When business owners start to think about investing in business assets, such as a new vehichle or some tools or machinery, it’s a great time to talk to your accountant or bookkeeper, depending on what sort of advice you need. If you feel confident in making your own decision, once given the options by your bookkeeper, then don’t pay for the higher accountants fees this time! However, bear in mind that your bookkeeper isn’t qualified to advise you what you should do, only what you could do. Professional bookkeepers with Self-Assessment qualifications and all professional accountants will know all the latest rules on what capital allowances can be claimed against tax. This is really important because HMRC are forever moving the goalposts as they update the tax system, so it makes sense to scrutinise the timing of the investment, which can make an enormous difference to the amount of money you could save by simply delaying the investment, or perhaps buying it a bit sooner than originally intended. Secondly, there are different rules for capital allowances depending on things like the environmental rating of the asset, whether it’s new or second hand and whether you once owned it privately. This is a complex area of the tax system so don’t assume you have all the knowledge necessary to make the best decision.
And remember folks, absolutely anyone can call themselves an ‘accountant’ or ‘bookkeeper’, even if they have no professional qualifications, and ……….. get this, even if they’ve been in prison for embezzlement. Yes, that’s crazy but true, and it does happen! So, make sure you protect yourself and your business by choosing a professional, which means someone registered with one of the professional bodies. That way you know they’re competent, of good character, insured and qualified. I’m proud to be an Associate Member of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.