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Interactive Diagnostic

Stratford-upon-Avon

13 The Courtyard
Timothy's Bridge Road
Stratford-Upon-Avon
Warwickshire CV37 9NP

01789 294484

enquiries@gjassociates.co.uk

London

7-8 Stratford Place
Mayfair
London
W1C 1AY

0207 495 0304

enquiries@gjassociates.co.uk

VAT Flat Rate scheme

Using the VAT Flat Rate scheme, businesses pay VAT as a fixed percentage of their VAT inclusive turnover. The actual percentage used depends on the type of business. The scheme has been designed to simplify the way a business accounts for VAT and in so doing reduce the administration costs of complying with the VAT legislation.

Using the Flat Rate scheme, you pay VAT as a fixed percentage of your VAT inclusive turnover. The actual percentage you use depends on your type of business. The amount of VAT you pay on your business expenses becomes irrelevant to your VAT returns. This is very different to the normal VAT accounting procedure where the VAT you pay to HMRC is the difference between the VAT you charge your customers and the VAT you pay on your purchases.

The scheme is open to businesses that expect their annual taxable turnover in the next 12 months to be no more than £150,000, excluding VAT. The annual taxable turnover limit is the total of everything that a business sells during the year. It includes standard, reduced rate or zero rate sales and other supplies. It excludes the actual VAT charged, VAT exempt sales and sales of any capital assets.

A limited cost trader test was introduced in April 2017. Businesses that meet the definition of a 'limited cost trader' are required to use a fixed rate of 16.5% for the scheme. Businesses defined as limited cost traders may find it more beneficial to leave the scheme and account for VAT using traditional VAT accounting.

Once you join the scheme you can continue using the scheme provided your total business income does not exceed £230,000 in a 12 month period. There are some special rules if the increased turnover is temporary. There is also a first year discount for businesses in their first year of VAT registration of 1%.

VAT Flat Rate scheme

The VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) has been designed to simplify the way a business accounts for VAT and in so doing reduce the administration costs of complying with the VAT legislation. The scheme is open to businesses that expect their annual taxable turnover in the next 12 months to be no more than £150,000.

The limited cost trader test was introduced in April 2017 to help tackle abuse or perceived abuse of the VAT FRS by businesses that spend a small amount on goods. Businesses that meet the definition of a 'limited cost trader' are required to use a fixed rate of 16.5%. The highest 'regular' rate is 14.5%.

A limited cost trader is defined as one whose VAT inclusive expenditure on goods is either:

  • less than 2% of their VAT inclusive turnover in a prescribed accounting period; or
  • greater than 2% of their VAT inclusive turnover but less than £1,000 per annum if the prescribed accounting period is one year (if it is not one year, the figure is the relevant proportion of £1,000).

For some businesses – for example, those who purchase no goods, or who make significant purchases of goods – the outcome of the test will be self-evident. Other businesses need to complete a simple test, using information they already hold, to work out whether they are obliged to use the higher 16.5% rate. Businesses using the scheme are expected to check that they use the appropriate flat rate percentage for each accounting period.

If a business is a limited cost trader, it may be more beneficial to leave the FRS and account for VAT using the normal rules.

Grenfell James Technology Adoption Index

How does your business perform against others adopting financial tech? Find out with our interactive diagnostic:

1.

How does your business receive invoices?

A)

Invoices are mainly received in paper form

B)

Invoices are mainly received by email

C)

Invoices are emailed then automatically forwarded to a designated mailbox

2.

How are purchase invoices processed?

A)

Invoices are entered manually

B)

Invoices are attached to manually raised invoices

C)

Automated software (e.g. ReceiptBank, 1Tap, HubDoc etc) collates invoices

3.

How are accounts processed?

A)

Using Excel/paper-based

B)

Using Computer-based, offline software

C)

Using cloud-based accountancy software

4.

How often is business data revised?

A)

Data is updated annually

B)

Data is updated quarterly

C)

Data is updated monthly or more often

5.

How is banking updated for your business?

A)

Banking is updated manually

B)

Banking is updated by imports

C)

Banking is updated via a live feed

6.

How are bank payments made?

A)

Bank payments are manual

B)

Bank payments are made using bulk imports

C)

Bank payments are made directly via accounting software

7.

How are bank receipts reconciled?

A)

Receipts are chased and reconciled manually

B)

Receipts are chased and reconciled automatically

C)

A third-party platform is used to chase debts and collect fees

8.

How often are management reports produced?

A)

No reports are provided

B)

Reports are provided but often too late to be valuable

C)

Reports are automated with real-time information

Score 8-12:

Curious Exploration

Your financial technology phase is Curious Exploration

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Switching accountancy systems may seem like an upheaval, but can be much more straightforward than most businesses imagine. From talking to our clients, they have found moving from paper invoicing and desktop-based accounting software to the cloud and apps quickly makes the transition process a worthwhile investment of time. Digital accounting solutions bring in streamlined processes, up-to-date business data and greater confidence in the accuracy of information when making financial decisions.

Grenfell James works with your team to fully assess the needs of your business and minimise the impact of any transitions for solutions we recommend.

Find out more about App Advisory

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Score 13-19:

Measured Discovery

Your financial technology phase is Measured Discovery

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Once cloud accountancy software is in place, there’s still plenty of scope to improve your accountancy processes and make sure your business is maximising the benefits of adopting a digital accounting solution. Grenfell James assesses each business to understand how any implemented solutions are being used, identify areas for improvement and the needs of the business overall to support your business goals and achieve success.

Our team of experts can discuss a range of time-saving automation and get different apps and cloud-based solutions talking to create and manage a digital accountancy eco-system to help your business grow.

Find out more about App Advisory

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Score 20-24:

Bold Innovation

Your financial technology phase is Bold Innovation

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

You know the benefits of accounting technology and the impact it can have on your business goals. If you want to take it a step further, our team can conduct a systematic review of your processes, apps and business goals to ensure your digital accountancy ecosystem is keeping pace with the changing needs of a growing business.