Category Archives: Local News

Marathon Man Chris Beard completes his 100th Marathon to join the 100 Marathon Club

Marathon Man Chris Beard completes his 100th Marathon to join the 100 Marathon Club

Chris Beard Celebrates 100th Marathon

On 30th August 2018 Chris Beard, Tax Manager at Keens Shay Keens Ltd completed 26.2 mile course in the Once Upon a Run in Surrey to achieve the impressive goal of completing 100 marathons.

Chris’s journey of more than 3.3 million strides began back in September 2008 in the Nottinghamshire Robin Hood marathon.  That Sunday Chris joined 1,128 other finishers to complete his inaugural marathon in 04:28:37.

Just over 10 years later Chris, most appropriately wearing bib number 100 lined up at 9:30am on Thursday morning with the aim to fulfil his goal of completing 100 marathons.  Just less than 4 ¾ hours later Chris crossed the finish line to achieve his goal.

Congratulations to Chris for this fantastic achievement.

Further information about Chris’s epic marathon journey can be found here:-


Whilst we are on the theme of marathons why not try our marathon trivia quiz:

  1. The modern day marathon distance is now established at 26.2 miles.  When was this distance first established?
    1. 1908,
    2. 1912,
    3. 1904
  2. The marathon distance prior to this had generally been set at around 25 miles since the modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.  It was agreed to increase the distance to 26 miles, but this was extended to 26.2 miles; why was this?
    1. Roadworks
    2. A measuring error was made.
    3. So that the royal children could watch the start of race from their Nursery.
  3. What marathon has the largest number of competitors?
    1. London
    2. New York
    3. Beijing
  4. How many calories are burnt running a marathon?
    1. 866
    2. 1,320
    3. 2,620
  5. What is the slowest time for an Olympic marathoner?
    1. 4 hours 55 minutes
    2. 8 hours 12 minutes
    3. Over 54 years.
  6. How many strides will a runner make during a marathon?
    1. 24,000
    2. 26,000
    3. 33,000
  7. When was the first marathon run?
    1. 490 B. C.
    2. 240 B. C.
    3. 130 B. C.
  8. In which city was the earliest modern day marathon run and in what year?
    1. London, 1908
    2. Boston 1897
    3. New York 1912
  9. Where is the highest marathon (on Earth) held?
    1. Nepal
    2. Bhutan
    3. Tajikistan
  10. Who ran the first marathon in space?
    1. Buzz Lightyear
    2. Flash Gordon
    3. Tim Peake
  11. Where is the lowest marathon held?
    1. Death Valley
    2. Jordan Valley
    3. Lake Eyre
  12. What is thought to be the strangest marathon?
    1. Man versus horse
    2. Man versus dog
    3. Man versus robot

Found out how well you did here:-

Marathon Trivia Quiz Answers


Updated Key Guides published 23rd August 2018

Updated Key Guides published 23rd August 2018


Whilst most of us bask in the hottest summer for over half a century, the government is busy running consultations and trying to prepare for what Brexit will eventually mean. But that is no reason for us not to be busy, whilst we await the announcements of the Budget, and the result of the negotiations.

The latest update for our Key Guides series brings you fully revised guides giving you essential explanations of key topics across business, tax and retirement planning. We understand how confusing it can be to get a clear understanding of how complex rules and reliefs affect you, so our guides will give you everything you need to get started in one place.

Our current update includes new examples, tables, graphics and case studies throughout, to make each topic as accessible and easy to get to grips with as possible. The new range will give you real world examples of complex rules and calculations, including fresh advice on inheritance planning and gifts.

Investing tax-efficiently

  •  New example on timing of CGT gains and losses
  •  Added reference to the OTS review of savings and investment income tax

 Making Tax Digital

  • Updates on latest timetable announcements from HMRC
  • Updated section on MTD pilot schemes
  • Restructured to focus on VAT and preparing for MTD

Pensions tax planning for high earners

  • New clarification and example on tax on pension withdrawals
  • New example on SIPP borrowing for property investment
  • Clarification on income tax relief on contributions in Scotland

Starting and selling a business

  • New tables covering:
  • Business financing options
  • Advantages and disadvantages to limited company structure
  • Payment options on sale of a business
  • Loan notes
  • VAT treatment of going concerns

Strategies for a high-tax environment

  • New example highlighting differing CGT rates between residential property and other assets
  • New graphic on maximum tax-free income allowances
  • Updated OBR forecasts

Working through personal service companies

  • New table summarising tax deadlines for deemed salary under IR35 rules
  • Restructuring of ‘Tax planning and pitfalls’ section
  • Summaries of recent IR35 rulings
  • New section on consultation on IR35 rules in the private sector

Estate planning

  • New example on the application of lifetime gifts and gifts from normal income

The latest Key Guides can be downloaded here:-

Tax Planning for High Earners

Tax Planning for High Earners

Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Making the most of Fringe Benefits

Making the most of Fringe Benefits

Strategies for a High Tax Environment

Strategies for a High Tax Environment

Investing Tax Efficiently

Investing Tax Efficiently

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital

Personal Service Companies

Personal Service Companies

Starting and Selling a Business

Starting and Selling a Business

For more information contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.

Paul Southward

Tax News Bulletin Tuesday 8th May 2018

Tax News Bulletin Tuesday 8th May 2018



Brexit puts brakes on HMRC’s digital revolution

HMRC CEO Jon Thompson has told members of Parliament’s public accounts committee that 39 initiatives would be adversely affected by the Government’s focus on Brexit. Among the projects that will be halted or delayed are online services for tax credits for new claimants, new services for personal tax accounts, and Making Tax Digital for Individuals. Caroline Miskin, tax technical manager at ICAEW, said the delay to MTD for individuals would not affect businesses such as landlords, the self-employed and partnerships: “These groups of people will still need to file their records digitally and update their accounting records to HMRC every three months.” Andrew Hubbard, tax consultant at RSM, said experts were not surprised by the delays, describing the initial plans as “optimistic”.

The Times, Page: 61 Financial Times, Money, Page: 2

Hopes for IHT reform after review launched

Carol Lewis calls for reform of the IHT system in the Times, arguing that it is complex and unfair. The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) launched a review of inheritance tax last week and George Bull, a senior tax partner at RSM UK, says the outcome may be “simpler administrative arrangements for low-value estates and a recommendation for a single nil-rate band on death at a level that excludes modest estates, without the complexities imposed by the residence nil-rate band and by the transferability of unused allowance.” Families paid £5.2bn in death duties in the 2017-18 tax year, the highest on record, even though only about 4% of estates are subject to inheritance tax.

The Times, Page: 63

Medical professionals lured into avoidance schemes

The Times reports on emails showing how recruitment consultants continue to offer workers on their books to be paid through “umbrella” companies that are being investigated by HMRC. The schemes take payment from employers then pay the worker back in loans that claim to circumvent tax laws. The paper says public-sector employees such as nurses and social workers are being targeted with a loan model operated by Smart Pay, which has led many to receive letters from the Revenue warning them they are using a tax avoidance scheme. Graham Webber, a director of tax at WTT Consulting, says: “HMRC has scored some very minor victories against such schemes,” but in terms of “striking them down in court, almost nothing has happened.”

The Times, Page: 67

Overseas territories question relationship with UK

Britain’s overseas territories are considering declaring independence following the vote in the UK to force the territories to make public the owners of its businesses. British Virgin Islands (BVI) premier Orlando Smith said the islands’ links with the UK were at risk, while the Cayman Islandspremier, Alden McLaughlin, said the legislation amounted to “constitutional overreach and are reminiscent of the worst injustices of a bygone era of colonial despotism.”

The Times, Page: 14

Rise in gaming duties to pay for FOBT crackdown

Whitehall sources have told the Mail that taxes on casinos will rise to pay for a cut to the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2.

Daily Mail, Page: 10

 Contact Paul Southward if you have any queries.

 Paul Southward


KSK Business Update April 2018

KSK Business Update April 2018


KSK Business Update April 2018

KSK are pleased to bring you the latest edition of our Business Update publications.

We have entered the 2018/19 tax year with, for the first time in years, no new tax changes. This new, and much more relaxed, state of affairs was introduced by the Chancellor, who used his Spring Statement to review forecasts and announce consultations.

With the clock ticking on Brexit negotiations, and two full Budgets delivered in 2017, it’s easy to see why Mr Hammond decided to focus on future changes rather than continue to make changes. With this spirit in mind, we are taking the opportunity to look ahead to key events such as the impact of Brexit on businesses and what rising pension contributions mean for you.

Finally, furthest ahead of all, our feature this edition is Don’t put off your inheritance tax planning. Sir Ken Dodd delivered one final punchline to HMRC when he married his long-term partner just before he died. The inspiration to take is that that Sir Dodd had made clearly proper plans to leave the best for his family.

Other topics we’re covering include:

  • Pension contributions offset tax gains Despite tax changes for 2018/19 reducing the amount paid n tax, the increases to auto-enrolment pension contributions will wipe out the gains.
  • Is import VAT coming after Brexit? With less than a year to go before the UK leaves the EU, what will happen to businesses importing goods from the EU?
  • Good news and bad news for the EIS and VCTs New risk-to-capital rules are changing the way investments in venture capital work.Closing the gap on equal pay With organisations now required to publish their gender pay gap data, how can employers improve the situation?


We will bring you another update in a few months.  Meanwhile take in the full Business Update publication here:-

Business Update Summer 2018

If you have any queries about your tax or business, contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.

Paul Southward

Tax Manager conquers London’s Hottest Marathon


Tax Manager conquers London’s Hottest Marathon

Chris Beard, Tax Manager at KSK Luton was pounding the streets of London yesterday in what turned out to be London’s hottest ever marathon.

Together with more than 40,000 fellow competitors, Chris took a steady pace to ensure he was not beat by the record 24.1C (75.3F) temperatures recorded in St. James Park. The course temperatures were probably even hotter as the London streets would have absorbed all that heat.

It cannot be all bad, as it was reported that with all the road closures leading to far less traffic on the capitals roads, it was reported that air pollution dropped by an impressive 89% in places. Perhaps we should all start running to work in future.

Despite warnings from the race organisers not wear costumes because of the extreme weather conditions there were still many colourful racers on show.

Chris however, proved that you do not have to draw attention to yourself to get noticed as he was caught by the TV cameras featuring the record breaking event. Chris’s snippet of fame can be viewed here:

CB London 2018 video

Mo Farah competed in his first marathon, finishing in third place, beating the 33 year old British record set by Steve Jones. Mo’s finish time was two hours six minutes and 21 seconds. The race was won by Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge.

Chris has set his sight on his own personal record as completing the London Marathon now brings his total marathon’s run to an impressive Ninety Four!

Chris is aiming to complete 100 marathons before the end of this year!

This means that Chris has already run a total of two thousand, four hundred and fifty three point 4 miles. With only  a further one hundred and fifty six point six miles to go Chris is taking it all in his stride.

Chris Beard London 2018


Business Update – Spring 2018

Business Update – Spring 2018

Just as we near the final deadline for filing 2016/17 tax returns our thoughts turn to year ahead and the developments that are likely to affect individuals and businesses. With these thought in mind we have prepared our latest Business Update publication highlighting some of these developments.

Some of the changes were announced in the November Budget where we saw “spreadsheet” Phil take a more cautious approach after the spin and backtracking that marred his Spring Budget.

Amongst the high-profile announcements were the abolition of stamp-duty for first time buyers, coupled with more investment in construction for the housing market, a cash injection of £2 billion for the NHS, a promise to look at how taxation can reduce plastic waste and an extension of the Young Person’s Railcard up to age 30.

But as well as these friendly soundbites, there were significant changes announced in specific areas. The feature story in our Spring newsletter, Company car costs to increase with new emissions charges, looks into the details of the increases to emissions charges over the coming years. With benefit-in-kind taxes paid on 960,000 company cars in 2015/16, lots of companies will be affected. The changes also show the government’s efforts to encourage companies to reduce their carbon footprint, but could lead to significantly increased costs for employers. If you’re looking to replace a company car over the coming years, or a car fleet, there may be some surprises in store.

Other topics we’re covering include:


  • Indexation changes hit corporate capital gains The Budget introduced a freeze on indexation relief which affects corporate capital gains from January 2018, which means larger tax bills for incorporated landlords looking to sell property.


  • Making bullying and harassment a thing of the past After countless very high-profile allegations it is clear this issue needs to be properly addressed, so have you got robust policies and procedures in place?


  • VAT registration thresholds frozen from April 2018 Ahead of a major consultation on the VAT rules, the government is freezing registration thresholds for two years.


  • More holiday rights for self-employed workers More developments from the ‘gig economy’ are seeing rights to paid annual leave guaranteed for all workers.


  • We will bring you another update after the Chancellor’s Spring Statement. Please do get in touch if you think you may be affected by any of the topics raised here.

You can access the Business Update Spring 2018 here:-

Business Update

If you have any queries relating to your business or personal tax affairs please do not hesitate to contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.

Paul Southward

Autumn Budget 2017


The Chancellor’s second Budget of 2017

Mr Hammond will probably be pleased if commentators decide that his Autumn Budget was a steady-as-she-goes, broadly modest Budget. After the national insurance u-turn he was forced to make after his March Budget this year, that was probably his aim.

In any case, for a variety of economic and political reasons, the Chancellor announced a relatively modest net tax giveaway of just under £1.6 billion for the coming tax year.

His main attention-seeking move was to give first time buyers an exemption from stamp duty land tax on the first £300,000 of value for properties worth up to £500,000. Rumours – probably from the Treasury itself – had trailed changes along these lines, and the new relief represents more than a third of his net giveaway.

With income tax, the changes were much less dramatic – increasing both the personal allowance and the higher rate threshold by 3% – the standard inflation-linked increase. ISA investors saw their main ISA and lifetime ISA investment limits frozen and only children saw a small increase in their specialist ISAs. There was better news for pension savers who enjoyed a £30,000 increase in the lifetime allowance and thankfully no cuts to the annual allowance.

Several measures were designed to introduce much more of a focus on risk investment for venture capital trusts, enterprise investment schemes and seed enterprise investment schemes.

Most Chancellors tend to cram all the painful announcements into Budgets at the start of a Parliament; for a range of reasons, Mr Hammond decided that he did not need – or perhaps couldn’t afford – to do this.

To view the KSK Autumn Budget 2017 summary click here:-

Autumn Budget 2017

If you have any queries regarding your tax affairs or matters raised in the Budget contact Paul Southward

Paul Southward

Autumn Budget 2017

Autumn Budget 2017


If the chancellor was asked to produce a Budget that would not rock the political boat, then it looks as if that is what he has delivered. The total net cost of his policy decisions for 2018/19 was a little over £6 billion with just £1.585 billion attributable to tax policy decisions.

The main tax changes announced were as follows:

  • First time buyers (outside Scotland) will pay no stamp duty land tax on the first £300,000 of the purchase price for a home provided its value does not exceed £500,000. Gains on disposals of all UK property (including commercial property) will be subject to UK tax on gains by non-UK residents accruing from April 2019.
  • The corporate indexation allowance will be frozen from January 2018, so that companies will no long benefit from relief for inflation after this date on their capital gains.
  • The VAT registration threshold will be frozen at £85,000 for 2018/19 and 2019/20.
  • Online marketplaces will become jointly and severally liable for the unpaid VAT of all UK traders, as well as overseas traders.
  • Relief for venture capital trusts, enterprise investment schemes and seed enterprise investment schemes will be focused on companies where there is a real investment risk. A number of other provisions will tighten up the rules for these investments.
  • The existing diesel supplement for diesel company cars will be increased from 3% to 4% from April 2018 for cars that do not meet the RDE2 emissions limits. The fuel benefit and van benefit charges will increase in line with RPI (and vehicle excise duty) from April 2018.
  • There will be a number of changes to business rates, including: bringing forward to 2018 the switch in indexation from RPI to the generally lower CPI; retrospective legislation to deal with the impact of the so-called ‘staircase tax’ by recalculating valuations and qualification for small business relief to the position in the period before April 2010; increasing the frequency of revaluations to every three years after the next valuation due in 2022.
  • The pension lifetime allowance will be increased from £1 million to £1.03 million from April 2018. There will be no change to the annual allowance.
  • The ISA limit will be frozen at £20,000 and the LISA limit at £4,000, but the junior ISA and child trust funds will rise to £4,260 from April 2018.
  • The income tax personal allowance will rise to £11,850 and the higher rate tax threshold for the UK (excluding non-savings, non-dividend income in Scotland) will rise to £46,350 for 2018/19.
  • There will be a raft of provision against tax avoidance and evasion. The government will consult on further measures to tackle non-compliance with the intermediaries legislation (often known as IR35) in the private sector. A possible step will be to extend the recent public sector changes to the private sector.
  • The government will also consult on reforming the taxation of trusts.

Business Update – Winter 2017

Business Update – Winter 2017

Our Winter Business Update

Trick or Treat?

Arrives just as the days are drawing in and the first chills of Northern winds sweep across the lands.

This could be a somewhat fitting backdrop for the Chancellor’s Budget due to be delivered on 22nd November 2017.

Having ridden the weakening storms brought about by a series of hurricanes that wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and southern US, we now have to contend with a Budget delivered in the maelstrom of political and economic climate shaped by Brexit negotiations and political weeping and wailing.

As rumours swirl around whether Mr Hammond’s Budget speech will include measures to help young people in the housing market, our feature this edition is Are you getting it right on rent?. Up to 2 million people act as landlords, renting out property in a variety of situations. Not all of them realise the tax responsibilities that come with that position, however, and HMRC has been looking into some common errors and misunderstandings

Check out our Winter Business Update here:-

Business Update – Winter 2017 download

Business Update – Winter 2017

Our other stories include:

  • Keeping up with employment changes The September Finance Bill includes new rules around termination payments, plus backdated confirmation of the cut to the money purchase annual allowance.
  • Wherever you lay your hat? New domicile changes Some non-doms may be classed as deemed domiciled across all taxes without realising their status had been changed from April 2017 in legislation contained in the second, September Finance Bill
  • Planning for the dividend allowance cut Also reappearing in the second Finance Bill is the cut to the dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 scheduled for April 2018. Director/shareholders are likely to be affected
  • Making Tax Digital moves again The government appears to have listened to concerns around the implementation of Making Tax Digital and extended the timetable.

We will cover the outcome from the Autumn Budget in our next, Spring, edition. Meanwhile, if you’re affected by any of the issues we explore here, do get in touch with me.

Paul Southward

Happy Birthday Charles!

Happy Birthday Charles

Charles Little of the Bedford Office celebrating the beginning of his sixty fifth year on planet earth.