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Transamazonica – Epic Journey and Exciting Investment Opportunity


This autumn, adventurer and film-maker Reza Pakravan and journalist Pip Stewart, embarked on an epic journey along the 4,000 km Transamazonian highway to document both the glory and the destruction of one of the planet’s last great untouched areas, the mighty Amazon rain forest.

Travelling the road by bicycle and the river by boat, their journey took the from the Atlantic to the Pacific crossing Brazil and Peru through some of the most remote and hostile places on earth.

The expedition was chronicled by a film crew to produce a documentary of their experience living with Amazonian tribes whose way of life is under severe threat. The majesty of the ecosystem and the humility of tribes juxtaposed with the relentless demands of the 21st century.

Laced with beauty and danger, the filming is complete and film is safely in London. A distribution deal is in place and Fox International has acquired the rights for Spanish-speaking territories with negotiations ongoing with BBC Worldwide and Sony Entertainment.

The production company, Transamazonica Limited, is now seeking investment funding for the Post Production to convert the film into a four-part series and theatrical film cut of what could literally be a last testament.

Underpinned by the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, which offers an immediate 50% tax relief, and based on the success his previous Kapp to Cape series, Reza Pakravan is able to guarantee an overall 10% return on your three-year investment. This is currently double the return of any Three Year Fixed Rate Bond on the High Street.

There are some non-financial returns too. Depending on the investment level, an investor will be given an Executive Producer or Associate Producer credit in the series. In addition, all investors will be invited to a special cinema screening followed by a private drinks reception where you will have the chance to chat to Reza and Pip about their adventures.

For further information, please contact us at tax@cooperfaure.co.uk in the first instance. However, you can unlock an exclusive Transamazonica trailer here.

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme – Brief Investor’s Guide

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) was introduced in April 2012 as an offshoot of Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) specifically targeted at boosting early stage investment in start-up companies.

To this end, SEIS offers the investor some especially generous tax reliefs:

There are some key points to bear in mind on the SEIS scheme:

In deciding whether to invest, it is important to ascertain whether the company has applied for and received ‘Advanced Assurance’ from HMRC. This is a certificate issued by HMRC confirming that the company qualifies for the SEIS scheme.

The investor is able to claim the Income Tax relief once either the business has been trading for four months or has spent 70% of the investment they received.

At that point, the company submits Form SEIS1 to the Small Companies Enterprise Centre (SCEC) for review. Assuming all the requirements are met, the SCEC will issue a Form SEIS3 to the company to distribute to the individual investors for inclusion in their tax return.

The SEIS relief can be claimed up to five years after the 31st January in the year that investment was made. Indeed, it can also be carried back into the previous tax year.

Lastly, as with all tax reliefs, the availability and benefit depends on your circumstances. For instance, if you are not paying Income Tax, the SEIS relief is of no value.

As a result, we recommend seeking independent tax advice before proceeding with any investment.

At CooperFaure, we work with a portfolio of companies and investors operating under the SEIS and EIS schemes. If you would like an initial call to discuss your circumstances, please email us at tax@cooperfaure.co.uk to arrange a time. It is absolutely free and there is no obligation.

Please click here for the downloadable version of this guide.

VAT Flat Rate Scheme – What is a Limited Costs Business?

We have received the HMRC definition of a ‘Limited Costs’ business for whom the new VAT Flat Rate of 16.5% will apply. This is outlined as a company whose VAT inclusive expenditure on goods is either:

In this context, goods must be used exclusively for the purpose of the business but will exclude the following items:

These exclusions are designed to prevent a company from buying either low value everyday items or one off purchases in order to inflate their costs beyond 2%. In addition, we can infer that expenditure on services are also excluded.

The government plan to publish draft secondary legislation on 5th December 2016 and businesses will then have an eight-week window to comment.

Our detailed review of the Autumn Statement will be published tomorrow. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss how the Autumn Statement will affect you, please email us at tax@cooperfaure.co.uk.

There is still time to register here for our Impact of the Autumn Statement webinar running on Monday 28th November at 1pm.

The 2016 Autumn Statement Summary – Major VAT Flat Rate Scheme Change

The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has delivered his first Autumn Statement today.

In a significant change to small businesses, from April 2017, a new VAT Flat Rate of 16.5% will be introduced for businesses with limited costs, such as labour-only businesses. As the Flat Rate applied to the gross invoice amount, this equates to 19.8% of the net leaving just 0.2% for the business.

A provision is already in place to treat any invoice raised between today and 1st April 2017 for a service to be performed on or after 1st April 2017 as taking place on 1st April 2017. In other words, there is no opportunity to invoice in advance to keep the benefit of the current rate.

Other highlights were:

Our detailed review of the Autumn Statement will be published tomorrow. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss how the Autumn Statement will affect you, please email us at tax@cooperfaure.co.uk.

There is still time to register here for our Impact of the Autumn Statement webinar running on Monday 28th November at 1pm.


The End of the Road for the Private Buy-To-Let Investor?

Back in January, in our two-part newsletter series on the impact of tax changes announced in the Summer Budget and the last Autumn Statement on the on the Buy-To-Let property sector, we indicated that this may not be the end of the changes.

We stated at the time that the then Chancellor, George Osborne, was looking at enabling the Bank of England to be able to impose curbs on the levels that lenders can offer loans to prospective private landlords.

As is being heavily reported in the press today, the Treasury has announced that they will empower the Prudential Regulation Authority, the lending arm of the Bank of England, to impose new minimum affordability thresholds and stress tests on Buy-To-Let mortgages from 1st January 2017.

A government spokesman stated “The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) will be granted new powers by the government to help it protect the financial system from future risks in the buy-to-let mortgage market.”

Does this signal the end of the road for the individual investor? Will there be any good news in the Autumn Statement next week?

We will be publishing a detailed newsletter covering this on Sunday 26th November and running a new webinar on Wednesday 30th November for which we are offering exclusive advance registration here.

Let The Cloud Do The Work For You


Welcome to the new era of accounting, it is no longer dull, boring and time consuming. Traditional accounting has been transformed into an innovative, modern and networking platform for businesses.

The government’s push to make tax digital by 2020 goes hand in hand with the cloud based accounting world that is emerging around us.

It is now possible to access your business accounts in the cloud from anywhere at any time. Social pressures and expectations are higher than ever. With the help of a cloud based accounting system you can travel the world, meet new people, be there for your family and friends and at the same time keep on top of your business from any device.

Making the choice to switch your accounts to a cloud based system will ensure that you are keeping up to date with the current generation’s expectation for information to be accessible at the click of a button.

We at CooperFaure are certified advisors and Gold Partners with the cloud based accounting software Xero.

Xero has more than 862,000 users worldwide and our clients are reaping the benefits:

  1. You have real-time access of your company’s financial position.
  2. With multi-user access online it is easy for advisors and teams to collaborate online.
  3. You have more time to focus on other things as there are automatic updates.
  4. There is nothing to install and everything is backed up on the cloud with free instant updates.
  5. The cloud service provider takes care of any server failures, system administration costs, maintenance and version upgrades.

Get more time to innovate with total visibility of your accounts, including cashflow, invoicing and online payments.


Do you want to join the new exciting world of Xero?

Email us at welcome@cooperfaure.co.uk and let us show you real-time accounting.

The Trivial Benefits In Kind Exemption – More Significant Than The Name Suggests!

In almost every tax year, a positive tax reform is introduced that just does not seem to get traction.

In 2015-16, this was the Marriage Allowance about which we have written extensively. This year, it looks to be the Trivial Benefit in Kind exemption.

As the festive season approaches, it is timely to examine this in detail. To qualify as a Trivial Benefit, there are four conditions;

For a ‘Close Company’, the annual amount is capped at £300.00 for the Directors and their families. A Close Company is defined as being privately owned and controlled by five or fewer individual participators. As a result, this covers most small companies and many family businesses.

If the benefit qualifies, it will not be deemed taxable income so no Income Tax nor National Insurance would be due.

There are two important considerations:

As a result, the Trivial Benefit in Kind exemption may be far from trivial, especially for lower paid staff.

The sort of expenses that would be considered a Trivial Benefit include:

There are a couple of points to be aware of:

If you have any questions or would like any further information on the Trivial Benefit in Kind exemption, please email us at tax@cooperfaure.co.uk.

Is The Company Annual Party An Allowable Business Expense?

In the main, social functions and parties provided by an employer for their staff are a taxable benefit on which Income Tax and National Insurance would be due.

However, under certain circumstances, the Annual Parties and Functions exemption would apply.

To qualify, the event or events must:

If your business operates from more than one location, an annual event open to all of your staff based at each location would qualify as exempt. Similarly, separate parties for different departments would qualify as exempt so long as each employee can attend one of them.

You could have a summer barbeque and a Christmas party that would both qualify so long as the combined cost of the events is no more than £150.00 per head.

However, it is key to remember that this is an exemption not an allowance. If the cost of a particular event exceeds £150.00 per head, the whole amount is taxable not just the amount over £150.00 per head.

If you are going to be arranging a staff Christmas party, bear in mind that all the associated expenses must be taken into account in calculating the cost. For instance, this could comprise the venue hire, theming, catering, entertainment, overnight accommodation or taxis home. In addition, the VAT must be included.

On the other hand, the £150.00 per head rule covers everyone that attends the party not just the employees of the company which is an important consideration in budgeting the event.

If you have any questions or would like any further information on the Annual Parties and Functions exemption, please email us at tax@cooperfaure.co.uk.

Did You Know? Late-Night Taxi Exemption

When an employer provides and pays for a taxi to take an employee home, this is a taxable benefit unless it subject to the Late-Night Taxi exemption.

To qualify for the Late-Night Taxi exemption the following stipulations must be met:

The key word in the stipulations is ‘irregular’ which means not following a regular or established pattern.

An employee who works later than usual and until at least 9pm every Friday or on the last Friday of each month, therefore, is not working later than usual irregularly. Neither is an employee that works later than usual and until 9pm on one variable day each week.

However, should a particular project or assignment necessitate an employee to work later than usual every day beyond 9pm for three weeks, this would qualify as irregular.

If you have any questions or would like any further information on the Late-Night Taxi exemption, please email us at tax@cooperfaure.co.uk.

Making Tax Digital – Consultations Close at 11:45pm Today

Today is the last day of the HMRC consultations into Making Tax Digital. The deadline for submissions is 11:45pm tonight.

As the proposal stands every self-employed individual, partner and/or landlord with a combined income of over £10,000 will be required to file quarterly returns from April 2018.

This requirement will extend to Limited Companies from April 2020.

Self-employed businesses and landlords will need the tools to enable them to file digitally in a prescribed manner. Unlike with the current Self-Assessment Tax Return or RTI-compliant payroll, HMRC will not be providing free software for Making Tax Digital.

Instead, they are looking to the software providers to make available free software for the smallest of businesses as part of a basket products catering for the wider market. It seems, at best, the free software will only deliver the specific HMRC requirements, so some other form of bookkeeping software will be necessary to run in tandem.

The reality is that asking a business to report at least four times a year rather than once and being required to do so on a proprietary software can only add to the administrative burden and cost. Indeed, for more complex businesses, there will also be an ‘End of Year’ filing to review the four quarterly returns and make any necessary accounting adjustments or claim any reliefs and allowances not able to be included in the quarterly returns.

This has been recognised in the consultation which asks the questions “What level of financial support might it be reasonable for the government to provide towards investing in new IT, software or training?”, “What costs might you expect your business to incur in moving to the new regime?” and “Do you expect that your business will incur additional on-going costs as a result of these changes?”.

We urge every stakeholder to make their voice heard and take part in the HMRC consultation here. These questions fall under the ‘A: Bringing business tax into the digital age’.  Our full response to the consultation can be read here.

At CooperFaure, we are have already implemented accountancy solutions to enable our clients to thrive in the digital age. We will also be participating in alpha testing with software providers and private beta testing with HMRC, that will enable us to keep you fully informed on every step of the journey.

We anticipate that the 2016 Autumn Statement on Wednesday 23rd November will reference Making Tax Digital with draft legislation expected in December. At CooperFaure we will be providing a live Twitter Feed on @cooperfaure together with digest and detailed newsletters on the day.

For the first time, on Thursday 24th November, we will be hosting a Free Webinar between 1pm and 2pm looking at the impact on business, the contractor and the property investor and answering your questions.

As well as expert advice and a free copy of the presentation, you can ask that nagging question in our Q&A session.

As ever, places are limited so to register and avoid missing out, please click on the button.

In the meantime, if you like any further information, please let email us at tax@cooperfaure.co.uk.