News – May 2018

Dear customers – this update describes some recent improvements we have made to the web site and also an update on new GDPR legislation which come into effect this month.

Hope you find the information useful. As usual you can contact us if you have any questions.

GDPR

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to take effect on May 25, 2018. We have recently completed a review of the website to ensure we meet it’s requirements. For more information on the legislation and what it means, read the following blog:

SmartPropertyManager.com & GDPR

Tax Worksheet updated with final 2017-2018 Section 24 changes

From April 2017, HMRC are restricting the finance cost relief for individual landlords on residential properties to the basic rate of income tax. The restriction will be introduced in stages from 2017 through to 2021 and will apply mostly to individual landlords (not companies) who manage residential properties and who pay higher rate tax.

In December we pre-emptively made changes to the tax worksheet in order to take into account the new rules for financial cost relief from 2017 onwards.

With the release of the final SA105 form in April 2018, we have now updated the tax worksheet to reflect the final published layout and guidelines.

The following screenshot shows the lower part of the detailed calculations section of the tax worksheet which now matches exactly the format used by HMRC SA105 form:


2017-tax-worksheet
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These fields are calculated as follows:

Field Description
A. Non-residential loan interest and other financial costs The total expenditure your business has incurred for financial costs such as loan interest on non-residential property. Specifically, this aggregates all transactions in the financial period with tax category Loan interest & finance costs (Non-residential property).
B. Residential loan interest and other financial costs The total expenditure your business has incurred for financial costs such as loan interest on residential property. Specifically, this aggregates all transactions in the financial period with tax category Loan interest & finance costs (Residential property).
C. Residential finance costs that can be claimed as an expense The proportion of the residential finance costs that can be claimed as an expense. The percentage used to calculate the proportion will reduce in stages between 2017 through to 2021.
D. Residential finance costs that cannot be claimed as an expense The proportion of residential finance costs that cannot be claimed as an expense. These finance costs can be claimed as a reduction on your income tax liability at the basic rate of tax (currently 20%). Refer to the HMRC guidelines for further details.
E. Total finance costs that can be claimed as an expense The full amount to be claimed as an expense, calculated as the sum of non-residential finance costs (box A) and the proportion of residential finance costs that can be claimed as an expense (box C).

For full details of the changes to finance cost relief see the following HMRC publications:

 

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News – March 2018

Hello to all our valuable customers! This update describes some recent improvements we have made to the web site. Hope you find them useful.

Ability to record arbitrary types of transactions

Previously, SmartPropertyManager.com only supported two types of financial transactions – income and expenditure. This was fine for the bulk of financial information that needs to be recorded as part of a property business, but was a little unintuitive for certain types of financial transactions – for example, recording income from a third party that was not a tenant or a landlord, or distinguishing the beneficiary of income in context of a property unit that you manage for a client landlord (the beneficiary may be the landlord or it may be yourself as the property manager).

Hence, we recently added the ability to record arbitrary types of financial transactions. On many of the financial statement pages you will now see an additional link called ‘Record Other Transaction’ as shown in the following screenshot:


spm-statements-general-transactions

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Clicking on the link shows a slightly modified version of the regular transaction dialog – the main difference being that you can explicitly control the source and target financial parties for the transaction. The ‘From’ field let’s you choose the financial party from which the transaction is paid. The ‘To’ field let’s you choose the financial party to which the transaction is paid. These two financial parties can be your business, a tenancy or any organization such as a supplier, an agent or a landlord.

See the following screenshot:


spm-statements-general-transactions

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Refer to the help for more information and for examples of usage.

Simplified attachments user interface

We have made a couple of improvements to the attachments dialog to make it easier to use. It is now possible to add attachments directly from the attachments dialog and to add multiple attachments at the same time. The following screenshot shows the updated attachments dialog:


spm-attachments

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Ability to export or email Open Tenancy balances

The home page dashboard has always contained a panel showing a summary of open tenancies, including key details such as next payment due and balance. The panel now has options to more easily share the summary of open tenants – either by emailing it or exporting to excel.

See the following screenshot:


rent next due export

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Clicking on the cog icon in the top-right corner of the Open Tenancies section shows a pop-up menu which allows you to export or email an excel file with the open tenancy details.

 

News – December 2017

Hello to all our customers! We have recently updated the web site to reflect legislative changes to the way in which financial cost relief is applied for tax returns of individual landlords.

Tax Worksheet updated with 2017-2018 Section 24 changes

We have updated the tax worksheet to take into account the new rules for financial cost relief from 2017 onwards.

In a nutshell, from April 2017, HMRC are restricting the finance cost relief for individual landlords on residential properties to the basic rate of income tax. The restriction will be introduced in stages from 2017 through to 2021 and will apply mostly to individual landlords (not companies) who manage residential properties and who pay higher rate tax.

The following screenshot shows the additional calculations displayed on the tax worksheet for financial periods after 6/Apr/2017:


2017-tax-worksheet

[Tip: click image to enlarge]

The detailed calculations section of the tax worksheet displays details of how Finance Cost Relief is calculated for your business as follows:

Field Description
F1. Total finance costs The total expenditure your business has incurred for financial costs such as loan interest. Specifically, this aggregates all transactions in the financial period with tax category ‘Loan interest and other financial costs’.
F2. Percentage to deduct from property income The percentage of the total finance costs that can be deducted from property income for the period in question.
F3. Amount to deduct from property income The actual amount that can be deducted from property income – i.e. F1 divided by F2 x 100. This figure will be inserted into box 26 of the tax worksheet
F4. Amount to claim using basic rate tax The remainder of the finance costs which can be claimed as a reduction from your income tax liability at the basic rate of tax (currently 20%). Refer to the HMRC guidelines for further details.

The way to claim this amount will be clarified once HMRC publish the 2017/2018 self-assessment forms.

Some important notes:

  • The finance cost relief section of the tax worksheet is provisional until HMRC publish full details of the final SA105 form for 2017/2018.

 

For further details see the following HMRC publications:

News – June 2017

Hello to all our customers! A brief update on changes we have recently made to SmartPropertyManager.com:

Customisable home page

Following on from recent improvements to the general look and feel of the web site, we have now added the ability to customise the appearance of the home page in a number of ways.

The following screenshot shows the various ways in which the home page can be customised. Read on for more details.

2017-home-page-customization

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Walking through each of the allowable customisations:

  • Show or hide the side bar by clicking on the horizontal bars icon in the top-left corner of the page.
  • Collapse or expand individual panels by clicking on the minus/plus icon in the top-right of each panel.
  • Show or hide panels by accessing the Customise Home Page dialog from the page settings sub-menu in the top-right hand corner of the page.
  • Re-arrange the location of panels by dragging and dropping them into the desired location on the home page.
  • Customise the content of individual panels by clicking on the cog icon in the top-right hand corner of the panel.

The web site will conveniently remember your customisations and reapply them the next time you access the home page.

Single downloadable help manual

The help manual can now be viewed as a full single page. To access it, go to any help page, go to the contents and then scroll to the bottom – as shown in the following screenshot:

2017-help-single-page

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Useful hint: Many modern browsers support printing to PDF so you can go to the single page view and then print to PDF to get an easily downloadable PDF file containing all SmartPropertyManager’s help content.

Improved support for new internet domains

SmartPropertyManager.com now recognises and allows use of email addresses in new top-level internet domains, e.g. @business, @realtor, @property.

Additional Improvements

  • We’ve made some changes under the covers to minimise the amount of content that needs to be generated which means that most pages now display more quickly than before.
  • A few tweaks have been made to make printable page views print more visually appealing and simpler.

News – January 2017

Happy New Year to all our customers! A brief update on a few changes we have recently made to the web site:

Refreshed Look and Feel

As most customers have already noticed, we have refreshed the look and feel of the application to make it look more modern and to also make it easier to use on touch screen devices such as tablets. See the screenshot below for a flavour of the new look.

201701-home

 

A couple of notes:

  • You can switch back to the previous classic look using the link called ‘Use the classic theme’ on the left hand side of the home page. However, please be aware that the classic theme will be permanently removed in the near future.
  • Additional changes are lined up later this spring to continue improving the look and usability of the web site.

If there are additional look and feel changes you think we can make or if there is something that is making it difficult to use the new look then please let us know through the regular contact page.

Smarter defaulting when entering transactions

The system now performs smarter defaulting when entering new transaction records. When the supplier is selected for expenditure records, the system will default the transaction category, the tax category and the VAT rate to the values last used for that supplier.

You can switch this behaviour on or off through your preferences in user settings.

 

Uploading of attachments using drag and drop

There are now two ways to upload new attachments in the Add Attachment dialog as shown in the screenshot below:

  1. Click on the Choose button to display your native operating system file chooser and select one or more files to upload.
  2. Find the files using the regular Windows explorer (or equivalent for other platforms) and drag and drop the files into the Add Attachment dialog.

 

201701-add-attachment

News – August 2016

This update introduces a number of improvements to the collaboration features of the system.

Alerting Improvements

A couple of improvements have been made to the way in which alerts work:

  • It is now possible for an alert to trigger an email as well as tasks or calendar events.
  • It is also possible to control the number of days the system goes looking for future calendar events. The default is 30 days, but this can now be set up to 90 days.

See the following screenshot for the new options:

Alert Control Dialog

Email & Export Improvements

We have tweaked the user interface to make it easier to export and email reports. The Actions section on the left-hand side of the page now contains direct links for exporting or emailing to the supported formats (Excel, Microsoft Word, PDF) as shown in the following screenshot:

export-email-links

 

This makes it much easier and more intuitive to find and use export or emailing functions.

Improved Emailing Capabilities

The email dialog has been improved with a number of new features:

  • Ability to specify multiple email addresses in each of the fields. Just use a semicolon or a comma to separate the entries.
  • Addition of a bcc field so you can now privately copy the email onto certain email addresses.
  • Smarter auto-complete – the system now suggests additional email addresses as candidates for the To field.

The following screenshot summarizes the additional capabilities:

email-dialog

News – April 2016

 VAT Support

It is now possible to enable tracking of VAT for those customers who are VAT-registered. When VAT tracking is turned on, it will provide the following additional features:
  • Recording of VAT with income and expenditure transactions
  • Recording of VAT with tenancy charges
  • Recording of VAT with management fees
  • Reporting of VAT on statements

This feature has actually been available to a restricted set of customers for a while, but is now enabled for general use.

Enabling VAT Support

You can use the VAT tab of the company profile dialog to enable VAT tracking as shown in the following screenshot:

company-profile-dialog

Recording VAT

Once VAT tracking is enabled then you will see additional fields for recording of VAT in various parts of the system. For example, the following screenshot shows the additional fields when recording an income transaction:

income-dialog

A few notes:

  • You can control whether or not the specific income record is subject to VAT. The same approach applies to other parts of the system where VAT can now be recorded.
  • If VAT is enabled for transaction records, then the following additional fields are displayed: Net Amount, VAT Rate, VAT Amount
  • In this specific example, the management fee for an income record also has an additional option to control whether or not to apply VAT to the fee.

VAT on Statements

You can then report the recorded VAT elements on statements. The following example shows the additional VAT information on a landlord statement once VAT tracking has been enabled:

landlord-statement

Improved display of overdue charges on home page

The Tenancies pane on the home page is used to show details of active tenancies. When it is set to display overdue tenancies it by default only displays details of the first overdue charge for the tenancy. We have now added a new option to make the Tenancies pane show details of all overdue charges.

The following screenshot shows how to access the options for the Tenancies pane and what is displayed when a tenancy has multiple overdue charges.

rent-next-due-charges

In this example, enabling all overdue charges shows two rows for the tenant – one for the rent due and another for the deposit.

Usability Improvements

A number of tweaks have been made to different parts of the system to make them a little easier to use:

  • When entering transactions the system now displays a warning if the auto-allocation of financial period does not find one that naturally covers the date of the transaction.
  • A number of new internet domains have been introduced so we’ve enhanced the system so we can recognize them in email addresses and links.