Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

The buy-to-let market has declined in recent months, but can it still represent a good investment?

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

The buy-to-let market has declined in recent months, but can it still represent a good investment?

There have been a number of changes to the rules around buy-to-let properties over the past year that have potentially affected the attractiveness of this as an investment opportunity. From changes in stamp duty to restrictions on tax relief, we’ll take a brief look at whether the new legislation should influence a decision to enter this market.

Buying an additional property to let used to be a similar process to buying your own home. However, any to-let properties happening after 1st April 2016 have had an additional stamp duty tax applied of 3% of the property value. In effect, this makes properties more expensive and, therefore, less attractive to would-be landlords.

Tax relief on finance costs, such as mortgage interest, associated with let properties are, as of 1st April 2017, no longer 100% tax deductible. Over the course of four years finance costs will gradually become restricted to the basic rate of income tax. This will make letting properties far more expensive for any landlord who has borrowed significantly to finance their investment.

The replacement of the wear and tear allowance with a relief related directly to costs associated with letting a furnished property will not have a great impact on the viability of letting as an investment option. It may increase the administrative burden on a landlord slightly, but this shouldn’t be considered as a key factor.

The recent flurry of changes to rules around buy-to-let may have muddied the waters for some future investors. For more information on whether or not buy-to-let is right for you, get in touch.

The end of an era?

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Making Tax Digital

HMRC is making one of the biggest changes, in 20 years, to the way you file your financial figures with them. 

The plan is to stage the dates that you must comply, starting in April 2018 with sole traders, partnerships and landlords with turnover in excess of the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) being affected first.

All other sole traders, partnerships and landlords (with turnover in excess of £10,000) are within the new regime from April 2019 and all limited companies from April 2020.

How does this affect you?

The idea is that all online filings will be automatically filtered into your online account with HMRC so you can see, in real time, your estimated tax liabilities which will result in no unwanted surprises regarding tax liabilities at the end of the year.

There are some extremely useful benefits of this. For example, at Robson Laidler Accountants Limited we are able to provide you with advice and support to help you manage and expand your business, using this timely real-time data, and so enable you to react to problems quickly or focus on and develop the strengths. 

What you will have to do?

The guidance released at the moment is that submissions MUST be made on a quarterly basis (or sooner if you like) via computer software. This means if you still maintain your records manually using cashbooks or excel then you will be forced to change to a new system to comply. HMRC have not yet confirmed what data they want to be submitted but it is expected that it will resemble the information currently requested on your annual tax return. 

There are several cloud based providers in the market at the moment which work on desktops, laptops and tablet pc’s so they can accommodate most business owner’s hardware. We work with several cloud based software providers to give you a fully tailored service devised especially for your needs.

How can we help?

Our purpose is to improve the lives of our clients. We do this by talking to you, finding out what really matters to you and fitting a friendly, personal and professional service around what is important to you. That could be business growth, protecting your assets, securing your wealth for your family, ensuring you don’t overpay tax. 

We can support you in meeting your obligations under the new MTD regime whether that means maintaining your records for you and doing the online submissions on your behalf or reviewing your monthly bookkeeping to ensure submissions are made on time and are accurate. We can also assist with setting budgets, reviewing controls, systems and processes and advising you of improvements and efficiencies and much more.

If you are affected by this new change or have any concerns, please get in touch with one of our team who will be more than happy to guide you through the new reporting era.


Thursday, January 19th, 2017

NORTH EAST ACCOUNTANCY firm Robson Laidler has relaunched its specialist healthcare team for medical professionals under new leadership.

The healthcare team will be led by specialist medical accountants Amy Park, 31, who has recently joined the Newcastle-based Robson Laidler’s board of directors, as well as Michael Smith 33, having both worked as account managers at the firm for the past few years.

Amy and Michael will be backed by an experienced team of tax, finance and payroll experts who have knowledge of the healthcare sector at all levels.

Amy said: “Professionals in the healthcare industry require specialist knowledge and as such following our success and growth in this sector I am very excited to head up our specialist healthcare team, which brings together our expertise from accounts, tax planning, financial planning and payroll.

“The team allows us to deliver a holistic service to our clients, so whether they need advice with tax planning, superannuation, retirement or making tax digital we have the resource to give the most up-to-date and professional support.”

The firm aims to provide specialist services to medical professionals, navigating them through complex NHS pension legislation, strategic issues, recruitment crises, managing change, digital tax accounting and retirement planning.

Robson Laidler managing director Graham Purvis will take up the position as head of tax within the healthcare team, bringing his 30 years of experience to the table.

He will be responsible for managing taxation requirements for a large portfolio of healthcare clients.

Graham said: “This is an exciting new chapter for us. By bringing together our pool of in-house expert knowledge into one specialist team we can provide a truly integrated service with specialists who have known and worked together for many years.

“We are a team of medical finance experts who want to deliver a better service for clients and I believe the strength of the team is one of our biggest assets, -we share the same values and focus on delivering an exceptional service.

“We have the knowledge to provide a full service focused solely on the needs of the healthcare sector.

“We are continuing to look for medical experts who would like to be part of one of the strongest medial accounting teams in the North East and join us at this exciting time.”

Amanda Cowie, Chartered Financial Planner within Robson Laidler Financial Planning (RLFP), will take up financial planning duties within the healthcare team, offering highly specialised NHS pension advice for GP practices, practice managers, doctors, consultants, locums, dentists, and employed medical professionals.

Healthcare lead Michael Smith also commented: “Medical professionals have specific requirements, so our service is not just about compliance but rather the strategic advice we can provide.  Not only are we working with our healthcare clients to ensure that they are ready for the government’s proposals for ‘Making Tax Digital’ but we are working with them to forge fully integrated working relationships.  Together with RLFP’s expertise in NHS pensions, our accountancy and tax clients will be able to benefit from a holistic approach to their finances in real time. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the company to deliver a supreme service to our clients.”

The team are hosting a Healthcare Seminar suitable for doctors, dentists and other medical professionals on Tuesday 7 February at Holiday Inn Jesmond, Newcastle, from 8:30am – 10am. To book contact Gemma Graham by emailing or book via Eventbrite here:

Robson Laidler is also a member of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA), a national network of over 75 accountancy firms providing expert advice to medical practices, sessional GPs and hospital doctors. As well as the UK200 Group, the UK’s leading quality assured membership association of independent accountants and lawyers.

The Robson Laidler Healthcare Team (back row l-r) Brian Irving, Graham Purvis, Stephen Poole, Michael Rivett, Martin Wardle, Michael Smith, Kevin Mawdesley. (front row) Amy Park and Amanda Cowie.

The Robson Laidler Healthcare Team (back row l-r) Brian Irving, Graham Purvis, Stephen Poole, Michael Rivett, Martin Wardle, Michael Smith, Kevin Mawdesley. (front row) Amy Park and Amanda Cowie.

Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2016

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Reaction from Stephen Poole, Senior Tax Consultant, Robson Laidler Accountants and Business Advisors.

“Being in Newcastle my ears pricked up when Philip Hammond talked about the North East with the fastest rate of employment growth. However while he has released a 30 page strategy document about the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, many pages are blank and his plans remain vague. What we need is action now in the North East.

There was not really anything for young people so I think a lot of our future leaders will feel disappointed. However, it is good to see a commitment to increasing Research and Development as this is where one of our true strengths lies. In the North East we have some of the most interesting engineering companies I have seen and I hope some of this will trickle up to them. We also have some of the strongest (and sometime more maverick) software companies and again I see a strong future here, but I am not feeling much more encouraged after reading through the documentation.

A bit more flexibility on tax advantaged investment vehicles (SEIS and EIS) will help a lot with this, and streamlining the advance assurance will have its place in helping with putting plans in place. But again little of substance. 

On taxes it is mainly ‘steady as she goes’ with a promise to increase personal allowances from £11,000 to £11,500 and ultimately to £12,500 by 2020. Corporation taxes are staying on their downward trajectory to 17% from April 2020. There is an announcement that the Government will consult in 2017 to tax non-resident companies on their UK sourced income. It will be interesting to see what other countries think of this and how it fits with double taxation treaties.

Of more concern, we have to wait until January 2017 to hear HMRC’s plans on Making Tax Digital which means we will only have 15 months to deal with maybe the biggest change to the tax system for a generation.

Many businesses, including landlords, will grumble at the increase in Insurance Premium Tax up to 12% from 10%. This feels like a ‘stealth tax’ to coin a phrase used to describe Gordon Browns tax manoeuvrings.

Is the Wentworth Woodhouse grant good news? Well on the face of it I welcome money being made available for such heritage, and to that extent the more the better. If this is all we have in the North, then that is a bit disappointing.”


Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

A NORTH EAST accountancy firm has set itself an ambitious target to raise £100,000 for local and national charities to mark its centenary year.

Robson Laidler Accountants and Business Advisors, which is based in Jesmond, will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2020 and staff have pledged to raise £1,000 for every year it has been in business by then.

Over the next four years the firm will seek to raise the substantial amount of cash with a timetable of various fundraising activities including the Three Peaks challenge next year as well as staff’s chargeable time being used to volunteer for local projects.

The firm has recently given all staff 7.5 hours per year to volunteer within work hours and some initiatives so far have seen staff painting garden furniture at a community bowling club in Newcastle, supermarket bag packing and talking to young people about careers in accountancy at local schools.

The firm asked staff to vote for a Charity of the Year to give focus to the fundraising activities. For the first 12 months, Dementia UK has been selected to receive the bulk of the funds raised with other local charities still benefiting from other fundraising efforts.

Head of comms at Robson Laildler Gemma Graham said: “This is a huge target for us but we wanted to do something momentous for our 100th year in business and we are all passionate about achieving this goal. Our charity committee are making a concerted effort by planning a range of fundraising activities and volunteering projects the whole team can get involved with.

“It’s going to be key for everyone to pull together and take part in fundraising activities from cake bakes and raffles to big events like our Three Peaks Challenge next year and The Great North Run and we welcome donations from any individual or business to help us succeed.”

As well as the £100,000 target the staff at Robson Laider are also aiming to achieve 100 different successes including supported 100 charities and taking part in 100 different charitable activities over the course of the next four years.

Robson Laidler has set up a Just Giving page for individuals and business to help them achieve its fundraising target. Visit: to make a donation.


Pre-Autumn Statement comment

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Stephen Poole, Senior Tax Consultant from accountancy practice Robson Laidler

Times are turbulent with divisive popular votes on both sides of the Atlantic and a recovery that does not seem to have spread out of the south east. The country is facing exchange rate fluctuations, which are putting pressure on the prices of everyday goods, and when combined with poor wage growth for ordinary people over the last decade we have a potentially explosive mixture.

Meanwhile Philip Hammond has taken over from George Osborne and the Autumn Statement next Wednesday (23rd November) will be his first major speech on fiscal policy, and an opportunity to announce strategic initiatives.

What do we know about Philip Hammond? Well he spent time in Transport, Defence and Foreign Affairs. Prior that I think it fair to say that Hammond was one of the architects of the Conservative Party’s austere, business facing approach to public spending. He has had business interests in house building, property, manufacturing, healthcare and oil and gas.

With this in mind it is worth looking back at Theresa May’s acceptance speech and I think it is worth quoting this part:

‘The Government I lead will be driven, not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives. When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you. When we pass new laws, we’ll listen not to the mighty, but to you. When it comes to taxes, we’ll prioritise not the wealthy, but you. When it comes to opportunity, we won’t entrench the advantages of the fortunate few, we will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you’

There is pressure to keep major fiscal announcements to a single Budget, and with the many objective uncertainties Hammond will probably want to keep his options open for now, thus giving some breathing space until the Budget next Spring. Therefore I don’t expect income tax rate changes or large increases in income tax bands. However he may use the Statement to put down some markers, and increase his political profile. My personal predictions are:

  • Some soothing words for the markets with some guidance on future interest rate expectations and a comment on progress on trade agreement plans
  • A return to Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse ideas, hopefully with some meat on the bone
  • With a view to the fairness agenda he may scrap the reduction in capital gains tax rates that Osborne give away in his last budget. Indeed he may go further with this
  • Some hard sounding words on tax avoidance, but there is already a lot of new legislation and consultation in this area. I think he will concentrate on the already open topic of punishing tax agents 
  • While Hammond will probably say this is little scope for tax cuts, a small tax break may be offered to the long suffering people on low pay, probably a reduction in fuel taxes or a minor increase in the Personal Allowance, or NIC thresholds
  • A new initiative for small businesses, with maybe some tinkering around with EIS or SEIS, possibly a new investment vehicle
  • A restatement of the digital agenda maybe with a relaxation of timescales
  • Finally, with Hammond’s background in house building I think we may see a relaxation in the new property financing rules, possibly accompanied by a further attack on enveloped property.

Remember Remember 3rd November for the Robson Laidler Hot Property Tax Event

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Thursday 3rd November 5pm -7:30pm  Holiday Inn Newcastle-Jesmond, Jesmond Road, Newcastle upon Tyne. NE2 1PR

Fireworks may be on the horizon for landlords and property investors .

The RL Hot Property Conference will ignite your understanding on the burning issues within the current property tax agenda; whether it’s pending income tax hikes, changes to stamp duty land tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax or changes to reliefs for repairs. We will also talk you through Making Tax Digital and the impending digital tax return.

You will leave this conference fuelled with knowledge on how to get the most out of your investment.

In addition there will be networking opportunities and a number of trade stands from all sectors of the property industry.

To reserve your space at this FREE event book via EventBrite or contact Gemma Graham: tel: 0191 281 8191 by Friday 28th October.