News and Events

HMRC issues guidance on ‘swaps’ tax

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has issued guidance on how redress payments made to businesses that have been mis-sold interest rate hedging products should be accounted for on tax returns. The complex products, including swaps, caps and collars, were typically sold by banks to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) alongside business loans as a way to reduce the risk of exposure to interest rate fluctuations. Read more…

Growth fund support hits new high

The number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) supported through the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has trebled over the past year, new figures show. According to an annual monitoring report published on 22 July, 5,100 businesses received RGF support in the year 2013 to 2014 while the number of direct jobs created or safeguarded through RGF more than doubled in a year to 69,000. RGF payments Read more…

Plan ahead for summer holidays, say experts

A leading accountancy body has issued top tips for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners to help make sure that their businesses do not suffer financially while they and their staff are on holiday. Issuing the guidance on 15 July, Clive Lewis, head of enterprise at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), said: “At this time of year, when employees will Read more…

Auto-enrolment passes key milestone

All the UK’s largest businesses have now passed their staging dates for automatically enrolling eligible workers into qualifying workplace pension schemes. Announcing the landmark on 17 July, the Pensions Regulator, which regulates workplace pensions, said 99 per cent of the employers had met their legal duties without it needing to use its statutory powers. Thousands of medium employers are currently reaching their staging dates – Read more…

Sick leave reduction service provider named

The government has named the company it has chosen to deliver a new service, designed to help employees and employers better manage sickness absence and reduce the costs involved. Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said on 25 July that the Health and Work Service would be delivered by Health Management Limited, the UK’s leading occupational health provider. In Scotland, the Health and Work Service Read more…

HMRC targets schemes with upfront tax payments

A list of tax avoidance schemes whose users may be required to make an upfront payment of tax has been published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The Finance Bill, which is due to receive Royal Assent later this month, will give HMRC a new power called accelerated payments. This will mean users of schemes with a reference number on the HMRC list may receive Read more…

Businesses urged to tap into potential of older workers

British businesses must realise the potential of older employees and help people to carry on working, Pensions Minister Steve Webb has said. He was speaking on 13 June at the launch of a new government action plan, which says that the economy could have been boosted by £18 billion in 2013 if the employment gap between people in their 40s and those aged from 50 Read more…

Help at hand on PAYE late filing penalties

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published new guidance for employers to help prepare for PAYE late filing penalties from October 2014. HMRC launched the online helpsheet on the new penalties and appeals on 23 June in response to customer feedback. In-year penalties for failing to file PAYE submissions on time will be introduced from 6 October 2014, so employers need to make sure all Read more…

SMEs lack auto-enrolment awareness, say advisers

Only one in 100 independent financial advisers (IFAs) believe small businesses are well prepared for auto-enrolment into workplace pensions, a new study has revealed. The survey for business software specialists Sage UK of more than 200 IFAs also found just one in five (21 per cent) agreed that small firms were aware of auto-enrolment, even though by April 2015 around 8,000 businesses with between 50 Read more…

National minimum wage review under way

The government has set out its remit for the annual review of the national minimum wage (NMW) by the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC). Alongside the review of the NMW, which will lead to recommendations on the levels the commission believes should apply from October 2015, the government has asked it to make recommendations on two new issues. One area is how minimum wage rates Read more…