Here at Comerford Foley, we are a curious bunch. We ask questions and lots of them. Helping our bookkeeping clients is a priority. This is not being nosey. There is a purpose to the question. After all, no point asking if there isn’t a good reason to ask.
Sitting down with a client and finding out what’s going on is very helpful to both sides. In the current climate, the business news is very positive in general, but not always. But the personal side is important too and helps us find out what the client is looking to achieve.
We will look at some examples of how these conversations help. We will introduce you to clients but change the names. You will get to know
- Brad Fitt
- Fidel Astro & Clay Guevara
- Lino Ritchie
Brad owns and runs a very good pharmacy business. Business is good but he works hard and has a young family. He called into us recently to review his accounts for last year and we got through plenty in an hour. Some of the things we agreed to help Brad were
Double the monthly pension contribution. His company pays this for him and there is no BIK cost. The company gets a tax deduction for the expense. This will help fund his pension and reduce the need to make lump sum contributions in future. Plus, he can take advantage of the fall in stock markets by buying more units at a cheaper price.
He owns the property where the business trades. We agreed to include a rent in the accounts. He will pay tax on the rent and the company will get a tax deduction for it. If the rent is €20k he will still end up with an extra €10k that he didn’t have before
Get a PRSI refund for the company. He took ownership of the company after a business succession project we came up with. His PRSI class should have gone from Class A to Class S but we missed this. This would mean that there should be no employer’s PRSI. We will contact the Scope section to secure a refund. Brad won’t pay for this as this was our mistake
Look at improving the bookkeeping function to support Brad and his staff. The aim is to go paperless and reduce or end the need to drop or collect accounts information
Fidel Astro & Clay Guevara
Fidel and Clay have an engineering business. They work well but not crazy hours and are profitable. Both own the building from which their company trades and they get a rent. We asked when they purchased the property. They confirmed it was before the end of 2014. The plan was
Company Buys the Property
Yes, the company would buy the property from them. As it is a connected party transaction, they would need to get a valuation. Fidel and Clay wouldn’t pay Capital Gains Tax on the sale as they can avail of the 4/7 years CGT relief. This works well for all parties as
- The company owns the property now and no longer pays rent. As a result, profits should grow.
- No CGT for Fidel and Clay so they get a large lump sum each
- Both have kids going to third level, so they now have funds to pay for this.
- Increased profits in the company will increase the value of the company in the event of a future sale.
The company is well funded. But purchasing the property from cash reserves could put it under pressure. Fidel and Clay decided to look for some bank finance to fund the purchase. We worked with Fidel on the projections and funding application to get this in place. The repayments will be less than the rental payments and will be repaid in full over a short timeframe.
Lino has a property services business. The last two years have been very good for his company. He owns some rental properties and will use those as his pension so doesn’t have a company scheme. He wanted to get his hand on some extra cash to clear down some debt before his daughter goes to college. We met him in June to go through his accounts for last year and look at the taxes. We looked at
If we put through a bonus before the end of June, we could backdate that into the 2021 accounts. The company would get a deduction for it at close to 20% in 2021. And Lino would end up with 50% of the bonus after taxes. Revenue will be happy too as they get their share
As Lino’s company is a professional services company it is liable to pay a surcharge. This is a percentage of undistributed profits. To avoid this Lino could take a dividend within 18 months of the year end. As it was close to 18 months from December 2020 Lino had to decide. Take a dividend or pay the surcharge. He decided to take the dividend. Find out more about salary or dividends or both
- Lino gets the after-tax bonus now and the company gets a tax deduction for it
- Lino gets the net dividend after withholding tax of 25% and the company doesn’t pay the surcharge
- The bonus and dividend will go into his tax return for 2021 and 2022.
- Lino gets extra cash to pay down debt to help with his personal financial plan
He was “dancing on the ceiling” after the meeting. Oh, what a feeling!
We meet prospects and discuss why they would move from their current accountant to us. The main reason they give is that they can’t get a person on the phone to help them. Running a business can be a lonely experience and you need support in the areas you are not strong at. Here every client has a dedicated manager. That is an experienced accountant who they can contact when the need arises.
When we are looking after your bookkeeping, we can see your numbers during the year. We will get your numbers right and there are many advantages to outsourcing this. Rather than having one person do it, you gain a team. And a curious one.
Do you want to be like Lino and get a dancing on the ceiling type service? If so, Start here