PAT testing, is it necessary ?

Are you still spending money having a qualified electrician check your kettle every year for electrical safety ?

If so, you could be wasting money on an unnecessary check, particularly if you run a low risk business such as an office, shop or hotel.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have indicated that it is a common myth that Portable Appliance Testing or PAT tests have to be carried out every year in a specific way as  a legal requirement. 

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition.

However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (so; inspection or testing of electrical appliances is not a yearly legal requirement).

What is required, is that applicances are checked for obvious signs of damage, such as frayed or exposed wires etc. 

For further information please see


NEST – And why employers need to know about this.

NEST is a new initiative by the government to increase the number of people contributing to a pension scheme.  It has been decided that the best way forward is to use Automatic Enrollment.  This takes the decision from the employee and puts the onus on the employer instead.

The scheme starts from October 2012, with the largest firms; but will eventually filter through to the smallest.  Employers should be aware that there will be financial penalties for non compliance.

As an employer you will be expected to enroll all eligible employees into a qualifying pension scheme, manage employee contributions and also make an employer contribution to the scheme.

Eligible employees are:

  • Aged between 22 to State Pension Age
  • Earning more than the personal tax allowance
  • Aren’t already registered with a qualifying pension scheme.

When it applies:

The Pensions Regulator will write to employers to inform them of their staging date. (The start date is referred to as your staging date)

You will usually get 12 months notice prior to the staging date, unless your business is very large, in which case more notice is given.

As this is a complicated issue and subject to change during implementation, further information can be obtained from and other sites. 

We can also put you in touch with an Independant Financial Advisor on request.



Gaming Machines: Replacement of VAT with Machine Games Duty

The recent budget announced changes in respect of the above.

From 1 February 2013 a new tax on gaming machines receipts will be introduced, to be known as Machine Games Duty (MGD). At the same time AMLD (Amusement machine Licence Duty) will be abolished and income from gaming machines will become VAT exempt.

Generally whoever pays the current amusement machine licence duty will be responsible for paying the new MGD.

This will mean that quarterly MGD returns will be required from all operators of qualifying machines. Two rates of duty will apply: 5% where the maximum stake is 10p and the maximum cash prize £8, and 20% in all other cases.

This change in status of the machine income from taxable to exempt will have an effect on registration status and /or partial exemption position of businesses.

If you would like any further information or help with this then please do get in touch with us.

Junior ISA – Did you know ?

Just a note of something you may not be aware of.

In the tax year a young person becomes 16, they may subscribe to both a Junior ISA and (once 16) a regular cash ISA.  This would allow them to use BOTH investment allowancs to total limit of £8,940 (2011/12 rates).

They would also be able to invest in both during the next tax year in which they would turn 17.

In the year they turn 18, they can invest in the Junior ISA to the limit, as long as it is before their 18th birthday.  Once 18, the Junior ISA is converted to a regular ISA.

Please check with your ISA provider for further details.