Talk Money Week 2023

Talk Money Week 2023

Integrity Accountancy provides a range of service benefiting business and business owners in a variety of sectors.

Over this next week, we have Talk Money Week 2023, which is an annual campaign that encourages open conversations about personal finance, money management, and financial well-being. We will be proving help and support to individuals during his time, primarily helping them when dealing with HMRC. We will provide details regarding the HMRC App, that can help boost and manage your finances.

First off, how do we use the HMRC app:

  1. First step is simple which is downloading the app which is free.
  2. Then follow the instructions on screen to complete the app setting, where you will be asked to sign in again.
  3. Users will need to know their Government Gateway user ID and password to in, but after that can just select facial recognition, a short PIN or choose to use their fingerprint to get in quicker. If they don’t already have an ID and password, this can be created on the same sign in page.
  4. As we can see it is a simple set up that’s required that doesn’t take too long and has simple steps with procedures to follow which already is demonstrating a easy and understandable introduction.

What does this HMRC new app provide?

Employee’s – Claim tax relief on employee expenses
Tax – If you have paid too much tax, it guides you on how to claim a tax refund.
Families – Claim and manage tax benefits.
Married or Civil Couples – Claim marriage allowance

Join us Integrity Accountancy Services over the next couple of days where we go over each service and analyse how they may be beneficial in depth.


Tip 1 – Support for employees – claim tax relief on employee expenses


Did you know you and your employees may be able to claim tax refunds on work-related expenses? Making a claim online via GOV‌‌‌.UK takes minutes and guarantees that you get 100% of the money back, if eligible.
Use the online claim service to check eligibility and a full list of work expenses, including:

  • Uniform and Clothing
  • Buying work related equipment
  • Professional fees, union membership and subscription
  • Using their own vehicle for work travel (excluding journey from home to work)

You can claim tax relief by phoning HMRC if you’ve already claimed the same expense type in a previous year and your total expenses are less than either £1000 or £2500 for professional fees and subscriptions. You must use the HMRC form to make a claim. HMRC cannot accept claims made on any other version of the form. you must claim tax relief by post if you’re claiming either on behalf of someone else or for more than 5 jobs.

You cannot use this service if you:

  • are claiming on behalf of someone else.
  • complete Self-Assessment tax returns (except current year claims)
  • are claiming for expenses over £2,500.
  • are claiming for more than 5 different jobs.


An advantage of claiming expenses would be that this reduces your taxable income and the tax you must pay. However, you’ll need to submit a claim by post using HMRC’s postal form. This may be time consuming, and postage is the only form HMRC accept.

If you would like to know how to claim back taxes through a letter formally, please do contact us on 0121 777 5361 where we give you free consultation resolving your queries.


Tip 2 – Support if you’ve paid too much tax – claim a tax refund


If you feel as if you have paid too much towards you tax, claiming a Tax Refund is easy through the HMRC app. You may feel you have paid extra tax on the following income:

  • pay from a job.
  • job expenses such as working from home, fuel, work clothing or tools.
  • a pension
  • a Self-Assessment tax return
  • a redundancy payment
  • UK income if you live abroad.
  • interest from savings or payment protection insurance (PPI)
  • income from a life or pension annuity
  • foreign income


How do I get my HMRC tax refund?

Your tax calculation letter will tell you if HMRC will send you a cheque and, if so, you will receive this by post.


What do I do if I am too late for a repayment?

If you think you have overpaid tax in tax years that are closed to claims, there is a rule known as Extra-Statutory Concession B41 which can allow HMRC to repay tax for those earlier years.


How long does it take to get a refund?

This a common question, the answer is usually somewhere between 5 days and 8 weeks.


You can get a refund on any taxable income you’ve paid taxes on, including:

  • Pay from your current or previous job.
  • Pension payments.
  • Income from a life or pension annuity.
  • A redundancy payment.


Tip 3 – Support for families – claim and manage Child Benefits


Claiming your child’s benefits can be done 48 hours after you have registered your child for birth. If you were eligible for Child Benefit before HMRC got your claim form, and you have not claimed the benefits straightaway, your claim may be automatically backdated up to a maximum of 3 months from when you have applied.


What do I need to apply?

  • your child’s birth or adoption certificate
  • your bank or building society details
  • your National Insurance number
  • your partner’s National Insurance number if you have one

However, if your child was born outside the UK:

  • your child’s original birth or adoption certificate
  • your child’s passport or the travel document they used to enter the UK

Any documents you send will be returned to you within 4 weeks.


Who should make the claim?

Only one person can claim back for the child’s benefits, it cannot be both parents, so this will need to discuss among them who is the better parent to claim. The person who claims will then get National insurance credit towards there state pension but only if there not working.


How can you claim?

There are three ways of claiming for your child’s benefits, and these are:

Post – This may take a longer and will need to be filled at the child benefit office.

Phone – you will need to phone Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100 where they will require National Insurance number or Child Benefit number.

HMRC App – Fill out the Child Benefit claim form, then send it to the Child Benefit Office. It can take up to 12 weeks to process a new Child Benefit claim.


You get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is:

  • under 16
  • under 20 if they stay in approved education or training


How much is Child Benefit?

If you’re eligible, you’ll get £24 a week for your first child and £15.90 a week for any children after that.


Tip 4 – Support for couples married or in civil partnerships – claim Marriage Allowance 


Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,260 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife, or civil partner. It’s free to apply for Marriage Allowance on with the HMRC app. This can reduce their tax by up to £252 every tax. To benefit as a couple, you need to earn less than your partner and have an income of £12,570 or less. Your partner’s income must be between £12,571 and £50,270 (£43,662 in Scotland) for you to be eligible. You can backdate your claim to include any tax year since 5 April 2019 that you were eligible for Marriage Allowance. If your partner has since died you can still claim.

What do you need to apply?

You can apply for Marriage Allowance online. It’s free to apply online with the HMRC App. If both of you have no income other than your wages, then the person who earns the least should make the claim. If either of you gets other income, such as dividends or savings, you may need to work out who should claim.

If you cannot apply online, you can apply:

  • Through Self-Assessment online if you’re already registered and send tax returns
  • by filling in Marriage Allowance from MATCF and sending it to the address on the form


How would your personal allowances change?

HMRC will give your partner the allowance you have transferred to them either:

  • by changing their tax code – this can take up to 2 months
  • when they send their Self-Assessment tax return

If your new Personal Allowance is lower than your income after you’ve made a claim, you might have to pay some income tax. However, you might still benefit as a couple.


How you tax code changes:

You and your partner will get new tax codes that reflect the transferred allowance. Your tax code will end with:

  • M’ if you are receiving the allowance
  • N’ if you are transferring the allowance

Your tax code will also change if you’re employed or get a pension.

Get your Tax Return done early!

Get your Tax Return done early!


Are you putting off filing your tax return? Are you one to put it off until next year, given the deadline is 31st January 2023? Getting your tax return submitted early could attract several benefits.

Let’s take a look at eight reasons why we think getting your tax return prepared and submitted early is beneficial.

Know your liability-Filing your tax return early will ensure you know your tax liability earlier, claim all allowable tax reliefs as early as possible and avoid last minute panic.

Receive a repayment sooner– You are entitled to a refund from HMRC if you have overpaid tax during the year. If you have overpaid tax, it is advisable to complete your tax return as soon as possible, so that you can claim this refund. This could improve your cashflow.

More time for tax planning– Preparing your return early enables you to consider any tax planning opportunities, allowing you to implement them in time for the following tax year.

Do you owe less than £3000 in tax? there is an option to have this tax collected through an adjustment to your tax code.  This means any tax owing would be collected from your monthly salary over 12 months. This is effectively an interest free loan from HMRC. However, you must file your tax return before 31 December and elect to pay this way.

Avoid late penalties– Filing early will give you time to address any problems and avoid HMRC’s late filling penalties. If you miss the January 31st deadline, you will incur a £100 penalty.

Need to contact HMRC– If you have attempted to get in touch with HMRC’s personal tax helplines in January, you will most likely know their hold music by heart.

With increasing pressure on already stretched resources due to the coronavirus pandemic, and new customs requirements due to Brexit, it is all set to get even worse.

According to HMRC’s own data released last year, the average wait time for callers had risen to almost 14 minutes, and 49.2% of callers had to wait for more than 10 minutes to be answered. Filing early will mean avoiding this.

Avoid stress and Minimise Mistakes– HMRC says that 26,562 people filed their tax return between 11pm and 11:59pm on the January 2021 deadline.

While leaving it late might be unavoidable for some, it does carry the risk of making more errors than necessary, and mistakes can lead to fines. HMRC charge 0 to 30% of the tax due if people have been careless.

Also leaving filing until the last minute could mean not being able to get important information, such as dividend certificates and bank interest details, before the deadline.

Gives you more time to research Professional advice– You can include the costs of hiring a professional accountant or adviser as a tax-deductible expense. It gives you more time to find the right professional to help you out. It’s important to do your research and make sure you find someone with a great reputation, as bad advice can cost you time and money.

Their advice can help you set up a proper record-keeping system, also, their knowledge of tax and expenses could go towards reducing your overall tax liability.

For a free no obligation meeting click here:

Autumn Budget 2021

Autumn Budget 2021


The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is due to announce the Autumn Budget on
the 27th of October. This budget usually entails financial and economic reports, and an update on the state of public finances. He will also announce changes to tax rates, any tax-free allowance adjustments and detail out plans for future government spending.

What we already know for this Autumn’s budget

We know that higher taxes are on the cards in the spring as the government finds ways of paying for their high rates of spending.
Here are some changes that we already know about:
  • National insurance contributions will increase by 1.25% from April next year.
  • Dividend tax will increase by 1.25%, which means investors will have to pay more on their earnings.
  • We also know that the government will give a £500m Household Support Fund to councils to help the most vulnerable families in England this winter.



In under two weeks’ time, we will know more about other economic changes, and how our finances will be affected both for our businesses and on an individual level.
If you’d like a free meeting with a Chartered Management Accountant, please contact us on 0333 444 1539.

Card Reader Options for Small Businesses

Card Reader Options for Small Businesses



With today’s current climate and buying habits, it’s commonly accepted that most businesses accept card payments. The contactless spending limit is even due to increase from £45 to £100 later this year, the Treasury has confirmed.

However, it is often less obvious to decide how to accept card payments. There are many options available, such as fixed card terminals, portable machines, and mobile card readers. In this article, we’ll explore which type to use for your business, and why.
App-based card readers are becoming increasingly popular with small businesses and start-ups, especially those which operate a mobile business. They work by connecting the small device to Wi-Fi or a mobile phone connection to process the payment. For low-volume, low-value scenarios they are ideal with low start-up costs and no monthly fees. But their slower speed of operation and higher transaction costs mean they are not as suitable as volumes and values increase.
For larger operations, or businesses or charities who regularly accept card payments, especially where speed of operation is a requirement and/or high values are involved, traditional chip and PIN terminals are the preferred option.


These terminals include:
Countertop machines – where the machine sits on a counter connected by wires to a broadband or phone line port.
These machines are ideal for businesses or charities with a fixed location who serve customers at a till point.
Portable machines – where the machine sits in a cradle or base unit and can be picked up and used up to approximately 50 metres away from the base unit. The base unit is connected to an internet or phone line and charges the portable terminal and establishes a connection through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Portable terminals are ideal for businesses with a fixed location who accept payments from around the premises such as restaurants and bars.


Mobile machines – a self-contained portable chip and PIN machine which uses mobile internet or Wi-fi connections to complete transactions. These machines are ideal for businesses and charities who operate at a variety of locations or events. Mobile food vans, pop-up shops and market stalls as well as charities canvassing for donations in different areas can all benefit from a mobile chip and PIN terminal.


Particularly for small businesses, we have found that SumUp offers the best card reader with the lowest running costs. Their wireless card reader can facilitate contactless and chip payments, connecting to a mobile device via Bluetooth. It accepts all major card types, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple/Google Pay etc. SumUp offers the lowest transaction fees, at 1.69%. The upfront cost is £29 (excl. VAT), and there are no monthly fees like a fixed card terminal.


If you’d like any other advice on becoming self employed or forming a limited company, please contact us to book a free meeting with a Chartered Management Accountant.

0333 444 1539

The Company Christmas Party in 2020 – Time for Virtual!

The Company Christmas Party in 2020 – Time for Virtual!


The Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have put a stop to the annual office party and have forced employers to think of alternative ways to wish employees a happy Christmas and to boost morale.  


Christmas parties

Employers are allowed to host an annual event. This doesn’t have to be at Christmas, it could be held at any time of the year, the key here is that it is an annual event and is made available to all employees, or all in a particular location where an employer has more than one location, at a cost of less than £150 per head.


All costs of providing the event must be counted when calculating the ‘per head’ cost. This could include:


Food and drink

Transport and accommodation that enables an employee to attend


This list isn’t exclusive.


If the cost exceeds £150, then the whole amount will become taxable.


HMRC has now confirmed, that where all normal conditions are met, virtual events can be included when considering the £150 exemption.


An example of this may be a company holds one annual function in a tax year and does so virtually using IT. All employees are invited and each is provided with a hamper consisting of some food and drink to be enjoyed by the attendees during the party. The total cost per head is £100 which is within the £150 exemption and so the exemption applies.

This is great news to almost half of employers who confirmed in a recent poll, that they fund the full amount incurred for hosting the annual Christmas party.


Trivial benefits

The statutory exemption lays out certain criteria that must be met in order to be counted as a trivial benefit which ensure that:

The benefit is not cash or a cash voucher

The cost to provide does not exceed £50

The benefit is not provided as a contractual entitlement

The benefit is not provided in return for a normal service (or services) expected by the employee – e.g. hitting a pre-set performance target


Common examples seen include a gift of flowers on a birthday, a turkey at Christmas, or a modest layette on the birth of a child. More than one trivial benefit can be provided during the year; however, where the employer is a close company and the trivial benefits are given to a director, office holder or members of their families or households, an annual limit of £300 exists.


When all else fails

Otherwise referred to as a Christmas bonus, arguably a cash gift could present the employer with the most simple solution for saying thank you to their employees and spreading a little cheer during the festive season. Even a modest cash bonus can bring out the child in us (who didn’t love a £5 note from a favourite Aunt or Uncle tucked into our birthday or Christmas cards)?


A gift such as this, and for whatever reason it is given, will be subject to PAYE income tax and Class 1 NICs but the amount that the employee receives in their pay will depend upon their individual circumstances, and particular tax bands.


How do employers normally celebrate during the Christmas period?

A recent survey found that most employers demonstrated their Christmas spirit, and provided gift vouchers (4%), turkeys (1%), chocolates/biscuits (4%), a cash bonus (4%), an annual party (35%) and even some (1%) employers showering unlimited generosity (budget allowing). There remained a some Scrooge-like behaviour, with 46% of respondents admitting to being provided with nothing from their employers at Christmas. Bah Humbug!