• Mondo: Zero to £1m in 96 seconds
    Mondo: Zero to £1m in 96 seconds
    No Comments on Mondo: Zero to £1m in 96 seconds

    Challenger bank Mondo yesterday raised £1m in just 96 seconds on Crowdcube, with investor demand crashing the equity crowdfunding platform’s website in the process.

    In what Crowdcube founder Luke Lang called ‘the fastest equity raise ever’, the app-only bank hit its crowdfunding target in just a minute and a half after massive demand from investors forced Crowdcube to delay the offering and reinforce their site.

    Mondo CEO and co-founder Tom Blomfield confirmed that 1,861 people purchased equity in the bank during the limited time the campaign was open, with an average investment of £542.

    Valued at £30 million, the company’s crowdfunding campaign is part of a larger £6 million fundraising round, with £5m provided by investors Passion Capital earlier this year.

    The mobile-only bank offers customers banking services combined with a personal finance app, tying a debit card to a mobile app that allows customers to monitor their spending via graphs, charts and notifications.

    ‘Neobanks’

    Mondo joins other online ‘neobanks’ such as Atom, Starling, and Tandem. Although it currently trails its three main rivals in terms of total funding, it is the only challenger bank to currently boast a live product.

    Available only in the UK, at present Mondo serves 1,500 active users, with 45,000 more on a waiting list. The company hopes to be granted a full UK banking license later this year and then go on to expand its customer base.

    While other neobanks also offer personal finance products, Mondo is currently the only one to offer customers the chance to become shareholders, which it believes will boost customer engagement and loyalty.

    Mondo’s long-term vision is to combine their current banking and personal finance app product with a marketplace of service providers for mortgages, money transfers and consumer loans. According to Mondo this will mean that the customer, not the bank, will choose the terms, ensuring access to deals that suit them.

    New breed of investor

    According to Tim Wright, founder of crowdfunding consultants twintangibles, Mondo’s success could be an indication that crowdfunding is embedding itself as “the go-to place” for a whole new breed of entrepreneurial investors.

    “If this is the case then that’s a good thing”, continued Wright, “but one of the things that’s becoming apparent is just how these offerings are being presented. There’s been criticism of how platforms are presenting the figures and how genuine they are, and concerns over how much of the numbers that are being released at particular points are being pre-committed.”

    “So there is a little bit of ‘smoke and mirrors going on’, said Wright, “but anything that indicates a growing acceptance in the marketplace has got to be a good thing”.

    This content is not owned by IT All Figures and was posted at this Source

    Read more
  • Boost your computer's immune system
    Boost your computer's immune system
    No Comments on Boost your computer's immune system

    What makes our immune system so exceptional is its understanding of the self. It knows what is part of ‘us’ and what is not.

    “What the immune system knows is what makes up your fingers, hands, toes and major organs,” explained Dave Palmer, director of technology at Darktrace and former network security specialist with the British intelligence services. “It doesn’t know what the flu or colds look like; it simply learns what is you and tries to spot the bad stuff based on recognising things that aren’t you.”

    This is an ability we take for granted. In cyber security, for instance, the current method is all about profiling the attacker: reacting to the threat as it is encountered. The problem is that the threats are moving faster and faster. The attacks have also become much more brazen in the past 12-18 months, said Palmer.

    “What we’re seeing more and more is this idea of really aggressive, noisy malware that encrypts data within your company. What that is saying is ‘I’m going to get a strategic foothold in your company. I don’t care if you notice because I will have such a tight grip of your data and your devices, and you’ve got no choice but to deal with me’”.

    The risk of attack has also spread to smaller targets. “With accountancy specifically, your ‘risk surface’, as we call it, isn’t just yours, it’s your clients’ too. We’re all in a very long supply chain now, the economy is massively digital.”

    According to Palmer, the reality is that these attacks are completely indiscriminate. Fraudsters work down long lists of potential victims and key them in. “We’re long past that idea of ‘Oh, I don’t have anything worth stealing so hopefully they’ll go after someone else’”, said Palmer.

    So, what now?

    It all seems quite apocalyptic – but exciting developments in network security are changing the way threats are dealt with. The enterprise immune system is modelled after its biological equivalent. It profiles the network (its users, devices, data etc.), instilling a sense of self in your practice and your clients’ businesses.

    “The reality these days is most of the attacks take the form of either wittingly or unwittingly getting someone on the inside to help you,” said Palmer. “It’s not a hooded teenager, cutting through the firewall – you get people to do it for you.”

    What a company like Darktrace attempts is to reverse the cyber security paradigm. The new approach assumes cyber attacks are going to make their way in, the same way we accept our immune systems will face assault on a daily basis. “What we say, using this idea of the immune system, it that it’s possible to learn how your business works,” said Palmer.

    This is done by analysing multiple data sets, and mathematically characterising what constitutes ‘normal’ behaviour: What every single device and person does within the business and how data moves around its systems. “With that understanding”, explained Palmer, “you can spot bad guys purely on the way that the way the behaviour gets changed when someone hacks your computer and takes it over.”

    The future

    The approach to how everyone – not just massive companies – approach cyber security will have to evolve, said Palmer. “Attacks are going to get faster and faster and have a more immediate strategic impact on businesses.

    “Rather than relying on internal security teams responding faster and faster – which is, frankly, not realistic – what we want the machine to do is respond on your behalf. It may not solve the issue, but at least it will stop the attack in its tracks for a little while.”

    “Imagine the consumer confidence lost if you have to write to all your clients to say, ‘oh sorry guys, we’ve lost everything – can you please send me everything that’s happened in your financial affairs and taxes in the past 5 years?’”.

    This content is not owned by IT All Figures and was posted at this Source

    Read more
  • HMRC rebuked once again
    HMRC rebuked once again
    No Comments on HMRC rebuked once again

    HMRC has lost its long running VAT battle with BPP, because it failed to obey the Tribunal’s rules.

    In January 2015 we reported the shoddy performance of HMRC in the BPP Holdings Limited case, which hinged on whether certain publications should be subject to VAT at the zero rate as books, or at the standard rate because they were part of a supply of education services.

    HMRC was barred from proceeding with the case at the First-Tier Tribunal because it didn’t comply with an order by the Tribunal to provide full details of its arguments against BPP within a specified time scale. That ruling was over-turned at the Upper Tribunal.

    Now the Court of Appeal has decided that HMRC’s approach to complying with the Court’s rules was “disturbing”, and has reinstated the barring order. This means that HMRC can’t continue with the case, and BPP has effectively won.

    HMRC had the cheek to claim the constraints placed upon it by austerity measures within the department meant that it should in some way be excused for its unacceptable behaviour. The judge was not impressed and said “… a State party should neither expect to nor work on the basis that it has some preferred status – it does not.”

    This not the first time that HMRC has been caught disobeying court orders as my earlier article gave several examples of when HMRC doesn’t play by the rules in tax cases.

    If you find yourself up against what you perceive as unfair practices by HMRC, you can complain to the Tribunal judge whose first responsibility is to ensure that both sides get a fair hearing. Also make sure you are well prepared for the hearing by studying the guidance in the Tribunal Service leaflets T242 and T243

    This content is not owned by IT All Figures and was posted at this Source

    Read more
  • 9am Lowdown: Taxpayers unaware of savings changes
    9am Lowdown: Taxpayers unaware of savings changes
    No Comments on 9am Lowdown: Taxpayers unaware of savings changes

    Good Morning. Here’s this morning’s Lowdown.

    * * *  

    Taxpayers unaware of imminent changes

    Most taxpayers are unaware of the imminent changes to savings and dividends because of poor communication from HMRC, says the House of Lords committee in its report on the draft Finance Bill 2016.

    To combat taxpayers’ lack of awareness, the Committee calls for an effective strategy of communicating with taxpayers and a public awareness campaign. This need for clarification extends to other areas, including its plans for implementing the new Assessments.

    Issues relating to HMRC’s making tax digital plans were also raised in the review. They called on HMRC to provide support and educate taxpayers, particularly those unfamiliar with, or without access to, digital technologies.

    Commenting, Lord Hollick, Chairman of the Committee, said: “Changes to how we are taxed can have a huge impact on financial planning including savings and pension arrangements. It is vital that taxpayers know what it is expected of them and how much they will be taxed. We are concerned that the Government’s consultation and communication about imminent and important changes in the Finance Bill has been so poor. 

    * * *

    Companies House moves towards digital

    Companies House aims to be a 100% digital organisation by the end of 2018/19.

    Companies House promoted the benefits of switching to digital. For example, an annual return costs £13 when filed online, but £40 when filed by paper and the built-in checks which avoids errors as reasons why companies should file online.

    Over 80% of companies already file their documents digitally with Companies House. For some key transactions, such as annual returns and incorporations, 99% were submitted digitally.

    * * *

    Chancellor set to cut the top rate

    Conservative MPs have urged the Chancellor to cut the top tax rate after it emerged this week that reducing it to 45p raised £8bn.

    Speaking to The Daily Mail, Sir Edward Leigh believes that the numbers released this week strengthens the case for further reductions. “The case is unanswerable that if we reduce the top rate back down to 40p, it will not only provide a wonderful fillip for entrepreneurs but also provide us with more revenue,” Leigh told the Mail.

    David Davis also joined the chorus, telling The Daily Mail: “’I argued at the time that [Mr Osborne] should have gone straight back down to 40p,” He said. “These figures show once again that you can choose how to deal with the well-off – you can choose to punish them, or you can choose to harvest them. If you want extra taxes for schools and hospitals then you should choose a tax rate that they will pay.”

    * * *

    This content is not owned by IT All Figures and was posted at this Source

    Read more
  • Any Answers Answered: Paying a small salary
    Any Answers Answered: Paying a small salary
    No Comments on Any Answers Answered: Paying a small salary

    Giles Mooney and Tim Good discuss two Any Answers posts on whether you have to pay a small salary and how capital gains tax impacts on the calculation.

    Kicking off a new ‘Any Answers Answered’ video series on AccountingWEB, the TAXtv hosts cast some light on tax-related queries raised online every month.

    This month the first question came from A E Scott who asked a question which was fundamentally about setting up a business and whether they had to pay a small salary.

    Mooney said that while we’re so used to paying small salary and high dividend, there may be some situations where you don’t actually want to pay a small salary.

    The question is: Do you have to pay a small salary?

    This leads onto another question posted by girlofwight who asked how capital gains tax would impact on the calculation, either 18% or 28%, and how that fits into the overall computation.

    Watch the video below to find out more.

     

    For the latest episode of TAXtv visit PTP Interactive. TAXtv is a monthly tax update programme available as an annual subscription from £199, (11 issues plus special editions) to view online, download from the internet or watch on DVD.

    This content is not owned by IT All Figures and was posted at this Source

    Read more
  • The incorporation decision
    The incorporation decision
    No Comments on The incorporation decision

    As part of TaxCalc’s simple-step guide Rebecca Cave highlights the variation in tax savings which can be achieved by operating as a company.

    This is an abridged version of the guide. To download the full version free of charge click here and follow the instructions.

    * * *

    Making the decision to incorporate can save organisations tax in a variety of ways. However, the decision should be accompanied by a review of the business’s long-term objectives, as well as an assessment of the one-off costs, tax reliefs and ongoing savings and costs.

    On-going costs and savings

    Tax reliefs

    If the business owners want to take advantage of certain tax reliefs for encouraging specific types of expenditure or investment, the business must operate through a company. The tax reliefs only available to companies include:

    • Enhanced reliefs for research and development (R&D tax relief).
    • Reduced tax on income from exploiting patents (Patent Box).
    • Enhanced reliefs for the creation of films, TV programmes, video games or theatre productions.
    • Tax reliefs for investors using the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), or Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) or Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). SITR is available to unincorporated charities.

    Deductions

    The accounting principles used to prepare accounts should be the same for all businesses but certain deductions may be allowed or disallowed for tax purposes where the business is conducted through a particular medium.

    For example, companies are permitted to makes the following deductions, which are or will be restricted for an unincorporated business:

    • Interest and finance costs for letting residential property (restricted from April 2017).
    • Depreciation of intangible assets.

    Companies are not permitted to use the cash basis of accounting or fixed rate deductions (also called simplified expenses), which may make a difference to the level of taxable profit.

    Administrative costs

    The additional costs and hassle involving in running a company should not be underestimated. For example, when operating as a company the business owner will need to:

    • Operate separate bank accounts for the company and maintain records of payments made to the business owners.
    • Draw-up and submit annual accounts that comply with company law to Companies House.
    • Submit an annual return to Companies House, including a filing fee.
    • Tag figures in the accounts and tax return to submit both online to HMRC.

    A company will normally have to operate a PAYE scheme to report salary and benefits paid to its directors and any other workers. This will require monthly RTI reports, unless the directors are paid only annually. An unincorporated business is not required to operate a PAYE scheme if it has no workers other than the business owners.

    * * *

    To download the rest of this report, including comparison tables and information on future tax law changes, click here and follow the instructions.

    This content is not owned by IT All Figures and was posted at this Source

    Read more
  • Digital disclosures launch in April
    Digital disclosures launch in April
    No Comments on Digital disclosures launch in April

    HMRC’s digital crusade continues unabated, with the latest addition to the tax authority’s digital first administration, the Digital Disclosure Service (DDS), launching in April this year.

    HMRC has said the aim of the DDS will include a number of features for those who are disclosing, including a mechanism where they can upload documents for the taxman to see digitally. This, said HMRC, will eliminate the need to send them by post.

    The DDS also seems to be the latest ploy in HMRC’s ongoing mission to interact with taxpayers more directly, leapfrogging agents. “The DDS will calculate the omitted tax and late payment interest; this should help reduce the need for tax advice for low income groups”, said Rebecca Busfield, partner at Watt Busfield tax investigations.

    Reacting in a blog to the DDS’s impending introduction, accountancy firm Ormerod Rutter took a cautionary tone: “According to HMRC, one of the benefits of using the DDS is that it removes the need for taxpayers to seek advice and help from their accountant, allowing them to disclose by themselves if they so choose – but this might not be the best way forward”.

    Busfield agreed with Ormerod Rutter’s caution. Cases where the circumstances or facts are complex and may need more explanation should avoid the DDS, she explained. “HMRC will expect a full disclosure of all irregularities, and it is important to make sure that taxpayers take care and have checked their records to make sure their disclosure is accurate and complete.

    “HMRC will check the disclosure with third parties or against results of other businesses in the area to make sure it appears reasonable.”

    An important caveat is that the DDS will not give immunity from prosecution for serious tax fraud, unlike the contractual disclosure facility (CDF) option.

    Clients using the DDS also risk missing out on available tax reliefs and, said Busfield, “widening the scope of the investigation too far.

    “Given the cutbacks to HMRC resources”, Busfield continued, “it may be difficult for users to access appropriately trained HMRC staff, and it likely that taxpayers will have questions about using the service.”

    HMRC will also be launching a separate disclosure facility for disclosures related to offshore income and gains.

    This content is not owned by IT All Figures and was posted at this Source

    Read more
  • Build your dream client
    Build your dream client
    No Comments on Build your dream client

    Andrew Gill, an IBM executive in his forties, recently threw the cat among the demographic pigeons by labelling himself a millennial. From a strictly age bound perspective, Gill was taking a chance – but for marketing purposes, “millennial” has no age limit.

    “It is a nice stamp that marketers use, but it’s not necessarily about age,” said Gill, referring to the common wisdom of the millennial. “It’s more about looking at the things you have an affinity with, regardless of age. I’m 47, but I class myself as a millennial because I have millennial tendencies. I’m a lot more active on social than my peers, for example.”

    According to Alex Tucker, head of marketing at PracticeWEB, millennials are more about what they are, then what they aren’t. For accountants, the demographic has become somewhat of a marketing Moby Dick: Diligently pursued, somewhat mystical and little understood. “My advice would just be to get over the term,” says Tucker. “It’s somewhat overused.”

    Instead, Tucker encourages accountants to create personas to help identify the market segments they would like to service. Creating a persona means everything – not just finances. “What publications do they read?” asks Tucker, “how do they live?” Think about how your niche slots into what that persona wants.

    At last month’s Xerocon, Karen Rayburn of The Profitable Firm also emphasised this point: “Come up with what they care about, what they don’t care about, what kind of family they have – this will inform what content you make and share,” she said. “What matters to them?”

    Continued…

    » Register now

    The full article is available to registered AccountingWEB members only. To read the rest of this article you’ll need to login or register.

    Registration is FREE and allows you to view all content, ask questions, comment and much more.

    This content is not owned by IT All Figures and was posted at this Source

    Read more
  • Windows 10
    Windows 10
    No Comments on Windows 10

    Over the last couple of weeks, Microsoft began advertising Windows 10 to existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. Those who are regularly up to date via Windows Update should now have the option to reserve a copy of Windows 10 via the system tray, which will put you in for pre-downloading Windows 10 before July 29th. Earlier this week, Microsoft released another update for Windows 8.1 users, which puts reserving Windows 10 at the forefront of Windows, literally during the Windows 8.1 setup process and even before reaching the desktop.

    This new update allows users to reserve Windows 10 within the OOBE (out of box experience) when first booting a new install or setting up a newly purchased PC. The ability to reserve comes after you setup your account, but before you even reach the desktop. This means that new users who recently purchased a Windows 8.1 device simply can’t miss the chance to reserve Windows 10. This also appears if you clean install Windows 8.1 with November Update roll-up and are connected to the internet.

     win10

    Of course, as with the desktop version of the Windows 10 upgrade, you can decide to skip reserving Windows 10 until the time is right for you. It’s interesting to see how hard Microsoft is now pushing Windows 10 to existing users. Consumers who are purchasing Windows 8.1 devices will now be offered the free upgrade even before they finish setting up their new PC. So, have you reserved your free copy of Windows 10 yet? If not, why not?

    Read more

Follow Us

Back to Top