LSBF Blog - Global Matters

HMRC writes letter regarding Scottish income tax

January 06 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has written to individuals it believes to be Scottish residents for the purposes of the new taxation system that is due to be applied in the UK north of the border.

The Scottish rate of income tax is the biggest change to hit the taxation of individuals in the UK for many years, and now HMRC is sending letters to individual taxpayers who are on their database as holding an address in Scotland.

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Self-assessment tax submission saw record numbers on NYE, reveals HMRC

January 06 ,2016 | by Erin O’Neill

New figures have revealed that a record number of taxpayers submitted their self-assessment tax returns while the rest of the world was celebrating New Year's Eve.

The latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show that 24,546 people submitted their returns online on NYE, representing a 2.8% rise on last year.

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Insolvents owed money to 113,000 UK businesses in 2015, shows research

January 06 ,2016 | by Thiago Kiwi

Suppliers and customers who entered into an insolvency procedure last year ended up owing money to more than 100,000 UK businesses.

New research from insolvency trade body R3 revealed that 6% of all UK businesses became creditors in an insolvency procedure over the last year, which means 113,000 companies were affected.

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Support for EU membership falls from UK CFOs

January 05 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

According to a survey from the Big Four firm Deloitte, some of the UK's top finance professionals have decided that exiting the EU (Brexit) may not be a bad thing for the country.

Support for EU membership has fallen among chief financial officers (CFOs), with the EU's weak economic recovery, the continuing migrant crisis and uncertainties about the stability of the euro being the main factors.

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Britain top for business optimism, shows study

January 05 ,2016 | by Thiago Kiwi

According to a new study by accountancy firm Grant Thornton, British businesses are amongst the most optimistic in the world, being beaten in Europe only by Ireland.

The new research surveyed more than 10,000 companies across the world and found that almost three quarters of UK-based businesses were hopeful for the year ahead.

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Firms change rewards due to UK pension tax changes

January 04 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

A third of companies in the UK are changing the way they reward higher earners due to changes in pension taxation, according to new research from PwC.

New restrictions on the amount UK taxpayers can pay into their pension tax free over a year will take effect from April 2016, significantly altering annual and lifetime allowances for higher earners.

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New Year's honour for HMRC chief executive

January 03 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Chief Executive Linda Homer has been named on the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.

Homer has been granted one of the highest accolades in the annual list - Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath (DCB).

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Big 4 firm calls for fingerprints to replace passwords

January 02 ,2016 | by Thiago Kiwi

A "more sophisticated approach" to online security is required because computer passwords are "broken," according to KPMG.

The big four accountancy firm thinks that new and more contemporary security measures should be introduced because the average person now has to remember at least 19 different passwords.

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HMRC trials maps to help navigate British tax laws

December 31 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is running a trial of 'maps' to help people work their way around the complicated world of British laws and regulations.

Mainly aimed at government officials, HMRC described the initiative as a British tax law version of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. It runs up to 6,102 pages, or four times the complete works of Shakespeare.

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UK economy sees December house price rise

December 31 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

The price of the average house in the UK rose strongly in December, according to the latest survey from Nationwide.

The building society's research revealed a 0.8% increase in value, compared to only 0.1% in the previous month of November.

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HMRC opens applications for international tax training programmes

December 30 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Two international training and development programmes are being run by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) after the success of previous similar initiatives.

The new programmes are aimed at senior managers and tax auditors already working in the accountancy sector.

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Work begins on £1million business hub in Plymouth

December 30 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Work has begun on a £1million business hub in Plymouth. The project, which will transform a care home into a business and community hub, will help to create more jobs in the city.

Property services company Ian Williams will be converting the building and taking on two extra employees and two apprentices, as well as offering five work placements as part of the contract.

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Entrepreneurs can improve their business by studying competition

December 30 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Entrepreneurs should study their competition in order to learn about productivity and change their business for the better, according to entrepreneur John Rampton.

Rampton provided a number of tips in an article for online magazine, Entrepreneur, stating that he sees his own competition as “a bar set for me to jump over.”

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Calls for “new entrepreneurial mindset” in Scotland

December 29 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Sandy Kennedy, chief executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland, has called for Scotland to be made the most entrepreneurial society in the world. Kennedy expressed his wishes for a “new entrepreneurial mindset” in a contribution to an upcoming publication from Reform Scotland.

Kennedy said that “some of the UK’s best entrepreneurial leaders are operating successful multi-national businesses in and from Scotland.”

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SME bosses expecting a rise in interest rates

December 29 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Britain’s SMEs are expecting a rise in interest rates in the first half of next year, according to a survey conducted by accountancy firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson. The US Federal Reserve recently made the decision to increase bank base rates, whilst interest rates in the UK have remained at 0.5 per cent since 2009.

MHA MacIntyre Hudson’s poll found that over a quarter of Britain’s SMEs expect rates to rise in April next year, whilst 6 per cent expect a rise in January and 7 per cent from February. Around three quarters are expecting an initial rise within the first six months of 2016.

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HMRC boosting online protection for tax returns

December 29 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is planning to improve online security before the 31st of January 2016 deadline for self-assessment tax returns. It advised its customers to “remain vigilant” when filing their returns online.

HMRC will be sending out up to one million emails within the next six weeks, reminding individuals that they will need to file their online self-assessment tax returns by the 31st January. The tax authority also announced its aims to protect its customers from tax scams, which are common around this time of year.

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UK to become world’s 4th largest economy, survey reveals

December 28 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

The UK is to become the fourth largest economy in the world, jumping ahead of Germany and Japan over the next twenty years, according to a report by the Centre for Economics Business and Research.

The report revealed the UK will become the “best performing economy” over the next 15 years, and is currently the world’s fifth largest economy as a result of its total Gross Domestic Product, overtaking France in 2014.

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Business editor Sion Barry offers tips for budding entrepreneurs in 2016

December 28 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Sion Barry has provided several tips for those planning to take the “entrepreneurial plunge” in 2016. Funding, investors and a good business plan were just a few of things that he highlighted in an article for Wales Online.

Barry, a business editor for Media Wales and presenter of the Business Show on Wales Online, advised entrepreneurs on how to set up their own business “in style” in 2016.

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2016 will bring challenges for small businesses, says FSB

December 28 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The New Year will bring “new challenges and opportunities” for small businesses, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, revealed his expectations for small businesses in 2016 in a statement.

Allan said that 2016 will be a “year of decisions, debate and change” and stated that small business owners are “flexible and ready to adapt.”

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Apprenticeship levy could be costly, reveals survey

December 24 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Concerns have been raised over the new apprenticeship levy, with some businesses stating that it could be costly.

The latest CBI/Accenture Employment Trends Survey showed that job creation is on the up, but businesses are concerned about rising labour costs.

The survey, which was carried out between August and October 2015, showed that the number of jobs has continued to grow across the UK. 

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Small businesses expecting growth in 2016

December 24 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Small businesses are expecting an increase in growth in 2016, according to a report conducted by Yelp. The Small Business Pulse Survey showed that small companies are predicting a 26% increase in growth next year.

Young businesses are the most optimistic about their growth, with nearly 50% expecting to expand in the next year. 

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Stirling voted best city in Scotland for starting up a business

December 24 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Stirling is the best place in Scotland for starting a new business, according to a recent study. Start-up specialist Quality Formations carried out the survey, studying 69 cities in the UK. Stirling came eighth, with Manchester, London and Birmingham not far behind.

For the research, the survey looked at eight criteria, including broadband service and quality of life. Derby also scored high on the survey, followed by Belfast and Stoke. 

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Business leaders need to be mindful to be effective, says ACCA report

December 23 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Business leaders need to have “mindfulness” over mathematics skills in order to be effective and avoid scandals, according to a report conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

The report, titled “CFOs and the c-suite - leadership fit for the 21st century”, stated that traditional leadership training is “out of touch” with the senior business executives of today and that leaders need to be mindful in order to make decisions in “turbulent circumstances”, support self-regulation and avoid toxic stress.  

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Confidence in UK economy grows following low unemployment

December 23 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The UK economy is improving following lower unemployment numbers and improved wage growth. According to the Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report, “perception of employment situation and own job security” increased in November, corresponding with a seven year low in the unemployment rate.

The report also showed lower figures for spending growth, with spending in November being 1.6% lower than it was at the same time in 2014. Recently, concerns have been voiced over Britain’s high streets as sales hit a low. However, recent figures did show that retail sales growth exceeded expectations in November. 

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SMEs vital for growth of UK economy, shows research

December 23 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

SMEs are vital for the growth of the UK economy, according to Alex Hazell of the SME-focused bank Aldermore. Hazell discussed the topic of SMEs seeking funding in a blog post, stating that they face a “plethora of challenges” when it comes to funding business growth.

Despite this, figures from the Federation of Small Businesses show that 99% of the estimated 5.4 businesses in the UK private sector are SMEs. 

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