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Archive for June, 2015

Jail for evading tax

Earlier this year a 56-year-old woman was sent to jail for two years because she lied to the tax office about an inheritance.

The case came about because the tax office saw that a friend’s bank account was being used. She was doing this to support her friend as well as to hide money and evidence of her spending from her family.

The tax office has released the details in an attempt to prevent others from understating inheritances to. And, based on the size of the lie, it works out that she is going to serve one day in jail for every £1,164 of tax she was trying to evade. I don’t think it helped that she also lied about gifts made to her before the inheritance.

Currently only estates below £325,000 are not subject to the tax – above that estates are taxed at 40%. However, married couples and civil partners pay no tax on the first £650,000.

The amount of inheritance tax paid has been rising in recent years as house prices and stock markets have recovered so it could be time to review you and/or your wider family’s tax planning.

There are many ways to reduce inheritance tax. I you would like some help contact us.


Xero development

Sackmans believe Xero is the best accounting system in the market.

So, so it’s interesting to see how they have developed over the last four years

There is a lot of noise from Sage but in my opinion they are way behind and need to pull their socks up if they are to protect their market. Xero now have half a million users.

It’s amazing how quickly things can change and it’s a good idea to review your strategy regularly to make sure you don’t get left behind by the competition.

When was the last time you did a critical review of your business?

  • How does our customer experience compare to other businesses in and out of our sector?
  • How does your service or product compare to the competition?
  • How does your marketing collateral (like your Website) compare?
  • Are we solving the most important problems our customer has?
  • If I was going to attack my own business how would I do it?


If you’d like to help with a review get in touch – we can offer you some software that will help you reassess your plans or even a 1-2-1 business review session.

Will the taxman pay 30% commission?

According to London law firm RPC, payments made by the UK tax office to tax informants for the year to March 2015 have hit a record high of £605,000.

This is a 50% jump compare to 2014 and is partly driven by a rise in awareness about HMRC’s efforts to track down tax evaders. No doubt high profile cases reported in the media play a role.

According to the research, the typical profile of an informant has changed. As well as former employers and ex-spouses, there are more individuals working in financial and professional services providing information, in the hope that they will receive payment.

The background to all this is the tax office being under extreme pressure to a) make the most of information that is offered to them and b)  increase the tax yield.

In the US, the tax office is called the IRS. They have an explicit policy of paying whistleblowers up to 30% of any additional tax, penalty and other amounts they collect.

Could that be introduced in the UK?

It is a possibility because it appears as if our tax office are being inspired by the IRS enquiry procedures.

The announcement of a digital tax account is consistent with the tax office redeploying people from administration into investigation. Now more than ever we recommend to clients they be covered by our tax investigation solution.


Making use of Social Proof

Social proof is a very powerful psychological concept where people assume the actions of others reflect the correct behaviour for them. Perhaps the most powerful example is the importance of referrals in businesses.

Businesses can ethically use Social Proof in a numbers of ways to improve their marketing. This normally includes collecting testimonials and publishing case studies but can include expert and celebrity endorsements. To some businesses like restaurants and hotels it is vital to get positive reviews and ratings on Websites like TripAdvisor.

In the age of Social Media Social Proof can include the numbers of shares and likes on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. You can even embed Social Media comments and buttons on Webpages. All this can be used to create a Bandwagon Effect which is what I believe Xero have done by announcing 500,000 customers. They are trying to persuade people to choose them over the other options because half a million businesses can’t be wrong!

With all this in mind I would appreciate you giving me a testimonial – just a few words would be great.

As a thank you for taking the time and effort to help me, I’ll be helping people in need around the world through my association with B1G1. And, You can choose which cause I will support because of your testimonial using the form below.