LSBF Blog - Global Matters

Advance assurance on R&D tax relief to boost SME usage

October 30 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Small companies that have a turnover under £2m and employ less than 50 people can seek advance assurance on R&D tax relief from next month.

This will help them put more effective financial planning in place and give them more certainty, says HMRC.

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Sage launches new payments service for small businesses

October 30 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Accountancy sector brand Sage has launched a new service that lets SMEs make domestic and international payments directly from their software.

Sage Payments will allow small and medium sized businesses to use accounts or payroll systems to make the payments.

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Twenty-five per cent of UK top 100 boards now made up of women

October 30 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

A new report says that a "major milestone" has been reached in the UK economy, as top FTSE 100 companies have now met a voluntary target of having women make up a quarter of their board membership.

However, the report's author, former trade minister Lord Davies, says that more still needs to be done.

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UK PAYE and self-assessment tax gap has increased to £8.5bn, reveals study

October 29 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) PAYE and self-assessment tax gaps have increased over the past 12 months, according to a new study.

Pinsent Masons' analysis also forecasts an increase in the number of investigations into high net worth individuals (HNWs). HMRC has already upped probes into suspected payroll fraud.

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UK economy sees third quarter slowdown to 0.5 per cent growth

October 29 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Growth for the UK economy slowed in the third quarter of the year with an increase of only 0.5%.

Manufacturing and construction sectors were partly to blame for the drop, which saw gross domestic product (GDP) growing at a slower rate than the 0.7% that had been achieved in the second quarter between July and September.

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Venture capital funding for startups strong, shows report

October 29 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

A recent report from Big 4 firm KPMG in association with CB Insights says the UK economy is the European ‘hot spot’ for investment in start-ups.

The 'Venture Pulse Q3 2015' did however point out that the amount invested in the UK has fallen and is now at the lowest for five quarters. 

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UK requires new approach for business to deal with tax non-compliance issues, says CIOT

October 28 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) says that the UK's new IR35 income tax and National Insurance contributions legislation requires a new approach for businesses dealing with non-compliance issues.

The income tax and NICs legislation will affect anyone working through an intermediary for an organisation, such as a Personal Service Company (PSC).

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Accountancy firms lose confidence about future growth prospects, reveals report

October 28 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The UK's accountancy sector is seeing confidence plunge as more firms become more pessimistic about their future prospects compared to what their outlook was a year ago.

The main concerns revolve around issues such as retaining clients and managing costs.

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SME owners don't switch accounts due to lack of competition, says CMA

Banking services for SMEs lack competition and need an overhaul, according to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The creation of a price comparison site would be one factor that could improve the way banks work to compete for customers, the consumer watchdog says.

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Why technology trends are revolutionising the interview process (and how to prepare!)

October 27 ,2015 | by LSBF Blog Staff

Today’s students and graduates are the first generation to grow up completely immersed in the digital age – and graduate recruiters are catching up with the latest trends.

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HMRC Charter committee looks for independent members

October 27 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are looking for independent members to give an oversight of tax authority by joining the new Charter committee.

The body will be a subcommittee of HMRC's board charged with overseeing how the tax authority adheres to its Charter commitments, which set out taxpayers’ rights in the UK economy. The move is aimed at strengthening governance.

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Europe's top court gives bitcoin VAT exemption

October 27 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Taxpayers that exchange national currencies for bitcoins, the virtual currency, will not have to pay value-added tax says The European Court of Justice.

The long-awaited ruling has clarified the tax treatment of those who use virtual currencies in the European Union.

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Business must be open about tax affairs, says CBI

October 27 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Businesses must make more effort to show that their tax affairs are legal and above board to the public, says The Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

According to a new CBI survey, 23% of customers over the last year have actively avoided a company because of doubts regarding its tax affairs and whether or not it was paying its fair share.

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Experienced accountants get return to work programme from PwC

October 26 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

A 12-week return to work programme has been launched by PwC to help people with an experienced accountancy background return to work.

The Big 4 firm's ‘Back to Business’ initiative will focus on women who have had an extended break, but it is open to anyone.

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HMRC to auction 150kgs of gold worth over £2.5m

October 25 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

The treasury does not only benefit from chasing outstanding amounts due on taxes, but it also has various other methods of topping up the coffers.

In the latest unusual move, HMRC will be auctioning almost 150 kilos of gold that was smuggled into the UK by criminals, with the results expected to be worth in excess of £2.5m.

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British gender pay gap bonuses to be revealed

October 24 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Businesses in England, Wales and Scotland will have to publish amounts awarded to both men and women as bonuses in a new initiative aimed at combating the gender pay gap.

The new regulations will apply to larger employers with more than 250 employees in a move that women and equalities minister, Nicky Morgan, said was a "first step." 

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Accountancy giant Grant Thornton reports £521m UK fee income

October 23 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

The financial year ending 30 June 2015 saw UK accountancy firm Grant Thornton report a 1.6% year-on-year increase, achieving a £521m total.

This means profit before tax for the company hit £82m, with a figure of £398,000 distributable profit per partner - a rise of 3.4%.

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Electric vehicles reimbursement rules ‘partially’ clarified by HMRC

October 23 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

There has been some confusion surrounding HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) guidelines regarding how fleets can reimburse drivers who use electric company cars.

The distinction between business and private miles is a main issue, because rules that apply to petrol and diesel company cars - advisory fuel rates (AFRs) - do not apply to electric fleet vehicles (EVs).

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SMEs may face challenges in tax avoidance clampdown

October 23 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

HMRC’s clampdown on tax avoidance schemes could mean that small businesses in the UK are at risk of demands for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

HMRC is stepping up repayment demands and has said it expects to issue 40,000 more nationally by the end of next year.

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Shake up at ICAEW with new independent regulatory board

October 22 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is shaking up its regulatory arrangements to highlight issues surrounding oversight and governance.

The ICAEW aims to ensure a fully independent approach by setting up a new regulatory board that will feature menders who are not accounting professionals.

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Taxation body welcomes HMRC scrapping Business Record Checks

October 22 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

The announcement that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is getting rid of Business Record Checks has been welcomed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).

The checks were used by HMRC to confirm that detailed data is being kept by a business on both sales income and expenses needed to produce an accurate tax return. 

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UK SME investment affected by European worries, says survey

October 22 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Investment plans for almost a third of SMEs in the UK have been put on hold because of continued uncertainty in Europe.

Smith & Williamson's latest quarterly Enterprise Index survey found that macro-economic issues are having a direct effect on growth plans in the small business sector of the UK economy.

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Capital requirements might be doubled for investment firms

October 21 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

According to new research from KPMG, nearly half of all investment firms could be forced to double their capital requirements.

The new study looked at responses and mandatory Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) documents from 32 firms, finding that insurance mitigation and diversification are often used to reduce capital requirements.

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Grocery industry sees ‘green shoots of recovery’, says report

October 21 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

New research from business recovery specialists Begbies Traynor says that the UK’s grocery sector is showing signs of returning to stability.

According to the company's Red Flag Alert research for Q3 2015, UK retailers operating in the food and grocery sector posted a quarterly decline in ‘significant’ financial distress over the last three months.

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Cash flow management essential for start-ups says ICAEW

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) says that start-ups should be more frugal and avoid "burning through resources too quickly" by using more careful cash flow management.

The professional body has pointed out that many entrepreneurs who are starting a new business find the reality very different to what they had in mind.

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