June 21, 2017

Excuse the pun, but I’m sitting on the patio in the roasting hot sun and it’s nearly 8pm. What a scorcher of a weekend! I hope everyone managed to get out and enjoy the lovely weather – long may it continue.

Life is as exciting as ever here at Free Range Business; Jake & Charlotte continue to pass their exams with flying colours, Tracey is entirely besotted with our new team addition (below – although Rufus is most definitely indifferent about his arrival) and I am in the throes of my summer ‘busy season’ before heading off with the family to visit my pen pal of some 21 years in Upper Austria this August.

Dougie!                                                                                           Tracey, Jo & Charlotte

We are delighted to announce our recent success in the Mendip Business Awards 2017!

We entered two categories: ‘Small Business of the Year’ and ‘Training and Development Excellence’ and were runner-up in both! We are all very proud of our achievements and thoroughly enjoyed the awards ceremony. Selfishly, Jake refused to cancel his holiday to come along but the rest of us had a great time!

So what’s new?

This September brings the launch of two new government childcare schemes. Firstly, enabling working parents to claim up to 30 hours free childcare per week (up from 15 hours). Secondly, allowing all parents (not just those who are employed) to benefit from tax-free childcare costs up to a limit of £10,000 per annum per child.

As a mother of three small children these reforms are fantastic (albeit a little late for Lizzie & Morwenna!) and will save parents who wish to get back to work hundreds or even thousands of pounds on their childcare each year.

The headlines are:

  1. If you are employed and already claim childcare vouchers through salary sacrifice then you need to use the nifty calculator to decide which scheme is better for you, as it may not be worth switching.

  2. Each household can only use one scheme or the other, not both

  3. If you are employed but do not as yet claim vouchers through salary sacrifice, then you only have until April 2018 to join a scheme should you wish to do so.

As this is an issue of great importance to us, and many of our clients and colleagues too, we have produced some helpful guidance that can be read & printed by clicking here. This help sheet gives you all the information you need to decide what type of childcare scheme is best for you & your family.

Our second hot topic is the magical world of Making Tax Digital.

In a nutshell, HMRC are phasing in quarterly digital reporting of all taxes over the next few years, starting with Self Assessment from 6th April 2018. Panic not (yet!) as here at Free Range Business we’ve already got a plan, have already started implementing it and will be contacting all current clients later in the year to discuss how to ‘go digital’, if they haven’t already. As with Auto-Enrolment, this (sadly) isn’t going to go away, but fear not, we are here to guide and advise over the coming months/years.

As always, if you ever need a helping hand with anything accounting/bookkeeping/taxes/financial, then please don’t hesitate to email us at and we will be delighted to help you. We are also huge fans of referrals and are very happy to offer a commission should your kind words result in a lovely new relationship for the Free Range team!

Wishing you a happy & healthy summer