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Practice News

November 2017

Tax relief for pension contributions

November 2017

For many years, the government has incentivised taxpayers to build up their pension pots by providing tax relief for contributions. We frequently find that there is some confusion about the different ways in which tax relief for pension contributions is obtained and the limitations on that tax relief.

Types of pension contribution

The way in which relief is given depends on the type of contribution made; there are essentially three different types:

  • Personal pension contributions (e.g. to a stakeholder or personal pension plan) – these can be arranged and paid directly by the taxpayer, or group personal pensions can be set up by employers to allow easy payment into schemes by deduction through payroll.
  • Employee pension contributions – where an employer has set up an occupational pension scheme, payments can be made by deduction from salary.
  • Employer (or company) pension contributions – these are paid by the taxpayer’s employer or personal company and can be to any type of pension scheme; these may be made in conjunction with a salary sacrifice arrangement.

Tax relief

As you might expect, the tax reliefs available under each type of contribution are broadly equivalent but work in very different ways.

For personal contributions, the government tops up contributions by basic rate tax of 20%; so by paying in (“net”) £800 you get a total (“gross”) pension contribution of £1,000 added to your pension pot. In addition, for those paying higher rate tax further relief is obtained through the tax return. This works by adding the gross contribution to the basic rate band, so in this example (for a higher rate taxpayer) £1,000 moves from being taxed at 40% to 20%, saving a further £200 of tax. This is why it is important to include all personal contributions on your tax return.

Gross personal contributions are also limited to the higher of £3,600 and the taxpayer’s earned income (i.e. salary or self-employment profit) for a tax year.

Employee contributions are deducted from gross salary before calculating the tax, so these automatically obtain relief at the taxpayer’s marginal rate.

Employer contributions are not taxable income, so these effectively obtain relief by virtue of never being taxed on an employee (although note that a tax charge will apply if the annual allowance is exceeded – see the limitations mentioned below). In general the employer will get a tax deduction for any contributions as an expense of their business. If a salary sacrifice arrangement is entered into, the employee varies their contract to give up a certain amount of salary (which would otherwise be subject to both tax and National Insurance) in return for a pension contribution which is subject to neither.

Note that where personal pension contributions are taken from salary, this will be an after tax (and NI) deduction, so very different in this sense from either an employee contribution or a salary sacrifice arrangement which give rise to deductions before the calculation of tax and, as mentioned above, it is therefore important for higher rate taxpayers to include such deductions on their tax returns in order to obtain that higher rate tax relief.


There are both annual and lifetime limits for tax relieved pension contributions, both of which have reduced significantly over recent years. The annual limit is currently £40,000 and the lifetime allowance for pension pots is £1million. However, there are many and increasingly complex rules surrounding both of these allowances and we advise our clients to contact us if you are hoping to add more than £10,000 to a pension scheme in a tax year or if you are concerned that your total pension pots are approaching the lifetime allowance.

Written by: Emily Orton, Lakin Rose Chartered Tax Adviser


August 2017


There have been a number of changes in the last year regarding tax-allowable expenses for landlords. This article aims to give a summary of the amounts that remain allowable and to highlight key changes that have been made.

Revenue Expenditure

Many of the general expenses remain allowable, including:

  • Letting fees and property management fees
  • Utilities and rates (water, electricity, gas, council tax)
  • Insurance
  • Service charges and ground rents
  • Repairs and maintenance (where there is no element of enhancement) including cleaning and gardening
  • Other services (TV licence, TV package, internet services)

There have been changes to the amount of mortgage interest that is allowable. Relief will still be available, but will be restricted for higher rate tax payers. This restriction is being phased in over the next four tax years and will be fully implemented by 2020/21.

Allowable expenditure will be proportionately reduced where there is an element of personal use of the property or services.

Capital Expenditure

Where expenditure is deemed to be a capital enhancement to the property, rather than a repair, the costs will not be allowable against income. The cost can instead be set against the eventual sale proceeds on disposal of the property for Capital Gains Tax purposes.

Replacement of Domestic Items Relief

Where an item is not allowable revenue expenditure, but is also not considered to be a capital enhancement, it may qualify for Replacement of Domestic Items Relief (which replaced the "wear and tear allowance" from 6 April 2016).

Through this relief, you may be able to claim a deduction for the cost of replacing domestic items such as:

  • Movable furniture (beds, free-standing wardrobes)
  • Furnishings (curtains, linens, carpets, floor coverings)
  • Household appliances ( televisions, fridges, freezers)
  • Kitchenware (crockery, cutlery)

There are detailed rules for the amount of deduction that is allowable and how it should be calculated.

Properties which qualify as a furnished holiday let do not qualify for Replacement of Domestic Items Relief, being eligible for capital allowances instead.

For those eligible for the "rent a room" scheme, a tax-free allowance is available instead of any relief for specific expenditure items and we can advise on the most beneficial claims.

October 2016

Lakin Rose Welcomes Two New Employees

We are pleased to welcome Liezel Hanley and Sally Adelman to the Lakin Rose team.

Sally is an experienced general practice accountant who is joining Lakin Rose (on a part time basis) to help us provide accounting and tax services to our growing number of clients.

Liezel is our new Virtual Finance Manager who will be looking after any outsourced management accounts, bookkeeping and any other related services for our clients.


September 2016

Lakin Rose races to success!

We’re pleased to say that we took part in on one of the great Cambridge events – the Chariots of Fire relay race for charity on Sunday 18th September. This year, the race raised money for the Papworth Hospital Charity and is organised by Hewitsons each year.

With two Lakin Rose teams competing, we are proud to say that we were placed 72nd and 216th out of 380 teams. The teams were made up of Lakin Rose employees, family and past Lakin Rose staff members.

Lakin Rose Chariots of Fire team

August 2016

People with Significant Control (PSC) Register

The latest Government initiative: the PSC register has been implemented to ensure that anyone with a significant interest in a company can be easily identified. They are introducing this extra register to ensure transparency and to help combat money laundering.

This applies to UK Companies, SocietatesEuropaeae (SEs) and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP’s) and any people with a significant interest in a company.

The table below is from the summary guidance document on the www.gov.uk website and gives a broad outline of the criteria to help identify an individual that meets the PSC registration requirements.

Condition What you need to consider
An individual who holds more than 25% of shares in the company Review your company’s register of membersand identify shareholdings of over 25%
An individual who holds more than 25% of voting rights in the company Review your company’s register of members, articles of association and identify people with voting rights (often attached to shares) over 25%.
An individual who has the right to exercise or actually exercises significant influence or control over the company You would consider this where an individual does not meet one of the conditions above but does exercise ‘significant influence or control’ over the company. The statutory guidance sets out principles and situations where an individual would be a PSC
Where a trust of firm would satisfy one of the first four conditions if it were an individual. Any individual holding the right to exercise, or actually exercising, significant influence or control over the activities of the firm or trust. If one of the above conditions is met by a trust or firm (without legal personality), read the relevant section in the statutory guidance to identify who should be included in the PSC register.

More information can be found here: PSC Register Summary for companies

This is a legal requirement and therefore we are more than happy to help our clients set this up and keep in up to date on an annual basis. Please let us know if you would like any help with your PSC Register.

July 2016

Auto Enrolment for your business

Auto enrolment is the government-backed enterprise to ensure that people are saving for their retirement. Qualifying employees are now automatically enrolled into a pension scheme by their employers unless they specifically ask to opt out.

The Pensions Regulator is introducing this scheme to employers in phases, so a number of employees have already implemented the scheme and by 2018 all companies employing people will have to have auto enrolment measures in place.

To qualify for the scheme an employee needs to be:

  • Living in the UK
  • Aged between 22 and the state pension age
  • Earning over £10,000 a year

As an employer you will have received or will soon receive a staging date. This is the first step towards auto enrolment. This is the date whereby your responsibilities start and gives you ample time to assess pension providers and discuss the process with your employees. There are a number of pension providers on the market from the government-backed Nest to other ‘high street’ names like Aviva.

We have found that the easiest way to manage your auto enrolment is to implement it alongside your usual payroll responsibilities. Read about how we have helped our clients with this process.

Making Tax Digital

There are a number of initiatives that the HMRC want to implement over the next few months and years. One of the main projects on the go at the moment is Making Tax Digital. While the Brexit decision may delay the plans somewhat, the general consensus is that this will go ahead and we will start to see some changes to the way we communicate with the HMRC and pay our taxes in the near future.

This is the biggest change that we will see since the introduction of Self-Assessment and here are the key points that the HMRC want to achieve:

  • Remove the need to complete a tax return by 2020
  • Move the tax system online
  • Introduce quarterly reporting for accounting data for businesses and landlords

This may mean that for some of you there will be a few changes in the way that you do your day to day accounting. If you are not already doing so, an online bookkeeping system may be a practical place to start in order to adjust to the changes to come.

We are not too sure how this will be implemented across the spectrum of businesses that we see. A number of our smaller clients use excel spreadsheets for their business, as quite frankly, that’s all that’s needed. We also question the frequency of the reporting (proposed as every quarter) and are concerned that this may add to the workload of already busy business people. Another aspect that is not clear to us just yet is how the HMRC intends to collect the tax due as individuals will still need to submit some form of reporting and therefore what will replace the tax return?

What we do know is that it is still early on in the project and there are a number of questions that the HMRC are going to have to address before this can be an efficient model in which to work from. We’ll keep you posted on any new information we have and will continue to work closely with our clients to ensure that any transitions necessary are as pain free as possible.

Vic Moseley wins the 2015/2016 Lakin Rose Fantasy Football League

Lakin Rose is pleased to congratulate Vic Moseley of VM Associates who has won last season’s fantasy football league. In a hard fought competition with Vic pipping Lakin Rose’s very own Tom Beaumont to the post in a nail-biting finale.

Stephen Rose aka Lakinwolf comments:

“Vic is a seasoned fantasy footballer and we’re looking forward to getting the new season started. I wonder if this year we will see a few more Welsh players in the teams?”

Lakin Rose welcomes Hugh Thorburn as the new Payroll Manager

Lakin Rose is pleased to welcome Hugh Thorburn as the new Payroll Manager. Before joining Lakin Rose Hugh was the Payroll Manager at a corporation based in Surrey.

Stephen Rose Lakin Rose Director comments:

"It's great to have Hugh with us. The payroll function is getting more and more complicated with the recent addition of RTI as well as the new auto enrolment obligations that companies are required to implement for their employees. We welcome Hugh to the team and look forward to working with him to ensure our clients' payroll needs are met."

Hugh Thorburn comments:

"Moving from Surry, Cambridge is a welcome change. I look forward to working with our clients to make sure that their employees are set up and looked after."

June 2016

Lakin Rose and Ensors join forces to form Enscorchers cricket team

After a successful cricket season in 2015, with the Lakin Rose Scorchers team moving up a division, the new 2016 season has started off on an even keel. Newly named Enscorchers, the team have joined forces with Ensors to increase the pool of players and make this season one to remember.

Tom Beaumont, Enscorchers Captain says:

"We've had a good start to the year with a win and a loss. Unfortunately the weather has not been kind this summer so far and we have had to call off 3 games already. It's been fantastic to play with the guys from Ensors and we hope that the partnership will be a success."

November 2015

Lakin Rose Celebrates 30 Years in Business in Cambridge

Lakin Rose Chartered Accountants celebrated its thirtieth anniversary last week with a drinks reception at Emmanuel College.

Lakin Rose provides tax, audit and other professional services for businesses and individuals across a range of industries, including hi tech and bio tech companies, agriculture and property

Stephen Rose, Director and Founder of Lakin Rose.

"It was a great pleasure to celebrate our thirtieth birthday with clients and friends in a wonderful setting at Emmanuel. I attribute our success to a number of things: Firstly, a focus on customer service, ensuring we get to know each client and their specific industry and company. Secondly, attention to detail and making sure that everything we do is right, first time around. Last, but not least, we continually look for ways to improve our operations in every single area of the business."

Lakin Rose has won industry recognition in their field by delivering exceptional service to clients. The company's track record of results and success is due to its investment in people, processes, and technology.

Great end to the season for the Lakin Rose Scorchers

Sadly the end of summer heralds the end of the cricketing season. The Lakin Rose Scorchers, who are part of the Cambridge Business House League, had an impressive first season.

They finished off the season with 4 wins and 2 losses under their belt. Unfortunately the much-anticipated accountants’ derby against PWC did not take place due to inclement weather, but hopefully next season we will see this happen.

The 4 wins make Lakin Rose joint second in the league, alongside BAS. According to the league rules, the top two sides are promoted to the higher league. Therefore a playoff between the Scorchers and BAS will take place to see who will win the promotion spot.

Tom Beaumont, LR Scorchers captain comments: “It’s been a great season and I am proud of what we have achieved. There were a few games called off but all in all, for our first year in the league, I am pleased with the performances and effort of all those involved.”

Phew it’s a scorcher!

Lakin Rose Chartered Accountants are making the most of this beautiful summer weather by doing what us Brits do best…taking part in the Cambridge Business House Cricket League!

The team, aptly named the Lakin Rose (LR) Scorchers, is made up of past and present employees with an occasional friend recruited for games. With the season half way through, the LR Scorchers have 2 wins and 2 losses under their belt.

The league plays at a variety of different grounds throughout Cambridge with the LR Scorchers calling Histon their home ground. The captain has just confirmed the accountants derby against PWC which is scheduled in August, just before the end of the season.

Tom Beaumont, LR Scorchers captain comments: “It’s been a great season so far, but not without its ups and downs. We’ve had an injury to our resident wicket keeper which is a shame, but we are having a great time and there is good team spirit all round!”

New Xero partnership

We are pleased to announce that we have signed up in partnership with Xero, the cloud-based accounting software solution that allows business access to their accounting software, anytime and on any device

With banking feeds as well as extra functionality including a CRM add on, Xero provides small businesses with a wide variety of services all designed to make their lives easier. Lakin Rose Director, Stephen Rose said “We like Xero for various reasons, including its easy navigation and real-time accessibility. We feel that this product gives our clients the right support for their daily accounting needs and therefore enables us to help them grow their businesses.”

Click here for more information

RTI relaxation for small businesses coming to an end

Under the new Real Time Information (RTI) rules which became applicable for businesses in April 2013, the HMRC recognised that employers that have 50 employees or less needed more time to get to grips with the system. This also applies for small businesses who need to pay their staff on a more regular basis (a few times a week or weekly) and yet only process payroll monthly.

The relaxation period is now coming to an end, with small businesses needing to comply with the RTI obligations from April 2014 or face penalty fines.

The scale of fines is as follows:

  • 1-9 employees – £100
  • 10-49 employees – £200
  • 50-249 employees – £300
  • 250 or more employees – £400

This includes annual schemes.

If you do get a fine, you are able to appeal in two situations: a reasonable excuse or special circumstances. Although in the large majority of cases, a successful appeal by an employer is rare.

Now is the time to act, don't leave it until the last minute. Get your payroll organised and set up for RTI before you face any fines.

December 2013

Lakin Rose Awarded Highly Commended Accolade In This Years’ British Accounting Awards

We are proud to announce that we were awarded the accolade of Highly Commended for the Eastern Region at the British Accountancy Awards.

Every year accountants throughout the region enter the award to win this prestigious title. In a few cases the Judges highly commend a firm that didn’t win the award but who impressed them nonetheless and Lakin Rose were recognised this year for the eastern region.

Finalists were chosen as a result of information submitted about the firm, including topics regarding their professionalism, profitability and growth, responsibility, innovation, people and their measurable successes. The awards are broken up into a variety of categories in order to enable similar sized firms to compete against one another.

Stephen Rose, Lakin Rose Director comments: "It's a great achievement to be recognised within our profession in the first year that we have entered the award. The team we have here at Lakin Rose is a testament to our commendation and I am proud of everyone that contributes to our success."

September 2013

Lakin Rose comes up trumps at Chariots of Fire

Lakin Rose was pleased to enter this year's Chariots of Fire race to raise awareness and money for charities in the Cambridge area. In its 22nd year, Chariots of Fire is a relay race through the cobbled streets of Cambridge, giving the runners an insider's view of the University Colleges.

Lakin Rose finished in 23rd place out of over 350 teams and was the top placed accountancy firm of the many other firms that entered.

Stephen Rose, Lakin Rose director (and runner): "It's a fantastic race and I am very proud of the fact that we were able to field two teams for the race, no mean feat. We had a great day and it's a privilege to be part of such an historic event in our home city."


Lakin Rose directors (left to right): Carla Barnes, Jonathan Fretwell, Chris Beaumont, Stephen Rose, Chris Dougherty

Lakin Rose Chartered Accountant has been shortlisted for the Independent Firm of the Year - East England at this year's British Accountancy Awards. Lakin Rose provides tax and accountancy services to individuals and businesses throughout the Cambridgeshire region.

Going up against four other firms nominated they will compete for the prestigious award, with the winner being revealed at the British Accountancy Awards gala dinner held on 20 November in London.

The award is in its third year and has a variety of categories to accommodate both large multinational firms as well as the smaller independent firms throughout the UK. Lakin Rose entered the competition in the Independent firm of the year for the first time this year.

Stephen Rose, Lakin Rose director comments: "This is the first year that we have entered the award as we believe that the criteria to enter are issues that are close to our heart. We are passionate about offering excellent client service and looking after our staff, we are also undergoing changes within the firm to decrease our carbon footprint, all of which are areas of interest to the judges for the awards.

"We're looking forward to finding out the results in November, and are pleased to have got this far in our first year of entering."

Finalists were chosen from businesses throughout the UK that entered. The overall winners across all 22 categories will be revealed at the awards ceremony on 20 November in London.

More information can be found at: http://www.britishaccountancyawards.co.uk

July 2013

New Lakin Rose website

We're very proud (and excited) to showcase the new Lakin Rose website. It's been a few months in the making, but hope that the new site is an accurate reflection about who we are as a firm. Take a look around to familiarise yourself with what we can help you with and give us a call on 01223 235707 for more information.

June 2013

Ready, Set, Go...almost

We're getting ready for the Chariots of Fire 2013. The annual race that allows runners to follow in the footsteps made famous by the movie. It's all for a good cause and the team here at Lakin Rose are gearing up to make 2013 extra special.

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