Ballards Device White

Technology & Services Sector Accountants

Passionate about Technology. Experts in Quality.

From the funding constraints of start-ups to the appropriate structuring of the company; from the challenging tax environment to obtaining research and development tax credits and importance of management accounts. The firm has experience in supporting not only large International technology corporations but also those just starting up.

It’s particularly important in a fast moving sector to monitor your financial position through the preparation and interpretation of management accounts. We can ensure start-ups get off on the right foot and help more established companies to operate more effectively.
When the need for capital arises we can assist the business in implementing strategies, which through our long-held banking and financial relationships, will help you achieve your objectives.

From start-ups through to multinationals, the changes in this sector are constant and demand ongoing creative solutions. Innovation through research and development, high growth and the creation of valuable IP set technology and telecommunications companies apart. More than ever before they must remain incredibly agile, enabling rapid action to stay ahead of trends and the competition. That competition is now even greater – the ongoing convergence of technology, media and telecommunications means it now comes from all directions.

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Insight

R&D Changes – Autumn Statement

As an area that we specialise in, we paid particular attention to the R&D updates in the Autumn Statement.

Learn more about the key announcements impacting R&D Tax Relief Claims.

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Business Records – How long do we need to retain them?

Having complete records in place allows you to answer any queries HM Revenue and Customs may have. But how long do you have to retain these records? The answer depends…

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Are there tax implications of making a loan to an employee?

Businesses with spare cash are increasingly helping out their employees with short-term loans, especially due to the cost of living increases. If you are thinking of doing so, here are the things you need to know.

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5 Things you didn’t know about Cloud Accounting

In this video, we share the 5 ways in which my clients are saving time and money using Cloud Accounting Software.

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Property Watch – October 2022 UK residential property transactions

In this article we look at the UK residential property transactions for the UK housing market transactions for the years 31 October 2021 and 2022 as reported by HMRC through Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reporting.

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Risk mitigation in project management

When I start managing a new project, one of the first things I ask myself and the project team to consider is: “What could go wrong, and if it does how serious is it going to be ?”

There are various methodologies for managing risks, here are 5 steps which you may find useful when delivering large, complicated transformation projects.

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Making Businesses Green, it’s not easy, or is it?

Budgets are tightening, consumers are struggling, and you might be asking yourself if you can afford to be Green. Then throw into the mix, the dizzying array of choices or approaches and seemingly contradictory advice; doing the right thing can feel impossible. This article discusses a few ways in which you might encourage some industrially green shoots.

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Making Tax Digital is coming on the 1st April 2024, are you ready?

Are you an individual subject to income tax on the profits of your trade, profession, vocation, or property business? Making Tax Digital is coming in 2024, are you ready?

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I want to invest in solar panels for my home – should I use my limited company to do so?

As gas and electricity prices rise, an increasing number of people are turning to solar panels to try to cut costs. The question then arises – how can I do this most tax-efficiently?

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Property Watch – September 2022 UK residential property transactions

In this article we look at the UK residential property transactions for the UK housing market transactions for the years 30 September 2021 and 2022 as reported by HMRC through Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reporting.

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Failure is an option – R&D Tax Relief

Bringing to you another misconception of R&D Tax Relief – the idea that a project must be successful to qualify. This is not the case…

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IT and Software suppliers love lazy buyers

When buying a car, you wouldn’t simply walk into a showroom and pay the price on the windscreen of the car without negotiating – so why would you do this when buying software or IT services ? Unfortunately, far too many times I hear of businesses doing exactly that.

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Property Watch: August 2022 UK residential property transactions

In this article we look at the UK residential property transactions for the years to 31 August 2021 and 2022 as reported by HMRC through Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reporting.

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Cars and Commercial Vehicles – Everything you need to know

Are you buying a van or a car? And why does it matter? When it comes to buying vehicles for use in the business, there is a big difference tax-wise between cars and commercial vehicles. Here’s why it matters..

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Mini Budget – The Headlines

The Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, today (23/09/22) announced a package of tax cuts worth £45 billion, here is what the Mini Budget headlines included…

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Looking for R&D Specialists – Introducing our Support Service for Professionals (SSFP)

With a focus on R&D Tax Relief specifically, our in-house R&D specialists are well equipped to build a robust and high-quality claim, keeping their main agents up to date on progress and liaising with them for the adjustments required.

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Your IT Wizkid: Knowledge is a dangerous thing

Having someone in the organisation who can diagnose your immediate issues is no doubt useful, they might even have a wider interest in IT. They can build your business applications, create your access database, or carry out whatever IT support you need at a given point in time. While this might seem perfect, this article highlights a few examples of why it might not be.

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Property Watch: Residential property trends 2005 to 2022

Tax partner, Martin Adams, looks back at the residential property transactions over the past 17 years and the events that have affected the UK residential property market.

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Avoiding CGT pitfalls: unexpected tax liabilities on business sales

Two recent first-tier tribunal tax cases, which were very similar in terms of the facts, show the importance of taking expert advice on structuring the consideration mechanisms for business sales.

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Frequently Asked Questions on the Trust Registration Service (TRS)

The Trust Registration Service (TRS) is a register of the beneficial ownership of trusts. As first set up in 2017, trustees were required to register on TRS only if the trust was liable to pay certain taxes. However, new rules introduced on 6 October 2020 extended the scope of the trust register to UK and some non-UK trusts, with some specific exclusions, regardless of whether or not the trust is liable to pay any tax.

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Property development: VAT and Option to Tax

Many businesses are looking to make the most out of redundant buildings by turning them into commercial lets. One aspect of this which is often overlooked is VAT and the misunderstood Option to Tax.

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Divestiture: issues in separation and integration in unprecedented times

When a business takes the decision to divest a part of itself, there are a number of complicating factors that stand in the way of success, for both the seller and the acquirer. These have only been exacerbated recently by the long tail of COVID, by the war in Ukraine, by supply chain issues, by the tightening labour market, and by rapid inflation. However, the money is still there for good deals, both in the full coffers of PE houses, and from debt funders looking to deploy cash.

Separation and integration projects have differing objectives for sellers and buyers, but both need now more than ever to deliver for their respective stakeholders. The money in the market needs to be invested, and is available for the right transaction.

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Looking to set up a Furnished Holiday Let business?

Are you looking to set up a Furnished Holiday Let business (FHL)? Here are five things to watch out for.

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I have inherited a share of property. Does this have any tax consequences?

When a property is inherited, the estate may be subject to inheritance tax on the excess over the nil rate band. If the property was the deceased’s main home, and passes to direct descendants, the estate may qualify for an additional relief, termed a residence nil rate band. A previous insight has covered this topic in detail. This can lead to an additional nil rate band of up to £350,000, which would otherwise be taxed at 40%, giving rise to overall tax relief of up to £140,000. If this has not been achieved by the will, it is possible that this could instead be achieved through use of a deed of variation.

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A spotlight on future retail technology trends

I recently attended the Retail Technology Show at London Olympia.  This was my first in-person expo since before Covid, and it was a refreshing experience to catch-up with technology suppliers and retail ex-colleagues in person.

The show was extremely well organised, with an interesting variation of retail technology providers in attendance, ranging from start up tech firms to large multi-nationals – all showcasing both their current and future technology and software offerings.

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Cashflow-friendly employee incentives – the EMI scheme

Both businesses and employees are facing pressure on their finances arising from the recent tax hikes and the high levels of inflation that we are all experiencing. Now is therefore a good time to consider employee incentives that have minimal upfront cash outflow whilst providing potentially significant long-term rewards. This will help motivate and retain key members of your workforce.

For companies these can take the form of share incentives where an employee is provided with either shares, or ‘options’ to acquire shares at a future date, normally on the occurrence of certain events or performance targets being achieved.

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If I make a profit when selling or trading in my car, is this taxable?

In the current second-hand car market, it is common for people to be offered payment on return of their vehicle at the end of a PCP lease agreement. One would imagine that if the leaseholder refused this offer and sold privately, they may be able to make a greater profit. Alternatively, if a car has been purchased second-hand previously, it may be possible to sell this and even make an overall profit.

So, the question is, is this taxable?

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Spring Statement 2022 and tax rises

There has been a lot in the press made of the squeeze on household spending and the Chancellor was under much pressure to help with this when he approached the dispatch box on 23rd March to make the Spring Statement. His increase of the primary threshold for National Insurance is meant to be his key answer to that issue, but it is worth noting that from a business perspective this increasing threshold is not being mirrored to the secondary threshold for National Insurance and hence the 1.25% increase to Employers’ National Insurance is going ahead in full.

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How to sell your company tax-free: an Employee Ownership Trust

When a shareholder sells their shares, they are normally subject to capital gains tax on the disposal. There is however a way to undertake a company disposal and not pay any tax at all. The way to do this is to sell to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). EOTs were introduced in 2014 to encourage greater employee ownership of companies inspired by the John Lewis business model.
Since their introduction, popularity of this business model has been gaining momentum with more and more companies choosing to adopt this structure.

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Buy-side due diligence: what and why?

Buy-side due diligence is about doing the right deal at the right price.

In an environment in which competition for the right deal is strengthening, an acquirer needs to be certain that they can generate incremental value over and above any premium that needs to be paid to get the deal done.

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Below the threshold?

Understanding where your company falls in regard to audit thresholds is crucial to ensure that companies are able to adequately plan ahead should an audit become a necessity in the future. It is also important to be aware of the benefits of undertaking an audit as well as a voluntary audit may be worthwhile for your business.

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Lump Sum Exit Scheme for retiring farmers

Recently DEFRA announced some preliminary details surrounding the Lump Sum Exit Scheme which is designed to pay retiring farmers a lump sum in exchange for giving up their Basic Payment entitlements and land. There is plenty of information already and more details to come but there were 5 points in particular which are of interest from a tax and business planning point of view.

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Companies with residential properties: Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings

If a company (or partnership with a corporate partner) owns any residential properties it will need to consider whether the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) rules apply to it.

ATED is charged on these entities when they hold an interest in any UK residential properties (dwellings) with a value that exceeds £500,000. The property value is assessed at either a valuation reference date or the purchase/development date, if later.

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My company owns intellectual property or goodwill. How can I gain tax relief on this?

Most companies own a variety of fixed assets on which capital allowances are claimed, and many of you will have seen our recent insight on the capital allowances which can be claimed on specialized buildings. Are you also aware of the substantial tax advantages which apply to intellectual property?

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Changes to red diesel use: caught red handed?

Red diesel is simply diesel which is dyed to indicate it is rebated and hence subject to less fuel duty and VAT than normal (white) diesel. Currently, most non-road machinery is capable of being powered by red diesel, which is significantly cheaper than white diesel, but as a result of the government’s climate change policy the exemptions are reformed such that they will only apply to very specific uses such as for agriculture or for non-commercial heating.

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Cost management: rapid tactical changes or a more structured approach?

When circumstances mean that business owners have limited control over their revenue, the only remaining avenue to prop up profitability is focusing on the cost base. It’s always worth being aware of what interventions you might make in spending to maximise your profitability and minimise the risk of fundamental damage to your business.

Some businesses need rapid tactical changes to their costs, and others need more measured structural interventions to cost management.

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Capital Allowances: can specialised buildings qualify as plant and machinery?

Many will be aware of a case that went to tribunal in 2018 in which a taxpayer successfully argued that a custom built grainstore qualified as plant rather than a building and therefore qualified for capital allowances (Stephen May v HMRC 2019). In essence, the cost of the grainstore was allowed in full against the taxpayer’s taxable profits.

Recently a similar case was heard at tribunal regarding a farming business that attempted to claim a potato store as plant and machinery. The story is as follows…

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Green Software – the Growing Trend for 2022

Green software and technology is not a new concept, but has gained traction and publicity due to concerns around the impact of pollution and global warming.

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How Are You Really Doing? Financial Performance

How do you judge your business’ financial performance? Surprisingly, the answer we hear often from clients is that it is still just based on a combination of a general feeling from management and the amount of cash in the bank.

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Organisation design

Is your business set up in the best way possible to achieve its goals for 2022? If this is not absolutely clear, then an in depth assessment of your organisation design will help.

Organisation design is the way that structure, roles, capability, and resources are deployed within a business to deliver a strategy. It is the formal system of accountability that defines key positions and enables the efficient allocation of resources to enable success.

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Accountants donate Christmas gifts to Birmingham Children’s Hospital 

Staff from Droitwich-based professional services firm Ballards LLP have donated a variety of children’s toys, chocolates, cosy socks and pampering gifts to the children and teenagers staying at Birmingham Children’s Hospital over Christmas.

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How To Take The First Step To A Successful Digital Transformation Webinar

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Extension to Capital Gains Tax reporting and payment

I saw in the Budget that there is an extension to Capital Gains Tax reporting and payment to 60 days. I didn’t know we had to report this as I’ve sold a bit of land recently. Should I have reported this by now?

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I have incurred Research and Development Expenditure on a project for a specific customer. Can I claim tax relief on the costs?

The short answer to this question is that any expenses borne by your company in relation to Research and Development (R&D) projects will qualify for tax relief.

However, there is a distinction to be made between two different types of R&D relief which can be claimed for large and small companies.

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Business sales: deferred consideration

There are no strict rules regarding the structure of the consideration for a business sale.

It is not uncommon for an element of the proceeds from the business sale to be deferred and paid at a later date.  

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The Farming Investment Fund: what does it mean for you?

The Farming Investment Fund (FIF) announced last week is designed to provide grants of between £2,000 and £25,000 towards specific farming equipment and technology; and grants of between £35,000 and £500,000 towards larger capital items to improve productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability; the first of which is The Water Management grant.

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Going green – has the government used tax to drive the right behaviours, or is this a ‘COP’ out?

As environmental policies dominate the news, it started me wondering what tax savings were currently out there for ‘going green’. Tax is much more than just a way of raising money for public finances, it is an incredibly complex tool used to drive behaviours desired by the government. If we are truly serious about climate change as a country, then taxation of business should be evolved to encourage efforts to reduce carbon footprint and punish those who do not change their behaviours. Below I look through a few carbon saving ideas and decide if they are rewarded with tax savings.

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Selling your business?

If you are thinking of selling your business, it is worth taking the time to consider all potential investors’ perspectives before the sale process begins. This will mean you can present your business in the best possible way for anyone who might be considering a purchase to see the value specifically for them.

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Local firm donates household goods to Ronald Mcdonald House Charities UK

Staff from Droitwich-based professional services firm Ballards LLP have recently delivered a collection of food and household goods to Ronald McDonald House Charities UK. The collection will be converted to a cash donation for the charity.

In the event that families do not live close to a hospital where a child is being treated, Ronald Mcdonald House Charities UK provides free accommodation and meals so that parents can be by their child’s bedside in a matter of moments.

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Digital Transformation: Now is the time to consider long-term success

Over the last 18 months Covid-19 has forced many businesses to undertake tactical digital transformation projects to continue operations, for example enabling remote working of colleagues, setting up eCommerce sales channels etc. 

These tactical transformations may have addressed the short-term need forced by the Covid-19 pandemic, but now is the time to consider the long-term success that digital transformation can bring. 

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