For many years small companies have been able to take advantage of the option to file abbreviated accounts at Companies House, thereby keeping to a minimum the information they put into the public domain about them. All this is about to change!

Effective from accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2016 this option is removed from company law. So what filing options will be available to small companies in the future?

Generally speaking, small companies will be required to file the version of the accounts that they prepare for their shareholders. They will, however, still have the option not to file the profit and loss account and/or the directors’ report at Companies House – although this does mean that more of the notes to the accounts are likely to have to be filed than at present.

Are there any other options available? Well, yes.

Read more ...

Find out what a 'green roof' is, and learn how the summer budget changes will affect the farming sector in our Agricultural Autumn Newsletter.

The team is hosting a series of seminars in Tiverton, Axminster, Holsworthy & Zeal Monachorum (near Crediton). Thomas Westcott representatives and guest speakers will be discussing the following topics.

- The Basic Payment Scheme and what you will need to know for next year’s application process.
- Getting your partnership agreement and wills in order to ensure your most valuable assets are protected.
- Changes to the permitted development rules and what they will mean in practice.

Click here to see more details, we look forward to seeing you there.


The new National Minimum Wage rates will come into play 1 October 2015.

Click here for more information on the changes and how Thomas Westcott's Payroll Bureau can aid you with this transition.

If you have any questions or need advice regarding these changes, please do not hesitate to contact Stuart Carrington or Debbie Cole



If your business is in one of the following sectors, then the new South West Growth Fund may well be of interest:  Advanced Engineering, Marine, Digital Creative, Environmental, Manufacturing, Food Processing, Electronics and Pharmaceuticals.

The South West Growth Fund (SWGF) is an £8.7M grant fund that is able to provide investment grants to small and medium sized enterprises throughout South West England and large companies within the Assisted Areas of South West England. These grants, ranging in size from £15,000 to £999,999, are awarded on a competitive basis to growing businesses that intend to make substantial new capital investments that will lead to quality, permanent job creation.  

The money comes from central Government’s Regional Growth Fund and its principal purpose is to create new, high quality jobs.

A grant prospectus is available with full details on eligibility here

Competition for the grant will be high and following a successful Expression of Interest, businesses are required to submit a business plan, application form and financial forecasts. These are all areas that the Thomas Westcott team are experienced in helping clients with.

For further information on how we can give your application the best chance of success, contact Chris Hill on 01392 288555.

Thomas Westcott is delighted to announce that they have acquired David Jenkins & Co in Tiverton. 

It is anticipated that the transfer of David Jenkins & Co’s practice, based in Woodward Road, Howden Industrial Estate, to Thomas Westcott will see the two Tiverton offices combine over the coming months.

Richard Thomas, Chairman of Thomas Westcott, which has 13 offices in Devon including one in St Peter Street, Tiverton, said: “David Jenkins, who has a superb reputation built over many years, has now transferred his practice to Thomas Westcott and we are delighted to welcome his staff on board.

“We look forward to working with them and also with David’s clients who, rest assured, will continue to receive the very best accountancy and business advice services available.”

Following the transfer Thomas Westcott partner Stuart Carrington has taken responsibility for the new Tiverton office, while his colleagues John Potter and Denise Harris continue to look after Thomas Westcott’s existing Tiverton clients.

If you have any questions regarding the new office please contact Stuart Carrington on 01884 252466 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In his budget on 8th July, the Chancellor announced that he is planning to restrict tax relief for interest and other finance costs incurred on loans to purchase properties for letting to the basic rate of income tax.

The change is to be phased in over a 3 year period starting in April 2017 with full implementation applying for tax year 2020/21.

The proposed method of calculation is quite complex and involves a deduction from tax of an amount equal to 20% of the loan interest.

The effect is shown in the table below:

 Tax Year 

 % relievable only at

basic rate 

 % relievable at

higher rate
















The new rule will not apply where a property meets the criteria for furnished holiday letting, nor will it apply to letting of commercial property.

There are no changes proposed for corporate landlords or for trustees.

If you want to know what this will mean for you, or if there is anything that can be done to minimise the impact on your after tax income, please contact Ian Huggett on 01271 374138 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


There is often confusion between the three terms in this heading, but there are distinct differences between each:

Wrongful Trading

Wrongful trading is when a company has entered into insolvent liquidation and prior to the commencement of the winding-up the directors knew or ought to have known that there was no reasonable prospect that the company would avoid insolvent liquidation.

Wrongful trading is a civil offence, so directors found guilty can be held personally liable for the company’s debts. They may also face disqualification as a director for a period of up to 15 years.


Where a property is let fully or substantially furnished, an expense deduction is available equal to 10% of the rental income as an allowance against the costs of renewing furniture and furnishings. This was originally introduced to help landlords simplify their record keeping.

From April 2016, this allowance will be abolished and replaced with a deduction based on the “actual costs of replacing furnishings”

The government has launched a consultation about the best way to implement this change, and it suggests that the rule change in 2013 concerning the replacement of freestanding white goods in “unfurnished” accommodation could be reversed.

It is suggested that the cost of replacing the following:

•        movable furniture or furnishings, such as beds or suites
•        televisions
•        fridges and freezers
•        carpets and floor-coverings
•        curtains
•        linen
•        crockery or cutlery
•        beds and other furniture,

will be an allowable expense deduction.

The replacement of fixed fittings will still be allowed as a repair, but the initial cost of buying or installing new equipment will not be allowable, neither will the cost of improvements to existing furnishings, such as replacing a fridge with a fridge/freezer.

Given the circumstances our current advice is that landlords of furnished lettings, who currently claim the wear and tear allowance, should try and avoid replacing items of furnishings before 6th April 2016 as there might be additional tax allowances available for them after that time.

If you want to know more about what this could mean for you, or if there is anything that can be done to minimise the impact on your after tax income, please contact Ian Huggett on 01271 374138 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When the decision has been made to wind up a dormant Company and to distribute any remaining assets to the shareholders there are essentially two ways in which this can be done:

- Informal strike off
- Formal MVL

Tax implications

Under current legislation, where distributions in anticipation of informal striking off total £25,000 or more, any such distribution would be treated as income rather than a capital gain.

If we look what this means for tax payers; a basic rate tax payer would pay no further income tax; higher rate tax payers would pay an effective 25% rate and additional rate payers an effective 36.11%, compared to capital gains tax rates of 18% for basic rate and 28% for higher and additional rate.

In certain circumstances shareholders may be able to receive funds taxed at 10%, if the capital gain qualifies for Entrepreneurs’ Relief.