The 10 worst excuses for filing your tax return late

Posted on January 6th, by Helen in News, Tax. Comments Off

Just in case you missed them  – as published by HMRC – here is the top 10 list for filing your tax return late:

1. My pet dog ate my tax return… and all the reminders.

2. I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.

3. I fell in with the wrong crowd.

4. I’ve been traveling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.

5. Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.

6. I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.

7. A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it and didn’t give it back.

8. I live in a camper van in a super-market car park.

9. My girlfriend’s pregnant.

10. I was in Australia.

Failing to meet the 31st January deadline and filing your tax return late will … Read More »

Are you paying the National Minimum Wage?

Posted on September 19th, by Helen in business advice, News, Payroll. Comments Off

Look out for changes to the National Minimum Wage from October 1st. The rate for adults rises by just over 3%.

For most employers this will have little effect as employees are paid more or substantially more than the minimum wage. And it seems on the surface, a pretty straight forward calculation – amount paid divided by numbers of hours worked.

But it can catch you out as an employer, particularly when you take on casual employees to achieve a specific task. For example you may agree a fixed amount, say £500 for an employee to lay a patio. You need to make sure that the rate you pay actually covers the average hours it takes to do the job.

Have a think about the way you decide to reward employees and make sure that you have methods in place to check that … Read More »

The 2014 budget and more

Posted on April 16th, by Helen in business advice, Business Budgeting, News. Comments Off

The 2014 budget was few weeks ago now and as life moves on you may have forgotten what was in it. So here is our newsletter with a couple of the highlights to remind you.

Plus there’s more so have a read and let us know what you think. With a new tax year now is the time to plan ahead for small businesses, so give me a ring on 01243 788041 if you know a business who would like help with their business finances, or email me at

Millbrookfm Newsletter 2


We have no payroll, we have no employees!

Posted on October 18th, by Helen in business advice, News, Payroll. Comments Off

If you have employees then by now you should be filing on-line payroll returns every time you pay your employees. From 6 April 2013 employers started reporting payroll information to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in real time. You may see this referred to as Real Time Information – or RTI. This means that employers (or their accountant or bookkeeper) have to:

send details to HMRC every time they run the payroll and pay an employee, at the time they pay them
use payroll software to send this information electronically as part of their routine payroll process

But we don’t have any employees!

Really? Are you sure?

Think very carefully about all of the people you make payments to. Are you really sure that they are self-employed?

Now that I have planted a seed a doubt in your mind take a look at the Employment Status … Read More »

Millbrook Financial Management in partnership with Tandem Invoice Finance

Posted on February 5th, by admin in Finance, News. Comments Off

Chichester based selective invoice specialist, Tandem Invoice Finance Limited has been offering flexible, single invoice finance facilities free from any long term commitments throughout the region for a number of years. Tandem are pleased to announce a new partnership with Helen Alexander at Millbrook Financial Management.

Tandem director Malcolm Piper says “from our initial meeting with Helen at Millbrook Financial Management the decision was easy, Helen’s vast experience across a number of sectors coupled with her dedication to help clients realise their growth plans impressed us immensely. At Tandem we have earned an enviable reputation for going beyond merely providing funding to help ease cash flow. We are one of the fastest growing businesses in the sector, which is a testament to our focus on competitive pricing and exceptional customer service.”

This is proof if ever it was needed that progressive businesses … Read More »

Budgets – What was your New Year’s Resolution?

Posted on January 14th, by admin in business advice, Business Budgeting, News. Comments Off

We often view the New Year as a clean start – an opportunity to improve on the previous year. Perhaps your New Year’s resolution is to become more efficient in 2013? Recently I helped an organisation to draw up their budgets for 2013 and it revealed a few interesting problems.

The first request for information drew a disappointing response – a couple of minor items and some estimates that gave the impression they were based on last year plus a bit for inflation. Further prompting generated a little more discussion, a few new items and not much else.

Two things became clear.

That the budget was seen as something finance people prepare and nothing that anyone else should have to worry about.
Although there was a target profit level, there were no plans as to how this would be achieved.

My concern was that either … Read More »

Child benefit. Did you miss the deadline?

Posted on January 14th, by admin in Child benefits, News. Comments Off

Most people will now be aware that higher earning parents will be entitled to less child benefit from today, but it seems that rather a large number of parents are unaware that this will draw them into completing Self-Assessment tax returns.

HMRC estimates that there are around 700,000 households with one parent earning over £60,000. HMRC wrote to higher earning child benefit recipients giving them a deadline of 6th January to opt out of receiving child benefit or pay the Higher Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) where one parent earns over £50,000. From today where a parent continues to receive child benefit it will be repayable as HICBC at a rate of 1% of child benefit paid for every £100 of income over £50,000.

Around 200,000 taxpayers took the opt-out and will no longer be paid child benefit. The remaining 500,000 will … Read More »