Our London branch celebrates its first year!

Our accountants have been in London for one year now, here’s the story of the latest office in the Cottons Chartered Accountants network.

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Annual Tax on an Enveloped Dwelling

The Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings, ATED for short is one of the newest taxes having been introduced in 2013 and applies where companies hold residential property within a limited company or limited partnership.

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Hot or Cold? Eat In Or Take Away? VAT’s The Difference In The Food Industry

The VAT Implications of food are not straightforward to say the least. Whilst the food and hospitality industries are like all other businesses in that they must become VAT registered once their annual turnover reaches £85,000, the specifics of whether food sales are VATable and at what rate can be a minefield.

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2017 – A Year Of Growth

2017 has been an extremely exciting year for Cottons Chartered Accountants. We’ve seen extensive growth with new offices and staff, continued client success and even a brand-new website.

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Allowances for Entertaining: Staff And Clients

Whilst costs relating to entertaining staff and clients are a common cost of doing business, and are perfectly valid to include within your profit and loss account, only certain associated expenditure will be allowed to be deductible for corporation tax and VAT purposes.

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Cottons Chartered Accountants November News

It’s been another busy month here at Cottons! The company is buzzing with new vacancies, new technologies and new clients. Here’s what’s been going on in detail…

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Updates to Tax Free Childcare

If you pay for registered childcare, then you might be already using or be eligible to apply for childcare vouchers, but the world of tax-free childcare is undergoing its most significant change since they were first introduced into the tax system back in 1989.

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How to Hire and Pay Seasonal Workers

The final quarter of the calendar is packed with events and increased demands which subsequently cause many employers to require seasonal staff in addition to their usual workforce. Seasonal workers are often employed on a short-term basis tasked with fulfilling their duties in a small window of time, this means that the way they are paid differs from full-time staff.

Here’s what you have to consider…


It’s vital that employers agree some terms of employment with their seasonal staff and though there is not a specific contract for short-term personnel, it’s common for businesses to draw up fixed term contracts for their temp workers. Normally these contracts state that seasonal staff work until their duties are complete or until the agreed termination date.

It’s also important to acknowledge that seasonal staff are covered by the same employment laws as part-time and full-time workers.

Workers Rights 

Temp workers on fixed term contracts are normally entitled to the same contract conditions as their full-time colleagues after twelve weeks. Therefore if seasonal workers are required for over three months they must receive the same breaks, holidays, working hours and wage as their counterparts.

Furthermore, the ‘Prevention Of Less Favourable Treatment’ regulations, which were introduced in 2002 in relation to fixed-term employment, stipulates that any temporary employees working with an individual company for four years or more should be considered permanent staff once their contract is renewed.

In terms of tax, seasonal staff are subject to standard arrangements, so it’s of the utmost importance for businesses directly hiring temporary personnel to obtain and keep all of the necessary documentation as they would with employees on permanent contracts.

That being said, there are some mitigating circumstances with regard to this legislation, for instance if a company needs to lengthen the original contract terms as part of a collective this may nullify the effects of these guidelines.

Seasonal Staff via Temp Agencies 

Businesses employing temp workers through an agency may experience both advantages and disadvantages from outsourcing their human resources. One benefit of hiring via an agency is that they act as a hallmark of quality as they deal in skills and are expected to select the most qualified workers on their books.

Another clear advantage of recruiting temp staff through agencies is that the agency is responsible for making sure that fixed-term employees are granted at least the minimum wage as well as their statutory rights as stated within the ‘Working Time Regulations’, thus limiting the business’ responsibility.

Furthermore, not only does this depend on the agency’s judgement but it also relies on the number of prospective employees the agency can offer and their availability. For this reason, it’s advisable that employers do some research and comparison to ensure that their seasonal personnel are suitable for the role.

However, employers do not pay temporary staff directly, but rather pay the agency. Thereon it is the agency’s responsibility to account for any holiday, sick days or national insurance contributions. This can potentially be more expensive than hiring directly as agencies often charge admin fees and service charges.

Finally, businesses are required to send their terms of employment as well as details regarding pay, this ensures that seasonal workers are given the rights that they are entitled to. However, this can take a lot of administrative effort and time depending on the amount of temp staff that’s required.

Assistance with paying your employees:

You can contact us if you would like to discuss paying seasonal and regular employees.

We are Cottons Chartered Accountants, a connected accountancy firm with local offices in NorthamptonRugbyDaventry and London too. We offer a fully comprehensive range of tax and accounting and business services for small businesses.

Monthly News: Exams, Partners and Local Business

It’s been an exciting month here at Cottons with everything from one of our staff achieving the highest global Corporate Finance and Advice exam score, to our new London branch embracing local currency. Here’s what’s been going on in detail…

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