Your Guide to Tax Relief when Purchasing or Leasing an Asset

As a business, you can acquire tax relief when you have bought or leased equipment, otherwise referred to as assets. For instance, when you purchase or make an arrangement for the Hire Purchase or Lease of plant, equipment (including IT equipment), and machinery, then you can deduct a certain proportion of the total cost of purchase or lease from your company’s profits which are taxable for the year – this tax relief is also known as a capital allowance.

What is capital allowance and how can you benefit from it?

A capital allowance is generally a fixed part or proportion of the total cost of machinery or equipment you have purchased outright or leased. Capital allowance can be claimed if the equipment is bought or purchased outright or if you have bought it through a hire purchase agreement, or if it is supplied to you through a lease. But the lease must be at least five years – seven, in some cases. If the lease is shorter than this, the leasing provider, such as Ultimate Finance, can benefit from capital allowance, and you can still have an indirect benefit through a lower charge for rental.

The basics on tax relief when purchasing or leasing assets

12You can acquire tax relief when you either purchase an asset outright, or when you lease that asset. The tax relief you can get from leasing an asset will, however, depend on both the type of lease you have as well as its length. The length and type of the lease will also have an effect on the VAT charges, which can be charged at particular incremental periods or upfront. Your overall expense when leasing or renting an asset can be classified as deductible as it falls under business expenses, which will then reduce your company’s tax bill.

Furthermore, if you are expecting to own the equipment or machinery at the end of its period of lease or hire purchase, then this will be classified as a ‘supply of goods’ (for purposes of VAT). This means that you will have to settle the VAT for the asset’s complete value at the beginning of the contract or agreement. If your company is registered for VAT and you would like to reclaim or recover the VAT and then sell the asset eventually, you may also have to consider the VAT on the asset’s overall selling price. If, on the other hand, you decide not to purchase the equipment or will not own the equipment at the end of your hire purchase or lease agreement, then this will be classified as a ‘supply of services’ for purposes of VAT. This means that the VAT should be periodically paid.

You also have to keep in mind that if your leased or hire purchased asset or equipment is a vehicle, you may have to deal with various restrictions on reclaiming VAT.

 

Choose This Trustworthy Foam Packaging Setup

bluerosepackaging 2I wanted high quality corrugated boxes for packaging my company’s goods. I was on a look out for a specialty setup that supplied these custom-made boxes to varied business clienteles. I wanted to hire a manufacturer who had all the necessary resources in manufacturing boxes for business packaging. Effective packing adds value to product features. Today’s market scenario is indeed competitive and requires service providers to be prudent enough in presenting their products.

My company objective has always been to achieve utmost customer satisfaction. I thank my business partner for introducing me to this packaging expert who manufactured unique boxes that were made from high-grade fiberboards. It saved my efforts for indulging in research for searching box provider. This provider proved to be very helpful for taking care of all the container essentialities as required for my business.

I was lucky to have found a provider who was good in container packaging and also efficient in supplying trade show crates. My world of business hosted significant trade shows for which I needed efficient display items that suited my company’s credentials. The crates that this provider offered me put my business in good light so as to highlight our company’s corporate culture to our target audiences at exhibitions and trade shows.  These crates were truly innovative and gave my products a good platform to standout on their own.

If you want your business products to be well exhibited at trade events, you ought to hire this professional provider so as to have all your products and services perfectly showcased. There was one instance where my business needed to use foam rolls for cushioning out products. With able assistance from this professional setup online, my business got the best cushioning options available to have my goods ready for shipment. My cushioning requirements were directed towards shipping both heavy duty as well as light weighted products. This service provider made use of anti-static material that played an optimum role in packaging goods that were breakable and not shock proof. This packaging expert also rendered my business appropriate bubble for having all my heavy-duty goods packaged.

The mode of packaging that was employed by this provider in my business rendered me the flexibility to handle all my shipments absolutely hassle-free. These boxes were aligned as a completed fiberboard which got done through the process of combining sheets of corrugated papers with various different linings. Although this type of packaging was primarily used for taking care of heavy-duty industrial products, it served my purpose in giving my consumer products a descent face value. As such, all my shipments consisting of electronic items, cosmetic products, home utensils, edible foods, car parts, glassware, and even cosmetics, made use of large corrugated boxes from this service provider.

My foam packaging was tailor-made to meet my business requirements. There wasn’t an iota of doubt in my mind that with this kind of packaging options I could ship my goods to any part of the world. With efficient bubble padding, my provider took care of the breakability aspect so as to have my goods shipped optimally. For ensuring a fool-proof shipment, this reputed service provider also made use of polyethylene so as to get suitable Bubble foam for all my heavy-duty consignments. I would recommend this provider for anyone who requires affordable solutions in packaging heavy-duty and light-weighted products.

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Understanding eBay’s Simplified Seller Standards

eBay recently announced some important changes to its seller standards that come into effect from 20 February 2016. In summary, the calculations lying behind a seller’s defect rate have changed, reducing the number of elements and removing the more subjective inclusion of buyer feedback input. In addition, they have amended the metric used to measure on-time delivery. Here we outline the key elements of these changes to ensure you can implement any changes required for your business.

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Defect Measurement Update

From 20 February 2016, some previously used elements will no longer be included in the defect rate measurement. These include buyer feedback, detailed seller ratings, returns or items not received requests if a successful resolution is reached. Rather, the only pre-existing criteria that will be utilized to calculate defect rate will be transactions cancelled by the seller and cases closed with no seller resolution.

In addition to these changes, delivery performance will now be based on factors within the seller’s control, such as items posted on time. As long as items are posted within the stated dispatch time and appropriate tracking information is detailed, or the buyer confirms their item was indeed delivered on time, there will be no effect on the on-time delivery rate. In addition, if on-time delivery is the sole performance metric not met, then your seller level will remain above standard, although eBay may implement restrictions to delivery options, including the choice of dispatch times on your listings.

Updated eBay Top-Rated Seller Listing Requirement

From 1 May 2016, in order to qualify for the eBay Premium Service discount and badge, sellers will need to offer 30-day returns with money back policy.

If you’re unsure of how to proceed, then using eBay template designs from a company such as frooition.com can help you immensely. Indeed, considering how these changes might affect your business, it might be a perfect time to review and overhaul your marketplace presence. Is your shop as intuitive as it could be? Are you interacting with users effectively? And, of course, are you meeting the new standards?

The new changes come into effect in a matter of weeks. Make sure you understand their impact on your business in detail, and consider if this could be the ideal opportunity for you to maximise your business’s potential through eBay.

Four Great New Catering Concepts for 2016

Catering as a business model is surprisingly resilient to economic flux. Everyone needs to eat, and sharing food and hosting meals is an integral part of our social and business lives.

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That is not to say that any new catering business started during a recession is destined to succeed. To make a business work, you need to find a new niche in the market or a shortfall in supplying a current requirement. This is why having a creative business idea for a catering company can give you the edge. Although you are the one who knows your location’s needs, here are some great ideas to get you started.

1. Children’s Party Caterers

Being a caterer to an adult event requires experience, talent and innovation. The competition is high, and the hosts want to impress their guests with a lot of flair. However, catering to a children’s event is a whole different game. Parents are under pressure and simply want to outsource the task. The menu is much humbler, typically containing sandwiches, fairy cakes and fruit samplers. The emphasis is on providing fun, tasty and attractive food to order, which is something most caterers can handle.

2. Picnic Basket Provider

You’ll need to check local regulations before serving food and drinks in your local parks, but if you have permission, this can be a real money spinner. Customers simply order a basket of all their favourites a day in advance and meet you after their walk. However, you’ll have to decide whether your basket and blanket are imaginary or whether you want to charge a deposit and arrange a time to pick them up.

3. Festival Catering

There are a lot of opportunities out there for caterers who are willing to supply to their local festivals. The work is extremely short-term but the profits can be good. Look towards building a relationship with a draught soft drink supplier to maximise profits. Then check out what’s available at a company such as http://empireuk.com/.

4. Restaurant Taxi

While this is technically a transport business, many of the same health and hygiene rules apply. If you’re already doing sandwich delivery, building a relationship with a local restaurant could generate evening revenue. Be sure to check with your local authorities to ensure your business meets all the regulatory requirements.

New Year’s e-Resolutions: What Will Yours Be?

2016 is a year in which e-commerce will increase its dominance, mobile will come of age, and social media will emerge as a key marketing tool for businesses. These are just a few of the possible outcomes of a year that has only just begun.

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In 2015, online spending in the UK hit £114 billion. The figure was up by 11 per cent year-on-year, with £24.4 billion of this total being spent in the past two months alone.

What steps can businesses take to secure their share of the ever-growing online marketplace?

Seeking assistance from a professional agency, such as www.ma-design.biz/ which offers web design in Cheltenham, is a good start. However, you will also need to understand the trends that 2016 will introduce in order to make sure that the New Year’s resolutions you make can be kept.

Scroll Wars

One of the biggest design battles that could define 2016 will be between sites that embrace extended or indeed infinite scrolling and those that take the opposite approach.

Infinite scrolling, as popularised by sites such as Twitter and Instagram, has come back to the forefront of design. However, there is also a movement in the other direction towards an approach that requires minimal scrolling and presents each page as a singular unit that is easy to view in bite-sized chunks.

The use of touchscreen mobile devices does make scrolling an appealing mechanic to maintain, but intelligent design decisions could lead to a real shake-up.

Flat is Back

Aesthetically, the trend that will impact digital branding this year will be flat design, as evidenced in everything from Google’s new logo to the latest version of Apple’s iOS.

Besides simply seeking a change of pace, flat design is being embraced because it works so well on mobile platforms. When it comes to optimising page load speeds, flat design works better.

Eliminating Stock Photography

Stock photographs are the bread and butter of many sites, but this leaves a lot of businesses with a web presence that seems overly generic.

In 2016, companies are less likely to raid stock image libraries for static pictures to add to pages and more likely to embrace unique photos generated in-house while also relying on multimedia content and other elements to stand in the place of bland images.

Do you have what it takes to be a successful software tester?

Software testing is an increasingly popular career path for people who are eager to get involved in a growing industry with plenty of opportunity for progression and training.

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While there are automated software testing services, it is still essential for human experts to get involved in this process. With this in mind, what are the key attributes that are required if you want to succeed as a software tester?

Excellent observational skills

A good software tester will not only be capable of picking out the most obvious flaws within a program but also the easy-to-miss issues that might lurk beneath the surface and yet have managed to escape the notice of programmers. Attention to detail and a willingness to question design decisions will help to identify and eliminate bugs as efficiently as possible.

Good time management

As software testers may be working on several cases at once, they must be able to effectively manage their workload and ensure they are having the biggest possible impact by prioritising the cases that are most worthy of their time.

The ability to communicate

Software testers do not work in a vacuum – a big part of their job is communicating and collaborating with wider teams of testers, programmers and managers to achieve collective goals. This means interpersonal skills are also important, in addition to being able to express yourself accurately and concisely in both written and verbal platforms.

With companies such as http://www.mytesters.com/ offering crowd-sourced testing solutions, opportunities to get into the industry are open to many more people than ever before.

Left field thinking

The software development cycle can create an environment in which those inside the process cannot gain the perspective to see where mistakes are being made and where issues lie. It is therefore the job of software testers to think outside of the box, put themselves in the shoes of potential users and dream up scenarios that might be faced further down the line so that precautions can be taken.

Open-mindedness

As with any position that involves working with others, it is necessary for software testers to be willing to take suggestions and listen to advice from colleagues and contemporaries. This is the only way in which you will be able to improve your skills effectively.

MPs Urge Government to Reconsider Increase in Women’s Pension Age

There is concern amongst some MPs that the reforms to pensions, which will see the state pension age of women brought into line with men, will have a negative impact on those affected. They have called on the government to bring in a transitional package for those women who have had their pension age suddenly moved back.

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Pension Reforms

The government introduced changes to the state pension age in 2010 as part of a process that will eventually see men and women qualifying for their state pension at the same age. The point at which women qualify is moving back gradually, depending on their date of birth. However, this process was speeded up recently so that the implementation would be complete by this April.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stated that this would enable 400,000 more people to get to the age they qualify for a pension, including those women that are affected by the equalisation reforms. However, as with any system of changes, there will be both winners and losers.

The Impact of Reforms

A report from the DWP at the start of 2016 highlights that, in the first 15 years of the changes, 75% of women and 70% of men will make notional gains from the reforms. These gains, though, will diminish over time, so that fewer people stand to be better off. Only about 45% of people will have a greater income by the time we reach 2060, which will amount to around £13 a week.

For those coming up to state pension age, financial advisers will need to examine the impact that these reforms could have on their retirement income. Improved software for financial advisers, such as that available at http://www.intelliflo.com/, can enable advisers to assess a customer’s long-term financial situation. This can help to provide them with peace of mind and an understanding of how much they will have to spend.

The system of reform has been designed to try to make state pensions clearer, as opposed to the complex process that previously existed. The report from the DWP states that equal pension ages for men and women has been brought forward by at least a decade due to the acceleration of the reforms. However, there are still concerns that the evidence supplied is contradictory and confusing.

Hot Web Development Trends in 2016

Web development is very much a trend-led industry, with a combination of technological advances and changing tastes leading to evolutions in what sites look like and how they behave on different devices.

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If you are looking to find out about the hottest web development trends that will determine the course of site design during 2016, you have come to the right place.

Dealing with Ad Blockers

2016 will be the year in which site owners have to deal with the dramatic increase in the number of people who use ad-blocking software to prevent promotions appearing when they are browsing.

Almost a fifth of UK adults now harness ad blockers, which leaves webmasters with a problem of how to generate revenue and gain attention for their sites.

Negating the impact of ad blockers will be tricky, but it is likely that content marketing will be used in 2016 to ensure that people are more willing to view promotional material. And some sites are even experimenting with promising users fewer ads to encourage them to turn off their blocking software.

Embracing Full-Screen Navigation

Making sites work better on mobile devices has been addressed with the move to responsive design in recent years, but there are always improvements which can be made to the user experience on portable gadgets. This is where full-screen navigation design comes into play.

The idea is that rather than forcing users to pinch, zoom and engage with on-page elements manually, things such as forms and other interactive elements will automatically expand to fill the screen when they are interacted with by visitors.

Experts at agencies such as www.somersetwebservices.co.uk who offer web design in Taunton will be able to talk small businesses through the process of adding this type of functionality to their sites.

Leveraging the Internet of Things

More devices are gaining internet access than ever before, with the ability to send and receive data wirelessly and thus unlock enhanced functionality as part of the IoT (Internet of Things).

In 2016, website design will need to take into account the rapid growth of the IoT and the massive potential that it offers for businesses to endow customers and clients with uniquely useful functionalities which make use of connected devices. From streamlined communications to remote control capabilities, the IoT possibilities are endless.

Five Legendary Software Bugs

Software bugs are an inevitability when building any program or system, and dealing with them is all part of the development process.

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Using software testing services is a great way of weeding out the faults before the launch date arrives. And here are five instances of catastrophic bugs being uncovered after it was too late.

Windows Upset

After rolling out a solution to detect pirated copies of Windows XP, Microsoft encountered a bug back in 2007 whereby this software incorrectly identified legitimate versions of the OS as being pirated. This was due to a back-end installation mix-up on the servers tasked with checking if Windows was genuine on millions of PCs, with this bug taking 19 hours to set right.

Nuclear Danger

In 1983 a software bug in the USSR’s early warning system meant that it alerted operators of an impending nuclear strike inbound from the US. Lt. Col. Stanislaus Petrov used his initiative and worked out that there was no need to retaliate, saving lives and averting World War Three in the process.

Stock Market Disaster

One legendary software bug which many believe was responsible for the stock market crash of 1987 is noteworthy because, for once, the programming was not actually at fault. Although the misconception is something that persists to this day, the reality is that the software worked precisely as planned, with the only issue being that they did not twist things in favour of shareholders or those with market-linked pension pots.

Martian Mishaps

A costly bug for NASA was unearthed in 1998, with the Mars Climate Orbiter accidentally being given an incorrect angle of approach by software as it neared the red planet. If only they had made use of something like the Bug Finders Software testing service, they could have saved hundreds of millions of dollars.

Launch Errors

The European Space Agency has quite a few bugs on its books, including the one which caused the Ariane Flight 501 rocket to self-destruct less than a minute after launch in 1996.

The culprit behind this bug was the flawed interaction between 64-bit and 16-bit systems used on board the craft and the fact that a measure which was put in place to prevent arithmetic overflow had been deactivated, meaning that guidance systems were almost immediately incapable of operating as normal.

Minimising Warehouse Slips and Falls in the Depths of Winter

During the winter months, slips and falls are one of the most common workplace injuries, with warehouses particularly susceptible to this kind of accident. With lots of people, machinery and goods coming in and out, ice can build up upon the warehouse floor and is likely to be the biggest cause of slips and falls in winter. No one wants such injuries at their workplaces, so it’s important to keep your staff as safe as possible. Read on for some top tips on preventing winter slips and falls in the warehouse.

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Incorporate Them into Risk Assessment

Carry out an additional winter slip and fall risk assessment at the beginning of each winter, and add this to your existing risk assessment. For example, you should look at the areas where ice or snow are most likely to be brought in the building and keep sand, salt or grit close by to apply when needed. Ensure the levels of grit, salt or sand are kept up at all times. Advice on risk assessments can be found on the HES website.

Footwear

It might be worth investing in winter footwear for your staff, or at least advising that they buy their own. High-grip boots are ideal and will certainly prevent slips.

Signage

Use signage to alert staff to areas where ice and wetness are likely to build up, advising them to take extra care in the area. Signage is especially important on roofs that may get icy and cause falls. Invest in good signage that can be easily moved to another place when needed, and train staff to ensure they are aware of what the different signs mean.

Leave It to the Machines

Avoid staff being in the warehouse as much as possible by buying machinery that can do the work of people. For example, pallet wrapping machines such as those from www.packaging-machines.co.uk will prevent staff standing for long periods of time near icy floors wrapping pallets by hand.

Slips and falls are such a major cause of sometimes fatal accidents in the workplace that preventing them should never be overlooked, and especially in winter. Seek professional help if needed to ensure your winter risk assessment is robust, and do everything you can to prevent such accidents.

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