New Green Car Tax Regulations – Some You Win…

We all want to go green don’t we? And the Government is very keen to try and encourage us to switch to cars that have reduced CO2 emissions and use less fuel.

In case you didn’t notice, a number of changes to the way company cars can be offset against tax came into play in April this year. They might make you consider your options if you are thinking about making changes to your business vehicle or a fleet.

Broadly speaking allowances will be based on the level of CO2 emissions. If you are purchasing a vehicle then 110g/kg will be a figure at the top of your mind because you can get 100% tax allowance on the cost of a car with CO2 emissions at or below this level. For leased cars then 100% offset is available for vehicles with CO2 emissions of 160g/km

Then the rules start to get a bit more tricky. Craig Beale, a partner at Lewis Smith & Co., had this to say. “The new rules are relatively complicated, which makes deciding the best approach on company vehicles quite difficult. There may be implications for your overall tax position that need to be taken into account too. If you have any doubts then feel free to talk to us to establish the best course of action.”

Call 01384 235549 or email today to book a meeting with one of our expert team.

Lewis Smith – Accountants for Kingswinford

Avoid the minimum wage penalties

Did you know that since 6th April 2009 employers will face a penalty if HMRC discovers that they haven’t paid the national minimum wage? At the same time workers who have’t received the proper amount are entitled to have arrears of wages repaid.

HMRC has given its officers new inspection powers and you may have read in previous Lewis Smith & Co. news items that the incidence of investigations has gone up dramatically in recent months.

Lewis Smith & Co. payroll clients can stay calm because we automatically notify them of any relevant changes to legislation and, depending on the level of service, we will update systems as necessary.

If you are finding payroll a burden or you have any concerns about the impact of financial legislation on your business then call 01384 235549 today to set up a free initial consultation.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Accountancy, tax advice and business planning experts

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

We are really pleased to have been able to support one of our clients, Alun Nicholas (a chartered architect) in an unusual charity escapade.

Alun has spent the last two and half years growing his hair to raise money for The Little Princess Trust and Acorns Children’s Hospice. The process has caused some grief: partly because that is three times longer than expected and also because he just prefers short hair.

The target length of 10 inches was important because the now chopped off hair is being donated for use in in wigs for children who have had illnesses.

You can see what Alun looked like before his locks were reclaimed at the Stourbridge News website.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Accountants for Stourbridge

Pictures in the Post – The Birmingham Post

Lewis Smith & Co., leading Dudley accountants, were delighted that news of the fantastic Black Country photos adorning their website has reached beyond the Black Country into neighbouring Birmingham.

Lewis Smith press releaseThe Birmingham Post ran a half page feature on the photo collection, taken by award winning photographer Martin Brent, and included a great shot of Martin plus Lewis Smith & Co. directors Andrew Smith and Craig Beale posing in front of Cobbs Engine House on the canal in Netherton.

Andrew Smith commented “The interest generated by these pictures has been really gratifying. We are proud to serve the Black Country business community and delighted to show off some of the area’s hidden gems.”

Find out more about Lewis Smith & Co’s range of accountancy, taxation and business planning services or contact us directly for a free initial consultation.

Lewis Smith & Co – Accountants for Dudley, Wolverhampton, Walsall and beyond.

Two houses? Tell the taxman!

If you do have two properties then it is very important to let HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) know as part of your CGT (Capital Gains Tax) planning.

You probably know that your main residence is exempt from CGT. You may not have been aware of a couple of other useful pieces of information.

  • Firstly if you have more than one property that is “owned and available” then you can specify any one of them as the main residence as long as you provide evidence that you have used it as a residence (e.g. Council Tax payments.
  • Secondly you may be able to gain special CGT property relief because HMRC will count the last 3 years of ownership as though it was main residence even if it wasn’t, at the point of disposal.

If you don’t make HMRC properly aware in a timely manner then they can choose to ignore subsequent claims for main residence relief when you come to sell a property.

CGT on property can become complicated if you have to switch main residence status frequently becuase of, say, work committments or you own rental properties.

If you need advice on Capital Gains Tax issues then call us today on 01384 1384 235549 for a free initial consultation with one of our experts.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Dudley accountants

Lewis Smith & Co. Fire Up Big Acquisition!

Craig Beale, Lewis Smith & Co. partner and M&A expert, has just helped 2 Black Country entrepreneurs in a million pound acquisition of a leading player in the Automatic Sprinklers market.

Simon Jesson and Richard Pipe had been planning to acquire Fire Security (Sprinkler Installations) Ltd more than a year ago but found themselves struggling to complete the transaction because of a combination of the credit crunch and inertia from their existing advisors.
Fortunately Lewis Smith & Co., the Dudley based accountants, was recommended to them by Lloyds Bank as an alternative. It only took a couple of meetings with Craig to convince the entrepreneurial duo that Lewis Smith & Co. had the “right stuff”.

Simon and Richard commented. “We needed some straight talkers who would fight our corner and just get on with the job. Craig explained what Lewis Smith & Co. would do for us without any jargon and then delivered on his promises. We are really comfortable working with them”

Lewis Smith & Co. performed all of the financial due diligence for the deal and used the firm’s extensive contacts in the finance sector to help the partners to find affordable funding. What made the real difference though was Lewis Smith & Co’s determination to get the deal completed.

As Craig explained “Whenever an objection was raised or another obstacle appeared we took the initiative and sorted things out. We helped raise the money and did a fair bit of handholding of the vendors to keep them on track. Of course it did require some team work and we must acknowledge the contribution of both Lloyds and Talbots Solicitors to making the transaction happen. ”

Fire Security is now on track for ambitious growth with Lewis Smith & Co. providing continued support with monthly management accounts and the provision of a pay roll service. With Simon and Richard’s drive and their knowledge of the industry the future is burning bright for Fire Security!

Lewis Smith & Co. – Stourbridge accountants

Check out our contact page for email and phone details.

Lewis Smith & Co. get snapping in Netherton!

You might have noticed that our website is adorned with some rather nice photographs of the Black Country.

Well other people think they are pretty good too. So today we have had the slightly strange situation of having Andrew Smith and Craig Beale from Lewis Smith & Co. along with award winning photographer Martin Brent all being photographed by a press photographer in Netherton with Cobbs Engine House as a back drop!

Maybe you will see us in the local papers and it might be worth reading the article carefully – we have a surprised planned.

Lewis Smith & Co. – Acccountants for Netherton

The Tax Man Cometh! HMRC investigations on the rise.

The HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) is getting tough as it seeks to maximise the collection of tax revenue in the face of the recession. According to the Times Online it doesn’t take too much to trigger an investigation by Revenue Inspectors. Mistakes in tax returns, large changes in income or the pattern of expenses could be enough to make it happen.

The problem for small businesses, in particular, is that justified or not these investigations could cost you time and money.

Fortunately Lewis Smith & Co., the Dudley based accountancy firm, can help. Our Fee Protection Service covers all of the specialist professional fees that would accrue from an investigation and we will handle all of the dealings with the HMRC.

Check out our services page for more information or give us a call on 01384 235549.

Lewis Smith & Co. – providing accountancy services to Dudley, Wolverhampton, Stourbridge and beyond.