News and Events

Tax debt recovery safeguards strengthened

The government says it has improved safeguards to protect vulnerable taxpayers in its plans to recover tax and tax credit debts directly from taxpayers’ bank accounts. Direct Recovery of Debts (DRD) will give HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) the ability to recover cash directly from the bank, building society and ISA accounts of personal and business taxpayers who owe £1,000 or more. HMRC estimates DRD will apply to around 17,000 Read more…

ATED limit reduction from April 2015

It is important to be aware that the ATED limit has been reduced from £2m to £1m with effect from April 2015 and to £500k from April 2016. The first valuation date is 31 March 2012, however properties need to be revalued every five years. If you have residential property owned in a company, irrespective of where the company is resident or what use the Read more…

Auto-enrolment staging date awareness still low in smallest firms

New research has found that fewer than half of the smallest employers know their staging date – the date when they must start auto-enrolling eligible workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme. A survey by the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) found that only 46 per cent of employers with nine or fewer employees have identified their staging date and only 29 per cent have Read more…

Export support soars by 50%

The number of businesses receiving export support has increased by 50 per cent in the last financial year, the government has announced. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) helped 47,960 businesses to export for the first time or find new markets in 2013-14, Trade Minister Lord Livingston said on 20 October. The figures show that the UK economy was boosted by £49.1 billion in additional overseas Read more…

Businesses urged to step up cyber security

Small and medium-sized businesses are being urged to become more proactive in protecting themselves against online fraud. Research has revealed that 60 per cent of small businesses suffered a malicious breach in the past year and half had a serious incident. The worst breaches disrupted operations for small businesses for an average of seven to ten days. To highlight the problem, a panel of specialists Read more…

PAYE tax debt repayment limit increased

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is to increase the amount of money it can take through PAYE to settle tax debts from April 2015. At present, HMRC can recover up to £3,000 in tax owed by adjusting a taxpayer’s Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax code. The process, known as coding out, can be used to recover tax debts from employees paying tax through PAYE Read more…

SMEs to be offered second chance to access finance

The government has published draft legislation introducing new measures to help smaller businesses source the finance they need. The legislation, which forms part of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Bill, will introduce a requirement that banks turning down small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for loans must offer to share their details with government-designated platforms that will help match them with alternative lenders. Over half of Read more…

HMRC issues phishing alert

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is warning taxpayers to be on their guard against fraudulent phishing emails. A total of 74,743 scam emails were reported to HMRC’s dedicated phishing email account between April and September, a 70 per cent increase on the same period in 2013. Over the same period, HMRC worked with other agencies to help close down more than 4,000 websites sending out Read more…

Latest fuel advisory rates published

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has updated its advisory fuel rates, applying to all journeys on or after 1 September 2014. HMRC-approved advisory fuel rates apply where employers reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars, and where employees reimburse the cost of fuel used for private travel in a company car. There is no fuel benefit charge if the advisory rates are used. Read more…

Bereavement at work guidance launched

New guidance has been published to help employers support employees following bereavement. Workplace expert Acas, which published the guide on 17 September, said that research had found that a third of employees who had suffered bereavement in the past five years felt they had not been treated with compassion by their employer. Acas’ new guide has been developed in partnership with Cruse Bereavement Care, bereavement Read more…