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FSB calls for export vouchers for small firms

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is asking the government to do more to support struggling small firms by giving them export vouchers. The FSB is calling on the Department for International Trade and the Treasury to give small firms a pre-Brexit injection of support to promote exporting by introducing export vouchers. According to FSB data, 21% of small firms currently…Read More

HMRC webinar: Getting ready for Brexit

Neil Warren reviews key issues raised by HMRC’s ‘Getting ready for a no-deal Brexit’ webinar, including customs duties, customs declarations and entry summary declarations. Following up on his previous article about VAT and EORI issues, Neil Warren shares some other learning points from HMRC’s recent webinar. Customs Duties I was pleasantly surprised to learn from the webinar…Read More

The SME verdict on the Queen’s speech

Business groups representing freelancers and small firms have welcomed some of the key proposals in the Queen’s Speech – including pension dashboards for the self-employed. Andy Chamberlain, deputy director of policy at freelancer body IPSE, said: “There were several positives for the self-employed in the Queen’s Speech … One of the biggest challenges for the self-employed, is saving…Read More

VAT: Botox exemption claim fails to raise eyebrows

It has always been a grey area whether some procedures carried out for medical purposes qualify for VAT exemption. Neil Warren considers the case of Skin Rich Ltd, in which a tax tribunal ruled that botox and nail fungal treatments did not qualify. In order to qualify for VAT exemption, a medical service or treatment supplied…Read More

Get ready for Brexit – business readiness events

The UK Government are hosting free Brexit Readiness Events throughout the UK which will give businesses the opportunity to meet government advisers and to find out what actions your business needs to take to prepare for Brexit. The events will combine a keynote address, interactive support, advice stands, and in-depth sessions led by subject matter…Read More

What small businesses think of the four-day working week proposal

Labour announced a raft of proposals during its party conference this year, including a reduction in the standard working week to 32 hours (four days) within the next decade. The four-day working week isn’t a new idea, but it still sparks as much debate as ever. Some see it as the panacea to our continuing…Read More

GDPR compliance gives competitve advantage

Most firms still aren’t fully GDPR compliant, but a new report has found that compliance brings significant business benefits. The Capgemini Research Institute has surveyed senior executives in businesses in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, UK, the US and India about GDPR. Its findings show that only 28% say they are compliant. However, the…Read More

Brexit brings back 1980s postponed accounting VAT rule

Postponed accounting for VAT imports is due to return after a 35-year absence when the UK leaves the EU, as Neil Warren explains. If you worked in accountancy (or VAT) up until 1984, you may remember that VAT on imported goods was dealt with by postponed accounting, where the importer had a UK VAT number.…Read More

VAT and the Cashless Society

Neil Warren believes that the move towards cashless retail outlets will be good news for both business owners and HMRC. I recently spent a few days in the fantastic city of Stockholm. I entered the country with 270 krona in my wallet and left it three days later with 260. How could this happen, you…Read More

How to Scale Up A Small Business

Entrepreneurs start their own businesses for reasons that usually include self-determination and control: being able to work their own hours, focusing exactly on what they want to do, making their own decisions and potentially enjoying the profits their business generates. However, the reality of a small business in its first stages is much bleaker. Being…Read More

NDAs: New proposals crack down on misuse of confidentiality clauses

The government has announced new legislation to curb the “the misuse of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)” after consultation and strong pressure from advocacy groups alleging confidentiality clauses are used to cover up workplace harassment and assault. NDAs are a part-and-parcel of doing business, but according to some critics, a lack of clear rules on how they are…Read More

Key employment law changes accountants need to consider

Andrew Secker examines two key changes in employment law are coming into force in April 2020 which practitioners should have on their radar when assisting clients to identify and address key issues that may affect workforce costs. 1) Changes to the tax treatment of off-payroll labour From 6 April 2020, changes to tax legislation regulating…Read More

Holiday pay is a hot issue

A case concerning voluntary overtime and a change to the employment rights regulations combine to give payroll professionals a headache when calculating holiday pay. What is a week’s pay? The Working Time Regulations (SI 1998/1833) give workers the right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid annual holiday, and this holiday pay is calculated based…Read More

Five misunderstandings around IR35

With draft legislation now published for the government’s off-payroll working reforms, Alastair Kendrick tackles five of the most common areas of IR35 confusion for contractors and their accountants. We now have the release of the draft revised IR35 legislation and confirmation from HM Treasury that it proposes to press forward with the introduction of the new rules…Read More

Employment allowance: The unexpected consequences

From April 2020, the employment allowance is to be restricted to those with only secondary class 1 National Insurance Contributions of less than £100,000. Samantha Mann, senior policy and research officer at the CIPP, explores the unexpected consequence this proposal will have on affected employers. Introduction Brought in from April 2014 and available to business…Read More

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