer dies.

Cloud packages
We think this is the best solution, and is something we are passionate about. They offer a number of benefits over the other options above.

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Managing your “off the radar” fleet

Our current blog is a guest blog courtesy of and is relevant to employers that do not offer a company car to its employees, but do require their employees to travel on business trips.


Even if you do not offer a company car allowance or a car lease, there is lots of important information you need to be aware of, particularly if your employees use their own car for business trips.  Here is what you need to consider when looking at ALL vehicles.

Employers retain responsibility for an employee’s safety, even when the employee drives their own car for business. Often, this can cause unforeseen problems, as these vehicles are typically “off the radar” of most companies — certainly in respect of being fit for purpose.

Whilst many companies were unwinding their company car fleets due to increase company car taxation (although some green cars do have a relatively low tax burden), many businesses have failed to recognise that they would still have duty of care responsibilities over their employees who drive their own vehicles on company business.  These vehicles are referred to as a company’s “off the radar” fleet.

Here are a few tips that should help businesses to manage its “off the radar” fleet:

  • Support your “off the radar” fleet employees, so that they make an informed decision about taking a Company Car Allowance in lieu of a company car. Employees could spend the next three or four years wondering if they have made the right decision. Help them by explaining exactly what each choice will mean to them in terms of their personal tax position and other items of expenditure associated with running a car.
  • Take advice from an accountant to determine the exact tax liabilities/savings of company cars, for both employees and employers. There are a number of lower CO2 emission cars out there that are not as bad as you may think from a tax point of view.
  • Regularly check the driving licences of your employees. Perhaps you could make it compulsory for all business drivers to regularly submit copies of their driving licences, as businesses are required to have these records by law. Better still, use a third party to run a thorough check with the DVLA.
  • Where an employee’s own vehicle is used for business journeys, restrict their choices to exclude soft-tops or old cars. Staff will be resistant to any policy that comes across as too heavy-handed, but it’s fair enough to mandate that the vehicle has four doors, four seats and is of professional, business-like appearance.
  • Invest in a robust mileage tracking tool (or procedure), preferably with a payroll reporting facility.
  • Tighten-up the management of a mixed fleet. Many companies offer a casual version of this by offering car allowances and company cars alongside each other, but a specialist mixed fleet provider will manage a mixed fleet in the most tax-efficient way, and take care of all the mile-logging, occupation road risk and general administration tasks. This type of scheme would only be suitable for fleets of over 50 cars.

To find out more about car leasing, or if you would simply like a chat about leasing, visit

Company cars

Company cars are rubbish, right?

You would be forgiven for thinking that the personal tax on company cars would put your right off having one through your business. But it’s worth considering them as a tax planning vehicle (pardon the pun) to help #keepmoremoney in YOUR pocket.

How it works…
The personal tax charge on company cars is based on the official CO2 emissions of the car along with it’s showroom price when new. If the CO2 emissions and showroom price are relatively low, the tax charge will also be relatively low.

“Green” cars…
There is a reasonably new breed of cars now on the market with exactly that, lower showroom prices and low CO2 emissions. The tax liability on these cars is therefore significantly lower than you may think.  A full list of the cars by CO2 emissions can be found at, the CO2 bands to look at from a tax point of view are the first three up to 94g/km.

The tax bill…
Take the Toyota Auris Hybrid, which is one of the more expensive cars, with a showroom price of almost £23,000 and CO2 emissions of 91g/km. The annual personal tax burden for the company car and having all the fuel would be approximately £985 for a 20% taxpayer, and £1,970 for a 40% taxpayer.

The tax savings…
The tax saving comes about as ALL the car running costs, including petrol, can be paid for by your company, resulting in a corporation tax saving starting at approximately £450 (based on estimated running costs, but will depend on your annual petrol and other running costs). In addition, the company gets a corporation tax reduction of £4,600 in year one due to the low CO2 emissions!

The overview…
Sadly there will still be some tax to pay on having a company car, and it’s not something that should be done on a whim. But, if you are thinking of changing your family car, it’s worth exploring if a company car would be a good option. Don’t forget that the above only applies to brand new cars.

Guiding you through it…
Although a little complex, if you’re thinking of changing your car it’s worth getting in touch to see how we could help you #keepmoremoney
t: 07869 285081


Peace of mind should HMRC come knocking….


We are now working in partnership with PFP to offer our clients fee protection cover. In the event of an enquiry from HMRC the PFP cover will pay for the professional fees associated with defending you and your business against HMRC, which can often run into thousands rather than hundreds of pounds. If you would like more information please get in touch #keepmoremoney