R.E.S.P.E.C.T – FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO MANAGEMENT

Earning the respect of our colleagues can be a daunting task in any new role, but ultimately it is the respect of management which the majority of employees crave. With the usual ‘new year, new me’ ethos in mind, we will today focus on ways you can implement small changes to your working day in order to earn the much coveted respect of management. Whether you have taken on a new role for 2017 or are still working hard in your current role, there are small changes which can be made in order to get yourself noticed by management and earn their respect as an employee.

You have already started the New Year by turning up to work, on time no less so you have instantly earned our respect for what it’s worth! Recent studies show that one of the most vital things employees want from their managers is respect. Feeling respected in the workplace leads to happier and more efficient employees as employees feel as though their effort is valued. Here are some handy tips to get you started on this road to respect.

Communication

Communication is key in all relationships and this is evident in the workplace. We all have our shrinking violet moments but one can’t bemoan a lack of respect in the workplace if you daily goal is to remain invisible. Disagree and agree where appropriate and allow your voice to be heard. Another key component of communicating efficiently in the workplace is feedback. Giving and receiving feedback is vital in the establishing of work relationships. Requesting feedback is an ideal way to show your employer that you care about your place in the company.

Clarification

This is possibly one of the most difficult skills to master in the workplace. We all want to impress our boss and do as much as we can, but when the boundaries between our roles and others become blurred we become less capable of doing our own roles to the best of our ability. Despite how long you have been in your role, it is wise to regularly clarify your role so that your focus will be accurate.

Relationships

Building relationships with other employees may not seem like an important way to earn the respect of management, but these relationships show that you intend to be in the role long term and that this isn’t just a stop-gap role for you and shows you to be a trustworthy team-player. Offering support to others in the workplace will also show how vital you are within the team.

Honesty

This is a difficult one for anyone who craves the respect of management. If you feel that there is a lack of respect or you are being overlooked, it might be time to raise the issue with management in order to ascertain if there is a solvable issue or if the issue is a miscommunication. This also gives the opportunity for both parties to explain the difficulties they are facing and get on the same page.

2017 is a new year with many opportunities for you to show your worth. As always, we are here to provide any help or guidance we can and together, we can conquer 2017.

 

Should you require any help, assistance or guidance on these or any other tax or business matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

ICS YOU CAN

Something which we consistently come back to as a topic of interest for our customers are mortgage lending rules and the tiresome process of trying to get a foothold on the property ladder, which let’s face it, these days can often feel like playing a very difficult video game. You’re pressing all the right buttons, but somehow still find yourself placed back at the previous checkpoint. Recently, with minor changes made to the rules for first time buyers it seems that the clouds are clearing somewhat to allow an easier path to your first home. Further good news continues to come in for prospective new home owners in the form of the return of schemes and products which assist in the purchasing process and provide buyers with more options than were previously available. Following on from the economic downturn, all available products and schemes aimed towards making it easier to begin the climb up the property ladder seemed to effectively disappear overnight. Recently we have seen a slow resurgence in these schemes and products which is welcome news. Today we will be discussing the new buy-to-let product from Dilosk and ICS mortgages which is aimed towards both individuals and companies.

 

The idea of buy-to-let is to turn a property purchase into an investment in order to utilise it as a cash flow solution. Upon purchasing the property, it is then placed for rent in the hopes of covering mortgage costs as well as any outgoings and perhaps generating some amount of income for the landlord. Buy to let involves dealing with the expectation of capital growth and thinking in the long-term which can be tricky as these matters are always in flux but it is ultimately a worthwhile endeavour which can generate cash flow which would not ordinarily exist which is never a negative thing these days.

 

ICS’s buy-to-let mortgage package is available to both individual and company investors. The loan structure for both options is fairly similar in that both offer a 10 year interest only option and a 20 year capital and repayment option as well as a minimum term of 5 years and a maximum of 20. The differences arise in relation to the borrowers themselves as there are additional criteria which applies to the individual and not the company investor.

 

The individual must be:

 

  • Min age at application: 21 Years.
  • Max age at maturity: 75 Years.
  • Minimum annual income: €40,000.
  • Max of four applicants.

 

 

The property must also be in the Republic of Ireland. Lending will be made available to those who meet these criteria, have a clean and who wish to buy in any major cities in the Republic of Ireland with more than 10,000 citizens. Further information can be found on their website or by contacting ICS directly. Finally we are seeing some positive movement in the mortgage market

 

Should you require any help, assistance or guidance on these or any other tax or business matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

CALMING THE PROPERTY PANICS

Over the past number of months we have spoken many times about the property issues facing prospective first time homeowners, as well as those hoping to upgrade. Following on from the introduction of new and stricter mortgage rules in 2015 it has become increasingly difficult to gain a foothold on the property ladder. Whilst the prices of property soar, so too does the cost of renting which effectively blocks the ladder from those attempting to save for the now essential 10/20% mortgage deposit whilst also living in rented accommodation. The revelations that there might soon be changes to these rules were widely welcomed and soon cut short by the knowledges that they were unlikely to be revoked entirely.

 

Recently, changes were indeed made to the new rules which should provide some small relief to prospective homeowners as long as property prices don’t immediately begin to rise again. It was announced that from January 1st 2017 the 220,000 cap for first time buyers would now be scrapped. This will be a welcome change for buyers currently saving for their deposit as the deposit requirements will now be 10% across the board regardless of property price. As property prices continue to rise it becomes increasingly difficult to find housing under this 220,000 threshold to avoid paying the additional 10% on anything above this cost. Now, a prospective homeowner will need a deposit of 30,000 for a house costing 300,000 where previously under the old rules they would have needed 38,000 for the same house.

 

The rules regarding being able to borrow only 3.5 times your income will remain unchanged as it is thought that this failsafe will prevent buyers borrowing more than they will be capable of repaying long term. There will also be no change to the 20% deposit requirement for second time and subsequent buyers which will be disappointing for those hoping to upgrade in the near future.

 

One often overlooked aspect to the amendments given to the mortgage rules is that when used in conjunction with the help-to-buy scheme announced in the budget, there could be real savings to be had for first time buyers who choose a new build. The help-to-buy scheme announced by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in the Budget states that the Government will offer first-time buyers tax rebates of up to €20,000 on new homes valued up to €500,000. When coupled with the now abolished cap on the required deposit this could mean great savings for first time buyers which will be welcome at this point in their lives.

 

Should you require any help, assistance or guidance on these or any other tax or business matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

12 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER

Some welcome news for Irish business came this week in the form of Adecco’s Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) report. This report found that Ireland ranks 12th in the world in attracting and retaining skilled workers. The report places Ireland ahead of European countries such as Germany and France but predictably behind the UK and the United States.

 

Ireland has, in recent years become somewhat of a global tech hub, with multinational tech corporations such as Facebook choosing Dublin as the location for their European head office. This is certain to have boosted Dublin’s standing in this report and added to Ireland’s ranking as 10th for talent competitiveness worldwide. This relatively newfound standing as a tech hub shows the growing ability for Ireland to benefit from the changing technological and economic landscape.

 

One warning sign from this report which was pointed out by Adecco UK and Ireland CEO, John L Marshall is that whilst these findings show Ireland as being a centre for attracting quality talent, it also conversely points to a reliance on attracting outside talent and investment, rather than investing in home-grown talent. Marshall was quoted as saying

“This year’s Global Talent Competitiveness Index demonstrates Ireland’s success in building a robust talent infrastructure, capable of both attracting and retaining highly skilled talent from across the world […] That said, the report also demonstrates the need to continue to invest in home-grown talent, to ensure the next generation of Irish professionals are equipped to compete in the global marketplace and face challenges of the future.”

 

So whilst we have officially positioned ourselves as players in the global tech market, it is now essential to turn an eye inward to focus on the talent and funding we have at our disposal in this country, to avoid an over-reliance on attracting outside talent.

 

Whilst times are changing for us here and exciting new prospects are on the horizon, it is important for Irish businesses to focus on their own home-grown talent and ensure that this is fostered and trained appropriately to ensure that we have a talented and capable Irish workforce at our disposal.

 

Should you require any help, assistance or guidance on these or any other tax or business matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY 2017 FROM DCA

 Here at DCA we would like to wish all our clients a very Merry Christmas,
and wish you and your business a prosperous 2017!

TIS THE SEASON TO FILE TAXES

Fa la la la la la la la lateness carries penalties. Sorry, once the Christmas lights go up these things take on a life of their own. We are all aware of how urgent it is to ensure that our taxes are filed and the penalties which can apply in the event of late filing. As always we strongly advise staying on top of these matters and filing/paying early insofar as possible to avoid future issues. As we approach the end of the 2016 tax year, we would like to take a moment to advise you of some fast approaching deadlines which may slip under the radar in this festive season.

 

The due dates for payment of CGT (Capital Gains Tax) are:

 

15th December 2016 for disposal of assets in the period of 1st January 2016 to 20th November 2016.

31st January 2017 for disposals in December 2016.

It is pivotal that any chargeable gains arising during these time periods be paid up before the deadline to avoid further unnecessary complications.

 

Should a disposal fall under an unconditional contract, the disposal date will refer to the date of signing the contract, whilst if a disposal falls under a conditional contract, the disposal date will refer to the date on which the condition is satisfied.

 

Should you require any help, assistance or guidance on these or any other tax or business matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

DON’T FEAR THE TAX MAN

Don’t Fear the Reaper…I mean Taxman

 

Whilst the temperatures have plummeted in recent days (the weather outside, is indeed frightful), things are certainly set up for tax evasion investigations in Ireland. The recent push towards a further clamp down on tax evasion has been a hot topic of conversation in recent months. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan recently published his finance bill which promises a further clamp down on tax evasion and a reduced level of tolerance for these activities by closing certain loopholes currently in use. The new finance bill allows six months for getting affairs in order in terms of offshore assets which it is advised should be tidied up well before the clampdown begins in earnest.

 

It is reported that the Office of Revenue Commissioners will now have access to and be able to comb through an unprecedented amount of international data in order to begin this clamp down on tax evasion both on and offshore. As of next year, Revenue will have automatic access to information regarding income and assets in overseas institutions, which previously may have acted as somewhat of a loophole for Irish tax payers. Previously, there were a number of areas which were somewhat protected from this level of intense scrutiny which allowed for tax evasion to take place such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. This, combined with the Revenue’s new increase in technology for clamping down on tax evasion that we have previously discussed, will make it incredibly difficult for tax evaders to carry on normal activities.

 

Previously, in order to check Irish records against those of other countries, the Revenue would have had to place a request based on existing information or concerns. The new technology being put in place by the Revenue will allow for cross referencing between Ireland and other countries for data on individual cases which may previously have been unavailable to them. This in turn will allow them to paint a clearer and fuller picture of an individual’s tax affairs and to assess patterns for any suspicious or untoward behaviours. It is expected that Irish records will be automatically cross referenced with those of over 100 other countries by late 2018. This will bring Irish systems in line with those currently being used in the United States.

 

Paul Rigney of Revenue has stated that there will be time for individuals to set their affairs in order as per Minister Noonan’s finance bill but warned that there will be a zero tolerance policy after this point.

 

“Those with offshore assets have until May 1st to make a voluntary disclosure before Revenue uses the “full rigour of the new system. This is the last opportunity for people to come forward because after that, the penalties are severe.”

 

Therefore it is strongly advised that these protocols are followed in order to avoid issues.

 

Should you require any help, guidance or advice on these or any other financial or business matters please don’t hesitate to contact us here at DCA Accountants where we will be happy to be of help.

 

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY

We have spoken in the past about the importance of maintaining a feasible work/life balance and how important a reasonable balance is for the mental health and wellbeing of both employees and employers alike. Whether you are still working your way up the career ladder or have reached the peak already, the maintenance of a healthy work/life balance is what ultimately helps you to reach your goals. With a busy season for business and customers alike fast approaching, we thought it wise to discuss the modern day phenomenon crucial to a happy and healthy workplace: workplace flexibility. Now, don’t panic, we aren’t going to ask you to unroll that dusty yoga mat before January 1st. Rather, we will be speaking of ways in which the workplace itself can contribute to a healthier and happier home life.

 

As both our working and our home lives become increasingly busy and filled with integral conflict it is important to create flexibility where possible. In these modern times, maintaining flexibility is becoming increasingly easy as it is possible to be connected 24-7 (which is, of course an issue for another day).

 

From a business point of view, it is beneficial to the company to ensure that its employees are satisfied and happy on a daily basis which, as we have previously discovered is essential to maintaining a functional workplace. The inclusion of alternative working styles is important to maintain a good balance. Working remotely has become one of the most popular methods of gaining flexibility in the workplace and one which has seeped into most modern lives as few among us are innocent of checking our working email from home on our phones.

 

Maintaining flexibility in the workplace has been proven to increase productivity as the interconnectedness of our modern offices can combine differing work types or schedules at once whilst working from home reduces time and effort spent battling the daily traffic. Meanwhile skype and other video call platforms have allowed for meetings and hiring interview processes to become more immediate as we no longer need wait for a face to face meeting. Technology has now begun to redefine the workplace as well as how we communicate, and Irish companies are beginning to harness this new power through video and instant messaging as well as file sharing.

 

To conclude, a happy workforce is a productive one, and modern life allows for greater flexibility in the manner in which we work. A work/life balance has never been more important to the Irish workplace as our busy schedules create a time-poor workforce, the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs have been quoted as saying that

“Family-friendly working arrangements can play an important role in any overall pay and benefits package.”

 

This can be easily harnessed by employers to create a new working environment which will be increasingly productive as a result.

 

Should you require any help, advice or guidance on any business or financial matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at DCA Accountants where we will be happy to help.

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

FUNDING THE WAY IN THE DARK

Following the economic downturn, one of the largest business groups to suffer were Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). A key component of these types of businesses is often their reliance on funding options and flexible payment terms in order to gain and keep a decent foothold in their area of business. Following the Irish economic crisis, many SMEs were unable to continue their operations due to a reduced availability of finance options. This lack of financing availability also meant that many start-ups were unable to get off the ground during this time.

 

 

Now that the Irish financial situation is apparently on the up, there has been an increased focus by funders and the government on entrepreneurship and SMEs. This is a fantastic starting point and is largely due to the fact that these types of businesses make up for over half of all Irish businesses, and have become somewhat of a backbone for Irish businesses. Recently, it has been reported that more funding options will soon be returning to the Irish market targeting SMEs in particular.

The welcome news recently for Irish SMEs is that one such form of financing which disappeared is set to make a comeback to the Irish market. Supplier Finance is now once again an available option in Ireland, offering financially secure Irish SMEs this method of paying key suppliers whilst accessing previously unavailable cash flow. Supplier Finance is said to be an ideal additional top-up for companies who have hit their banking limit as it will not interfere with any already existing funding plans.

Also known as supply chain finance optimises cash flow by allowing businesses to extend payment terms to suppliers whilst ensuring that suppliers are paid in full. This creates an optimal environment for both buyer and supplier. The additional benefit of this form of finance which lead to its popularity during boom times was that it allows the supplier access to additional cash flow that would otherwise be tied up elsewhere and minimises the risk of financial issues elsewhere in the payment chain.

 

 

Supplier finance is different to other finance options in that it is not a loan, but rather an extension of the accounts and is not considered to be a debt, suppliers receive full payment for their products. This makes supplier financing a very attractive option for a great many financially stable Irish SMEs.

Financially secure companies who have not been suitable for options such as Invoice Finance will be able to avail of this funding option which will be a welcome change for those in difficult to fund sectors.

Should you require any more information, advice or guidance on these or any other business or financial issues, please do not hesitate to contact us here at DCA Accountants where we will be happy to be of service.

 

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY

ZOOM, ZOOM, ZOOM – CAR INSURANCE PRICES

If your car insurance was due for renewal in recent months, you would not be alone in having received quite the unwelcome shock when the renewal notification landed through your letterbox. Car insurance prices in Ireland are well and truly spiralling at present, and with no end in sight many motorists are now at risk of not being able to afford to keep their cars on the road. A recent meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform took place at Leinster House to focus on these issues as they continue to pose an immense threat to drivers.

Figures show that over a third of Irish drivers saw their car insurance premiums continue to rise meteorically in the last year, with many facing increases of up to 50% on their previous premiums. Whilst this is a financial issue facing the wallets and pockets of Irish drivers, it has also become an overall road safety issue which begs for rectification. As a consequence of these consistently rising costs, many drivers are unfortunately put in a position in which they must drive under reduced levels of insurance in order to manage their costs. This is both a financial issue for our country and a safety issue for all drivers as we have seen a recent 17% increase in accidents involving uninsured drivers as a result of rising costs that cannot be realistically kept up with, these rising costs do not correlate to your own claims or penalty points, but are an issue across the board for all drivers young and old. Many long-term drivers have experienced a hike of over 50% in the cost of their insurance premiums despite having never made a claim.

Conor Faughnan of the AA stated that rising costs were an issue of major urgency facing members of the AA and that

“Competition should be encouraged by the rising costs being seen, but that isn’t happening. Foreign insurers are in active retreat.”

Thus positioning this as a financial issue for the country as well as individuals. Faughnan also stated that foreign insurers fear the lack of clear information on insurance claims costs in this country and are wary on this front also. Whilst fuel costs are dropping, rising insurance costs ensure that drivers are feeling no benefit. Ireland Underground, a group of representatives of young drivers in Ireland have been quoted as saying that these rising costs have left Ireland’s younger drivers feeling

“As if they are besieged on all fronts by a sense of hopelessness.”

Once again, we are seeing our young people being hit hard by the financial issues which previously threatened their continued living in this country. It is not just our younger people here though being hit hard as older people are also finding themselves being hit by astronomical insurance premiums, and as a result are struggling to keep their cars on the road and maintain their own independence in this way.

Suggestions have been made to bring our costs and compensation in line with EU averages and allow greater competition for both Irish and foreign insurance companies in Ireland. According to the AA’s annual survey of motoring costs, the average cost of running a family car in Ireland has increased by €255.82 in the last year.

Should you require any assistance with your own finance management issues please don’t hesitate to contact us here at DCA Accountants.

 

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DCA PARTNERSDECLAN DOLAN & EAMONN GARVEY