Author Archives: Peggy Nightingale

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Government Plans for increases in National Insurance

The Government confirmed yesterday that from April 2022, a 1.25% Health and Social Care levy will be introduced.

It is nominally taking the form of a 1.25% increase in National Insurance both for employees (Class 1) and Self-Employed (Class 4) with a similar increase for employers as well.

There will be no further opportunities for saving this levy by using dividends in limited companies as there is also a 1.25% increase in dividend tax rates.

This increase also applies to highest rates possible so that successful companies who reward their directors with dividend income over £150,000 will effectively be paying tax, once corporation tax has been taken into account at 58.85% on that marginal income.

If the planned corporation tax rise to 25% comes in as well, then owner managed businesses in that bracket will then be paying tax at 64.85%. However, there will be undoubtedly other changes between now and the time of full implementation of the increased corporation tax rate and we will keep you posted and continue to optimise your tax planning opportunities.

The rise is ostensibly linked to improving social care so that from October 2023 nobody starting care will pay more than £86,000 in their lifetime and no one with assets less than £20,000 will have to make any contribution from their savings or housing wealth.

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Top 20 Tips for SMEs Guide

We have just come through probably the toughest 18-months any of us have experienced in our business lives.

Thankfully, there has been support available to help us through the crisis. Government schemes including furlough and SEISS, tax deferrals and business loans, have injected money into businesses and have enabled businesses to pay their staff and have held off the squeeze that may follow for many. However, 18 months on and it is still a challenging market.

We have been in the eye of the storm but we are now, hopefully, exiting the storm, which will be challenging in itself, but there are a number of steps that SMEs can take to build a solid platform to help them with the opportunities and challenges ahead.

These are the 3 key areas that SMEs need to focus on:

  • Your cash;
  • Your people; and
  • Your customers.

Without cash, people or customers businesses will fail. Focusing on these 3 vital areas and making informed decisions will provide a platform for businesses to look to the future with confidence.

We have produced a helpful guide, which can find below, with our Top 20 Tips on what you need to be doing right now in your business. The guide highlights the importance of ensuring you have enough cash in the business, the key things you need to do to look after your people and steps you should be taking with your customers.

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The Martlet Partnership warmly congratulates our Dan White for passing his final exam at AAT Level 3. Dan now moves on to the final phase – Level 4.

Dan, who is an excellent cricketer, celebrated his 21st birthday last week by scoring a century for Littlehampton against Findon – what better way to mark the occasion!

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Fraud alert

Scam text messages claiming to be from package delivery firms asking for payments now account for three times the number of scam messages that look as though they come from a bank. Always avoid clicking on links in a text message in case it is a scam and forward any suspected scam text messages to 7726 which spells SPAM on your telephone keypad.

This is advice from OFCOM. You can also report any such scam in writing to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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A warm welcome to Nick Seaw

We are sure you will all extend a warm welcome to Nick Seaw ACCA who joined our accounts team on Monday. Nick obtained his qualification with the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants entirely through home study and now is looking to gain practical experience alongside his qualification.

Nick started by obtaining his Xero accreditation and has already started working on company accounts preparation.

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We send our warmest congratulations to our Tax Manager, Fran Brooks and her fiancé Stuart, who are getting married tomorrow Thursday 22nd July, having already had to postpone their wedding for obvious reasons. We are sure you will want to join us in sending them both warmest wishes.

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We are pleased to announce that our Sri Sivalingam has passed his Audit paper in the final stages of his Chartered Association of Certified Accountants Qualifications. Sri now has only one paper to go before he is fully qualified.

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Advance Warning! Quarterly Tax Returns!

Although it is two years away, we thought we should let you know that taxpayers with self-employed business income, partnerships or letting income, greater than £10,000, will have to submit electronic quarterly tax return from 6 April 2023.

This new way of reporting is being referred to by HMRC as Making Tax Digital for Income Tax and is part of the Government’s drive to make the UK’s tax system the best in the world.

This future introduction will change the way you will required to keep records and accounts for tax. Although reporting frequency will change to quarterly, payments on account and balancing payments will remain payable on 31 January and 31 July each year as before.

Although these changes will be fully supported by us to help you make sure that you remain compliant, we appreciate that these developments are unlikely to be very welcome for most taxpayers!  We will keep you updated as HMRC releases information on the implementation of the new system.

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What now for employers with Covid restrictions being eased?

Legal restrictions in place in respect of Covid-19 will start to end on Monday 19th July in England, Wales and Scotland.  Each country is taking a slightly different approach to timings and some of the detail around what is required, but in all countries, there is the start of an easing.

This is a significant move away from the restrictions and obligations that we have been living with for over a year.  We are being encouraged to take personal responsibility. 

This makes it less clear to employers exactly how and what they need to do. 

Employers now need to ensure they meet their legal obligations whilst also deciding on their stance to those unclear areas, such as whether they will want people to wear masks and if so when and where, their approach to requiring staff to undertake testing, whether to maintain social distancing and screens and how to manage where and when employees work etc.

There will not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach and each business should take a measured approach, remembering that from a legal perspective they must meet their core obligations.

Some considerations include:

  • Taking all reasonably practical steps to reduce risks to the health and safety of employees, visitors, and the public.
  • Consider and clearly communicate your arrangements for employees in terms of their place of work – remember that the employee has the basic right to stay away from the workplace if they reasonably believe it poses a serious and imminent health and safety risk to them.
  • Employee wellbeing needs to be central to your planning.  Employees may be anxious and uncertain around returning to the workplace, about commuting on public transport. 

Whilst it is a welcome return to something more ‘normal’ for us all with the easing of restrictions for all businesses to open properly after many months of restrictions, some of the changes and implications of such will need careful handling by employers.

Most importantly employers need to meet their core legal obligations – starting with following the principles set out in the revised ‘Working Safely’ guidance. 

Beyond that, employers need to handle employees sensitively, especially considering people will still have anxiety.  How and in what circumstances an employer may wish employees to return to the workplace needs careful thought.  Communication with employees is vital.

If you would like advice or further information about your obligations as an employer, please do get in touch.

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We congratulate our Dan White who yesterday sat his Level 3 AAT Management Accounting Costing exam and passed with flying colours with 89%.

Our congratulations to Dan who now only has one exam left to complete Level 3 AAT.

Contactez nous

The Martlet Partnership LLP
Martlet House
E1 Yeoman Gate
Yeoman Way
West Sussex
BN13 3QZ

Tel.: +44 (0) 1903 600555
Fax.: +44 (0) 1903 600828