Keep up to date with all the latest tax and financial news from CKLG


Latest News From CKLG Accountants

Ben Saxton & Nicola Groves crowned Nacra 17 European Champions in Barcelona

October 6, 2015

Nacra17 European ChampionsWe are so proud of our clients Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves who sailed to victory this weekend in the Nacra 17 European Championships.

Ben, world champion in this class in 2013, and his current crew Nicola Groves took the European gold in Barcelona after finishing fifth in the Medal Race. Ben and Nic now have their eyes firmly fixed on qualifying for Team GB in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. 

It was a fantastic medal race and a really good battle with the Aussies. We’re really chuffed with the way we closed out the race when it mattered, and we’ve had a great week,” Groves enthused.

Saxton added: “The race today was fun – we had good breeze, Nic did a good job and Maurice Paardenkooper our coach did a great job of preparing us. We sailed OK to come fifth and that’s made us European Champions, so we’re really happy!”

Saxton and Groves joined forces in the mixed multihull event a year ago, with Groves having transitioned from the 49erFX. This represents their first major event victory together, adding to their silver medal at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami in January.

We’ve been working hard over the summer and in the build up to this event with our coach Maurice, and it’s great to see that it’s starting to pay off. We had good speed in our new boat and showed level heads today in the medal race so we’re happy with the progress we’ve made together.

The duo will take a short break before returning to training in Weymouth and Portland later this month ahead of further training blocks in Rio during the autumn and winter.

Elsewhere at the European Championships, fellow British Sailing Team crews Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface and Lucy Macgregor-Dave Evans concluded their events in 11th and 14th places respectively.

For full results from the Nacra 17 Europeans, visit

For all the latest news and updates from the British Sailing Team Duo Ben Saxton & Nic Groves follow them on Faecbook or Twitter.

European VAT reclaim scheme

September 22, 2015

If you incur business related expenses in another EU country in which your business is not resident or VAT registered, you can reclaim the VAT on those input costs, or we can do that for you. The claim is submitted online through the HMRC VAT online system, but it is sent for processing and approval in the country where the costs were incurred.

The claim for each country must reach a minimum threshold, which is generally €50 for a full year, but the threshold varies according the national currency. The deadline for claiming for costs incurred in 2014 is 30 September 2015.

HMRC guide on VAT reclaim from EU countries


Tax on savings in 2016/17

September 2, 2015

The taxation of savings income received by individuals will change from 6 April 2016.

“Savings income” includes interest paid by bank and building societies as well as gains from certain life insurance contracts, income from some purchased annuities and other investments. It doesn’t include dividends.

Banks and building societies will no longer deduct tax from the interest they pay on any type of account, and that may also apply to interest paid by other bodies. To prevent taxpayers having to pay tiny amounts of tax on interest, the first £1000 of savings income will be tax free for basic rate taxpayers. This “personal savings allowance (PSA)” will apply in addition to the normal personal allowance.

Higher rate taxpayers will have a £500 PSA, but additional rate taxpayers won’t get a PSA. We can calculate how much tax you will be expected to pay on your savings income next year. 

Contact us today to discuss your personal savings plan.


Family tax planning

September 1, 2015

If you are supporting your adult children (aged over 18) through university or college using funds generated by let property or other investments, you may be paying 40% or 45% tax on that income before giving the net amount to your child.

In many cases the total income tax bill for your family could be reduced by transferring part or all of the investment assets to the student.

From April 2016 everyone will be entitled to a £5,000 dividend allowance in addition to their personal allowance of £11,000. Basic rate taxpayers will also have a £1,000 personal savings allowance to cover interest received. These changes taken together provide a strong incentive to transfer income-producing investment assets to low-earning members of the family, including to a spouse or civil partner. We can advise you on all the tax implications of making such transfers.

Please contact us for more information on family tax planning and wealth management

A recipe for a successful Olympic qualifying campaign

July 28, 2015

Going for Gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  CKLG Accountants are proud sponsors of Nacra 17 sailors Ben Saxton and Nic Groves in their quest for Gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janerio.

British Sailing Team

We are actively supporting Ben and Nic’s campaign to qualify for the 2016 Olympics and represent Great Britain in the Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull class. This is a new sailing class for the 2016 Olympics and the first time that a sailing team has to be mixed, i.e. one male and one female.

Only one team per country can qualify to compete in this class at the Olympics so Ben and Nic are currently working hard to achieve their selection in Team GB. 

Speaking about their Nacra 17 campaign Ben sayswe definitely have the potential to be the best in the World, but there’s a long, exciting road ahead”

A recipe for a successful Olympic qualifying campaign

There are so many elements that make up a good, strong performing Olympic qualifying sailing team. One of the biggest and often most overlooked aspects is establishing a proper funding and budgeting program from the start.

A good sailing team should expect around 200 days training, racing and boat preparation for the project, plus organising and preparation whilst at home – a full time job even for the most committed of sailing teams.

As Mitch Booth, 1996 Australian Yachtsman of the Year explains “there is a big misconception that once you buy a boat and trailer you’re on your way however, if you look closely at a 4 year budget, equipment is normally less than 25 % of total costs. The biggest costs are people, transport, accommodation, food, entry fees, insurance and living costs”.  (Source:  -

 ‘Seamless accounting for small businesses’

While Ben and Nic’s story is unique, their Olympic campaign shares many of the same attributes, requirements and financial hurdles common to start-up and small businesses regardless of their industry or business type.

Like many entrepreneurs, it’s Ben and Nic’s passion for sailing that is the driving force behind their desire for success; however, their passion for sailing and ambition for Olympic Gold in Rio 2016 is not enough to help them succeed.

Ben and Nic, like many small business owners spend the majority of their time focusing on what they do, with much of their time spent out of the country competing and training, and very a limited amount of time dedicated to managing the financial aspects of their campaign.

Ben & Nic British Sailing

This is where we can help.  Tight budget control, robust financial planning and trust in a professional accountant will alleviate financial pressures and help to make a significant difference to the success of Ben & Nic’s Olympic campaign…

…because, while they’re out training and doing what they do best we’re working hard, behind the scenes to ensure the financial aspects of their campaign are managed and communicated effectively.

By combining Xero, with our experience of working with small businesses, Ben & Nic receive seamless, transparent, real-time accounting and support that can be accessed anytime, anywhere in the world!

You can follow Ben and Nic's journey to Olympic qualification and all their sailing adventures via their blog and twitter profile.

Employment allowance changes from April 2016

July 14, 2015

Since 6 April 2014 most employers have been able to claim an annual employment allowance of £2,000 to set against the employer’s class 1 NIC paid on the wages and salaries of employees. This allowance will rise to £3,000 per year from 6 April 2016.

However, the Government believes the employment allowance was never intended to benefit micro-companies who employ only the business owner. From 6 April 2016 one person companies won’t be able to claim the employment allowance.

If this affects you, call us to discuss whether it’s a good time for your company to employ a second person.

Inheritance tax relief increased

July 14, 2015

The nil rate band for inheritance tax (IHT) has been frozen at £325,000 per person until 2021. A married couple can benefit from a double nil band of £650,000, but that’s still not enough to cover the value of many homes.

From April 2017 an additional £100,000 nil rate band (£200,000 for couples) will be available to set against the value of the family home left to the couple’s children or grandchildren. This additional home-related nil rate band will gradually increase to £175,000 per person. You may need to update your Will to take into account this new tax relief.

Please contact us on 01223 810 100 for more details.

Annual Investment Allowance (AIA)

July 9, 2015

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) is the maximum amount a business can spend on equipment in one year and get full tax relief for those costs in that year. The amount of the AIA has varied between £25,000 and its current level of £500,000 over the last five years. 
From 2016 the AIA will be fixed at £200,000 per business (or group of companies), and the Chancellor has promised not to change the limit again. Where your accounting period straddles 31 December 2015, the AIA is calculated on a different basis, so talk to us if you are planning a high-value purchase of equipment.

For more details refer to our 2015 budget summary

Summer Budget 2015: Summary

July 9, 2015

The Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Summer Budget yesterday; the first majority Conservative Budget since 1996 and, in his words, a ‘Budget for working people’.

The House of Commons was told that the Budget measures are being taken to continue the  Government’s aim to move the British economy to a position where businesses pay higher wages to the lower paid; such increases being funded from lower business taxes in order to achieve a lower and more sustainable UK welfare payments bill.

The Chancellor also said that he remains resolute in his aim to reduce Britain’s spending and borrowing whilst taking measures to encourage businesses to increase productivity, investment and training.

Within these stated aims, George Osborne has introduced in his Budget, a number of complex measures and changes to our tax system which will affect you, your family and your business.  As usual we have prepared our own Budget Report giving further information on the proposed changes.

Download the full 2015 budget report here 

'Is what you stand for more important than what you sell?

June 23, 2015

We're delighted to be sponsoring the first of a new series of business networking events hosted by Ed Goodman at Cambridge Business Lounge.

Is what you stand for more important than what you sell? will be presented by guest speaker Jeremy Waite, head of digital strategy at Salesforce and author of 'From Survival to Significance,' a book that looks at successful branding.

The CBL networking event will take place at the Cambridge Union on Monday 13 July, at 6.30pm.

To book a place click here 

Cambridge Business Lounge

Stamp Duty Land Tax: Budget prediction

June 9, 2015

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) has proved to be a golden goose for HM Treasury over the last five years, mostly due to the rise in house prices. SDLT on residential properties was reformed from 4 December 2014, but the rates and bands for commercial properties were not altered. 

Now that Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) applies on the sale of all land and property in Scotland, the old-style SDLT on commercial property in the rest of the UK looks particularly anachronistic.
If you are planning to purchase commercial property you may wish to complete that deal before 8 July 2015.
Calculators for SDLT

Capital Gains Tax: Budget Prediction

June 2, 2015

The Budget that followed the General Election in 2010 announced increases in the rates of capital gains tax (CGT) that took effect from the next day: 23 June 2010. The same could apply this year, so be prepared for an increase in CGT rates from 18% and 28% to align with those for income tax: 20%, 40% and 45% to take effect from 9 July 2015.

If you are planning to make disposals soon of shares, property or your business think about how you can accelerate the process to exchange contracts before 8 July 2015.

Going for Gold at the 2016 Olympics

May 22, 2015

CKLG Accountants are delighted to announce that we are proud sponsors of Nacra 17 sailors Ben Saxton and Nic Groves in their quest for Gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janerio. 

We are actively supporting Ben and Nic’s campaign to qualify for the 2016 Olympics and represent Great Britain in the Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull class. This is a new sailing class for the 2016 Olympics and first time that a sailing team for a boat has to be mixed, i.e. one male and one female.

Only one team per country can qualify to compete in this class at the Olympics so Ben and Nic are currently working hard to achieve their selection in Team GB.  

Speaking about their Nacra 17 campaign Ben says “we definitely have the potential to be the best in the World!

There’s still a long road ahead, but we are confident Ben and Nic will do their utmost to succeed and we wish them both every success.  

You can follow Ben and Nic's journey to Olympic qualification and all their sailing adventures via their blog and twitter profile.

Estate planning advice

May 20, 2015

An overview of things to consider when planning how to pass on your wealth to your loved ones.

What you are going to leave behind you at the end of your life is something that everyone needs to think about seriously at some point. Whether you want to guarantee that your extensive collection of Star Wars figurines get the care they deserve, or you want to make it as easy as possible for your family to convert your estate into assets that will help them reach their goals, estate planning is important.

But estate planning is not simply a matter of dividing up your possessions. It can also be about making sure your current assets are organised in the right way to help you achieve what you want to. You may not be aware of the potential utility of the assets you have been sitting on top of all these years.

In essence, estate planning involves working out what you have, where you want to go, and how you would like to get there. To make sure you get the process right, there are certain steps you are going to need to take.  

Download our guide to efficient estate planning

Allowable expenses for unfurnished let properties

May 19, 2015

Most let properties contain carpets, curtains and a cooker even if the property is let as "unfurnished". HMRC has changes its view of whether the cost of replacing the carpets, curtains and free-standing cookers/ fridges is tax deductible.  For periods from 6 April 2013 onwards HMRC's view is those costs are not tax deductible where the property is not fully furnished. 

However, the HMRC view is not the law.  The tax law (ITTIOA 2005 s 68 and CTA 2009, s 68) says that a tax deduction is permitted for replacement of tools and equipment where a capital allowance can't be claimed (as it can't for items used within residential properties).

If you want to claim the cost of replacing carpets, cookers etc, in your unfurnished let properties you should make a full disclosure on your tax return as to the reason why you are claiming those costs.

Pension Tax Reclaim

May 19, 2015

If you have taken a cash lump sum from your defined contribution pension pot you may have been surprised by the tax deducted from the payment. In most cases the pension company will have deducted tax using an emergency PAYE code, which generally means more tax was collected than you were due to pay. 

You can get a refund of the excess tax by either claiming on your self-assessment return after the end of the tax year, or by claiming during the tax year using an online form on the GOV.UK website.  

There are different forms which need to be used whether you have other income or not and whether you have taken the full pension pot or not. We can advise you which the tax reclaim form is right for your circumstances. 

VAT-MOSS guidance

April 28, 2015

The European Commission has produced a summary of the VAT rules that apply in each EU country for the supply of telecoms, broadcasting and digitally services to non-business consumers, which are covered by the VAT-MOSS system from 1 January 2015.

This guidance illustrates the complexities a business must cope with when selling across EU borders. For example France has four different VAT rates that can apply to different digital services. Nine of the EU countries require a VAT invoice to be issued to the non-business customer for a digital service, but each country has its own variation on that requirement. We can help you with cross-border VAT issues.

Spreadsheet of VAT requirements for digital services in each country

Pension withdrawals

April 14, 2015

Before you rush to withdraw money from your pension fund ask yourself these questions:
1. Are you aged 55 or over? You must wait until you reach 55 before accessing your 
pension fund.
2. Is your pension a defined contribution scheme, also known as money purchase?  If you have a defined benefit (final salary) scheme you do not have an automatic right to access your pension fund from age 55. You may be able to transfer funds into a defined contribution scheme, but this could incur high charges and loss of value - specialist pensions advice will be required.
3. Have you followed the six steps on the website (link below)? This is a good place to start as it sets out the options in plain English. 
4. Why do you need the money at this time? Gifts to family members will have inheritance tax implications.

Minimising your tax liabilities with CKLG Accountants

April 2, 2015

Managing your personal and business tax affairs in a tax efficient way is a vital part of the financial planning process.

We offer expert tax advice and financial planning services on the following:

Download our tax rates, reliefs and allowances information card for 2015/ 2016

Pension contributions and withdrawals

March 31, 2015

You and your employer can still contribute up to £40,000 into your personal pension scheme in each tax year. However, if you start to draw your pension benefits from a defined contribution (money purchase) scheme, as anyone aged 55 or over can do from 6 April 2015, the amount you can contribute to a similar pension scheme is restricted to £10,000 per year. 
Beware of taking large sums out of your pension fund in one go, as this may push you into the 40% or 45% tax bands. We can help you calculate how much tax you will have to pay when you access your pension savings. 

Budget Report 2015

March 19, 2015

George Osborne has now delivered his last Budget before the General Election on May 7th.

His message is that ‘Britain is walking tall again’ having travelled part of the route from austerity to prosperity. However he also said that ‘the deficit remains high, productivity too low and the UK is not immune to the problems being experienced in Europe and other parts of the world economy’.

With an impending election and an uncertain outcome it is unclear how many of the measures announced yesterday will make it into legislation. But, as usual, we have prepared our own Budget Report so you can easily see the proposed changes which will affect you or your business. 

Please download the 2015 Budget Report here.

Business growth vouchers programme

March 16, 2015

HMRC are running a programme to provide growth vouchers to UK businesses.   The vouchers are part of a recent Government campaign to help small businesses grow by helping them to pay for strategic business advice on:
  • finance and cash flow
  • recruiting and developing staff
  • improving leadership and management skills
  • marketing, attracting and keeping customers
  • making the most of digital technology
Successful business will be randomly selected to receive £2000 as part of the business growth programme.

The Government are also working with some of the UK's leading internet providers to help small businesses connect to superfast broadband. The “connection vouchers” are worth up to £3,000 and are designed to help SME's get superfast broadband in limited areas, including Cambridge. The connection vouchers will be handed out on a first come first served basis, so don’t delay.

CKLG Accountants exhibiting at Two Counties Show

March 11, 2015

We are exhibiting at the Two Counties Business Exhibition at the Millennium Grandstand in Newmarket on Wednesday 25th March, 11am - 3pm.

Come along and speak to our specialist business accountants and tax advisers to discuss how we can help develop an idea for a new business, grow your existing business and manage your personal and business tax requirements more efficiently.

The Two Counties Business Exhibition brings together businesses from across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and beyond to build new connections, promote products and services and to learn and be inspired by guest speakers. 

Entry is free for all visitors.

2013/ 2014 Tax errors

March 3, 2015

HMRC are now issuing penalties for tax errors and mistakes made in 2013/14 tax returns, typically at the rate of 15% of the understated tax, although the penalty can be up to 100% of the underpaid tax.

If you have received a penalty as a result of a mistake made on your tax return, but you took every care to complete it, you need to submit an appeal against the penalty without delay. HMRC will take into account your background, experience and personal circumstances when deciding whether to remove or reduce the penalty, so tell HMRC as much about yourself as possible in your appeal.

We can help you with this process.

How to appeal an inaccuracy tax return penalty

Changes to UK Business rates

February 26, 2015

The UK Goverment have made changes to the rules governing business rates and how you appeal against business rates that you feel to be incorrect.

The rates you pay on your non-domestic (eg business) property depend on its ‘rateable value’. This is calculated by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). Any appeal against the rateable value of a property submitted after 1 April 2015 will not be backdated to the period 2010 to 2015.

If you are unhappy about the rateable value of your business property you need to get your appeal in by 31 March 2015. If you appeal later, and the rateable value of your property is reduced following the appeal, your business will not receive the potential refunds of business rates for periods up to 31 March 2015.

If you have any concerns about the rateable value of your business property, please contact us for advice.

 How to appeal against business rates

Company car tax changes April 2015

February 18, 2015

Do you have a company car? You may want to reconsider whether or not you keep your company car before the beginning of the new tax year (6 April 2015), when the tax charges for using any type company car will increase. These increases also affect electric cars which will be taxed at 5% of their list price.
Cars with higher CO2 emissions will be taxed far more harshly in future years, with many more cars attracting the maximum taxable benefit of 37% of the list price. For example a petrol car with CO2 emissions of 142g/km, will be taxed on 21% of its list price in 2014/15, but in 2017/18 the same car will be taxed on 37% of its list price.  

We can help you work out the future tax due on your current company car, please contact us for more details.

Finance Bill 2015 legislation – see p 38 for car rates & bands

Junior ISA Investments

February 17, 2015

The end of the tax year on 5 April 2015 is the deadline for investing in ISAs for 2014/15.  These are handy tax-free savings accounts which are now also available for children in the form of Junior ISAs.
A Junior ISA can be opened for any child under the age of 18 who lives in the UK and doesn’t already have child trust fund (CTF) account. The investment limit for a junior ISA is £4,000 for 2014/15, which will rise to £4,080 for 2015/16. Any unused investment limit cannot be carried forward.
Anyone can deposit funds into the child’s Junior ISA, including the child’s parents, with no tax implications for donor of the funds. From 6 April 2015 funds from the child’s CTF account can be transferred into their Junior ISA.

Experienced audit manager, Cambridge

February 17, 2015

We are looking for an ACCA/ACA qualified individual, who has at least 2 years post-qualification experience, to become a permanent addition to our team. Ideally the candidate would be available to start during May or June this year.


UK Pension rules relaxed

February 10, 2015

A number of changes are being made to UK pension tax rules to reflect the greater flexibility individuals will have to access their pension savings from age 55.
From 6 April 2015 anyone with a defined contribution (money purchase) pension scheme will be entitled to extract all their savings from their pension scheme once they reach age 55. 
However, it is important that you consider and fully understand the tax implications if you decide to extract your pension early.  Under flexi-access drawdown, the first 25% of your pension savings can be taken as a tax-free payment, but the rest will be taxed at your marginal tax rate for the year you extract those funds. Once you start to take money from your pension fund you will face restrictions on what you can put back in as contributions.
If you are thinking about accessing savings from your pension scheme when you reach age 55, please talk to us to discuss the tax implications before you make your decision. 
For more information - Pensions flexibility guidance 

Year End Tax Guide 2014/2015

February 3, 2015

With the 2014/ 15 tax year about to end, now is the perfect time to consider tax planning opportunities. Below is a check list to think about before April 2015.

  • Have you used this year's increased ISA allowances?
  • Have you maximised your pension contributions and renewed your life time allowances?
  • Have you reviewed your Capital Gains Tax position and utilised your annual exemption for the year?
  • If you are a higher rate taxpayer, have you considered making a gift aid donation of pension contributions to reduce the impact of the 45% rate?
  • If your income is likely to exceed £100,000, have you considered ways to mitigate the potential loss or reduction of your personal allowance?
  • If you are married or in a civil partnership, have you considered transferring income producing assets to the lower earner to utilise their personal allowance and lower tax rates?
  • Have you reviewed your Inheritance Tax (IHT) position and utilised your annual exemption for the year?  Have you considered taking advantage of other IHT exemptions for gifts within your lifetime? 

If you would like to discuss these and any other tax planning opportunities available to you, our team would be delighted to hear from you.

Click here to download our short guide to rates, reliefs and allowences available for use by 5 April 2015 

Auto-enrolment trigger

February 3, 2015

If a worker’s earnings are below the earnings trigger point for auto-enrolment that person does not have to be including in auto-enrolment. The earnings trigger point for all tax years up to and including 2014/15 was equivalent to the personal allowance for that tax year.  

However, for 2015/16 the trigger point for auto-enrolment is being frozen at £10,000, it will not move up to £10,600 in line with the personal allowance. This means you need to be careful about excluding low-paid workers from those who you enrol in the company pension scheme.

VAT returns benchmarked

January 27, 2015

HMRC are currently writing to around 7500 furniture retailers or car mechanics asking them to check the figures in boxes 6 and 7 on their VAT returns. The letter includes the standard range of VAT mark-up ratios for the relevant business sector and asks the business to calculate their own VAT mark-up to compare to the standard ratios.

If you receive one of those letters, don’t panic. HMRC do not believe your VAT return is wrong, they are just asking you to double check the reported figures. We can help you with that.

HMRC VAT benchmarking

Fit for work

January 20, 2015

If any of your employees have been off work sick for 28 days or more, or expect to be sick for that time, you can use the Government sponsored “Fit for Work” service to help them get back to work. You can pay for up to £500 of medical treatment for the sick employee, as recommended by an occupational health assessment provided through Fit for Work, or by any other occupational health professional.

The cost of that treatment will generally be free of tax and NI, but it must meet a number of conditions. We can help you check if the treatment will qualify for this new tax exemption.   

Self-Assessment Tax Return Deadline

January 6, 2015

2014/ 2015Self-Assessment Tax Return  
Deadline 31 January 2015  

If you are required to submit a self-assessment tax return to HMRC for the 2013/ 2014 tax year, please be reminded that the deadline is midnight 31 January 2015. Late submissions will result in a £100 fine, so please don't leave your tax return to the last minute.  

If you have any questions or require any assistance completing your tax return, please contact us on 01223 810 100.

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