Leonherman Blog

Don’t forget your fee protection insurance policy

an angry owl with red eye

Last month we wrote to you with details of our Fee Protection Insurance scheme which protects you against the professional fees associated with an HMRC tax investigation.

Investigations are on the increase, if selected they can be time consuming and expensive. For a small annual fee our insurance policy will cover you against the costs of these professional fees, providing you with peace of mind.

Don’t worry if you’ve mislaid your letter, simply get in touch and we’ll confirm the details for you.

For further details click here or call us on 0161 249 5040

Posted in Ask the Expert

Meet Me at the Met Returns….

Meet at the Met invite-01

If you haven’t already booked your place at this months Meet Me at the Met, it is not too late to do so.

This event is aimed at businesses in and around Didsbury.

Come along to share wine and conversation with other business owners and professionals.

When – Wednesday 21st June 5pm – 7pm

Where – The Metropolitan, Didsbury

Why – To network with other like-minded businesses

If you would like to reserve your free place please call us on 0161 249 5040 or e-mail

Posted in Uncategorized

Spring Newsletter – Changes to the VAT flat rate scheme

Read all about our latest news at Leonherman, including business advice, information on the services we offer to make your life easier and any internal news here:

Spring 2017 Newsletter – Changes to the VAT flat rate scheme

If you would like to receive our newsletters directly to your inbox get in touch or call 0161 249 5040


Posted in Uncategorized

How to create a cost effective business


Competition in business is more intense than ever before, with tough economic conditions in most sectors and rival businesses battling harder than ever for market share. There are new threats from online providers, new business models and global competitors. As a result, increasing profit levels is quite a challenge. If you can’t increase your sales volumes, consider how to reduce costs in order to increase profits.

Build a culture of cost saving

Everyone can and should take some level of responsibility for the costs related to their work. One way is to involve more people in the budgeting process. All employees could be partially accountable for the costs that affect them.

Negotiate with your suppliers

Renegotiating contracts with suppliers may bring surprising results. Every service provider will be keen to retain your business. As such, they may be open to renegotiating contracts. If you are in a position to negotiate a volume discount in return for another 6 to 12 months of loyalty, you may be able to benefit from some substantial savings.

Decrease waste

Depending on your business, this could be wasted materials, time, effort, money or team members. Everyone in your business should learn to identify and take steps to reduce or eliminate waste. Decrease waste further by “going green” to reduce utility bills by becoming more energy efficient.

Decrease stock levels

Stock is a dead cost and soaks up cash. Decreasing stock levels may require the streamlining of some of your business systems but it may produce some significant cost savings. If you carry excess stock / inventory you should be able to free up some cash flow in the business by reducing stock levels.


Overtime is expensive, but a little pre planning of your work schedules will go a long way to helping reduce overtime costs. If you have more demand than you can handle, it might be cheaper to outsource some of the extra capacity.

Reduce debtor’s days

Cash flow tied up on the debtor’s ledger is effectively costing the business money. Reducing the average time it takes to collect outstanding debts from say, 60 to 30 days, can increase cash flow, reducing the need for expensive overdrafts and bank credit.

Leonherman has many years of experience working with entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses; we work with you to ensure you stay on track and have clear goals in place get in touch or call 0161 249 5040

Posted in Uncategorized

Making Tax Digital removed from the 2017 Finance Bill


Plans to force millions of landlords, self-employed people and small businesses to file up to five tax returns online every year have been put on hold ahead of the general election.

Legislation to implement the government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative has been removed from the Finance Bill 2017 ahead of the debate on the bill in the House of Commons today.

During yesterdays Finance Bill committee stage debate the Government deleted 72 out of 135 clauses and 18 out of 29 schedules. The residual Bill has been estimated to be roughly 140 pages in length compared to the previous 762 pages, a reduction of more than 80 per cent by volume.

Experts say that its exclusion from the Finance Bill might mean it’s delayed by a year, but it might also be an opportunity for the Government to leave the idea to gather dust for rather longer.

MTD is not planned to come into effect until April 2018, and following the announcement of the general election on 8 June 2017, this provided an opportunity to withdraw these clauses and Schedule from the Finance Bill.

It is unclear at this stage if this is a temporary deferral pending a second finance bill after the election or whether it will be more permanent.

We will keep you updated once we hear more, in the meantime if you want to know what you can do to prepare for Making Tax Digital (once it does come in) get in touch with our Tax team on 0161 249 5040.


Posted in Uncategorized

Protect yourself from the cost of a HMRC Investigation

an angry owl with red eye

At Leonherman we can provide you with Fee Protection Insurance to protect you from the costs that may arise as a result of a Tax or VAT Enquiry from HMRC.

A tax investigation could cost you money even if you’ve done nothing wrong and anyone can be selected; a business, a director or an individual tax payer.

The Fee Protection we can provide is an all-embracing Insurance Policy that provides you with the ultimate protection.

The detail:

The service covers up to the equivalent of £100,000 towards our professional fees resulting from a HMRC Enquiry.

Any compliance check started by HMRC regarding your compliance with:

  • Income Tax and/or Corporation Tax Self-Assessment
  • PAYE
  • National Insurance
  • VAT
  • IR35
  • Construction Industry
  • National Minimum Wage or Gift Aid Legislation and Regulations and;
  • Any consequent dispute with HMRC after the issue of an assessment, computation of liabilities, written decision, notice of VAT civil penalty or notice of underpayment of the National Minimum Wage.


How you can avoid this unnecessary risk?

Leonherman work with CCH Premier Protection® a tax representation insurance that will safeguard you from the risk of unplanned, costly professional fees.

Should you be selected for a tax investigation, you can relax in the knowledge that your professional fees will be covered.

We can safeguard you from the risk of unplanned expense… and help you get peace of mind 

As a valued client we strongly recommend that you take advantage of this insurance policy. The premium is extremely competitive and significantly lower than the fees you will incur if investigated. Simply get in touch before the scheme start date of 4 May 2017.

If you would like to ask us any questions please contact Julie on 0161 249 5040.

Leonherman is supported by Croner Taxwise Limited – the market leading Fee Protection Insurance provider in the UK.
Posted in Ask the Expert, News

Congratulations to Michael Rigby


Peter Brassington retired as a partner of the firm on 31 March 2017 and we would like to wish him and his family well for the future.

We are pleased to announce that Michael Rigby has been promoted to the role of Partner.

For those of you that have not worked with Michael before, he has a great deal of experience in audit, accounts and business growth strategies.

Michael is married with two young children and enjoys watching Bolton Wanderers and playing golf in his spare time.

Michael will be doing his best to contact many of you over the coming months, but please feel free to drop in for a coffee any time.

You can contact Michael on 0161 249 5040 or email him mailto:Michaelr@leonherman.co.uk

Posted in News, Office News

Your Year End Tax Planning checklist

Save the date 6th April

Savings and Dividends –

All tax payers may benefit from the 2016/17 £5,000 tax free dividend allowance – consider the transfer of shares to your spouse or other adult family member to maximise this new relief.

Pensions –

Have you used the carry forward rules in order to benefit from any unused allowances from the previous three tax years?

Charitable donations –

If you are a higher rate taxpayer make sure that these are under Gift Aid so that you can obtain additional tax relief. The charity will also be able to reclaim the basic rate tax from HMRC.

Reduction in personal allowance –

For every £2 that adjusted net income exceeds £100,000 the £10,000 personal allowance is reduced by £1. Pension contributions and Gift Aid can help to reduce adjusted net income and save tax at an effective rate of 60%%. 

ISA’s –

Have you used the maximum annual investment of £15,240 for 2016/17?

Junior ISA’s and Pensions –

Have you thought about investing for your children or grandchildren by setting up a Junior ISA or pension? In the 2016/17 tax year, you can invest £4,080 into a Junior ISA for any child under 18 who does not have a Child Trust Fund.

Capital gains –

Have you used your 2016/17 annual exemption of £11,100? Consider selling shares where the gain is less than £11,100 before 6 April 2017.

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) investments –

If you are looking for investment opportunities, have you considered EIS, which offers income tax relief of 30% as well as capital gains tax relief?

Seed EIS Investment Scheme (SEIS) –

These investments offer income tax relief of 50% and a capital gains tax exemption on disposal. There is also a capital gains tax reinvestment relief of 50% of a capital gains realised on the disposal of any assets during 2016/17 tax year when it is invested into a SEIS qualifying company.

Venture Capital Trust investments –

These investments also provide income tax relief of 30%, as well as tax free dividends. 

Inheritance Tax (IHT) –

Have you made use of your annual exemptions? The general annual exemption is £3,000 (plus last year’s £3,000 exemption if you did not use it). Also consider making regular gifts out of your income to minimise the growth of your estate that will be liable to IHT.


Please get in touch or call 0161 249 5040 to discuss how you can make the most of these tax breaks before 6 April 2017 deadline.

Posted in Ask the Expert, News

Spring Budget Summary

Spring Budget

Yesterday, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, delivered his first Spring Budget.  He was quoted saying; “The Government was building the foundations of a “stronger, fairer, more global Britain” and today’s Budget provides a “strong, stable” platform for Brexit negotiations.”

We have put together the following key points:


National Living Wage

  • Increase from £7.20 to £7.50 for those aged 25 and over from April 2017, what impact does this have on your company?

 Personal Allowances

  • Increased from £11,000 to £11,500 from April 2017
  • The basic rate band to increase from 43,000 to £45,000

National Insurance

  • National Insurance contributions will rise for the self-employed by 1% to 10% from April 2018, rising again to 11% in 2019
  • Class 2 National Insurance, a separate flat rate contribution paid by self-employed workers making a profit of more than £5,965 a year, is to be scrapped as planned in April 2018

Tax Free Dividends

  • Tax-free dividend allowance for directors/shareholders will drop from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018
  • Dividend income paid on shares held in a stocks and shares ISA will remain tax free

Contact the Tax Team at Leonherman to discuss how these changes will affect you!


Corporation Tax will fall to 19% from April 2017 and 17% by April 2020.
The Chancellor also announced a reduction in the red tape surrounding the R&D tax regime.

Business Rates

Tax brings in £25bn a year; a trio of measures have been unveiled:

  • Any growing business exiting small business rates relief will pay no more than £50 more a month in business rates
  • Pubs with a rateable value lower than £100,000 which will receive a £1,000 annual discount
  • £300m fund for local authorities to use for “discretionary relief” for business rates in “special hardship cases”



The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has raised its economic growth forecasts for this year, expecting the UK economy to grow 2% rather than 1.4%
In 2018 growth is forecast to slow to 1.6%, then in subsequent years 1.7%, 1.9%, and back to 2% in 2021

Inflation is forecast to hit 2.4% this year, falling to 2.3% in 2018 and 2% in 2019
Unemployment is now at an 11-year low


Annual borrowing – OBR forecasts:
£51.7bn: 2016
£53.8bn: 2017
£40.8bn: 2018
£21.4bn: 2019
£20.6bn: 2020-21

UK debt rose to 86.6% this year and is expected to peak at 88.8% next year but will fall to 79.8% in 2021-22

Public sector net borrowing forecast to fall from 3.8% of GDP last year to 2.6% this year, then 2.9%, 1.9%, 1% and 0.9% in subsequent years, reaching 0.7% in 2021-22



  • Transport spending of £90m for the North; £23m for the Midlands
  • £270m for new technologies
  • £16m for 5G mobile technology
  • £200m for local broadband networks


  • New minimum excise duty on cigarettes based on a pack price of £7.35 introduced. No increases in alcohol or tobacco duties on top of those previously announced
  • Vehicle excise duty rates for hauliers and the HGV Road User Levy frozen for another year


We are here to help you adapt and reassess your plans in light of legislative changes, please get in touch if you would like to discuss the impact of any points announced in this Budget.

Posted in News

We are celebrating “National Apprenticeship week”


In celebration of National Apprenticeship week this week, we wanted to share our experience of running a successful apprenticeship programme.

Leonherman has worked in partnership with Damar Training for the past five years for the recruitment and provision of accredited training programmes. The partnership has brought much success with apprentices and trainees progressing to semi-senior accounts roles, continuing to study towards further professional study qualifications through ACCA and becoming Senior Accountants.

Leonherman is very much committed to operating as a Training Practice, recruiting Apprentices at an early stage to develop an individual and provide a well-rounded training programme in order to produce the highest calibre accountants who can then go on to become supervisors and managers within the firm.

Staff retention is a key factor in measuring the success of an apprenticeship and at Leonherman we are extremely proud of the fact that we have a 100% retention rate of apprentices who are offered a position as a trainee post completion of their apprenticeship.  Examination success is also a key indicator of a successful apprenticeship and through the Firm’s partnership with Damar Training, we have been able to offer our apprentices an unparalleled study programme which has brought great examination success to date.

When asked about their experiences of our apprenticeship programme, here is what two of our trainee accountants had to say:

“I am currently studying for my higher AAT accountancy and business skills apprenticeship and have found it to be a really enjoyable experience. The teachers are all friendly, helpful and try their hardest to make learning fun. Working at Leonherman complements my studying and I am becoming more confident and knowledgeable after every week.”

Grace, Trainee Accountant

“Damar fits in with and around the jobs that I do at Leonherman, with great teachers that help and support along the way. The Leonherman apprenticeship programme has given me the experience and knowledge to get my career in accountancy off to a solid start.”

Alex, Trainee Accountant


Please get in touch or call 0161 249 5040 to discuss how you can apply for our Apprenticeship Programme

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