Lincoln City – pre-season summary

Jim Carratt, a senior accountant at Nicholsons, is an avid Lincoln City supporter and gives us a summary of the pre-season games.

New signings Harry Toffolo and Bruno Andrade made their debuts in a preseason that put Lincoln up against 3 Championship clubs.

With a number of trialists, a 3-1 defeat against a strong Norwich side which included an own goal from former city star Sean Raggett wasn’t too disappointing. A 1-0 defeat followed, with a goal from record signing John Akinde starting for the first time v Sheffield Wednesday – the away side bringing almost 3,000 fans.  Akinde looked strong with ever improving fitness and should be a great capture.

Another 1-0 defeat followed to newly promoted Blackburn Rovers but the re-signing on a season long loan of young centre half Scott Wharton lifted the mood.

A 4-1 win at Boston United, with Northern Ireland international Shay McCarten on a season long loan from Bradford City scoring on his debut.

The final friendly away at Scunthorpe finished a solid preseason against stronger opposition. A number of positive signings will give high optimism to the record number of season ticket holders in what we all hope is a promotion winning season.

Jim’s next report will give us a summary of the first part of the season.


Dismissal and pregnancy

What would you do if you had cause to dismiss a female employee and then you discovered that she is pregnant; something you were unaware of.

A woman is protected from dismissal for any reason which is “connected to her pregnancy, childbirth or maternity leave” from day one of her employment. In the event of her employment being terminated for any pregnancy related reason the dismissal will be automatically unfair and discriminatory and she will be able to bring a claim against her employer immediately as there is no qualifying period of service. This will apply to a dismissal that is directly attributable to an employee’s pregnancy and those reasons which are linked to either the taking of time off for antenatal care or absence due to a pregnancy-related illness or suffering a miscarriage. Women undergoing IVF treatment are also protected by this rule.

A recent case saw an employer dismiss an employee while not being aware of the fact that she was pregnant at the time. What happened in this case?

On 3 August 2016 the Really Easy Car Company (R) decided to dismiss Thompson (T) whilst she was still in her probationary period. This decision was reached due to T’s “emotional volatility” and her “failure to fit” in with its work ethic. A meeting was arranged for the 5 August where R intended to communicate this decision to T. On 4 August, the day before the arranged meeting, T informed R that she was pregnant – a fact the company had not been aware of beforehand. R decided to press ahead with the meeting arranged for the 5 August and T was dismissed. T subsequently claimed automatically unfair dismissal and pregnancy-related discrimination. The tribunal found in her favour and noted that T’s pregnancy clearly had a bearing on her behaviour. R appealed to the EAT.

The EAT overturned the tribunal’s ruling and held that where an employer decides to dismiss and is unaware of an employee’s pregnancy at the time the decision is made, the dismissal cannot be connected to the pregnancy. In other words, an employer cannot be expected to take into account a pregnancy that it did not know about.

In this situation our advice is to tread very carefully. Once you know an employee is pregnant it does not mean they cannot be dismissed – the employer just needs to be able to show that the dismissal is not connected to the pregnancy in any way. For example, if an employee is caught stealing, it is unlikely to be pregnancy-related behaviour.

This case above has now been remitted to a fresh tribunal which will determine whether R acted properly once it was informed of T’s pregnancy. I will keep you updated.

Head of Human Resource at Nicholsons Chartered Accountants Lincoln HR

Pension freedoms trigger new gender gap concerns

Keeping your pension invested in retirement has become a more popular option since the pension freedoms – but it appears men are getting a much better deal than women.

April 2018 research by Zurich UK discovered women who are in drawdown have 37% less annual retirement income compared to men, leaving them more than £47,000 worse off. This is largely due to the fact men in drawdown have an average pension pot worth £212,000, compared to £132,000 for women.

By selecting a 3% income yield, the average male pension could generate an annual income of £6,360, whilst a female pension would only command £3,990. To match their male counterparts, women would need to take greater risk with their money. But with only 32% seeking financial advice, they could find it difficult to make suitable decisions.


Penalties for Non-Compliance with Making Tax Digital

HM Revenue and Customs have now confirmed the penalty system that will be brought in for non-compliance with making tax digital. There has been much concern that the system is too complicated but HMRC appear to feel confident enough in the system to go ahead.

From April 2019 businesses who are required to be registered for VAT will also become required to keep digital records. Penalties for not keeping digital records will begin immediately on inception of making tax digital, although how this will be verified may remain to be seen.

The initial stage of making tax digital is the requirement to file VAT returns through a digital programme, for example Xero or Sage. The only change being that you will not be able to log into the Government Gateway site to submit your VAT return. There are currently penalties for not submitting VAT returns so in principle this is nothing new.

The penalties for not making your making tax digital submissions on time will be based on a points system. Each time a submission is a late a point will be allocated and once a total number of points is reached, the example being used by HMRC is four points, a penalty will be issued. The points will carry forward until a certain number of deadlines have been met, which will then wipe the point from the history. The points systems will be separate for each tax, although this may be subject to change before it is implemented. There is planned to be a year from Making Tax Digital becoming compulsory before the penalties begin, although like much of this legislation it is subject to change.

The new penalty regime for not paying your VAT on time (the date of which is not due to change) is not expected to start until 2020, with the current system continuing until then. Penalties will be based on a scale of how late VAT is paid after it is due and is equally planned to apply to corporation tax when it is brought in to the Making Tax Digital regime. There will be an additional late payment interest charge calculated, based on how late the payment is made after the deadline.

Contact a member of our team who can help you prepare for April 2019 when Making Tax Digital becomes live.                   Link to our team

Link for HMRC Information on Making Tax Digital





Corporate and Business Law exam a success for Jenny

Jenny Mackin enrolled as an ACCA student last October and has just completed her Corporate and Business Law exam, the first of eleven. Jenny joined Nicholsons in October 2015 and is based at the firm’s Lincoln office.

After finishing her degree at Lincoln University, Jenny went back to her home town of Cleethorpes where she worked in a finance department at a school in Grimsby. With an opportunity to join Nicholsons she moved back to Lincoln.

Jenny completed her AAT exams last year and will now continue to study for her next ACCA exam in September which is Performance Management.


Top Ten Tax Tips for Landlords

  1. Keep detailed records of your annual income and expenditure for your property rental business
  2. Claim all costs of running the property rental business, including mileage/travel costs if you physically collect the rents
  3. Consider operating your property rental business through a limited company, as tax rates may be lower
  4. Keep details of all capital costs of acquiring properties, such as legal fees, SDLT etc., as they will be needed when the property is sold
  5. If you have lived in the property for any period of ownership, document the dates so that exemptions can be claimed when the property is sold
  6. Bear in mind the extra 3% SDLT on any property purchase that is not your main residence
  7. Consider transferring properties to trusts as a way of passing on wealth to the next generation in a tax-efficient way
  8. If married or in a civil partnership, you may want to put properties into joint names, and make an election to vary the property ownership, and therefore the property income, from the standard 50/50 split to reduce your joint tax bill
  9. Beware that gifts of property to anyone other than your spouse could cause a Capital Gains Tax liability
  10. When selling a property, make sure you make best use of all annual allowances and basic rate tax bands, and those of your spouse/civil partner.

how will the 2017 general election affect business in lincoln



The season comes to an end…

Spring and snow arrived forcing the Coventry game to be postponed at the last minute to the end of April and an almost playoff decider – see later in the report.

Mansfield away followed and a last gasp Ollie Palmer equaliser would prove vital at the end of the season earned Lincoln a draw. Two 3-1 victories followed – away at Chesterfield, who are on the brink of relegation, and local rivals Grimsby in freezing blizzard like conditions.

0-0 away at Morecambe took us to Easter. Exeter on Good Friday – a really entertaining 3-2 win after coming back from behind and a tough 1-0 win at Carlisle on Easter Monday.

Sunday 8 May was the day fans had been waiting for, Lincoln City’s first trip to Wembley. Around 27,000 imps made the journey down to London in buses, trains, cars and with over 40 coaches travelling from the club. The atmosphere was electric, and the stadium was a sea of red and white with Lincoln outnumbering their Shrewsbury counterparts by at least two to one. Elliot Whitehouse scored the only goal of the game, putting Lincoln ahead in the first half and Ryan Allsop kept Lincoln ahead with a great save. A fully deserved 1-0 win meant Lincoln claimed the Checkatrade Trophy.

Following on from the excitement of Wembley came a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Port Vale and a frustrating 0-0 against former imp Gareth Ainsworths Wycombe set us up for a must win game v Colchester and with Michael Bostwick sent off it needed a last minute winner from Luke Waterfall to maintain the play off push.

Next came a brilliant 4-2 win at fellow play off chasers Coventry, backed by almost 3,500 fans meant a point was needed in the final two games, to ensure playoff position. A 1-0 defeat at champions Accrington left it to the final game at home to Yeovil. A crowd of over 10,000 saw Lincoln get the point required with a superb Tom Pett equalizer sending them to meet Exeter in the Playoffs. After the game the fans got to witness Neal Eardley and Michael Bostwick receive their well-earned player of the season awards.

The home leg was held on Saturday 12 May, live on Sky Sports in front of a vibrant atmosphere, the game finished 0-0. Matt Rhead hitting the bar was Lincoln’s best opportunity of the match. This result meant it was all to play for on Thursday night at Exeter. Unfortunately though it was not the Imps night. After having a goal controversially disallowed, Lincoln went down 3-1 resulting in losing out on the opportunity for a second trip to Wembley this season.  Another year in division 2 beckons.

For a 1st year back in the football league I don’t think many Lincoln fans could have hoped for more – losing in the playoffs and a historical victorious visit to Wembley. Alex Woodyard has already left but with a few new signings on the horizon a new season can only be viewed with immense optimism.

Onwards and upwards! #UTI

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