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Essential monthly tax news and marketing strategies for busy accounting and tax professionals.

Tax tip #4 – Take advantage of the transitional rules applying to under the alternative valuation rules

4 minute read.

Although the alternative valuation rules for benefits provided under optional remuneration arrangements (OpRAs) apply generally from 6 April 2017 (see Tip 3), transitional rules applied to arrangements in existence on 5 April 2017, the effect of which is to delay the date from which the alternative valuation rules apply.

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Marketing for accountants tip #2 – Create audience personas

1 minute read.

This is quick tip number 2 in our series of marketing for accountants guides.

An audience persona is a profile of your target client that describes them as though they are a real person. An audience persona is different to a target audience, this persona is your ideal client and considers the decisions they make before committing to a service.

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No relief on property disposal as it was not the taxpayer’s residence

6 minute read.

The taxpayer was not entitled to private residence relief on the disposal of a property because she did not occupy it with the intention that it would be her permanent home.

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HMRC’s ‘snooper’ methods

3 minute read.

Reducing the ‘tax gap’ is at the heart of HMRC’s strategy towards full digitalisation. The ‘tax gap’ is the difference between the amount of tax that should be paid and what is actually paid. According to HMRC’s Official Statistics Release of June 2018 the ‘tax gap’ is estimated at £55bn which is 5.7% of the total current tax take, equivalent to half of the annual defence budget. Approximately 10% of this is estimated as being lost via tax evasion. Although HMRC stress that any taxpayer could be the subject to an enquiry, the reality is that enquiries are either based on computer generated ‘behavioural technology’ risk-based selections or as a result of information received from sources.

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Tax tip #3 – Beware the alternative valuation rules for OpRAs

3 minute read.

The benefits of using a salary sacrifice or other optional remuneration arrangement (OpRA) were seriously curtailed from 6 April 2017 following the introduction of alternative valuation rules that apply where a benefit or expense is provided via an OpRA. The definition of an OpRA includes not only salary sacrifice schemes, but also flexible benefit arrangements and arrangements, such as cash or cash, where the employee is offered the choice between a non-cash benefit and a cash alternative.

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Easy digital marketing for accountants

4 minute read.

Digital marketing covers any form of marketing that uses electronic devices. In this blog we list some simple and free digital marketing for accountants strategies that you might not have thought of but are easy to implement to increase your reach online without having to dedicate too much of your time to.

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We’re going to Accountex!

2 minute read.

Tax Insider will be exhibiting at Accountex on 1 – 2 May at ExCel London. Come visit us at Stand 1231 to meet our team and get exclusive offers.

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Marketing for accountants tip #1 – Know your competitors

1 minute read.

Our first quick tip in our series of marketing for accountants.

Many small accounting firms neglect this basic step, but monitoring your competitors is something that you should do regularly. Check their websites, sign up to their mailing lists, contact them for details of their fees, read their reviews, and follow them on social media. Knowing offhand how much your competitors are charging, their services, and their strengths and weaknesses will give your marketing strategy direction, clarity and purpose. The more you know about your competitors, the better you can work towards competing with them.

Action: Identify the main competitors in your area. Spend one hour looking at each competitor and list their strengths and weaknesses

Tax tip #2: Salary sacrifice arrangements can still be beneficial

5 minute read.

The opportunities to use a salary sacrifice arrangements to save tax and National Insurance were seriously curtailed with the introduction of the alternative valuation rules that apply from 6 April 2017 to value benefits provided under an optional remuneration arrangement (OpRA).

Where the rules apply, the benefit of any associated tax exemption is lost if a benefit is provided through a salary sacrifice or other OpRA. Under a salary sacrifice arrangement an employee gives up an amount of salary in return for a benefit in kind. Where the benefit remains exempt from tax when provided under a salary sacrifice arrangement, the employee saves tax and the employer and employee save National Insurance. 

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Social media for accountants

4 minute read.

In our recent survey we found that only 30% of small accounting firms were using social media to market their practice. Many accountants feel that social media is not relevant for their firm or will take too much time to implement into their marketing strategy. However, not only is social media a positive and powerful marketing tool, not having social media can be actively detrimental to your firm by restricting your ability to present your voice online and by affecting the trustworthiness of your firm if clients are suspicious of your lack of presence.

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