Self-Employed can defer payment for 12 months

Self-Employed can defer payment for 12 months

If you are self-employed you will be aware you are due to complete your annual return for 2019 which is now due by December 10th. You will be required to pay taxes due for 2019 and preliminary taxes for 2020.

Paschal Donohoe announced a range of measures to help small and medium businesses. One of which is extending debt warehousing to the self-employed. If you expect your 2020 income to be at least 25% less than 2019 then you can apply. This means you can defer your 2019 tax payment and your 2020 preliminary tax payment for 12 months. (source)

However, if there is an underpayment of preliminary tax for 2019 then this can not be warehoused. It can however avail of a 3% reduced interest phased payment arrangement. This needs to be agreed with revenue by December 10th. 

Revenue have confirmed applicants have until the 10th of December to avail of the scheme. The scheme is also open to landlords. (source)

Impact of COVID on Dublin pubs – The Lotts Cafe Bar

Dave Fitzpatrick of The Lotts Cafe Bar shares his experience of being a publican during COVID. He talks about how his business and his life has been impacted by COVID. He discusses the level of support being offered by the government and the his opinion on insurance companies.

Cookie Policy Ireland – Cookie Regulation

Cookie Policy Ireland - Cookie Regulation

Introduction

From the 5th of October all websites operating in Ireland must comply with the relevant cookie policy laws and regulations in Ireland. Six months prior the Data Protection Commission (DPC) had given businesses notice of enforcement existing regulations. 

The first regulations which existed under the privacy legislation in 2011, Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

Later this was updated in 2018 under GDPR. GDPR clearly states that people must give their consent for websites to use cookies.  A recent survey by the DPC had found most businesses were not compliant with this law. (source)

What are cookies?

Cookies are text files stored on your computer which allow websites to do several things such as track users, remember user information and preferences and track user behaviour. Cookies can be controlled by the owner of the website or by third parties. 

For example, an owner of a website can install a facebook pixel. This allows the owner of the website to add you to an audience of people they advertise to. If you visit a website which sells garden furniture, the next time you log into facebook you could see advertisements for garden furniture for the same website.

What are the implications for my business?

This means that all visitors to your website must give their consent to you using cookies. When they arrive on your website they must actively click on “Accept” in order for you to use cookies.

If you have a wordpress website there is a simple solution. There is a free GDPR Cookies Consent plugin which you can install. This will prompt the user to accept your cookie policy when they arrive on your website.

If you don’t have a cookie policy we have written a free template you can use for your website. Please make sure you credit accountantpages.ie

accountant-dublin-2

Additional Information

If you would like more detailed information on the issue then you can read the guidance set out by the DPC.

Web Hosting – SiteGround

Website Hosting

If you are building your own website soon we would like to recommend you to use SiteGround as your hosting company. Their fees start at £5.99 per month. We had being previously hosted with Blacknight and our website was running very slow. It’s important your website loads as fast as possible as this will affect your ranking in Google as well as frustrate your customers. 

Unfortunately we had invested a significant amount of time and money in trying to optimise our website thinking our hosting wasn’t the issue. It was only when we switched hosting company we saw a positive difference. 

If you would like to test your website speed score you can use tools such as Google page speed and pingdom. It can also be useful to test competitors’ websites.

One caveat, it was a nightmare to try to setup an external SSL certificate. With Blacknight it was far easier and simpler. 

€3,000 Financial Support for Businesses who take on apprentices

€3,000 in funding available for employers who hire apprentices

The Irish Government has launched a new apprentice scheme for employers. They are providing €3,000 in financial support to those employers who take on apprentices. 

The government is trying to grow the number of apprentices in Ireland which currently stands at 18,000, across a wide range of occupations from electrical, construction and engineering roles to healthcare, information technology and financial services. 

Simon Harris said “It’s a win-win – help develop an apprentice’s potential while you develop your company.”

Employers are entitled to the funding if they have registered a new apprentice from March until the end of the year. They will receive €2,000 up front and €1,000 in 12 months time.

For further information on the scheme please visit: http://www.apprenticeship.ie/en/employers/Pages/EmployerInfo.aspx

 

Source:

https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/39851-minister-simon-harris-launches-financial-incentive-scheme-for-employers-to-recruit-apprentices/#:~:text=Minister%20Simon%20Harris%20launches%20financial%20incentive%20scheme%20for%20employers%20to%20recruit%20apprentices,-From%20Department%20of&text=These%20teams%20showcase%20the%20talent,the%20end%20of%20the%20year.

How to close a limited company in Ireland

How to close a limited company in Ireland

The fee charged by professionals for closing a limited company in Ireland is roughly €300 + VAT which includes the CRO fees as well as advertising in a national newspaper.

In order to close your limited company you need to apply for a voluntary strike off with the CRO. The CRO has a number of conditions which must be satisfied in order to close your company.

  • Draft director statement that the company must have never traded or has ceased trading
  • Special resolution passed and form G1-H15 completed. Online free (core.ie), paper €15.
  • Must have completed form H15 (filing fee €15)
  • The amount of assets does not exceed €150
    The amount of liabilities does not exceed €150 including contingent or prospective liabilities (Liabilities cannot be netting off against assets).
    All returns to date have been completed
  • Request a letter from Revenue that they have no objection to the company closing.
  • You must place an ad in a national newspaper of your intention to close your company. A sample advertisement is available here. The fee for example in the Irish Times is €74.95 + VAT as per their current rate card.

When the above have been completed it takes roughly 3 months for your company to be taken off the CRO register.

If you have a very simple business it is possible to do this yourself. If you have any doubts about how to complete the above steps it would be better to seek the advice of an accountant or a professional. If you complete any of the above steps incorrectly it could end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

How the Corona Virus is Affecting SMEs​

Self employed allowable expenses in Ireland

How the Corona Virus is Affecting SMEs

Company Formations

Andrew Lambe, director of the Company Bureau has stated the new company registrations in the state have fallen by 39% in the first half of March 2020. This figure is expected to accelerate as demand falls and unemployment increases.

Andrew went further to say: “Based on new orders and enquiries, we are expecting to see the numbers in April down 50pc or even more. This is extremely worrying for the Irish economy.”

Some of this slow down is also partly due to the precautions the CRO has taken. Initially the CRO was completely closed. Now they do not accept deliveries from couriers. This reduced service will have slowed down the number of applications they can process.

Self employed allowable expenses in Ireland
Self employed allowable expenses in Ireland

Increase in .ie Domain Names

As a result of the restrictions being placed on how businesses operate and the agile nature of SMEs, the number of .ie domain names has increased. David Curtin, CEO of the IEDR has stated they have seen an increase of roughly 30% in new .ie domain name registrations in April compared to the same period last year. 

The increase in websites on the Irish market will be fuelled by the resilience of Irish entrepreneurs trying to find new ways to reach their customers. Selling online offers new opportunities to small businesses who would have traditionally sold through their brick and mortar premises. Without establishing a digital presence traditional businesses have no route to market until the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

There are also a number of supports available such as the trading online voucher run by the Local Enterprise Offices. This grant covers 90% of the costs for small businesses who are trying to get online up to a maximum of €2,500

Supports Available for Your Business in Ireland

Funding available for your Business in Ireland

Supports Available for Your Business in Ireland

Introduction

Below are some of the supports available to help your business get started in addition to the existing supports. For a complete list of supports please visit https://dbei.gov.ie for further information.

It’s important during these difficult times you are aware of what supports are available to you. SMEs in Ireland are facing unprecedented challenges and need all the support they can get. If you are facing difficulties please note there are plenty of other supports available.

The Local Enterprise Offices also offer free mentoring advice. They offer both group advice and one to one advice. This is currently being delivered online through zoom.

Funding available for your Business in Ireland

Restart Grant - €10,000

The aim of the restart grant is to provide funding to micro and small business to help them with the costs of reopening and employing people. It is available to businesses which have a turnover of less than €5m, employ less than 50 people and are closed or have had a projected reduction of 25% in turnover to June 2020. The application is available online from all local authorities.

Trading Online Voucher - €2,500

The voucher is provided through the Local Enterprise Offices. It is available to small businesses with up to 10 people. The aim of the voucher is to help businesses sell their products or services online. Previously they provided up to 50% of the costs. Now they are covering up to 90% of the costs for a limited period up to a max funding of €2,500.

COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme - €10,000 - €40,000

This funding is aimed specifically at retailers and is run by Enterprise Ireland. It’s aim is to help retailers enhance their digital capability. You must employ 10 or more people on or before 29 Feb 2020. You must clearly demonstrate you have the potential to create and sustain jobs. Grants are from €10,000 – €40,000.

Professional Services Grants

COVID-19 Business Financial Planning Grant - €5,000

This grant is dispersed by Enterprise Ireland. It is designed to help businesses with financial planning as well as the preparation of applications for finance for finance providers. Applications are online and cover 100% of the costs up to €5,000. The funding can only be used on approved financial consultants.

Lean Business Improvement Voucher - €2,500

Similar to the above grant, the Lean Business Improvement Voucher is provided by Enterprise Ireland.It is available for training and advisory services from approved consultants. 100% of the costs are covered up to a max of €2,500 in funding being provided. The funding can only be spent on approved consultants.

Helping Businesses in Ireland: Collaboration

Collaboration: Co-Founders, Referral Groups and Knowledge Sharing

Express Your Interest

If you are interested in:

  • Finding a co-founder
  • Creating / Joining a Referral Group
  • Knowledge Sharing
  • Connecting with those interested in being involved in startups

[mc4wp_form id=”1279″]

How can collabration help my business?

Marketing for Accountants in Dublin

Co-Founder

Finding a co-founder can often be a critical step in starting your business. As the environment in which business operate become more complex it becomes more challenging to start a business on your own. Having a co-founder can help bridge the gap in your skillset. 

Increase Sales

There are businesses in different industries which have the same target customer as you. As you are not in competition, this is an opportunity to leverage each other’s client base. For example, an accountant and a web developer could work together to recommend each other’s services

Reduce Costs

Knowledge Sharing

This is an opportunity for early stage entrepreneurs to work together to help each other to get the business started. Each entrepreneur has different skills and experience. For example, an accountant can help a web developer with his company legal structure, VAT and startup funding. The web developer can in turn help the accountant with their website.

Volunteering & Internships

There are a number of people who are happy to share their advice and experience to help businesses get started. There advice could save you both time an money. There are also people who are very eager to gain experience for their CV. The experience you give them could be the stepping stone they need to get their career started. 

April Question & Answers

April 20 - Questions & Answers

Introduction

Each month we’ll take 5 questions our audience have and write an article. This month’s 5 questions are:

  1. How can I get a logo for my business?

  2. Are there any grants available to get online?

  3. When is a sole trader a better option over a limited company?

  4. How can I reduce my accountant fees?

  5. Can I switch from a sole trader to a limited company?

How can I get a logo for my business?

The cost of a logo for a small business can vary quite a lot from €75 – €500. When looking for a logo designer it’s important to have some idea of what you are looking for. At a minimum you should know what colours you’ll be using and have examples of 3 logos you like and why. This will help you get a better quote and minimise any rework.

You can find people to design your logo through gumtree.ie or freelancer.ie. If you are a new company my advice would be to keep you costs to a minimum. You can always change your logo in the future. Some of the graphic designers I’ve encountered have had a tendency to overstate the importance of your logo to charge higher fees so be careful.

Getting Online Grant

There is a grant available to get online which is available through the Local Enterprise Offices. They will cover 50% of your costs up to a maximum of €2,500. You can apply here for the grant.

Please note from April 2020 to September 2020 the amount you need to contribute has been reduced to 10% meaning you get a 90% contribution towards your costs.

When is a sole trader a better option than a limited company in Ireland?

changing-from-sole-trader-to-limited-company-ireland

A sole trader is the better option when you are just starting and you have uncertainty about the level of profits you will make. In addition, if the profits you will make in the early years will be very low then you should run your business as a sole trader. We have a more detailed article here on the benefits of a sole trader v a limited company.

How can a small business reduce its accountant fees?

  1. Use an online accountant who is based outside of Dublin city centre or works from home. These accountants will have a lower cost base which 

  2. Ensure you keep proper records, tracking all expenses and being able to provide the back up to support those expenses such as invoices or receipts. At one end of the spectrum you have receipts in a show box approach. The other end is having a folder (hardcopy or on your computer) with backup for all expenses and revenue with the information summarised in excel.

  3. Shop around. Even if you have no intention of switching accountant it can be useful to check if you are being overcharged. If you do decide to switch make sure you check the accountant’s references. Stay away from any accountant who can’t provide references from at least 2 customers.

Can I switch from being a sole trader to a limited company?

Yes you can change from being a sole trader to a limited company at any time. You can claim relief on any assets you transfer to the business. Also, you need to deregister your business name with the CRO and re-register the name under your limited company. We have a more detailed article here on the topic.