News and events from TaxCalc
The Covid-19 enforced lockdown in March saw firms across the country abruptly move their businesses from being office, to home-based.
For many of those firms that have already embraced the 'Digital Revolution', the transition to home working has been far smoother – and has also come some distinct advantages. Flexible working has resulted in improved productivity and, in many cases, staff morale. Also, firm location and distance is no longer a barrier to serving clients and has resulted in the provision of more responsive advisory services and improved client relationships.
With the lockdown continuing to ease, one TaxCalc customer reflects on the immediate and lasting changes of working from home and going digital.
The growing range of zero emissions vehicles presents a real opportunity to cut expenses, but there are drawbacks to consider.
With few models to choose from and a frustrating ownership experience, the first wave of electric vehicles (EVs) was a tough sell. But heading into 2020, things are changing.
Company car tax is not only based on CO2 emissions, but also electric driving range. Prior rules stipulated that cars with an electric driving range of 130 miles and above would fall into the 2% car tax band, but these rules were recently scrapped. Pure electric vehicles—those without a tailpipe—will now benefit from an even lower 0% tax rate between 2020-2021. The following two years will see rates rise to 1% and 2% in 2021-22 and 2022-2023 respectively.
In our connected world, people now expect to work and interact remotely – even when it comes to sharing important documentation. For firms preparing sets of accounts and filing tax returns, the traditional method of sending and receiving hard copy documentation is becoming less attractive: the process takes longer, costs more and takes up valuable storage space. Clients are also simply too busy and are accustomed to viewing documents on-screen and printing only when necessary.
What can an independent practice learn from the software selection process used by a 200-strong accountancy franchise?
We were recently asked to join two of the directors of the TaxAssist franchise on stage at Accountex. The brief was to share some of the lessons we both learnt during their recent software review, which resulted in TaxCalc being rolled out nationally for core compliance needs.
Whilst outlining the key criteria that turned out to be pivotal in the assessment for the network, it struck us that the very same principles equally apply to an independent practice considering their own needs, and are worth sharing.
At this year's Accountex Exhibition we introduced a number of breakthrough products, including two new Company Secretarial solutions, Company Incorporator and Company Forms. With the unveiling of our Making Tax Digital strategy, TaxCalc proved itself to remain ahead of the pack. MTD updates to our practice management software, Client Hub were announced alongside TaxCalc MTD, an integrated, end-to-end modular solution comprising, Cashbook (record-keeping), Business Tax (quarterly reporting) and Tax Return production.
Back in the March Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced that the tax return would be replaced by a Digital Tax Account by the end of this parliament. As is often the case with Government policy, such broad statements don’t have any immediate substance to them apart from a few broad concepts.
Over the six months that have followed, HMRC have been beavering away at working out what a Digital Tax Account should look like and how it should work. We have been fortunate to be part of this and have helped to shape this development.
Bit by bit, the picture of how the Digital Tax Account will work has become increasingly more clear and now we can finally begin to explain how some of this will work.
We recently made the announcement that we would be withdrawing formal support for Microsoft Windows XP on 1 March 2016.
Unsurprisingly, we received a small amount of correspondence from customers on this. As an operating system that will, by next March, have seen some 15 years of service, a handful found our announcement to be somewhat of a blow. Others, however, were more philosophical and accepting that this was an inevitability, especially since Microsoft themselves retired the operating system in April of last year.
Since then, Microsoft haven’t been providing security or other critical updates. This has had a knock on effect with the number of customers using the operating system and, indeed, we’ve seen a rapid reduction in the number of installations running on Windows XP.