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Yearly Archives: 2017
Discover Your True Offshore Tax Position
If you work on a ship you may be wondering about the rules and regulations that coincide with the Seafarers Earnings Deduction and whether or not if you qualify for it. Within this special page, we will explain the details of the Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction program below. You will learn how it may or may not apply to you and whether or not you can receive this tax deduction. Just continue reading below to find out the full details.
To begin with you can only qualify for this special earnings deduction if you perform all of your work duties on a ship or if you perform most of your duties on a ship and other incidental duties that are related to duties on the ship. This may sound easy to understand but it gets a little more intricate with the legalities involved.
The actual word “ship” is not defined in the tax laws. However, “offshore installations” which are commonly used in the production of offshore oil and gas industries are identified and are not considered as “ships” in regards to the Seafarers Earnings Deduction program. This means that if you work on an offshore installation you are not entitled to the deduction. You may be wondering what constitutes an offshore installation when it comes to the law. We have listed the following descriptions below but this is not in itself legal advice.
An offshore installation is considered as
- Floating production storage and offloading vessels are also known as FPSOs
- Production platforms that are floating
- Production platforms that are fixed
- Storage units that are floating
- Mobile offshore drilling vessels including drillships, semi-submersible and jack-us)
- Also Flotels
If you happen to work on an offshore installation anywhere throughout the world you are not considered to be a “seafarer” under the purposes of the Seafarers Earnings Deduction program so unfortunately, these workers cannot take advantage of the tax relief. So what exactly is considered a “Seafarer” in regards to this program? A Seafarer is a person who is employed on a vessel that is actively engaged on a voyage or partial voyage which begins or ends outside the UK and travels outside of the UK. In this situation, the North Sea is also considered to be a part of the UK.
How to qualify for the deduction program
Quite simply, if you have been on more than one employment in the qualifying period of time when you have performed your employment duties outside of the UK. A qualifying period of time is considered for the time spent outside of the UK. A day is considered when you are outside of the UK in a 24 hour period with the day ending at midnight, as long as you are outside of the UK. When you spend days that are outside of the UK and are not working then these days are considered days of absence. There are a few more details we will explain below in what exactly counts towards a qualifying period if you are on a return visit to the UK. We will explain how this impacts you and your ability to receive this deduction:
- to begin, to have your time counted under the qualifying period your visit cannot last more than a total of 183 days long.
- the full number of intervening days you spend in the UK can be no more than exactly half of the number of days you spent abroad from the first day abroad to the last day you spent.
- intervening days are only counted between periods of absence from employment.
Being an employee that works outside of the UK on a ship may entitle you to the seafarers discount which will help to reduce the taxes that you are required to pay. As long as you meet the requirements of having worked on a ship outside of the UK for a long enough period and are a resident of the UK you will be able to receive this specialized discount. We recommend that you keep records related to your offshore employment to have an easier time filing for the discount. It is a helpful deduction and if these rules and requirements relate to you then, by all means, take advantage of the Seafarers Earnings Deduction to get the tax relief you deserve for your employment on a ship. For further information, speak to HMRC or a qualified accountant for more information on how this deduction may or not apply to you.
The author wishes to acknowledge the following external sources for use of links, reference material and images:
Keep Your Horses Dry & Warm in the Colder Seasons
Within this unique article, we will share with you the benefits and advantages of using mobile field shelters and mobile stables for housing your horses during the harsher winter months. Your land can become damaged and dangerous for your livestock to roam on. We will outline the different weather conditions you need to be aware of and how to lower the risks of freezing temperatures affecting your horses. We will provide you with our time tested advice that will help you and your livestock have happier and much healthier lives.
When there is a drop in temperature the ground can turn hard with frost across larger areas of your entire property. This becomes even more dangerous if the frost comes after a period of heavy rains. The ground outside the stable entrances tends to poach and can create large craters in the ground. This makes it hard for your horses to walk through and they can easily fall or slip and possibly sprain an ankle. If you notice that your mobile shelter is sitting on poached land you will want to move it to a different location for the safety of your live stock. You will want to move the shelter to a much flatter area of your property before any frost sets in during the winter.
If your property is near a lake or river base or at the end of a slope, a sudden rain can cause disastrous consequences such as flooding virtually overnight. You want to protect your animals and keep them in a higher elevation and dry before there could be any possible problems associated with flooding. Be sure to check the local weather forecasts regularly and if there is an upcoming storm then, by all means, move your mobile shelters to higher ground on your land.
Rain can also cause the problem of the ground poaching around shelter entrances. This poses a risk to your horses in terms of slips and falls which can lead to ankle sprains and breaks. If your stables do flood you can only imagine how stressful it will be to gain access to the hay and feed. We suggest you move your mobile shelters frequently and even rotate them if needed. You want the ground get a rest and the benefit of drying out. You can then harrow and roll the land as needed.
Strong winter winds have been known to pick up and throw shelters around the fields which pose a huge safety risk to both you and your horses. We suggest that you use ground bolts to secure your mobile shelters to the ground. You can also use hay bales to create wind shelters that are just as effective.
Make sure that you maintain access to your stable and shelter sites. You will need to keep your water and feed updated on a daily basis even more so because your animals will need to eat and drink more to maintain their body weight and health. When you build your bespoke timber mobile field shelter you will want to have easy access to it no matter what kind of weather you may be experiencing. You will want to build them closer to your home for easier access and for the ability to easily maintain it.
We hope you follow our advice on winterising your ranch and when you follow these suggestions you will make your horses healthier and happier through the colder winter months.
We’d like to make a special mention of thanks to the following external websites for using their content, images and media as references in the authorship of this article:
What is an office fit out?
When it comes to defining different types of fit outs, one cannot be very specific. The reason is that one type of fit out can include some finishes, which for someone else would typically fall under another fit out category. Therefore the most standard definition that can be offered in the field of commercial building fit outs is the Shell and Core fit out, Cat A and Cat B fit outs. The former typically refers to a building’s shell – there are no additional features and amenities other than the basic framework of the building.
Cat A and Cat B go some steps further, and this is just what we shall be discussing hereunder.
What is a Cat A fit out?
This is quite a basic form of fit out too. It goes a bit further than Shell and Core as besides the concrete and metal framework, this type of fit out will also include certain electrical services, suspended ceilings, toilets, and some basic finishes. In the case of a commercial building one would expect to find industry standards compliant fire detection systems, the internal walls, the lift, the lobby and reception area also completed.
What is a Cat B fit out?
In this type of fit out we go beyond a Cat A fit out. This is because there will also be several other finishes with the aim to make the space more unique. So there will be discussions about the type of style and how to achieve it. As a result this type of fit out will include the floor finishes, the doors, any partitions, the lighting facilities, any equipment that will need to be installed such as air conditioning and audio visual equipment, as well as the furnishings. Thus a Cat B fit out will make the building complete, inside and outside.
Deciding which fit out is best
There will be conflicting ideas as to which type of fit out one will opt for. Needless to say, different people will have diverse preferences. Some will want the building to be completed from a to z, so that they will not need to worry about anything. The developers will be entrusted to finalising the commercial building both in terms of the exterior as well as the interior finishes. The price will obviously be higher as there is so much that will need to be seen to. However the lack of stress and hassle in seeing to the works in progress, acquiring materials and hiring different service providers to see to the various jobs, might ultimately pay off for the higher price of a Cat B office fit out.
On the other hand there may be clients who are obsessed with realizing their business’s brand image in a specific way. In such a case they would prefer to monitor and administer the interior decor and finishes on their own. This is where a Cat A fit out would make more sense.
Your kitchen is undeniably one of the rooms where you spend most time at. Over the years your kitchen’s look may have started to become a bit obsolete, and you are yearning to replace it. However you cannot imagine spending all that money involved in ordering and installing a new kitchen. Apart from that, there is a lot of hassle involved to remove all that stuff from inside the cabinets, dismantle and remove the cabinets and worktops, and then go through the installation of the new kitchen. There is however no need to go through all this. You can transform your kitchen by carrying out some changes which will still make a big impact on its final look.
You can actually transform your kitchen with new doors and drawer fronts, and by installing new countertops. It is a much more feasible option, especially if your cabinets are still in good condition. It is also more affordable, and more environmentally friendly too. In fact many homeowners are opting for these kinds of facelifts rather than ordering a new kitchen.
If you were to think of it, the first thing anyone notices about a kitchen are the cabinet doors and drawers. They make up the aesthetic element of the kitchen, as well as its style. So removing the old cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and ordering or making new ones will make a huge difference. Besides it will neither take long, nor cost you that much. Cabinet doors for kitchens come in a myriad of colours and styles. You can go for a more modern look such as melamine covered MDF in various colours, or something more traditional, such as wooden doors with glass panels.
There are many professional installers who will design new cabinet doors and drawer fronts for your kitchen and take care of the installation as well. To complement these new doors and drawers you will also need to choose handles or knobs. These will also make a big difference on how your kitchen will look.
Besides the doors and drawers, the kitchen worktop is another integral and imperative element in your kitchen. Therefore if you replace your current worktop you are going to make a big difference on the kitchen’s style and decor. There are many materials one can opt for when it comes to kitchen countertops, most of which are more stain and scratch resistant than your current worktops for sure. Laminate worktops are among the most cost efficient options, but you can opt for the more expensive quartz or granite options which look great and last for years. It will depend on how much you intend to spend, but in either case all of these options come in a wide range of colours and styles, so as to suit anyone’s preferences and kitchen style.
It is important to entrust the job to a professional kitchen installer who will be able to ensure that the work is carried out properly. All in all, the final cost will definitely be just a fraction of the cost of a new kitchen, and you will still be very pleased with the look and realise your home’s full potential with one of the most cost cutting kitchen makeovers imaginable.
The author would like to express his thanks and gratitude to the following websites for using their material in bringing this blog post together:
While using your NOW TV Box chances are that you often encounter the 014 error code. It is indeed one of the most common errors that crop up, and so it is best to know how to go about fixing this issue.
The error message states that you need to verify that the wireless router is turned on. It also states that you need to make sure that you have entered the password correctly. At this point, you are also reminded that passwords are case sensitive, as this could have been the problem. Once you have checked this out, you should be good to go. However the error message may still come up, and in that case you will need to know how to fix it. So here is a step by step guide which you can follow easy to enable you to do this.
- You will need to press certain buttons on your NOW TV remote control so as to go to the ‘Platform Secret’ screen.
- Press the Home button five times.
- Then press the Fast Forward button once.
- Press the Play button once.
- Press the Rewind button once.
- Once again press the Play button once.
- And then press the Fast Forward button once.
- After following this sequence of buttons, you should arrive on the ‘Platform Secret’ screen. If you have the current black NOW TV box, press on the ‘Systems Operations Menu’ and then click on the ‘Disable Network Pings’ option. If your NOW TV box is the older version in white, you will just have to choose the ‘Disable Network Pings’ option as it will be immediately accessible.
- After doing this, you should press the ‘Back’ button on your remote control. This is marked by an arrow pointing backwards. The button will need to be pressed until you arrive on the ‘Connection Setup’ screen.
- Once you are on this screen, try to connect to your network again. You will need to enter the right network ID and its password.
By following this step by step guide you should have managed to solve the problem. However, in case the problem persists, then the only option now is to hard reset your NOW TV box, and then try to connect it to your wireless network once again. However, the above guide should be a problem solver in the case of the error 014.
Find Yourself the Best Family Law Solicitor
When one is faced with a divorce, it is normal to feel confused and uneasy. There are so many things that need to be taken into account and decided from now on. Therefore, many people tend to contact the first divorce lawyer that they find, without giving much thought as to whether he or she is indeed the best choice or not.
Choosing a suitable divorce lawyer is very important as he/she will be the one who will be guiding you through the whole process. Trying out different divorce lawyers is not recommended as it is a waste of time and money to do this. However, you do not want to end up sticking with a divorce lawyer who you do not feel confident with. So it is important to know what to look for when looking for a divorce lawyer.
Here are some tips which will help you make a good choice:
The Role of your Divorce Lawyer
The divorce lawyer is a legal professional, and so it is important to bear this in mind. You cannot consider him/her to be your therapist, even though at the time you feel you need emotional support. However the divorce lawyer is primarily there to assist you through the legal intricacies of your divorce. So to strike a good balance between these two needs, try to find a divorce lawyer who is also able to be emphatic.
Being Focused & Realistic
The divorce process is generally a long and tedious one, not to mention emotional and expensive so if possible, you may want to explore alternatives to divorce. You need a lawyer who, apart from knowing his/her job, is also able to get you divorced quickly. To do this you cannot end up focusing on every little material thing. The more litigious you are, the more time consuming and expensive the divorce will trun out to be. So a realistic and objective demeanour is important here. The divorce lawyer will try to help in the reasoning of things, the effects of each decision, and finally the negotiation of the final terms.
Researching & Interviewing
Spending some time researching different divorce lawyers and asking for recommendations is very important. Nowadays, this process is simplified thanks to the internet, where you can look up reviews too so as to see what other clients had to say about their experience with that particular lawyer. Once you have shortlisted some potential divorce lawyers who have good reviews and ratings, and thus seem to be professional and helpful, you may wish to interview them one by one so as to get a better idea of how you feel with each one of them before choosing one.
You will need a divorce lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable, and at the same time patient with you. You deserve to understand the process and what is going on, and so a good lawyer will also be willing to communicate with you, solve problems and be empathetic. Another word of caution – be aware of whether the lawyer is able to make time for you. If you notice that most of the time he/she answers calls or is distracted by other cases, stay away from him/her. You need to hire a lawyer who is ethical, respectful and attentive to your case.
Bearing these tips in mind will help you determine the suitability of a divorce lawyer. You also need to focus on your needs. Every case is different from another. You may be more concerned about getting the proper portion of your assets and property rather than anything else. Conversely, when there are children involved, there may be more pressure on divorce guardianship matters. Should there be problems with harassment, you will most probably be seeking proper protection from harassment and injunctions primarily. So, you need to discuss your case in depth with the lawyer so as to determine whether he/she is the most suitable divorce lawyer for your particular needs and wishes. Property disputes tend to be less problematic than disputes which revolve around emotional matters like child protection and harassment. So make sure to choose a divorce lawyer who has experience in that particular field.
The choice of your divorce lawyer will most likely be the main determinant of the outcome of your case. So, the importance of choosing a good divorce lawyer can never be emphasized strongly enough. Take your time in reviewing potential divorce lawyers and try not to be quick in making your choice. Even though some lawyers may charge higher fees than others, in the long run experience and skill in handling divorce matters will pay off. So, try to avoid placing costs as the primary factor when choosing a divorce lawyer. His or her experience, skill, character and dedication will ultimately make a huge difference in how your divorce case proceeds, and how satisfied you end up being, or not.
Which commercial maintenance plan suits your business?
When you own a building, you do not just buy it and use it for your business operations. You also need to maintain it and its contents in good running order. A commercial building or an office will include several pieces of equipment and machinery, which need to be maintained in good condition. Just imagine failing to retain your machines, equipment, computers and other assets in proper condition. The result would be that you lose hundreds or thousands of dollars within a few years’ time. You would need to replace these items, as otherwise you will not be able to continue operating either. So, it is evident that maintenance is simply imperative and it needs to be carried out every now and then.
There are in fact two main types of maintenance, namely, reactive maintenance, or planned preventative maintenance, sometimes referred to as “proactive” maintenance. We shall be discussing the differences between these two types of maintenance in commercial offices and buildings in more detail.
What is Reactive Maintenance?
Reactive maintenance refers to the maintenance that is carried out only when a machine or piece of equipment breaks down or develops some sort of fault or error. Reactive maintenance is thus often referred to as breakdown maintenance. The main intent is to restore that piece of equipment or machine to its normal condition so as to regain operation as soon as possible. This will include repairing faulty parts or components, or replacing them.
What is Preventive Maintenance?
Preventive or proactive maintenance is an approach which, as the name itself implies, makes sure that repairs are avoided by being proactive. Certain maintenance procedures will be carried out on a regular basis in order to minimize the possibility of faults and the need for reactive maintenance.
What approach should your business take?
Needless to say, there are different reactions and opinions to the type of maintenance that one should choose. Some feel that the best option is to be proactive, as apart from saving money in the long run, one would also be increasing the life span of the assets as well as guaranteeing efficient productivity as breakdowns can be avoided. Others feel the reactive maintenance makes more sense since it is less time consuming than reactive maintenance, and there will be no need to excessive or useless maintenance being carried out at regular intervals which again, can be expensive.
Obviously both of these approaches have their respective pros and cons and it is not easy to choose between the two. There are various factors to take into account, including costs and time involved.
Establishing a clear and regular maintenance routine sits well with those who have a large commercial building or office, where there are dozens of computers, machines and equipment. With a regular evaluation being carried out, there will be a proper amount of time allocated to each machine. The evaluation will be carried out with the intention of checking the various components and ascertaining areas that require fixing, replacement or repair, so as to prevent the machine from breaking down in the near future. Preventive maintenance helps to divide the maintenance tasks over a period of time, and this makes the process a bit easier and less problematic.
For instance, one will schedule an inspection of all computers on the ground floor during January, machines on ground floor during February, and equipment on ground floor during March, and then proceed in a similar manner for the subsequent floors. In this way the tasks will be carried out at a leisurely pace, unlike the pressure involved when breakdown maintenance has to be carried out as quickly as possible. Preventive maintenance will also help to pinpoint problems and resolve them in a cost effective manner, thus reducing chances that these will become unmanageable and beyond repair in the future. So a well-rounded maintenance strategy will have these advantages. However, it is also rather difficult to execute since there would need to be the proper amount of time, skill and expense involved in carrying out on a regular basis.
On the other hand, with a Reactive maintenance approach, one would be focusing on repairs only when problems arise. This requires fewer staff as most repairs will simply be outsourced. There is no need for planning, or to employ technicians for such tasks either. However, with reactive maintenance there would be the problem of having to rush the repairs so as to try to continue operating. Unless repairs are carried out quickly there will be a loss in productivity which leads to a loss in sales as well as other expenses. Repairs may end up being very costly, and chances are that the problem ended up being aggravated and thus more expensive to resolve. There may also be safety issues, and generally speaking the life expectancy of assets is reduced with such an approach.
The decision as to which approach to take will depend on various things, and ultimately it is a matter of preference. However it is important to be aware of the differences between the two approaches so as to try to choose the one which strikes the best balance between costs, efficiency, productivity and convenience.
Be Kind to your Feet During Exercise
Running shoes are a must in everyone’s wardrobe. Be it for that daily walk or jog, or if you engage in some sort of activity or exercise, having a good pair of running shoes is very important. Nowadays the market is literally inundated with all sorts of running shoes. These vary in terms of styles, colors, brands and prices. As a result, one might be a bit confused as to what factors to consider when choosing a pair of running shoes. One thing is for sure – if you are going to be wearing your running shoes daily, you need to ensure that they are really good. Besides being comfortable and of a correct fit, your running shoes have a critical role in helping in the prevention of certain foot problems, such as planta fasciitis and shin splints. So, a running shoes purchase needs to be done wisely and carefully.
What to Consider When Buying Running Shoes
First of all you will need to consider the shape of your feet. There are flat feet, neutral feet, and high arches. Flat feet generally have fallen arches, and so they are more prone to overpronation. High arched feet are the opposite of flat feet, whereas neutral feet are the normal kind, which fall in between the other two types. High arched feet tend to be more rigid, and it is easy for one to end up landing on the outside edge of his or her feet. Depending on the type of feet you have, you will need to opt for a running shoes model which will properly accommodate your feet. For those who have flat feet it is important to purchase running shoes that help prevent overpronation. If you have high arches, you will need to stick to running shoes that have more cushioning or padding for your midsole.
A gait analysis is another important element when it comes to the selection of the correct type of running shoes. This is basically a method of assessing the way one walks or runs, in order to better evaluate biomechanical abnormalities. Based on this analysis, it will be easier to assign the right type of running shoes for that individual’s needs. Gait analysis is important for professional runners, as it provides important information about one’s running style, level of pronation, as well as in highlighting any areas which might be having an effect on the runner’s efficiency and performance. Ultimately, gait analysis also helps in preventing certain injuries, because when making a well-informed buying decision, one will be able to prevent certain foot problems and injuries by wearing running shoes that are ideal for his/her foot structure, level of pronation and individual needs.
For professional runners, it is even more important to choose the correct type of running shoes in order to prevent common running injuries. Some injuries include runner’s knee, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis ankle sprains and stress fractures. Most of these are related to an inflammation resulting from lack of support from the shoes one wears and the strain that is exerted when running for long distances. It is thus critical to take the time to buy running shoes that are suitable for one’s specific needs, which will be specified according to the feet’s structure, and the type and level of running or exercise one intends to engage in.
When buying running shoes you will also need to take into consideration the type of terrain which you shall be walking, jogging or running on. Will you be using them mostly on asphalt, or on grass, or just to exercise on your treadmill? Even though there are multi-terrain running shoes, it is always best to take into account the terrain that you will be running on, as this will have a considerable effect on the soles of the running shoes you buy. If you intend to go on rugged terrain and steep hills, it is important to invest in a pair of running shoes that have a sole that offers more support and protection like Brooks running shoes. You will be coming across stones, pebbles, and twigs, among various other things, and so you need a sole that offers more structure. There are running shoes that have soles with lugs which are more spaced out, with the prime intention of allowing the release of mud and any build-up more easily. On the other hand, softer soled running shoes are more suitable for technical courses. Having said that, it is important to bear in mind that the softer the sole is, the greater the adhesion will be. However, there is the question of durability to factor in as well. There are many reputable brands who have been introducing various advancements in the design of soles, and in their construction, in an attempt to offer the best in terms of design, durability, stability and traction.
While creating and building, you tend to have several leftovers from wood boards and sheets that you would like to store away just in case. Sometimes even the smallest piece of wood can come in handy. Besides it would be a pity to simply throw them away as chances are you will use some of them while building something else in the future. However since these pieces of wood are of various different sizes and shapes, you would prefer to store them in an organized way. You do not want to end up with a pile of wood cluttering part of your workshop or garage. So a simple cut off bin could do the trick to store them away neatly. Building a portable cut-off bin is actually quite simple, and considering how practical and useful it can be, it is certainly worth building one. Let us outline how you can go about it in some more detail.
First you will need to use a full sheet of plywood or purchase a sheet of MDF. 8inch by 4inch, and at least 18mm deep, will be fine. Even though both plywood and MDF are good materials, it is better to opt for plywood as it is stronger and more moisture resistant than MDF. So considering that the cut-off bin might be placed outdoors, it is best to stick to plywood.
You will need four casters so as to attach them to the bin for portability purposes. You will also need four corner L-brackets, and a box of self-tapping screws.
You will need an electric drill with a 2mm wood drill bit. You will also need a hand saw or a circular saw to cut the various parts.
- You will need to start cutting the various parts of the bin first. Since every piece will be with straight edges there is no complicated cutting in this project. Start by cutting the main pieces, that is, the two sides of the bin, and the centre panel. Give them a light sanding to remove any splinters or rough edges.
- Next come another two pieces of exactly the same size of the centre piece.
- Now you will need to cut the front panel and the base panel of the bin.
- Cut the dividers that will be placed within the bin. With two dividers you will have four compartments. This should be good enough to organize the various pieces of wood you will be storing inside the bin.
- Last but not least cut the back panel.
- You should start by attaching the centre piece and the two other pieces which are exactly the same shape and size of this panel, in their respective parts. Measure the length of the base panel so as to mark the centre with a pencil. Then measure 5cm from either edge and drill two holes through the base panel.
- Have someone hold them for you so that you can create a T-shape. Screw the base panel to the centre divider panel using wood screws. Repeat this to the other two pieces. When done you should have a W-shaped formation.
- Your frame is already taking shape at this point. Carefully turn it over to attach the back panel to it. You will definitely need someone to hold the panels in place until you attach them or use some suitable wood clamps. Always drill pilot holes and then use the wood screws to fix them in place. 1inch wood screws should be enough for a sturdy frame.
- Now mark where the dividers will be attached. This is important to attach the L-brackets accordingly.
- Place the first L-bracket in place and drill gently to make two shallow pilot holes. Screw the L-bracket onto the panel. Repeat with the other brackets.
- Slide the dividers one by one into the frame. Then start screwing each one of them to the centre panel with the brackets.
- Afterwards screw the outer panels to the interior divider panels by drilling pilot holes and then using wood screws.
- Next, lay the frame on its back, place the outer panel over the front opening, and drill pilot holes along the bottom area. Continue to drill on the two sides and the centre line, and finally attach with the wood screws.
- Your bin’s frame is now ready. The last step is to attach the four casters to the base. Lay it on its back and mark the holes you will be drilling one by one. Then screw each caster in place with the wood screws.
Your portable cut-off bin is assembled and all that remains is to finish it off. This is obviously optional, but by giving it a light sanding especially along the edges to get rid of any splinters, it will look neater. Then, you may stain it with wood varnish or paint. Once it is dry, fill it up with all those leftover pieces of wood you have piled up! At last they are now neatly organized!