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  • Employee Engagement

    Simon Irvin – Head of HR at Westcotts, discusses employee engagement in the workplace.

  • Deadline looms over Making Tax Digital for VAT

    Deadline looms over Making Tax Digital for VAT Businesses are being warned that they could face tough penalties from HMRC if they miss the deadline to submit monthly or quarterly VAT returns using its online portal. HMRC has confirmed that it will close the online VAT services facility on Tuesday 1 November 2022 – this

  • Agricultural Breakfast

    Agricultural Breakfasts We are delighted to invite you to attend our ‘Topical Farming Update’ seminar – a look at current farm business and management issues facing farmers. Exeter When: 8:00am – 9:30am Wednesday 26th October Where: Sandy Park, Sandy Park Way, Exeter EX2 7NN Bridgwater When: 8:00am – 9:30am Thursday 3rd November Where: The Canalside

  • Devon Business Show 2022

    Devon Business Show 2022 We attended the Devon Business Show last week, brought to us by the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, where our team were on hand to discuss all things digital, MTD and beyond. Here’s a video of our time at the show.  

  • New appointment boosts financial planning team at Westcotts

    New appointment boosts financial planning team at Westcotts We have bolstered our financial planning team with the appointment of a new chartered financial planner. Steven Clemence (pictured), who is based in the Plymouth office, joins the firm with over 35 years’ experience and specialises in complex pensions work, employee benefits and business protection. He is

  • Westcotts Charity Golf Day raises more than £5,000 for South West MS Centre

    Westcotts Charity Golf Day raises more than £5,000 for South West MS Centre A charity golf day has raised more than £5,000 to help provide treatment and support for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other conditions. Up to 92 players of all ages and abilities took part in the event, organised by Westcotts Chartered

  • Charity Seminar 2022

    Charity Seminar 2022 We are delighted to be holding our Annual Charity Seminar on Thursday 3rd November 2022 where we will be providing an update for trustees covering topical issues and hope you are able to join us. The seminar will include: Current updates on the Charity Sector including recent Charity Commission enquires Finding the

  • New director appointed to support financial planning arm of Westcotts

    New director appointed to support financial planning arm of Westcotts Westcotts Chartered Financial Planners, part of the Westcotts group, has strengthened its senior leadership team with the appointment of a new director. Andrew Hammond (pictured) has been recruited by the practice, bringing more than 20 years experience in the financial services sector. He is responsible

  • Four brothers’ Atlantic rowing challenge secures backing of Westcotts

     Four brothers’ Atlantic rowing challenge secures backing of Westcotts A challenge by two sets of twins from Tiverton to become the first four brothers to row any ocean in the world is being supported by Westcotts. Jack, Hamish, Arthur and Euan, known as ‘The Friend Brothers’ will be rowing 3,000 miles unsupported across the Atlantic,

  • Westcotts shortlisted in the Investors in People Awards 2022

    Westcotts shortlisted in the Investors in People Awards 2022 We are delighted to have made the final shortlist for the UK Employer of the Year: Silver award in The Investors in People Awards 2022. In a record-breaking year for entries, with over three hundred organisations involved, this is an outstanding achievement and one that everyone

  • Growth Plan 2022 – A summary of the key announcements

    Some very bold announcements were made by new Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng in his Growth Plan announced earlier this morning. The Chancellor made it very clear he regards taxation as a significant drag and disincentive to business investment and growth. This was truly a tax cutting Growth Plan. The key NIC, Income Tax,

  • Westcotts ‘kicks off’ support for Bridgwater & Albion RFC with new branding

    Westcotts ‘kicks off’ support for Bridgwater & Albion RFC with new branding We have unveiled its new logo and branding at College Way Ground, the home of Bridgwater & Albion Rugby Football Club. The Somerset firm’s Bridgwater-based Director Tara Bell and Phil Butterworth, Partner, joined Geoff Sluman, Director of Rugby (pictured) and players from the

  • Could audit reforms leave you without an auditor?

    Could audit reforms leave you without an auditor? Over the last five or six years, the UK audit market has been in an enormous state of flux. Audit is a highly regulated business and regulatory bodies have become increasingly strict about how audit firms interpret and apply auditing standards. Larger companies require an audit each

  • New Okehampton office move for leading firm of chartered accountants

    New Okehampton office move for leading firm of chartered accountants Westcotts has relocated its office in Okehampton to a new larger premises from Monday 5 September. The firm’s seven strong team (pictured) will be based at new premises on Cranmere Road, Exeter Road Business Park on the outskirts of the Devon market town. The move

  • Westcotts unveils new branding at Exeter Chiefs’ Sandy Park Stadium

    We have unveiled our new logo and branding at Sandy Park, the home of Premiership and European Champions Exeter Chiefs. Managing Partner Shona Godefroy and Financial Planning Partner Iain Andrews (pictured) joined players and coaches during training earlier to show their support ahead of the rugby union club’s first home game against Leicester Tigers at

  • Common payroll errors cost businesses thousands of pounds

    Common payroll errors cost businesses thousands of pounds Businesses in the South West are at risk of making costly payroll errors resulting in significant penalties and missing out on employee benefits that could run into thousands of pounds each year. As we mark National Payroll Week (5-9 September 2022), we are urging companies to act

  • Our new name and brand identity

    As a leading firm of chartered accountants and business advisers in the South West, we are very pleased to share with you the news that we have a new name and brand identity. We are rebranding Thomas Westcott and will be known as ‘Westcotts’. Our new identity is part of the firm’s business strategy aimed

  • Westcotts rebrand announcement

    So, today is a big day for us and as you are here reading this blog, you will no doubt have noticed something a little different! From today, Monday 5 September, we have a new name and brand identity, as well as a new look website. We have rebranded from Thomas Westcott and are now

  • A catch up with payroll

    An introduction to our payroll management team, discussing the pandemic, as well as tax year end and upcoming legislation changes.

  • Westcotts Brochure

    Take a look at our new brochure introducing Westcotts:   Download your own PDF of the brochure here

  • Latest update on taxation of UN pensioners in the UK

    Back in 2018, I wrote a blog about this subject, which received widespread interest. My research suggested that United Nations (UN) pensioners should be entitled to a partial exemption from UK taxation on some of their pension. At the time, I was not entirely confident that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would accept this position.

  • Westcotts celebrates with a Family Fun Day

    Wow. Where do I start?? What an event! When Partner Stuart Carrington first came to the ESG (Environmental Social Governance) team asking for volunteers to help him with ideas for Westcotts first ever firm-wide Family Summer Event I jumped on board straight away. I knew it would play to my strengths and would really enjoy

  • Good financial leadership for SMEs

    The finance lead in any business has a key role to play and, as such, needs many skills to effectively perform the role. Firstly, and most obviously, they need to be numerate and understand figures, ratios, key performance indicators (KPIs). A good test is whether they know the difference between ‘mark-up’ and ‘margin’! They need

  • How can businesses manage rising energy costs?

    As accountants, we are uniquely positioned to be the key advisor to business owners, as we have a close business relationship throughout the year. As such, one of the first things we would suggest is looking at the turnover of your business and whether your prices could be raised to offset the increased energy costs

  • CGT Returns for UK Residential Property

    All individuals, trusts and estates which dispose of UK residential property, should be aware of their potential obligation to file a UK Capital Gains Tax (CGT) return. Gains must be reported, and CGT paid within 60 days after disposing of the property. The filing window was previously 30 days but was extended to 60 days

  • Tax Card 2022-2023

    Here’s our tax cards for the year 2022-2023. Click here to download

  • Government Initiative: Help to Grow Digital

    The Government has recently announced their new initiative ‘Help to Grow Digital’. The initiative is in direct response to assisting small and medium sized businesses to grow using digital platforms to assist in the management of businesses. The assistance certainly comes as a positive step in the Government viewing the use of Digital technology as

  • Thorne, Carter & Aspen

    A knock on the door opened up an opportunity for two well-established local property firms to build a future together. Angus Watson, Director at letting agents Aspen Property Management Ltd in Cullompton, Devon, was working in his office when John Parkin, a director at nearby estate agency Thorne and Carter called in to ask about

  • What are the tax benefits of electric company cars?

    A growing number of businesses are considering moving to electric company cars, but what are the tax benefits? Many employers offer company cars to their employees, especially if their vehicles are required for work. For some businesses, moving to electric vehicles is an important part of their commitment to sustainability and the move to net

  • National Apprenticeship Week: why apprenticeships matter at Westcotts

    During National Apprenticeship Week, Head of HR Simon Irvin answers questions about why apprenticeships matter at Thomas Westcott. 1. Can you tell us about the apprenticeships you offer at Westcotts? We offer accountancy apprenticeships at levels 3,4 and 7. These are with the Association of Accounting Technicians, the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales

  • Financial planning in 2022: is it time to refocus on your finances?

    As we start a new year and look to the end of the pandemic, this could be a crucial time to refocus on your finances and undertake some financial planning. The Government’s Covid measures are easing back a little and it feels like the nation is starting to come off pause and we’re ready to

  • How will the farmers lump sum exit scheme be taxed?

    DEFRA and HMRC have at long last clarified the tax treatment of the proposed lump sum payment to be made to farmers to exit the industry. The lump sum exit scheme was originally proposed last year but it was not clear whether it would be taxable as income or capital. It has now been confirmed

  • Westcotts Chartered Accountants acquires Sully & Co Chartered Accountants

    Leading South West accountancy firm Westcotts Chartered Accountants today announced it is further investing in its growth through the acquisition of Bridgwater-based Sully & Co Chartered Accountants. With a team of ten, Sully & Co is an established local firm and has served businesses and individuals in and around the town since 1865. The Sully

  • New Corporate Finance Manager brings global experience to Westcotts

    Fast-growing South West firm Westcotts Chartered Accountants has expanded its team by appointing a new Corporate Finance Manager. Will Mudd brings 15 years’ corporate finance experience, gained in the UK and Australia. Will is working closely with Partner and Head of Corporate Finance Alison Watts to provide clients across the South West and beyond with

  • How can businesses survive and thrive as we come out of the pandemic?

    We are coming out of the pandemic, but businesses continue to feel its impact. Over the last two years, many of our clients have made use of Government support packages, including Bounce Back loans, CBILS loans and, of course, the generous furlough scheme. Many businesses were also able to claim rates relief and defer VAT

  • What is a reasonable excuse for submitting a late tax return?

    If you didn’t submit your Self Assessment tax return ahead of the deadline, you may be wondering if HMRC will consider your excuse reasonable. While HMRC has recently broadened its definition of a reasonable excuse, the onus is still on the taxpayer to make their case. At Westcotts, we asked our specialist tax team what

  • An ‘incredible’ year of fundraising by Westcotts staff

    Staff at Westcotts have raised more than £11,000 for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) during an ‘incredible’ year of fundraising for the charity. Colleagues in our 17 offices across Devon and Somerset, chose to support CHSW in 2021, the charity’s 30th anniversary year. As part of our charity of the year partnership, our team members

  • Rises in National Insurance – is your business facing the perfect storm?

    From April 2022, the rate of National Insurance contributions you pay will increase – while the employee will feel the change in their pay packet, employers will also feel the burden. The amount is increasing by 1.25p in the pound for both employers and employees. This will also be the case for the self-employed. Employees

  • In Focus: How Exeter’s set for rising success

    Exeter is predicted to have one of the fastest growing economies in the country this year. Westcotts Partner Patrick Tigwell is based in our Exeter office and is also a board member on the chamber of commerce. Here, he looks at the rise and rise of a unique city… An engine of growth There was

  • Risks and opportunities facing the charity sector as we come out of the pandemic

    As we come out of the pandemic and start ‘living with Covid’, what are the risks and opportunities for charities? It would be an understatement to say that these have been a turbulent two years. We advise a diverse range of not-for-profit clients, including hundreds of charities across the South West and beyond. While Covid

  • In Focus: Bridgwater, Somerset

    Bridgwater is the fifth largest town in Somerset and a major centre for industry and manufacturing in the South West which has seen significant growth in recent years. Kelly Davies, Partner with Westcotts in our Bridgwater office examines whether it’s boom time for the town… You would be forgiven for thinking that there’s not much

  • Employee Ownership Trusts: the key features and benefits

    The sale of a company to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is becoming increasingly popular as an exit strategy for controlling shareholders who are looking at their business succession planning. An Employee Ownership Trust is a discretionary trust set up by a company for the benefit of its employees. Retailers John Lewis and Richer Sounds

  • Announcing the Westcotts charity of the year 2022

    We are thrilled to confirm that the UK’s leading dementia charity, Alzheimer’s Society, is our charity of the year for 2022. Our team members chose Alzheimer’s Society from a shortlist, which we created after inviting charities to apply to be the Thomas Westcott charity of the year. Teams from across the firm are now planning

  • Economic Crime Levy – what is it and who does it affect?

    In its attempt to tackle economic crime, such as fraud and money laundering, the government has introduced a new tax which comes into effect on 1 April 2022… The economic crime levy. Economic crime touches virtually all aspects of society and ranges from low-level frauds through to sophisticated cyber-enabled market manipulation. Fraud is now the

  • Promotion success for two new Directors at Westcotts

    Westcotts, the largest chartered accountancy network in the South West, has further invested in its staff development with new promotions for two senior Tax Managers to Director-level. Advisors Paul Webb and Lisa Lane have both been moved up within the practice and are based at the firm’s Exeter office on Southernhay East. Paul, who is

  • Tax Card 2022-2023

    Here’s our tax cards for the year 2022-2023. Click here to download    

  • Tax Card 2021-2022

    Here’s our tax cards for the year 2021-2022. Click here to download    

  • Accounting: 10 considerations for choosing the right firm

    Choosing the right accountant is not as simple as plumping for the nearest, most expensive, or most highly reviewed firm. An accountant should help you to make smarter decisions, grow your business and most importantly relieve some of the pressures off you. We’ve gathered 10 top tips to help you in your research and guide

  • Cost of living crisis: Easing the impact on small businesses

    Put quite simply, small businesses have got to make the very best of what they can right now. With soaring costs, rising inflation, labour difficulties and supply issues, it is no wonder that SMEs are concerned about the pressures facing them. The Institute of Directors (IoD) recently said that a lack of confidence in the

  • New Bridgwater Director brings wealth of experience to Westcotts

    We are expanding our Somerset team with the appointment of a new Director. Tara Bell, who will be based at our Bridgwater office, brings over 19 years’ experience in accountancy to the fast-growing regional firm. Tara specialises in landlord and property owners’ tax affairs, tax compliance and consultancy, inheritance tax planning, capital gains tax and

  • Pensions and retirement planning for business owners

    Andrew Brown and Iain Andrews discuss the reasons why business owners should take time to visit the subject of pensions and better understand how they can help the business.

  • Making Tax Digital – changes from 1 April 2022

    All VAT registered businesses must register to submit VAT returns under Making Tax Digital for VAT from 1 April 2022. Becky Hayes, VAT Partner and Adam Croney, Head of Digital discuss what that means and the impact for businesses that are not already registered.

  • Turner Build Ltd

    Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants has advised thriving Bridport firm Turner Build Ltd for the last decade. Well known in and around the bustling Dorset town, the growing company remains very much a local family business. Managing director, Steve and Will Turner, says the firm has been busier than ever over the last 12 months as

  • Waterhouse Electrical & Engineering Services

    We launched the Thomas Westcott Business Resilience and Protection Service to provide clients with access to a range of financial and legal advice to make their businesses more robust. One business owner who has already benefited from the depth and breadth of our financial planning expertise is Paul Waterhouse. Paul has achieved a small revolution in the

  • Old Oak Farm

    It started as small patch of land, a place to store sawn logs, woodchip and machinery. Today, as well as a tree-surgery depot, Old Oak Farm is a thriving wedding venue and holiday retreat, right in the heart of the beautiful Somerset countryside. Owners Andy and Rebecca Jones have worked tirelessly for more than 15

  • Susan Day Residential Home

    Susan Day Residential Home was founded in 1947 Westcotts has worked with the charity for more than 20 years Growing numbers of not-for-profit organisations are coming to our specialist Charities and Not for Profit team for advice and support on a huge range of issues. One of these is Susan Day Residential Home in North

  • Woodlands Retreats

    At Westcotts we go the extra mile to share our expertise and advice with our clients, and none more so than for our long-standing client, Woodlands Retreats. Woodlands Retreats is a holiday property management company, run by Director Paul Crang (pictured above on left) and his family. The agency manages beautifully refurbished luxury properties that

  • Tangerine

    A London-based design consultancy business, Tangerine Limited (tangerine), which was awarded a Queens Award for Industry for International Trade in 2019, has benefited from the support of Westcotts in the last twelve months. Tangerine has been successfully trading as a design studio for 30 years with company directors, and controlling stakeholders, husband and wife team


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