MTD is here

Friday, March 29th, 2019

As you should be aware by now MTD comes into place on 1 April 2019. We have created a fact sheet below to help.


Debbie’s Uganda Trip

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Debbie, one of our managers, is travelling to Rukungiri, Uganda, to support the work of Mission Direct. Mission Direct is a Christian charity based in the UK. They enable volunteers to participate in 2 week overseas mission trips in the some of the world’s poorest countries. Debbie and her fellow volunteers, including her daughter Molly, will be helping to build classrooms for nursery school children. We wish her good luck from all at Chalmers. If you wish to support the cause, please follow the link below.


*********************Great News**********************

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Chalmers are delighted to announce that Karen Williams has recently been appointed a Partner of the firm. Karen joined Chalmers as a manager in the Yeovil office in July 2000, having obtained a Certified Accountancy qualification in 1999, and therefore has an excellent knowledge of the business, the established client-base and the local area. In addition to her accountancy role, Karen also provides general business advice to clients with more involvement in dealing with limited companies and assisting with their accounting systems and processing.

With her desire to offer clients a more comprehensive service to accompany the accountancy qualification, Karen qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser in 2009. With a particular penchant for Inheritance Tax, Karen considered that the firm would benefit from her obtaining accreditation for probate work. Karen and Dale Parsons intended to work together to make this happen but, unfortunately, this was not to be although Karen has continued her pursuit of qualifying as a Trusts and Estate Practitioner and aims to qualify this year.

Work and additional study leaves just enough time for Karen to compete in the occasional triathlon and half marathon, and to raise 3 daughters with her husband Matt Williams who is a partner in a local planning consultancy.

Reflecting on her decision to become a Partner, Karen said “We have experienced a tremendously difficult time over the last 14 months and I became much more involved with the day-to-day running of the firm to maintain a level of professionalism so that all our clients received the same level of service to which they had become accustomed. We have all faced a number of challenges since Dale Parsons first became ill and sadly passed away in December 2017. We all dearly miss him as a colleague and friend. Dale was instrumental in Chalmers’ success and I aim to honour his memory by helping to continue his desire to further develop the firm and the services offered to existing and new clients with the fantastic team that we have at Chalmers.”

Simon Bachrach, Senior Partner said “We are delighted to welcome Karen as a new Partner of the firm. Her expertise and experience with owner managed businesses will help us to expand further. Also with her tax experience we will be able to continue to offer high-level tax advice to businesses and individuals in the South West.”

Employment opportunity

Thursday, April 5th, 2018


An excellent opportunity for someone with experience of accounts preparation in practice to join our team. The role will involve preparation of annual accounts for a range of clients (corporate & non-corporate) as well as associated tax work.

Knowledge of Farming clients, Xero and Sage Accounting software would be advantageous.

Applications in writing by Friday 20 April to:-

Simon Bachrach
Chalmers & Co, 6 The Linen Yard, South Street
Crewkerne, Somerset TA18 8AB

Christmas Closedown

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Our offices are closed for the Christmas period as follows:-

Crewkerne Office
The office will be closed from 5.00pm on Friday 22nd December 2017.
The office will reopen at 8.30am on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

Langport Office
The office will be closed from 2.00pm on Friday 22nd December 2017.
The office will reopen at 8.30am on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

Yeovil Office
The office will be closed from 5.00pm on Tuesday 19nd December 2017.
The office will reopen at 8.30am on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

Self-employed and using your own car

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

There are two options if you use a car in your self-employed business for business and private purposes.

You can buy the car through your business, claim a capital allowance, and write off the costs of running the car as a business expense, and in both instances, you will need to adjust your claims to eliminate any private use. In practical terms, this will mean recording your total and private mileage (or business mileage) and reducing the capital allowance and expenses claims accordingly.

Alternatively, you could keep a written record of your business mileage and claim expenses from your business using the approved flat rates. Presently, these are:

  • The first 10,000 business miles at 45p per mile,
  • Over 10,000 business miles at 25p per mile.

For example, if your business mileage for a year amounted to 12,000 miles you could claim up to £5,000 (10,000 miles at 45p and 2,000 miles at 25p). This amount would be a legitimate business cost for tax purposes and is a tax-free receipt that you can use to defray the actual purchase and running costs that you will be paying personally, outside the business.

This simplified method for claiming relief for the use of your car can only be used if you are not claiming capital allowances for the vehicle or charging any actual running costs to your business.

Also, you do not have to use the simplified method for all your business vehicles, you can pick and choose. Once you have elected to use the simplified claims process you must continue to do so for as long as you use the vehicle in your business.

This simplified option for the use of a car does not affect your ability to claim other travel costs, train fares etc., or parking costs.

To decide which may be the best choice for your business you will need to consider the car purchase price, annual running costs, and your estimated business and private mileage. Please call if you would like our help with the calculations.

Tax legislation

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Readers may be forgiven for finding the recent rash of announcements by HMRC, regarding possible changes to tax legislation, rather confusing.

On 8th September, we were informed that the remaining sections of the March 2017 finance bill, that were deferred due to the May election, were back in circulation and being dealt with by the appropriate committees and debates. Eventually, they will find their way onto the statute books unless amended by the parliamentary processes.

Changes reintroduced include:

  • Ability to reimburse employers for certain benefits and avoid a tax charge.
  • A reduction in the money purchase pension allowance, once crystallised, from £10,000 to £4,000.
  • A reduction in the tax-free dividend allowance, from £5,000 to £2,000; effective from 6 April 2018.

In all there are seventy-two clauses and eighteen schedules.

It was then announced the government will publish its next Budget on Wednesday 22 November 2017. The November Budget will include further legislation to introduce digitisation of business tax.

It will be interesting to see how the political realities – a much slimmer majority in parliament – affect the progress of these changes in the coming weeks.

What are tax-free transfers for Inheritance Tax purposes

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

There are many reliefs for IHT purposes. They include:

  1. Business Property Relief – 100% relief for business assets including an interest in a business, a controlling interest comprising unquoted shares including AIM listed shares, and unlisted shares in a private company.
  2. Agricultural Property Relief – 100% relief (occasionally 50%)
  3. A controlling interest in a listed company – 50% relief.
  4. Certain personal assets used in a business – 50% relief.

Additionally, there are other, smaller reliefs that can be claimed:

  • An annual exemption of £3,000. An unused allowance can be carried forward for one year.
  • Small gifts exemption of £250 per person.
  • Gifts on a marriage or civil partnership: £5,000 from a parent, £2,500 from a grandparent, £1,000 others

There is also an exemption for annual gifts made from income. Basically, a gift will not count as a gift for IHT purposes, if you can demonstrate that the donor’s annual income is at a level to make the gifts without affecting their ability to cover their usual monthly costs.

Gifts to an individual within the nil rate band, and with no strings attached, may still be made without any charge to IHT if the donor lives for 7 years after making the gift.

Changes to the taxation of trusts and non-domiciled persons have complicated IHT planning in recent years. If you haven’t considered your options recently we recommend a review. All you need to do is compile a list of your assets, let us have sight of your Will(s) and we can consider changes you might make to reduce your exposure to this tax.

Self-employed tax payments

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Self-employed persons and other individuals who submit a self-assessment (SA) tax return should bear in mind that there are only three months until the electronic filing and payment deadline for 2016-17, 31 January 2018.

If you have not filed the 2016-17 SA return yet, or at the very least crunched the numbers to work out if you owe any arrears of tax for 2016-17, you may want to attend to this as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will be shortening the period when you have time to consider gathering funds together to meet any tax payment on 31 January 2018.

On the same date, 31 January 2018, you will also need to make a payment on account for the following tax year, 2017-18. In the first instance, this will be based on fifty percent of your liability for 2016-17 with a similar payment July 2018. And so again, knowing what the earlier year’s liability is will provide the information you need to save for this additional tax payment.

As we have outlined in previous newsletters, if your income is reducing during the current year (2017-18) you can elect for payments on account to be reduced.

This is all part of the basic self-assessment planning we undertake for clients. If you have previously managed your own tax filing, and would like to out-source this annual chore, we would be delighted to help.

Pay your VAT monthly

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

If you find it difficult to manage quarterly payments to HMRC to settle your VAT, why not consider the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme (AAS).

With the AAS you:

  • make nine payments on account towards your annual VAT bill – based on your last returns (or estimated if you’re new to VAT), and
  • submit one VAT Return a year.

When you submit your VAT Return you either:

  • make a final payment – the difference between your advance payments and actual VAT bill, or
  • apply for a refund – if you’ve overpaid your VAT bill.

The scheme wouldn’t suit your business if you regularly reclaim VAT because you’ll only be able to get one refund a year (when you submit the VAT Return). Also, you can only join the scheme if your estimated VAT taxable turnover is £1.35 million or less.

However, smoothing the cash flow impact of VAT payments can be helpful as is submitting one VAT return a year instead of four returns.

The annual return, and any balancing payment, need to be submitted within two months of the annual year end date for VAT purposes.

You can’t use the scheme if:

  • you left the scheme in the last 12 months
  • your business is part of a VAT registered division or group of companies
  • you are not up to date with your VAT Returns or payments
  • you are insolvent

You must leave the scheme if:

  • you’re no longer eligible to be in it
  • your VAT taxable turnover is (or is likely to be) more than £1.6 million at the end of the annual accounting year