We produced a paper newsletter for around 12 years. It stopped at the beginning of 2020 and was subsequently replaced by the material that you are now reading. The content is pretty much the same, but it felt right to move away from paper and postage. We were getting more and more requests to email out our newsletter and we resisted the move to online for a long time. But in the end, we felt that so many people had moved over to online media that it was right to make the move.
There is no saving in time as far as we are concerned. Moving from monthly paper to weekly online means more time and effort for us, but monthly online really does not work as far as we can see. I generate all the content and then I have a Lauren at Adder Business who does all the magic stuff for us. She puts it all on our website, sends out a weekly news email and posts components of my material on to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn on various days of the week. Everyone should have a Lauren, but you can’t have mine!
We used to send out over 2000 paper newsletters every month and as you can imagine, that meant that we used a lot of A3 paper. We printed our newsletter effortlessly on our copier from Highland Copiers and rarely had any issues. I realise we had a chunkier copier than many offices but it worked well for us.
We still have a stock of white A3 copier paper that has sat unused now for over 2 years. We would like to find a home for it. We have 15 reams to give away to a charity that can make use of it. One charity has already taken 5 reams. Do you run a charity or do you know of a charity that could use this paper? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don’t know about you but our use of paper generally has plummeted over the last 10 years. It seemed that we were ordering paper all the time, whether that was for working papers or for printing letters, accounts, and tax returns. Now our working papers are all online and most other documents are uploaded to our secure client area for you to view, download or approve. We are even starting to question whether we still need a franking machine.
So, technology is changing the face of our world in ways that we could not have imagined when we started. Mind you it does mean that we employ fewer people but that is progress I suppose. We no longer have secretaries, audio typists or dedicated receptionists. Whoever is on reception does so much more.
We are even getting a company car for the first time. Well it is electric so we get the tax relief for all the costs, and the benefit in kind charges are insignificant. Helen tells me it is her car. I said, in that case, it should go on your P11D! This is our home car. That is the car that at any other time we would have bought privately and run as our personal car. It is still our personal car and the business use is probably less than 10%. But we can get the tax relief. Why would we buy it ourselves? So, the company should take delivery of our new car in April.
So it’s not just changes in technology that drive our decision making but also changes in the tax system.
What else can we expect from the tax system in the next few years that could drive yours and our decisions?
We will shortly all (or most of us) feel the effects of the Health and Social Care Levy. This will extract a levy on the payroll of most businesses of around 2.5% (1.25% from employees and 1.25% from employers). There is a 1.25% additional tax on the self employed because the Class 4 NIC rate is being increased. The rate of tax on dividends has also been increased by 1.25%. The stealth tax is the freezing of personal allowances until 2026. In that time, you would normally have expected the allowance to have gone up by several thousand pounds so you will be paying more tax every year, but you will hardly notice. The basis rate band is also frozen so more of you will creep into higher rates of tax. But Rishi is giving you back 1% on the basis rate in 2024! Is this smoke and mirrors? Seems like it to me. And don’t forget that the rate of Corporation Tax is going up for all company profits above £50,000.
But there cannot be any doubt that the government needs cash and that means that one way or another, we pay. So, what other opportunities are there for Rishi to collect more from us. What reliefs and allowances could be axed. Could he do away with the tax relief on pensions? What about making capital gains taxable at your marginal income tax rate? Could Agricultural Property Relied for farms of Business Property Relief for other businesses be back in the IHT spotlight. Who knows at this stage, but there will be something.
Will this or should this change our behaviour. At the end of the day, business survival is paramount as is maximizing your profits. There are people dependent upon you making profits and I don’t mean Rishi. There will be tax, and more of it, but you have to make profit. You just don’t get to keep so much of it.
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Alan E Long
The Long Partnership