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October Question and Answer Corner

Newsletter issue - October 08.

Q. My sales have fallen off drastically in the last few months and my customers are getting much more price sensitive. Can I deregister for VAT and so effectively drop my prices?

A. If your total sales for the last 12 months have been less than £65,000, and you expect them to stay below this threshold for the next 12 months you can ask HMRC to cancel your VAT registration. This is not an automatic process and the VAT office may not grant you permission to escape the VAT net. You need to complete form VAT 7, which can be downloaded from the HMRC website, and give some convincing reasons on that from why your turnover is unlikely to rise about the compulsory VAT registration limit (£67,000) in the foreseeable future.

Q. I'm about to buy a shop with a flat above. Will the value of the flat be covered by the Stamp Duty holiday, and so be free of duty?

A. Unfortunately not. The Stamp Duty Land Tax 'holiday' only applies to purely residential properties where the value of the sale is £175,000 or less, and the deal is completed between 3 September 2008 and 2 September 2009. Commercial properties, and properties where there is both a commercial and residential part, such as your combined flat and shop, are covered by the commercial rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax which start at £150,000. There is no 'holiday' for these commercial properties.

Q. I held shares in the company I worked for, which was taken over in February 2008. The amount I received for those shares was less than I paid for them. Can I get any benefit from that loss?

A. If the company was not quoted on a stock exchange you may be able to set the loss against your income for 2007/08 or 2006/07, but you must have bought the shares directly from the company, not from another person. The company must also meet a number of conditions regarding its size and trade. If the company was quoted or does not meet all the conditions, the only option for you is to claim the capital loss on the capital gains tax pages of your tax return. You can then set the loss against any taxable capital gains you make in the future.

 

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Dakins Property Services

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Choice Events Limited

All at Beauchamp Charles are very helpful, approachable and easy to talk to. They keep me informed with key dates; I can feel totally confident that I won't ever miss any deadlines! Whoever I deal with, always deal with matters professionally and efficiently and if they are unavailable they get back to me promptly.

FT leisure Ltd

I have worked with Beauchamp Charles as our management accountants for over 20 years and have never received anything less than exceptional service. Their approach is both professional and personal. Finances and particularly tax strategies are a minefield for small businesses; Beauchamp Charles have in-depth knowledge of these area, which is comforting. They pay very close attention to our business activities and have provided financial strategies that have helped our company develop.

Fredrick Thomas Electrical and Maintenance

We have used Beauchamp Charles since company formation back in 1998. Beauchamp Charles offers us a one to one service as they are small enough to offer this dedicated service and large enough to do the work and offer best advice. They get to know us as individuals and a business, always giving sound advice. Frederick Thomas Electrical are in a stronger place thanks to the service we get from them.

Barnes Walker Landscapes Limited

We are a small business and had employed the same accountancy firm for many years. Two years ago we took the decision to switch to Beauchamp Charles after several othe local businesses recommended them very highly to us. We have not been disappointed with the service they have provided to us over these last two years.