Nicholsons and St Barnabas Hospice cement partnership

Fifty employees from Nicholsons were asked to nominate a Charity of the Year and then cast their votes. In a closely contested internal poll St Barnabas Hospice came out top. The charities nominated are often charities that staff, their families or someone they know have been involved with.

Gail Paton, a Director at Nicholsons, says

“We feel it is important for staff to have a say, and by asking for nominations gives everyone the chance to put their favoured charity forward This year we are looking forward to working in partnership with St Barnabas Hospice and to raise money to help them maintain this vital service across Lincolnshire. I have personally benefitted from the services offered by this charity and fully support our choice this year.”

Corporate Fundraiser for St Barnabas Hospice, Caroline Swindin says

“Fundraising is so rewarding, but it is also lots of fun and great for staff moral and brand awareness. I am really looking forward to seeing the team at Nicholsons’ do various fundraising. They have committed to dress down days, quiz nights and cake baking.

St Barnabas Hospice is a local independent charity that supports more than 10,500 people across Lincolnshire affected by life-limiting or terminal conditions. Not only do they offer high quality, compassionate end-of-life care and support to patients, but support to their families and carers too. Without support from Corporate Sponsors, such as Nicholsons the Hospice simply would not be able to do the work to the standard and capacity they do.

Purchasing additional holidays

Andrew Tomlinson – HR Broadcast – the purchase of additional holidays.

An employee benefit that is becoming increasingly popular, especially in larger organisations, is the buying or selling of annual holidays.

Please allow me to explain the current requirements as regards holidays. All employees who work five days per week are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ holiday under the Working Time Regulations 1998. This equates to 28 days’ leave per annum. Those who work fewer days per week are entitled to statutory holiday on a pro rata basis.

Many smaller employees only offer the statutory minimum holiday entitlement and for some employees this will be sufficient. For others it will not be enough. This might be because an employee has travel plans or other commitments etc. This is where the purchasing of additional days holiday may be a useful benefit to offer.

If you did this, how would this work in practice and why might it be a good idea to implement such a policy? In the event of an employee buying extra holiday from you, as opposed to you just giving them some extra days off, it will be something like a salary sacrifice arrangement. That means their annual salary will temporarily go down, but they will be taking more time off.

If you did implement such a scheme, the good news is that you, as the employer, will have plenty of discretion in how you allow employees to buy extra holiday. For example, you could have a one-off arrangement with an employee, or you could roll out a scheme to all staff. The latter has financial advantages for you; for each day of leave that you allow an employee to buy, you can save yourself one day of gross pay along with the employers’ NI that would have been payable. 

It is also good for the employee who buys additional holiday who will also benefit financially because they will save tax and NI on this perk. This is particularly advantageous for higher rate taxpayers. If you want to introduce a “buy extra holiday” scheme, I strongly recommend that you do not grant an open-ended entitlement and the amount of extra days that can be purchased on top of existing holiday entitlement is limited, e.g. to five or ten days.

You can also make this type of perk subject to a strict qualifying period of service, such as two years. That being said, bearing in mind the financial benefits, you can make it a day one perk if you wish but be careful with that.

As this scheme should suit you, there is no reason why you cannot set restrictions on when any extra leave purchased can be taken, e.g. you can prohibit additional leave during peak business and holiday periods. You can also still limit the maximum of amount of holiday that an employee can take at any one time.

To make your life easier, do not allow last minute or same year requests. Instead, require employees to submit a request to buy holiday say no later than one month prior to the end of your current holiday year in respect of the following holiday year. This will ensure you have adequate staffing levels plus you will only have to deal with applications once per year.

Ensure you have a robust policy in place to cover this subject. In the opening line I mentioned buying and selling. If your current entitlement is more than the statutory minimum you can allow employees to sell annual holidays back to you, provided they take at least the statutory minimum of holidays outlined above.

Head of Human Resource at Nicholsons Chartered Accountants Lincoln HR

Finance Tax 2018 – Business Tax

Employment Investment Incentive (EII) and Start-up Relief for Entrepreneurs

The Act aims to simplify the legislation provisions of the income tax reliefs for investment in corporate trades.

The amendments have introduced a range of changes to the process of the Employment Investment Incentive (EII) and the Start-up Relief for Entrepreneurs (SURE).

The most significant change being the move away from the current application process to a system whereby companies will now self-certify that they have met the conditions. It amends the trigger points in relation to when claims can be made, tying all claims to a requirement to have spent 30% of the money on a qualifying purpose rather than the various trigger points which currently apply under existing provisions. EII and SURE reliefs will be able to run until the end of 2021.

Intellectual Property

The Act has updated the rules for capital allowances on Intellectual Property. The update provides additional clarity on income arising when IP is acquired prior to 11 October 2017 and when IP is acquired from 11 October 2017 onwards.

The updates now require that the income received from the two different periods be treated as two separate income streams when calculating capital allowances.

Client manager appointed at Nicholsons

Newly appointed Client Manager, Graham Pogson has been with Nicholsons Chartered Accountants for over 18 years and is based at the firm’s Lincoln office. Graham joins five of his colleagues who have also been appointed as client managers within the firm.

Although Graham works closely with a variety of businesses offering help and support, his area of expertise is working within the agriculture and charity sectors dealing mainly with Limited Companies, Partnerships and Sole Traders.

Graham joined the firm in September 2000 as a junior accountant and is now a client manager. He has extensive experience in the preparation of all different types of accounts and enjoys visiting his clients at their premises to add a personal touch and help businesses to develop.  He is known for his attention to detail, which, coupled with a questioning, analytical mind, makes him an integral and crucial member of the Charity and agricultural team.

Experience is key with Graham as he has been a member of the audit team for 16 years where he helped managed the firm’s portfolio of audit clients, but since a change in legislation Graham now works more on the preparation of the annual accounts for these clients.

As a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians, Graham keeps up to date with any changes which will come in to affect through his continued professional development

When not out visiting his clients, Graham enjoys playing football and is a keen Lincoln City supporter.




Second annual Small Business Conference is a success!


Over 100 people attended Nicholsons Chartered Accountants’ second annual Small Business Conference which was recently held at the Drill Hall in Lincoln.   The year’s theme was based on the ‘employees’ within a business.

The firm was pleased to have secured the internationally renowned freelance speaker and writer, Richard Askam to host the event. Richard writes on the topic of engagement and the art of lost conversation.

Small business software technology company XERO were also in attendance and talked about the ways SMEs can stay on top of their cashflow as well as advising on the tools available to help them keep up to date with their incomings and outgoings.

To help businesses deal with the many challenges they have to face today, Nicholsons brought together a number of business specialists who were able to help and advise small business owners and managers on key topics that are a concern for them. These ranged from cashflow, budgeting, legal issues, performance and retaining staff, cyber security, marketing, social media, technology, efficiency through processes and health & wellbeing, all factors that need to be considered when running a successful business.

The audience had an opportunity to interactive with our speakers by asking any questions at the end of each session.

Richard Hallsworth, a director at Nicholsons says “The world that we work and live in is changing. Politically we are exiting the EU, economically new ways of working like the gig economy have changed the pattern of work, socially we are aware of the importance of good mental health and wellbeing and technology and automation are getting faster and cleverer.  Not adapting to the changes around us is not an option. We hope the conference has provided business owners and managers with the tools to make better decisions, to help their businesses go from strength to strength.”

During the morning delegates had the opportunity to visit the stands that were supporting the conference, giving them access to a wide range of services to enhance their business decision making.

Our thanks go to our speakers – Glen Foster from Xero, Richard Hallsworth from Nicholsons, Michael Squirrell from Wilkin Chapman, Anthony McGhie from Barclays, Chris Pickles from F1 Group, Alex Wright from Knapton Wright, Rachel Linstead from Firecracker and Andrew Tomlinson from Nicholsons HR Department and our host Richard Askam.

Our thanks go to our supporters – Lincoln College, DBS Internet Marketing, Reflect Recruitment, Systematic, Optimum Safety Management, St Barnabas Hospice, FSB, Thompson & Richardson, Lincolnshire Chamber and Positive Networking


Jim’s roundup of Lincoln City as we enter the final quarter

The new year started with a disappointing 1-1 home draw v lowly Port Vale with a last minute equaliser, the sign of things to come.

However, FA Cup 3rd Round day arrived away at premiership Everton. After conceding twice in 15 minutes, Lincoln battled hard and with a little luck could have forced a replay but lost 2-1 in front of 4,500 City fans.

An away trip to Swindon followed with Lincoln 2-0 up thanks to a wonder goal from Shay McCarten, but City were then reduced to 9 men and held on for a 2-2 draw which led us to the Lincolnshire derby. A 1-0 victory ensued in a tight encounter with Grimsby with their goalkeeper being sent off late on for a lunge on Danny Rowe. Next came a 2-0 away win against Yeovil Town keeping the spirits high.

Four successive draws followed, the first being live on Sky Sports with a 3-3 draw away at 2nd in the table Bury, where Lincoln led 3 times but were succumbed to a late leveller.

4,500 fans flocked to Nottingham to see a 1-1 draw with local rivals Notts County, with John Akinde missing a late penalty.

A home 1-1 draw with Northampton resulted in City’s Harry Anderson being sent off in the first half. This was not as disappointing as the 2-2 home draw versus Stevenage with us leading 2-0 with 3 minutes remaining.

An excellent 2-0 away victory at Morecambe with Bruno Andrade scoring both goals. He has therefore scored the last 6 goals for Lincoln, in fact the only Lincoln player to score in February.

February finished with another 1-1 draw at home to play off chasing Exeter. This time Lincoln equalising deep into injury time where many fans had already left after a somewhat frustrating display.

As the final quarter of the season approaches, Lincoln remain top of the league, 3 points clear

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

There is no substitute of individual tax advice tailored to your own particular circumstances!

how will the 2017 general election affect business in lincoln

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