• JOHN H.F. KING

    CHARTERED CERTIFIED ACCOUNTANTS

    We are a small firm specialising in giving advice to small to medium sized owner managed businesses.

    We aim to ensure that all clients receive a friendly personalised service relevant to their needs.

    CONTACT 
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Accounts preparation for sole traders, partnerships and Limited Companies.
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We can offer in house bookkeeping facilities tailored to meet your needs.
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Monthly, quarterly accounts prepared to help you maintain control over your business and to plan and prepare for the future.

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18-10-2018
Anti-money laundering rules

The Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) are designed to protect the UK financial system and put in place certain controls to prevent businesses being used for money laundering by criminals and terrorists.

Many businesses are monitored by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or certain professional bodies. However, businesses that HMRC is responsible for supervising should be aware of the requirement to register with HMRC and the penalties for not doing so.

HMRC is responsible for supervising the following seven business sectors:

  • Money Service Businesses (MSBs)
  • Trust or Company Service Providers (TCSPs)
  • High Value Dealers (HVDs)
  • Accountancy Service Providers (ASPs)
  • Estate Agency Businesses (EABs)
  • Bill payment service providers not supervised by the FCA
  • Telecommunications, digital and IT payment service providers not supervised by the FCA

Businesses need to register with HMRC if they carry out activities typically associated with these types of organisations by way of business and are not already registered. A business (listed above) is not allowed to trade without registering with HMRC under the MLR. Trading while not registered is a criminal offence and can result in a penalty or prosecution. Certain businesses supervised by HMRC also need to be registered or authorised with the FCA.

An application to register with HMRC under the MLR can be made online. A non-refundable processing fee of £100 is payable for businesses registering for anti-money laundering supervision for the first time. There is also a premises registration fee for new businesses amounting to £130 for each property. The application will not be reviewed until the fees have been paid. HMRC will then review the application which can take up to 45 days. Additional documentation is also required for certain business types.

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18-10-2018
New style £50 note to be introduced

In a joint statement issued by HM Treasury and the Bank of England it had been confirmed that the £50 note is to continue to be part of the UK currency. The new £50 note will be designed and printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic that includes a number of important new security features. Polymer notes are cleaner, safer and stronger than existing paper notes.

We have already witnessed the launch of new £5 and £10 notes. A new £20 note featuring J.M.W Turner is expected to enter circulation in 2020. The new £50 note will follow at a future date.

There had been speculation that the £50 note might be withdrawn due to concerns that the notes are being forged and used for money laundering and tax evasion. However, there is evidence that the demand for the £50 note is continuing to rise as it gives people more flexibility over how they spend and manage their money.

Sarah John, the Bank of England’s Chief Cashier, said:

'I'm very excited to be starting the process of introducing a new £50 note. At the Bank, we are committed to providing the public with high quality notes they can use with confidence. Moving the £50 note onto polymer is an important next step to ensure that we can continue to do that.'

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18-10-2018
Tax to pay if you exceed the annual pensions allowance

The annual allowance for tax relief on pensions has been fixed at the current level of £40,000 since 6 April 2014. The previous allowance was £50,000 and prior to 6 April 2011, the annual allowance was as high as £255,000.

The annual allowance is further reduced for high earners. Those with income in excess of £150,000 will usually have their allowance tapered. For every complete £2 their income exceeds £150,000 the annual allowance is reduced by £1, up to a maximum reduction of £30,000 for individuals whose income is over £210,000.

The reduction in the annual allowance over recent years has meant that more and more taxpayers are exceeding their annual pension allowance and have tax to pay. Taxpayers will usually receive a statement from their pension provider telling them if they go above their annual allowance. This can be more complex if they have more than one pension scheme. Any additional tax due can be declared and paid as part of their Self Assessment. If the tax is more than £2,000 taxpayers can ask their pension scheme to pay the charge to HMRC from their pension pot. This means that their pension scheme benefits would be reduced.

Planning note

There are a number of ways to minimise any tax to pay. This can include:

  • utilising the three year carry forward rule that allows taxpayers to carry forward unused annual allowance, and
  • examining alternative savings strategies.

There is also a pensions lifetime allowance that should be monitored which is currently £1.03 million.

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