Adrian Mooy & Co - Accountants Derby

Adrian Mooy & Co

Welcome to our home page. We are a firm of Chartered Certified Accountants and tax advisors in Derby. We help businesses like yours grow and be more profitable.  For a friendly service covering audit, tax, accounts, self assessment, VAT & payroll please contact us.


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Accountants Derby

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Autumn Budget 2018

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Autumn Budget 2017

Tax Efficient Profit Extraction

○  Quality checked firm - awarded the prestigious ACCA Quality Checked mark

○  Cloud-based accounting solutions

○  Tax solutions to help you keep more of your income

○  Transparent affordable pricing

○  Free initial interview

We offer a traditional personal service and welcome new clients.

From start-up to exit and everything in-between - whether you’re  struggling with company formation, bookkeeping, or annual accounts and taxation, you can count on us at every step of  your business’s journey.

We also offer cloud-based accounting solutions. With the power of cloud accounting in your hands, you can access accurate real-time data on the go, accept instant payments and even automate repetitive tasks like invoicing. Fast, easy, touch-of-a-button accounting is the future.

If you are looking for a Derby accountant then please contact us.


Off-payroll - public sector

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Tax Planning for individuals

Tax Planning for Individuals

Successful individual tax planning requires careful attention across a wide range of areas and time frames.

Tax Planning for small business

Tax Planning for Small Business

Effective tax-saving strategies for small businesses operating in a tough economic climate.

Contractors and Freelancers

Contractors & Freelancers

Invoicing your contracting work through a limited company is highly tax efficient.

  • Here are some tips for saving your company corporation tax and extracting money from your company tax efficiently. Why pay more than you need to? Company owners - Saving tax

  • The approach of a company’s year end is an important time to look at tax saving. Action has to be taken by that date, otherwise the opportunities could be lost. Company tax saving


We offer a range of high quality services

Web-based accounting

Xero is a web-based accounting system designed with the needs of small business owners in mind.


It can automatically connect to your bank and download your bank statements. From there it’s simple to tell Xero what transactions relate to and once told it remembers and looks out for similar transactions. This saves time and makes keeping your accounts up to date easier.


Log in from any web browser. As your accountant we can log in and provide help.

Our process for delivering tax accounting vat self assessment and payroll services


Arrow indicating direction of process flow

Our Process

Understand your needs

Firstly we listen and gain an understanding of your business and what you are aiming to achieve.

Continuous improvement

We seek your opinions on the service we provide and respond to feedback in order to upgrade and improve what we do.

Build a relationship

Success in business is based around relationships and trust. Our objective is to develop and build strong relationships with our clients, based on two way trust and respect.

Confirm your expectations

Our aim is  to help you maximise your business potential and we tailor our service to meet your requirements and agree a timetable for delivering them.

Actively communicate

Communication is important to the success of any commercial venture. It is therefore a vital part of our work with you, sharing the knowledge and ideas that help you to realise your ambitions.

Our Process

Understand your needs

Confirm your expectations

Actively communicate

Build a relationship

Continuous improvement

Straightforward and easy to deal with Adrian Mooy & Co provide an efficient, friendly and professional service - payroll, tax returns, annual accounts and VAT returns are always done on time.    Eddie Morris



First class! Super accountant! We have been with Adrian Mooy & Co since 1994. They provide a prompt, accurate & reliable service. There is always someone at the end of the phone to help and advise us. They have always delivered and we are more than happy to recommend them.    Ian Cannon


Business expenses

Being savvy with your expenses is a large part of running a successful business, regardless of its size. Claiming expenses is a simple way to keep your business tax efficient – it reduces your profit, which in turn reduces your tax payments. By claiming every allowable expense you’re making sure you don’t pay a penny more in tax than you have to.


For more information about exactly what expenses you can claim, see our helpsheets.

  • Getting ready for MTD for VAT

    The start date for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT is fast approaching – from the start of your first VAT accounting period beginning on or after 1 April 2019, if you are a VAT registered business with VATable turnover over the VAT registration threshold of £85,000, you will need to comply with MTD for VAT. This will mean maintaining digital records and filing the VAT return using MTD-compatible software. Businesses within MTD for VAT will no longer be able to use HMRC’s VAT Online service to file their VAT return. However, you can still use an agent to file your return on your behalf.

    Businesses whose VATable turnover is below the registration threshold do not have to joint MTD, but can choose to do so if they wish. However, once they are within MTD for VAT, they must remain in it as long as they are VAT registered – there is no going back.

    If you have yet to start preparing for MTD for VAT, it is now time to do so.

    What does MTD for VAT mean for you?

    Under MTD for VAT you will need to keep your business records digitally if you do not already do so. If you are already using software to keep your business records, you will need to check that your software supplier plans to introduce MTD-compatible software, and upgrade as necessary.

    If you do not currently keep your VAT records digitally or your current software supplier does not plan to introduce MTD-compatible software, you will need to choose software that will enable you to fulfil your MTD for VAT obligations.

    MTD-compatible software

    MTD-compatible software (also referred to as ‘functional compatible software’) is a software product or set of software products which meet the obligations imposed by MTD for VAT and enable records to be kept digitally and data to be exchanged digitally with HMRC via the MTD service. Where more than one product is being used, the data flows between the applications must be digital – data cannot be entered manually. However, businesses will be allowed to cut and paste data from one application to another until 31 March 2020, after which all links must be digital.


    If you currently use spreadsheets to summarise VAT transactions, calculate VAT or to arrive at the information needed to complete the VAT, once MTD starts, you will be able to continue to do so. However, you will no longer be able to key the relevant figures into the appropriate boxes on the VAT return. Instead you will need to use MTD-compatible software to enable you to send your VAT returns to HMRC and to receive information back from VAT. Bridging software may be used to make spreadsheets MTD-compatible.

    However, to comply with MTD for VAT, the data must be transferred digitally – it cannot be rekeyed into another software package. But there will be a transition period and businesses can cut and paste until 31 March 2020, after which all links between products must be digital.

    Bridging software

    HMRC use the term ‘bridging software’ to mean a digital tool which is able to take information from another application, such as spreadsheets or an in-house system, and allow the user to send the data to HMRC in the correct format.

    Acceptable software

    HMRC produce a list of software companies that are working with them to produce MTD-compatible software. Details can be found on the website

    Partner note: VAT Notice 700/22: Making Tax Digital for VAT.

  • Give away £3,000 IHT-free each year

    There are various exemptions for inheritance tax purposes which enable a person to make tax-free gifts. One of the more useful is the annual exemption.

    Nature of the exemption - The annual exemption is set at £3,000. The exemption allows an individual to make gifts of up to £3,000 each tax year without them being included in the transferor’s estates.

    Gifts covered by the exemption do not count as potentially exempt transfers (PETs) – there is no requirement for the transferor to live a further seven years. Gifts covered by the annual exemption are exempt, even if the transferor dies the next day.

    The annual exemption applies to:

    • lifetime transfers by individuals

    • the lifetime termination of an interest in possession in settled property

    • transfers by close companies

    Gifts totalling less than £3,000 - If an individual makes gifts in a year which do not exceed the amount of the annual exemption, the gift is tax-free. To the extent that the exemption has not been fully utilised, the excess can be carried forward – but only for one tax year.

    Example - In 2017/18, Florence sold some shares and made a cash gift of £1,000 to each of her two granddaughters.

    The gifts are covered in full by her annual exemption, using up £2,000 of the exemption. The balance of £1,000 is carried forward to 2018/19.

    In 2018/19 Florence makes a further gift of £2,000 each to her granddaughters. Although the gifts total £4,000 in 2018/19, they are exempt in full, being covered by the annual exemption for 2018/19 of £3,000 and the unused exemption of £1,000 from 2017/18 which has been carried forward to 2018/19.

    Gifts exceeding the annual exemption - If the value of the gifts in the tax year exceeds the available annual exemption (£3,000 plus any unused exemption brought forward from the previous tax year) and other exemptions are not available, the gifts are exempt up to the value of the available exemption. If the balance is a gift by an individual, it will be a PET; otherwise it may be an immediately chargeable lifetime transfer.

    Example - Harry makes a gift from capital of £10,000 in 2018/19 to his son Paul. It is the only gift he makes in the tax year. In 2017/18 he used his annual exemption in full.

    The first £3,000 of the gift is covered by the annual exemption. The remaining £7,000 is a PET.

    Multiple gifts - Where a transferor makes multiple gifts in a tax year, the annual exemption is applied to the gifts in the order in which they are made.

    Example - In May 2018, Barbara gives £2,000 to her daughter Julie; in October 2018, she gives £2,000 to her daughter Jane and in December 2018 she gives £2,000 to her son James.

    In 2017/18, she fully utilised her annual exemption.

    The gift to Julie is fully exempt, falling entirely within the annual exemption.

    The first £1,000 of the gift to Jane is exempt, utilising the remaining £1,000 of the annual exemption. The remaining £1,000 is a PET. The gift to James is a PET.

    Tip - Consider the timing of gifts and whether other exemptions, such as that for small gifts, may be available.

  • Dividend income – How is it taxed in 2018/19?

    The taxation of dividend income was reformed from 6 April 2016. Since that date, dividends are paid gross – there is no longer any associated tax credit – and all taxpayers receive a dividend allowance. Dividends not sheltered by the dividend allowance, or any available personal allowance, are taxed at the appropriate dividend rate of tax.

    Dividend allowance

    The ‘dividend allowance’ is available to all taxpayers, regardless of the rate at which they pay tax and unlike the savings allowance the amount of the dividend allowance is the same regardless of the tax bracket into which the recipient falls. Where the allowance is not otherwise utilised, it allows for tax-efficient extraction of profits from a family company.

    Although termed an ‘allowance’ the dividend is really a zero-rate band, with dividends covered by the allowance being taxed at a rate of 0% (the ‘dividend nil rate’). Significantly, dividends covered by the allowance form part of band earnings.

    The dividend allowance is set at £2,000 for 2018/19; a reduction of £3,000 from the £5,000 dividend allowance that applied for the two previous tax years. Assuming dividends of at least £5,000 are paid in 2017/18 and 2018/19, the reduction in the dividend tax allowance will increase the tax payable by £225 for basic rate taxpayers, by £975 for higher rate taxpayers and by £1,143 for additional rate taxpayers.

    Top slice of income

    Dividend income is treated as the top slice of income. This determines which band it falls in, and the rate at which it is taxed.

    Dividend tax rates

    Dividend income has its own tax rates. Dividend income is taxed at 7.5% (the ‘dividend ordinary rate’) to the extent that it falls in the basic rate band, at 32.5% (the ‘dividend higher rate’) to the extent that it falls in the higher rate band, and at 38.1% (the ‘dividend additional rate’) to the extent that it falls in the additional rate band.

    For 2018/19, the basic rate band covers the first £34,500 of taxable income. The additional rate band applies to taxable income in excess of £150,000. The bands are UK wide in their application to dividend income - the Scottish income tax bands apply only to non-savings, non-dividend income.

    Personal allowance

    If the personal allowance has not been fully used elsewhere, bearing in mind dividend income has the last call, any unused portion of the allowance can be set against dividend income. The personal allowance is £11,850 for 2018/19, although it is reduced by £1 for every £2 by which income exceeds £100,000.


    In 2018/19, Frances receives a salary of £25,000 and dividends of £30,000. Her personal allowance of £11,850 and the first £13,150 of her basic rate band is used by her salary, on which she pays tax of £2,630.

    The first £2,000 of her dividends is covered by the dividend allowance and is tax-free. However, the allowance uses up £2,000 of her basic rate band, leaving £19,350 available (£34,500 - £13,150 - £2,000). The next £19,350 of dividends is taxed at the dividend ordinary rate of 7.5% and the remaining £8,650 (£30,000 - £2000 - £19,350) is taxed at the dividend higher rate of 32.5%.

    The tax payable on her dividends is therefore £4,262.50 ((£2,000 @ 0%) + (£19,350 @ 7.5%) + (£8,650 @ 32.5%)).

    Planning tip

    Having an alphabet share structure in a family company allows dividends to be paid to family members to take advantage of their dividend allowance to extract profits tax-free.

  • Tax code changes for 2018/19

    Tax codes are the lynchpin of the PAYE system – unless the tax code is correct, the PAYE system will not deduct the right amount of tax from an employee’s pay.

    The tax code determines how much pay an employee may receive before they pay any tax. The most straightforward scenario is that the person receives the personal allowance for that year. The code is then the personal allowance for the year with the last digit omitted and an `L’ suffix. So, for 2017/18, the personal allowance is £11,500 and the associated tax code is 1150L. This is also the emergency tax code.

    Other codes - Employees’ situations vary and consequently different codes are needed to accommodate that. If an employee has more than one job, his or her allowances may be used up in job 1, leaving all the pay for job 2 to taxed. The 0T code – no allowances – accommodates this. A person may also have an 0T code if their personal allowance has been fully abated (at £123,000 for 2017/18 and £123,700 for 2018/19). An employee may have all his or her pay taxed at the basic rate, for which the relevant code is BR, or at the higher rate (code D0), or the additional rate (code D1). Code NT indicates that no tax is to be deducted.

    Scottish taxpayers have an S prefix, indicating the Scottish rates of tax should be used.

    Marriage allowance - Where one partner in a marriage or civil partnership is unable to use their personal allowance, they can transfer 10% of their personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner, as long as the recipient is not a higher or additional rate taxpayer. The person surrendering 10% of their allowance has a code with a `N’ suffix, whereas the recipient has an `M’ suffix’.

    Adjustments - Tax underpayments or the tax due on benefits in kind may be collected through the PAYE system. The tax code is based on the net amount of the allowances less deductions. So, for example, if in 2017/18 a person had a personal allowance of £11,850 and a company car with a cash equivalent of £5,000, the net allowance due is £6,500 and the associated tax code would be 650L.

    Where deductions exceed allowances, a person has a K prefix code – in this scenario, they do not have any free pay and are treated as if they have received additional taxable pay.

    2018/19 updating - Tax codes need to be updated each year to reflect changes in allowances. The personal allowance is increased to £11,850. Where the employer does not receive a form P9(T) or an electronic notice of coding for an employee, the following changes should be made to update an employee’s tax code for the 2018/19 tax year:

    • add 35 to any code ending in L, so 11500L becomes 1185L;
    • add 39 to any code ending in M; and
    • add 31 to any code ending in N.

    Any week one or month one markings should not be carried forward.

    Codes BR, SBR, D0, SD0, D1, SD1 and NT can be carried forward to 2018/19.

    The emergency code for 2018/19 is 1185L.

    If a new code has been notified on form P9(T) or electronically, that should be used instead.

    The updated codes should be used from 6 April 2018 onwards.

  • Employment allowance – have you claimed it?

    The employment allowance is a National Insurance allowance which is available to qualifying employers. The allowance reduces employers’ (secondary) Class 1 National Insurance by up to the £3,000.

    The allowance is set at £3,000 or, if lower, the employers’ secondary Class 1 bill for the tax year.

    Who can claim?

    Most employers, whether a company or an unincorporated business, are able to claim the employment allowance if they are paying employers’ Class 1 National Insurance contributions.  However, if there is more than one PAYE scheme, a claim can only be made for one of them.

    Who can’t claim?

    The main exclusion is for companies, such as personal companies, where the sole employee is also a director. However, the allowance can be preserved if the sole employee is not also a director, or if the business has more than one employee.

    Remember to claim

    The employment allowance is not given automatically and must be claimed. This is done via the payroll software through RTI.  Although, ideally, the claim should be made at the start of the tax year, it can be made at any time in the year.

    Using the allowance

    The allowance is set against the employers’ Class 1 National Insurance liability for the tax year until it is used up, reducing the amount that the employer needs to pay over to HMRC.

    Unused allowance

    If the employers’ NIC bill for the year is less than £3,000, the unused amount cannot be carried forward or set against other liabilities. The allowance is capped at the employers’ Class 1 NIC bill for the year. It cannot be set against Class 1A or Class 1B liabilities, or against employees’ NIC.


  • Class 2 NICs – happy to pay?

    Subject to certain conditions and limits, self-employed earners over the age of 16 and below state retirement age are currently entitled to pay both Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance contributions (NICs) unless specifically excepted by provisions contained in the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992.

    Class 4 contributions are calculated with reference to an individual’s income from self-employment, but Class 2 contributions are simply charged at a flat weekly rate - £2.95 per week in 2018/19 – where the individual’s self-employed income exceeds the ‘small profits threshold’ (SPT) for the year in question. For 2018/19 the SPT is £6,205, so anyone with profits above that limit should be entitled to pay the weekly Class 2 contribution.

    It might be worth noting that for these purposes, ‘profits’ has the same meaning as given for Class 4 NICs, which broadly, means the charge is based on “all profits […] immediately derived from the carrying on or exercise of one or more trades, professions or vocations […] chargeable to income tax […] for the year of assessment and [which] are not profits of a trade, profession or vocation carried on wholly outside the UK”.

    HMRC are responsible for administering Class 2 NICs, and liability to the charge is reported through self-assessment. This means that they can be paid together with income tax and Class 4 NICs in one go on the 31 January following the end of the relevant tax year.

    Those that report profits below the SPT are not liable for Class 2 NICs, although they can usually pay voluntarily to protect their entitlement to contributory benefits.

    So, what are the benefits of paying Class 2 contributions? In broad terms, they are the entry fee allowing the self-employed to enter the UK’s contributory benefits system. Payment will generally give the payer access to the following benefits, if and when the need arises:

    • Maternity allowance
    • Contribution-based employment and support allowance
    • Widowed parent's allowance
    • Basic state pension
    • New flat-rate state pension
    • Bereavement benefits (except bereavement support payment)
    • Bereavement support payment

    Payment does not however, count towards contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance.

    Future reform? - Government proposals to abolish Class 2 NICs and reform the system for paying Class 4 NICs were due to take effect from April 2019. The proposals were designed to simplify the tax system for the self-employed and offer them more equal access to contributory benefits. However, the Treasury subsequently announced that it will not be proceeding as planned with the abolition of Class 2 NICs - a move which is estimated will save some £360m for each of the three years to 2021 based on the original impact assessment.

    There is, however, a good deal of speculation that NIC rates increases are likely in the near future, which are bound to affect employees and the self-employed alike.

    As the current system stands, Class 4 NICs do not count towards any state benefits, but Class 2 contributions provide a cheap route for self-employed people to safeguard entitlement to a future state retirement pension and certain other state benefits. It may be possible to pay for gaps in a National Insurance record from the past 6 years. It’s therefore a good time to check that NIC payments are up-to-date and to take action where appropriate.

  • Rent-a-room: New restrictions

    Rent-a-room relief offers the opportunity to enjoy rental income of up to £7,500 tax-free from letting out a room in your own home. It does not matter whether you own or rent your home; what is important is that the let is of furnished accommodation in your own home.

    How the relief works

    The relief is automatic where the rental income is less than the threshold. If you are the only person receiving income from the let, the threshold is £7,500; where one or more other people receive income, the threshold is halved so each person can receive up to £3,750 tax-free (this is the case regardless of how many people receive income from the let).

    Rental income more than the threshold

    If the rental income exceeds the threshold, you can opt into the scheme and pay tax on the excess.

    Not always the best option

    Claiming rent-a-room relief will not always be the best option. For example, if rental income is more than the threshold, and expenses are also more than the threshold, computing rental profit in the normal way will give a lower taxable amount.

    It will also be beneficial to opt out of rent-a-room if you make a loss, otherwise the benefit of the loss is lost and cannot be carried forward for offset against future rental profits.

    New restriction

    Rent-a-room relief was introduced to boost the supply of low-cost residential accommodation. In light of concerns that it was providing an unintended benefit to those offering short-term lets through sites such as Airbnb, the relief is to be amended.

    To ensure that the relief is used as originally intended, i.e. to encourage the availability of rooms for lodgers, a new shared occupancy test will apply from 6 April 2019.

    Shared occupancy test

    Under the shared occupancy test, the individual in receipt of the income (or a member of their household) must have a ‘shared occupancy’ for all or part of the period of the let. The draft legislation requires that the physical use of the accommodation by the tenant must overlap with the use of the residence as sleeping accommodation by the landlord or a member of his or her household. It should be noted that another tenant does not count as a member of the household for the purposes of satisfying the test.

    The legislation does not, however, specify a minimum period of overlap – there is no requirement for the landlord to be present for the whole let and, indeed, under the legislation as drafted, a period of overlap of only one night would be sufficient to ensure this test is met.


    In 2019, the Jones family let out their house for the Wimbledon fortnight and holiday in Tuscany for the entire period of the let. Their neighbours, the Smiths, let out three rooms for the Wimbledon fortnight, but remain at home for the first three days before joining the Jones’ in Tuscany. The Smiths meet the new shared occupancy test, but the Jones family do not.

  • No Minimum Period of Occupation Needed for Main Residence

    Main residence relief (private residence relief) protects homeowners from any gains arising on their only or main home. However, there are conditions to be met for the relief to be available. One of the major ones is that the property is at some time during the period of ownership occupied as the owner’s only or main home. Where this is the case, the period of occupation as a main home is sheltered from capital gains tax, as is the final 18 months of ownership, regardless of whether the property is occupied as a main home for that final period.

    Living in a property for a period of time is worthwhile to secure main residence relief, not least because doing so has the added benefit of sheltering any gain that arises in the last 18 months of ownership.

    But, how long does the property have to be occupied as a main residence to trigger the protective effects of the relief?

    Quality not quantity

    A recent decision by the First-tier tax tribunal confirmed that there is no minimum period of residence that is needed to secure main residence relief – what matters is that there has been a period of residence as the only or main home.

    The case in question concerned a taxpayer who ran a property development company and who purchased a property in which he intended to live in as a main home. The property was initially purchased through the company, but the taxpayer intended to obtain a mortgage to buy it from the company. He lived in the property for a period of two and a half months whilst trying to sort out his finances. As a result of the financial crash, he was only able to secure a buy-to-let mortgage, the terms of which precluded him living in the property. The property was let to a friend, but the taxpayer moved in briefly following the friend’s death and undertook some decorating with a view to moving back in with his family. Due to health problems, this did not happen and the property was sold, realising a gain.

    The Tribunal found that the taxpayer had lived in the property as a main home, albeit for a short period. It was the quality of occupation, not the quantity, that was important. Consequently, main residence relief was available.

    Second homes

    Where a person owns a second home, living in it as a main residence, even if only for a short period, can be beneficial. This will protect not only the gain relating to the period of occupation from capital gains tax but also the last 18 months.

    Partner note: TCGA 1992, s. 222; Stephen Bailey v HMRC TC06085.

  • Are your workers employees?

    Employee status continues to be in the spotlight. The Government are consulting on proposals to address non-compliance with the off-payroll working rules in the private sector. Earlier in the year they consulted on employment status, including the possibility of introducing a statutory employment status test.

    It is important that the status of workers is correctly assessed as this will affect the tax and National Insurance that the worker pays, and consequently the state benefits to which they may be entitled, and also the extent to which they are able to benefit from employment rights. It will also determine whether the engager must operate PAYE and pay employer’s National Insurance contributions.

    Current approach - While change is likely, under the current rules there is no single test that determines whether a worker is an employee or is self-employed. Rather it is a case of looking at the characteristics of the engagement and standing back and seeing whether the picture that emerges is one of employment or self-employment.

    Employee v self-employed - An employee works under a contract of service whereas a self-employed person enters into a contract for service.

    The following summarises some of the key indicators of employment and self-employment.


    The employer is obliged to provide work and the worker is obliged to do it.

    The worker must work regularly unless on leave.

    The worker is required to work a minimum number of hours at set times.

    The worker must do the job personally.

    The worker is supervised and told what work to do.

    The worker is entitled to paid holiday.

    The worker is entitled to join the workplace pension scheme.

    The worker receives employment-type benefits.

    The worker is given the tools and equipment needed to do the job.

    The employer deducts PAYE and NI contributions from the employee’s pay.

    The worker is `part and parcel’ of the organisation.

    The worker is included in company social events, such as the staff Christmas party.


    The worker is in business on their own account.

    The worker bears the financial risk.

    The worker is generally paid a price for the job, regardless of how long it takes.

    The worker does not have to do the work personally and can send a substitute.

    The worker can decide when and how to do the job.

    The worker does not get paid while on holiday.

    The worker decides what jobs to take on.

    The worker is responsible for correcting unsatisfactory work and bears the cost of this.

    The worker provides the tools and equipment needed to do the job.

    Marginal cases - It will often be clear cut as to whether a worker is employed or self-employed and the characteristics of the engagement will fall securely into one camp or the other. However, this will not always be the case; in marginal cases, the worker may exhibit characteristics of each. In such case, HMRC produce a ‘Check Employment Status Tool’ (CEST), which can be used to help reach a decision.

  • Useful Links


  • How to choose your main residence to maximise relief

    Private residence relief (also known as main residence relief) takes the gain arising on the disposal of a person’s main or only residence out of the charge to capital gains tax. This relief means that in the majority of cases, any gain arising when a person sells their home is tax-free.

    However, as with any relief, there are conditions. Relief is available for a property that is, or has been at some point, the individual’s only or main home. Where the property meets this criteria throughout the period of ownership (and assuming it has not been used partially for business), the whole gain arising on the disposal of the residence is tax-free. Where the property has not been the main residence throughout, the gain is apportioned. However, as long as it has been the home at some point, the gain relating to the last 18 months of ownership is exempt. If the property has been let at any time, letting relief may further reduce the chargeable gain.

    More than one home

    For the purposes of the relief a person can only have one main residence at any one time. Where a person has more than one residence, they can choose which one is the main one – this can be useful in mitigating future tax bills.

    A property can only be a main residence if it is in fact a residence. Broadly, this is a property which someone occupies as their home. A property which is let, such as a buy to let property, does not count as it is not occupied by the taxpayer as his or her home. However, a city flat in which a taxpayer spends the week, and a family home elsewhere would both count as residences, as would a property in this country in which a person spends the summer and a property abroad in which they spend their winter.

    Choosing the main residence

    A person can elect which of their residences is their main residence by writing to HMRC. The deadline is two years from the date on which the combination of residence changes. In a simple case where a person acquires a second home, this will be two years from the date on which the second home was acquired.

    If no election is made, the home which is the main home is a question of fact – and will be the home that the person spends most of their time, where their family is based etc.


    Where a person has more than one residence it is beneficial for each of them to be the main residence at some point. At the very least, this will shelter the gain relating to the period of occupation as a main residence and the last 18 months. Where a property has been let, making it the main residence for a period also opens up the opportunity of letting relief to further reduce the gain. The period as a main residence can be after the period of letting.

    Flipping the main residence can be very beneficial – however, the property must be occupied as a residence. The election can only be made on paper and all owners must sign.

  • Mileage allowances – what is tax-free

    Employees are often required to undertake business journeys by car, be it their own car or a company car, and may receive mileage allowance payments from their employer. Up to certain limits, mileage payments can be made tax-free. The amount that can be paid tax-free depends on whether the car is the employee’s own car or a company car.

    Employee’s own car

    Where an employee uses his or her own car for work, under the approved mileage allowance payments (AMAP) scheme, payments can be made tax-free up to the approved amount. The rates for cars (and vans) are set at 45p per mile for the first 10,000 business miles in the tax year and 25p per mile for any subsequent business miles. A rate of 24p per mile applies to motorcycles and a rate of 20p per mile applies to bicycles.


    Jack frequently uses his car for work and in the 2017/18 tax year he undertakes 13,420 business miles.

    Under the AMAP scheme, the approved amount is £5,355 ((10,000 miles @ 45p per mile) + (3,420 miles @ 25p per mile)).

    Amounts up to the approved amount can be paid tax-free and do not need to be reported to HMRC.

    Where the mileage allowance paid is more than the approved amount, the excess over the approved amount is taxable and must be reported to HMRC on form P11D in section E.


    The facts are as in example 1 above. Jack is paid a mileage allowance by his employer of 50p per mile.

    The amount paid of £6,710 (13,420 miles @ 50p per mile) is more than the approved amount of £5,355, therefore the excess over the approved amount (£1,355) is taxable and must be reported on Jack’s P11D (unless his employer has opted to payroll the benefit).

    Where the mileage allowance paid is less than the approved amount, the employee can claim tax relief for the shortfall, either in his or her tax return or on form P87.

    For NIC, the 45p per mile rate is used for all business miles in the tax year, not just the first 10,000 miles.

    Beware salary sacrifice

    The value of tax exemption is lost if the mileage payments are made under a salary sacrifice or other optional remuneration arrangement, and instead the employee is taxed on the amount of salary foregone where this is higher.

    Company vehicles

    Where an employee has a company car, the AMAP scheme does not apply. However, mileage payments can still be made tax-free, but at the lower advisory fuel rates. These are updated quarterly and the rate which can be paid tax-free depends on the engine size of the car and fuel type. The rates are available on the website at

    As with the AMAP rates, where the amount paid is in excess of the advisory rate, the excess is taxable.

  • Pass on your house free of IHT

    The introduction of the residence nil rate band (RNRB) opens up the possibility of leaving the family home to successive generations without triggering an inheritance tax charge. It is available for deaths on or after 6 April 2017. The RNRB is an additional nil rate band that is available where a qualifying residence is passed on death to a direct descendant. The RNRB is:

    • £100,000 for 2017/18

    • £125,000 for 2018/19

    • £150,000 for 2019/20

    • £175,000 for 2020/21

    From 2021/22 onwards it will be increased each year in line with the CPI.

    Estates worth more than £2 million - Where the net value of the estate is more than £2 million, the RNRB is reduced at a rate of £1 for every £2 by which the value of the estate exceeds £2 million. Thus, for 2018/19, the RNRB is not available where the net estate exceeds £2,350,000.

    Interaction with existing nil rate band - The RNRB is available in addition to the normal nil rate band of £325,000. However, it can only shelter a residence that is passed on death to a direct descendant. The value of the RNRB is capped at the net value of the residential property (i.e. after deducting liabilities such as a mortgage) left to direct descendants where this is less than the maximum for the year, as set out above.

    Transfer to spouse - The spouses’ exemption allows property to be left to a spouse or civil partner without triggering an inheritance tax charge. However, to ensure that the nil rate band is not lost, the proportion unused on the death of the first spouse or civil partner may be used transferred to the surviving spouse or civil partner and used on their death. The RNRB band operates in the same way and any unused proportion is transferred to the surviving spouse or civil partner.

    The transfer is available even if the first death was prior to 6 April 2017 as long as the surviving spouse or civil partner dies after that date.

    Qualifying residence - The RNRB only applies where the residence that is passed on is a qualifying residence. This must be a residential property – a property such as a buy-to-let property in which the deceased has never lived does not qualify. Where there is more than one qualifying residence, the personal representative can nominate which one qualifies.

    Direct descendent - The RNRB is only available if the residence is left to a direct descendant. This includes a child and their lineal descendants.

    Downsizing - Where the deceased downsized after 8 July 2015 or ceased to own a residence after that date, the funds relating to the former residence can still qualify for the RNRB if passed to a direct descendant.

    Example - Ida and Edward have lived in their family home for many years. On her death in 2015, Ida left her whole estate to Edward. On his death in June 2018, he left his estate worth £850,000 equally between his two sons. The estate included the family home with a net value of £600,000.

    Edward’s estate benefits from the nil rate band of £325,000 and 100% of Ida’s nil rate band – a further £325,000.

    He is also able to benefit from the RNRB (£125,000), plus 100% of Ida’s RNRB (a further £125,000) as he leaves a qualifying residence to direct descendants. As the net value of the residence is worth more than £250,000, the available RNRB is £250,000.

    Edward’s total nil rate band (including the RNRB) is £900,000 ((2 x £325,000) + (2 x £125,000)). As the value of his estate is less than this, it is free from inheritance tax.

  • Making Tax Digital for VAT – what records must be kept digitally

    Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT starts from 1 April 2019. VAT-registered businesses whose turnover is above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000 will be required to comply with MTD for VAT from the start of their first VAT accounting period to begin on or after 1 April 2019.

    Digital record-keeping obligations

    Under MTD for VAT, businesses will be required to keep digital records and to file their VAT returns using functional compatible software. The following records must be kept digitally.

    Designatory data - Business name - Address of the principal place of business - VAT registration number - A record of any VAT schemes used (such as the flat rate scheme)

    Supplies made - for each supply made: - Date of supply - Value of the supply - Rate of VAT charged

    Outputs value for the VAT period split between standard rate, reduced rate, zero rate and outside the scope supplies must also be recorded.

    Multiple supplies made at the same time do not need to be recorded separately – record the total value of supplies on each invoice that has the same time of supply and rate of VAT charged.

    Supplies received - for each supply received: - The date of supply - The value of the supply, including any VAT that cannot be reclaimed - The amount of input VAT to be reclaimed.

    If there is more than one supply on the invoice, it is sufficient just to record the invoice totals.

    Digital VAT account

    The VAT account links the business records and the VAT return. The VAT account must be maintained digitally, and the following information should be recorded digitally:

    1. The output tax owed on sales.
    2. The output tax owed on acquisitions from other EU member states.
    3. The tax that must be paid on behalf of suppliers under the reverse charge procedures.
    4. Any VAT that must be paid following a correction or an adjustment for an error.
    5. Any other adjustments required under the VAT rules.

    In addition, to show the link between the input tax recorded in the business' records and that reclaimed on the VAT return, the following must be recorded digitally:

    1. The input tax which can be reclaimed from business purchases.
    2. The input tax allowable on acquisitions from other EU member states.
    3. Any VAT that can be reclaimed following a correction or an adjustment for an error.
    4. Any other necessary adjustments.

    The information held in the Digital VAT account is used to complete the VAT return using `functional compatible software’.  This is software, or a set of compatible software programmes, capable of:

    • Recording electronically the data required to be kept digitally under MTD for VAT.
    • Preserving those records electronically.
    • Providing HMRC with the required information and VAT return electronically from the data in the electronic records using an API platform.
    • Receiving information from HMRC.

    Functional compatible software is used to maintain the mandatory digital records, calculate the return and submit it to HMRC via an API.

    Getting ready - The clock is ticking and MTD for VAT is now less than a year away.

  • Tax-free Christmas parties

    Although the tax legislation contains an exemption to prevent employees from suffering a benefit-in-kind tax charge on the staff Christmas party, the exemption is limited in scope and application. It is unwise to assume that there will be no tax to pay – without proper planning, an unwanted tax charge may accompany the post-party hangover.

    The exemption applies to an annual party or similar function which is provided to the employer’s employees generally, or to those at a particular location. Where only one annual party or similar function is provided in the tax year, no income tax liability arises as long as the cost per head figure does not exceed £150. Where more than one such function is provided in the tax year, the exemption applies if the cost per head of the exempt party or parties does not exceed £150 in aggregate.

    Trap 1 – annual functions only

    The first trap is that the exemption applies only to annual functions – i.e. functions that are held each year. The staff Christmas party or annual summer barbecue may qualify, but a one-off event, such as a party to celebrate the company’s 10-year anniversary, will not.

    Where the function is not an annual function, a benefit in kind charge may arise. However, if the cost is less than £50 per employee, it may fall within the trivial benefits exemption.

    Trap 2 – all employee condition

    The exemption only applies if the party is open to all employees, or to those at a particular location. So, for example, if the company has sites in Birmingham and Manchester, an annual Christmas party for the Manchester-based employees would be permitted under the terms of the exemption, a party to which only directors and senior managers were invited would not.

    Trap 3 – exemption capped at £150 per head

    The exemption is limited to £150 per head. There are several points to note as regards to this condition.

    The first is that the cap is applied per head, not per employee. The cost per head figure is found by dividing the total cost of providing the function by the number or people attending the function – employees and guests. The total cost of the function includes not only the expenses of providing the function itself, but also the cost of any transport and accommodation which may also be provided. The cost is inclusive of VAT – even if this is subsequently reclaimed.

    So, if the total cost of a function is £5,440 and it is attended by 38 employees and 30 guests at a total of 68 people - the cost per head figure is £80 per head (£5,440 ÷ 68).

    The second point to note is that the exemption is not a tax-free allowance – if the cost per head figure is more than £150, the whole amount is taxed, not just the excess over £150. Where, say, the cost per head is £175 and an employee brings a guest, the amount of the benefit on which the employee is taxed is £350 (employee plus their guest).

    Where there is more than one qualifying function, the exemption can be used to best effect. If an employee attends three functions with cost per head figures of £80, £60 and £65, best use may be to use the exemption for the functions costing £80 and £65 per head. The remaining £5 is lost as it cannot be set against the cost of the £60 per head function.

    Tip - Remember to consider the impact of guests – in the above example, if the £65 function was for employees only but the £60 function was for employees and guests, it would be better to use the exemption for the £80 and £60 functions, leaving the £65 function in charge. If the £60 function was left in charge, the cash equivalent of the benefit would be £120 for the employee and guest – which is more than £65.

    Any tax liability could potentially be met by the employer via inclusion in a PAYE Settlement Agreement.

  • Cash basis for landlords – when does it apply?

    The cash basis simply takes account of money in and money out – there is no need to worry about debtors and creditors and prepayments and accruals. Income is recognised when received and expenditure is recognised when paid. Since 6 April 2017, the cash basis has been the default basis for eligible landlords.

    An eligible landlord is one in respect of whom none of the tests A to E below is met.

    Test A

    Test A is met if the business is carried on at any time in the tax year by:

    • a company;

    • a limited liability partnership;

    • a corporate firm;

    • the trustees of a trust; or

    • the personal representatives of a person.

    A partnership is treated as a ‘corporate firm’ (and thus not eligible for the cash basis) if a partner in the firm is not an individual.

    Test B

    Test B is met if the cash basis receipts for the year exceed £150,000.

    The cash basis receipts are those that are taken into account in working out the profits of the property business on a cash basis.

    Test C

    Where individuals who are married or in a civil partnership and who live together own property jointly, for income tax purposes, the income is split equally between them. Where a landlord receives a share of income from a jointly owned property and that income is being treated as arising to the joint owners in equal shares (for example where the property is owned with a spouse or civil partner) and the other joint owner uses the accruals basis to calculate their profits, the landlord must also use the accruals basis to calculate his or her profits.

    Consequently, if one party is not eligible for the cash basis, the cash basis is not available to the other party in respect of the property business receiving a share of the joint income.

    Test D

    Test D is met if a Business Premises Renovation Allowance is made in calculating the profits of the business property business and a balancing event in the year would give rise to a balancing adjustment. Where this is the case, profits must be computed using the accruals basis.

    Test E

    Test E is only relevant where none of A, B, C or D is met.

    Test E is that the landlord has opted out of the cash basis by electing for the accruals basis to apply.

    Cash basis by default

    The cash basis for unincorporated landlords will apply if none of the Tests A to D above are met and the landlord has not made an election for the accruals basis (Test E) to apply.

  • High Income Child Benefit Charge

    The High Income Child Benefit Charge is effectively a clawback of child benefit paid to ‘high income’ individuals and couples. The charge does not only apply to the recipient of child benefit or the parents of the child in respect of whom child benefit is paid - it can also affect the partner of someone who receives child benefit, even if the child is not theirs.

    In the context of the High Income Child Benefit Charge, a person has a ‘high income’ if they have individual income over £50,000 in the tax year. For these purposes, the measure of income is ‘adjusted net income’. Broadly, this is your total taxable income before taking account of personal allowance and items like Gift Aid.

    When does the charge apply?

    If you have adjusted net income of at least £50,000, the High Income Child Benefit Charge will apply in the following situations:

    • you are entitled to child benefit for at least a week in the tax year and you do not have a partner with higher adjusted net income; or

    • your partner is entitled to child benefit for at least a week in the tax year and your income is more than your partner.

    Thus, in a couple where only one person had adjusted net income of more than £50,000, the High Income Child Benefit Charge will apply to that person, even if they do not receive child benefit or the child is not theirs. Where both partners have adjusted net income in excess of £50,000, the charge is levied on the partner with the highest income. Where the recipient does not have a partner, they will be liable for the charge if their income is more than £50,000.

    Amount of the charge

    The charge is 1% of the child benefit received in the tax year for every £100 by which the adjusted net income of the person liable for the charge exceeds £50,000. So, for example, if adjusted income is £57,000, the High Income Child Benefit Charge is 70% of the child benefit received.

    Where adjusted net income exceeds £60,000, the charge is equal to the full amount of the child benefit paid in the tax year.

    No equity in taxation

    In determining whether the charge applies, the income of the individual is considered in isolation to assess whether it exceeds the £50,000 trigger point. Thus, a couple earning £49,000 each (£98,000 in total) escape the charge, whereas a single parent earnings £60,000 must repay any child benefit in full.

    Further, the person liable to pay the charge may not be the person who received it, and consequently they are being taxed on income received by their partner – something that is rather contrary to the principles of independent taxation.

    Opting out

    Where the High Income Child Benefit Charge applies in full, the recipient can opt not to receive the child benefit rather than receive it and pay it back. This can be done online or by contacting the Child Benefit Office.

    HMRC calculator

    HMRC have produced a child benefit calculator, which can be used to see if the charge applies and, if so, the amount of the charge. The calculator can be found on the website at

  • Buy-to-let landlords – relief for interest

    With rising property costs and low interest rates, many people took out a mortgage to invest in a buy-to-let property. As long as property prices continued to rise and the tenants paid their rent, investors could make money from the rising market while the rent from the tenant paid off the mortgage – all the investor needed was the deposit and to convince the bank to lend them the money.

    Fast forward a few years and the buy-to-let star is not burning quite so bright. Second and subsequent properties now attract a 3% stamp duty supplement – making them more expensive to buy – and relief for mortgage interest and other costs is being seriously reduced.

    Interest relief – the new rules

    Prior to 6 April 2016, the rules were simple. In calculating the profits of his or her property business, the landlord simply deducted the associated mortgage interest and finance costs.

    New rules apply from 6 April 2017, with changes being phased in gradually over a four-year period so as to move from a system under which relief is given fully by deduction to one where relief is given as a basic rate tax reduction. This changes both the rate and mechanism of relief. The changes do not apply to property companies – only unincorporated businesses.

    What does this mean

    Relief by deduction simply means deducting the amount of the interest, as for other expenses, in working out the profit or loss of the property business.

    Where relief is given as a basic rate tax reduction, instead of deducting the interest in calculating profit, 20% of the interest is deducted from the tax calculated by reference to the profit (as determined without taking out interest for which relief is given as a tax reduction).


    For 2017/18, a landlord can deduct in full 75% of his or her finance cost. The remainder is given as a basic rate tax reduction.


    Freddie has a number of buy to let properties. In 2017/18, his rental income is £21,000, he pays mortgage interest of £5,000 and has other expenses of £3,000. He is a higher rate taxpayer.

    Tax on his rental income is calculated as follows:

    Rental income                     £21,000

    Less:  interest (75% of £5,000)   (£3,750)

              other expenses          (£3,000)

    Taxable profit                    £14,250

    Tax @ 40%                          £5,700

    Less: basic rate tax reduction

    (20% (£5,000 x 25%))                (£250)

    Tax payable                        £5,450

    This compares to a tax bill of £5,200, which would have been payable had relief for the interest been given in full by deduction.

    Looking ahead

    The pendulum swings gradually from relief by deduction to relief as a basic rate tax reduction. In 2018/19, relief for half of the interest and finance costs is by deduction and relief for the other half is as a basic rate tax deduction. In 2019/20, only 25% of the interest and finance costs are deductible, relief for the remaining 75% being given as a basic rate tax reduction. From 2020/21 onwards, relief is only available as a basic rate tax reduction.

  • Use of home as office

    Use of home as office is a catch-all phrase to describe the costs that a self-employed businessperson has in running at least part of their business operations from home. It need not be an office as people may use a spare bedroom to hold stock for assembly and postage, or similar.

    Many will have used the figures that HMRC has long published for employees’ ’homeworking expenses’ - initially £2 a week, then £3 a week, changing to £4 a week from 2012/13.

    From 2013/14 onwards HMRC has adopted the following rates:

    Hours of business use per month 25-50 flat rate per month £10

    Hours of business use per month 51-100 flat rate per month £18

    Hours of business use per month 101+ flat rate per month £26

    So in HMRC’s eyes, I am entitled to a deduction of £120 a year for the use of home office space (or similar), but basically only so long as I spend at least 25 hours a month working from home. Working more than 25 hours a week - broadly full time - from home gets me the princely sum of £312 per year.

    Working from home may be cheap, but it’s not that cheap.

    The following guidance assumes that the claimant is not using the cash basis of assessment for tax purposes, as the rules work differently.

    'Wholly and exclusively’ - Business expenses are allowed if incurred 'wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade'. This is a cardinal rule; however, there is a further point:

    'Where an expense is incurred for more than one purpose, this section does not prohibit a deduction for any identifiable part or identifiable proportion of the expense which is incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade’ (ITTOIA 2005, s 34).

    Applying these principles, I do not have to use a room in my house exclusively for my self-employment, just so long as when I am using it for business purposes, that is all it is being used for.

    The costs you are allowed to claim - It is worth bearing in mind that HMRC does have guidance on how to make a more comprehensive claim for using one’s home in the business, in its Business Income manual however you may find it strange that almost all of the examples result in a claim of around £200 a year or less!

    HMRC’s guidance nevertheless includes the following potentially allowable costs:

    • mortgage interest (or rent paid to a landlord)
    • council tax
    • insurance
    • repairs
    • cleaning
    • heat, light, and power
    • water
    • telephone and broadband (unless already/separately claimed as a business expense)

    If you incur appreciable costs on the above then just £120 a year as a standard use of home deduction, or even £312 a year, is likely to make you feel more than a little aggrieved.

  • Take advantage of the Annual Investment Allowance

    The annual investment allowance (AIA) allows businesses to obtain an immediate deduction against profits for capital expenditure up to the limit of the allowance.

    Where a business prepares accounts using the more traditional accruals basis, they are not allowed to deduct capital expenditure in computing profits; instead relief for capital expenditure is given under the capital allowances system, whether in the form of the AIA, a first-year allowance or a writing down allowance.

    Where a business prepares accounts using the cash basis, different rules apply to capital expenditure.  Under the cash basis, capital expenditure can be deducted in computing profits unless the expenditure is of a type where such as deduction is prohibited, for example, as is the case for land and cars. Capital allowances are not in point (except for cars), and the annual investment allowance is not available.

    What expenditure qualified for the AIA? - The AIA is available on most items of plant and machinery, the main exception being cars. The AIA is likewise not available on items owned for another reason before they were used in the business or on items given to the proprietor or the business.

    The AIA can only be claimed for the period in which the item of plant or machinery was purchased. If the payment is due within four months, the date of purchase is when the contract is signed. Where payment is due more than four months later, the date is that of when the payment is due.

    The claim is made in the company or self-assessment tax return, as appropriate.

    How much is the AIA? - The allowance is set at £200,000 for 12-month periods. The allowance is reduced proportionately for accounting periods of less than 12 months (so, if the accounting period is nine months, the AIA limit for that period is £150,000 (9/12 x £200,000)).

    If qualifying expenditure in the period is less than the AIA for that period, the AIA can be claimed for the full amount of the expenditure. However, if qualifying capital expenditure in the period is more than the AIA for that period, the AIA can only be claimed up to the amount of the allowance, with relief for the balance of the expenditure being given by means of writing down allowances.

    Example 1 - Harry buys three vans costing £20,000 each in the year to 30 September 2018. The total expenditure of £60,000 is less than the AIA available for the period, so he is able to claim the AIA for the full amount of the expenditure.

    Example 2 - George buys new machinery costing £300,000 in the year to 31 October 2018. The expenditure exceeds the available AIA for the period of £200,000. He is able to claim the AIA on the first £200,000 of the expenditure. Relief for the remaining £100,000 is given by way of writing down allowances.

    How is relief given? - Relief is given as a deduction in computing profits for the period. Thus, claiming the AIA provides immediate 100% relief for capital expenditure.

    What happens when the item is sold? - If the item is sold, the proceeds are added to the relevant pool. This may trigger a balancing charge.

    Do we have to claim the AIA? - No – a claim is not mandatory. It will not always be beneficial to claim the AIA, for example if profits are insufficient or the item is likely to be sold after a short period triggering a balancing charge; it may be preferable to claim writing down allowances instead. The claim can be tailored to the business’ circumstances.



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   Adrian Mooy & Co Ltd  -  61 Friar Gate   Derby   DE1 1DJ  -



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Adrian Mooy & Co - Accountants in Derby
61 Friar Gate Derby, Derbyshire DE1 1DJ
Phone: 01332 202660 Hours: Mon-Fri 9.00am - 5:00pm

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 01332 202660

Adrian Mooy & Co is the trading name of Adrian Mooy & Co Ltd.  Registered in England No. 05770414.

Registered to carry out audit work in the UK by The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Details of audit registration can be viewed at under number 8011438.

Registered office: 61 Friar Gate, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1 1DJ


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