Our weekly round-up of essential reading for those running and working in an Owner Managed Business, Creative agency or Estate Agency.

‘Cash is just grief’

This article in the Guardian talks about the trend in the retail and hospitality industry to move away from cash. Fintech companies such as iZettle enable businesses to take card payments without the long contracts and high fees that the more established ‘merchant services’ providers have previously historically insisted on.

‘Cash is just grief’: why shops and bars want to make you pay by card

Developments in payment technology

We are keeping a close eye on developments in payment technology too as we know making payments to employees and suppliers is an administrative task that many business owners would like to make simpler or even outsource.

This article explains how it is likely that in the future two-way bank feeds will mean that payments can be triggered directly from your cloud accounting software and the management of this could even be outsourced to your external accounting team.

How payment technology could close the loop on the virtual CFO model.

See: accountingweb.co.uk

Catching up on missing NICs – Window of opportunity

As a taxpayer, it is now possible to view your national insurance contributions (NICs) record through your online personal tax account. This will tell you if there are any tax years where insufficient NIC has been paid to qualify as a credit for the state retirement pension.

Where gaps have arisen in the last six years, they can be completed by paying voluntary class 3 NIC or in some cases class 2 NIC. The last day to pay contributions for 2011/12 would normally have been 5 April 2018. However, the government has made a number of exceptions to this six-year rule to allow people to boost their state pension entitlement.

There is a small window of opportunity for those who have small earnings from self-employment. Where earnings from self-employment are below the small profits threshold, set at £6,205 for 201/19, the self-employed earner is entitled, but not obliged, to pay class 2 contributions. Paying class 2 voluntarily is much cheaper than paying voluntary class 3 contributions. For 2019/19, class 2 contributions are set at £2.95 per week, whereas class 3 contributions are set at £14.65 per week. Paying class 2 rather than class 3 will save £608.40 for 2018/19.

HMRC: Check your National Insurance Record