The View – January 2024
Charterhouse at Christmas
We hope you had a wonderful festive season and are looking forward to the New Year.
For businesses across the world, Christmas is a time for us to all enjoy a little light-hearted relaxation and enjoy the company of others, whilst at the same time making sure that everyone in our community is healthy and safe during the festive period.
We have supported a number of charities over the years and it is at these times when it is even more important to remember those who are in less fortunate positions than us that we do what we can to help these charities and in particular St Luke’s Hospice Harrow and Wycombe Homeless Connection.
It may surprise some of you but even accountants like to have a bit of fun. Each year we celebrate the festivities with our Small Christmas, including the “Jumper of the Year” award and our Christmas Party where everyone gets a chance to relax before our focus is shifted to completing and finalising tax returns for our clients. This year’s jumper of the year winner was Julie, it will be a tough act to follow next Christmas.
This year has been another good year for us with many changes and let us take the opportunity to say thank you to the whole team and our clients as we look forward to the challenges of 2024.
Mental Health in the Workplace and what it means to us.
Mental Health, rightly so has a much greater profile in society now, especially in the workplace. As a business, we continue to work with our team to not only raise awareness of the different issues but to also provide the right support to ensure that if anyone does start experiencing mental health problems they are cared for in the best way. There are some interesting statistics around mental health that paint an alarming picture:
- Statistics vary, but around 1 in 4 people in the UK experience mental health problems
- 9 in 10 people who experience mental problems face stigma and discrimination, particularly in work, meaning many do not feel they can talk openly with their line managers.
- 95% of employees would prefer to call in sick with a made up reason, rather than reveal the truth about their mental health problems (Survey by Time to Change)
- There is a huge financial cost to employers in lost productivity, time off work and staff turnover
Mental Health covers a wide range of conditions and covers a wide range of problems that affect our mood, thinking and behaviour. Some of these include:
- Common mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety, OCD
- Severe mental health problems, such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorders, Depression, PTSD, Substance abuse disorders
All of these can have a serious impact on a person and need to be addressed, especially in the workplace.
Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency changes.
Economic Crime is a significant issue with fraud and tax evasion at the forefront of the issues that the government is looking to address. As part of their drive to reduce economic crime new legislation is being introduced to ensure that the correct information is held and processed for every business each year. As a result, there are some changes that you will need to incorporate in the financial management of your business.
The ECCT is part of the government’s response to the need to tackle economic crime in the UK and received Royal Assent on October 26th 2023. The ECCT is multifaceted and includes for example, provisions related to crypto assets and new intelligence gathering powers for law enforcement amongst other things, but for SME companies, the most significant change will be to the role and powers of Companies House. Companies House will be given significant extra powers which will directly affect how all individuals and companies interact with them.
St Luke’s Hospice Winter Appeal
As you know, Charterhouse support St Lukes Hospice Harrow as its Charity of the Year. This support covers many different aspects from volunteering to fundraising and helping them to promote their key messages.
This year, one of the major projects for them is their Winter Appeal.
Their Winter Appeal is to raise funds to provide specialist riser and reclining chairs.
Their patients need specialist riser recliner chairs to give the best comfort as they cope with end of life. However, only 4 out of 12 of their Inpatient Unit rooms have a specialist riser recliner chair. This is a challenge because people’s bodies are not designed to lay flat for too long. It is always advisable, particularly for their vulnerable patients, to sit upright in a chair for a while and elevate their legs to give good blood flow to the heart. This elevation also plays a crucial role in reducing any swelling in the body which has been caused by an illness.
Many of their end of life patients have significantly lower body tissue and fat cells. This means sitting on a regular chair can exert a lot of pressure on their bones which can cause painful skin damage. A specialist chair can alleviate this discomfort.
When people are bedridden and use incontinence aids, it is always good to help them sit upright for a few hours a day to enable their bladder to function normally. This can be difficult if a specialist chair is not available.
A new riser recliner chair for their Inpatient Unit costs £2,700 each. St Lukes are looking for supporters to donate £1,000, or however much they can, towards this appeal?
This appeal goes beyond funding just medical equipment and aims to help St Luke’s provide vital end of life care and aid that gives the ultimate comfort to hundreds of people who need this the most at the Hospice each year.
Wycombe Homeless Connection – Winter Update
Wycombe Homeless Connection’s vision is to see South Buckinghamshire transformed into a place where no one is homeless and that there is suitable homes and housing security for all.
As we enter the winter, their services are changing, not least as despite everyone’s best efforts, more people are sleeping rough in the south of Bucks than anyone hoped would be. Their support centre in Wycombe and their homelessness helpline is open daily and due to an increase in need they have just doubled the amount of help they are offering in Chesham as one in six of the people they help already come from the town.
Government abolishes basis period rules for profit reporting, affecting thousands of sole traders and partnerships.
A basis period is the time period for which a sole trader, partnership or LLP pays tax each year. This is usually the sole trade/ partnerships accounting year.
For example, if you started your sole trade/ partnership business on 1 June 2015, then your accounting period is likely to have been the 12 months from 1 June 2015 to 31 May 2016. Therefore, you are taxed on the profits or losses for the accounting period ending in the tax year. From 6 April 2024, profits or losses for a tax year will be the profits arising in the tax year regardless of the accounting period end date. The transition year is 2023/2024 to ensure we align all current accounting periods to be in line with the tax year.
Please note that HMRC have now abolished the basis period method of reporting trading income and as you are a sole trader and/or a Partnership/LLP and your business accounting year end doesn’t fall between 31 March to 5 April (inclusive), you will be affected by the basis period reform. From 2024/25 all unincorporated businesses must report and will be taxed on their profits arising in each tax year instead of those shown by their accounting period ending in the tax year. The last year for using the old basis period method is 2022/23 and so 2023/24 is a transition year.