Small Businesses in Europe Still Not Embracing the Digital Agenda

Wider adoption of digital solutions is needed, but SMEs need to feel confident and assured about online security The benefits of the digital world – such as e-commerce, e-invoicing and cloud computing – are not being embraced by SMEs across Europe, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) today in a new survey report called A digital agenda for European SMEs The report will be launched at a roundtable event organised by ACCA and UEAPME (the European Association of Craft, Small and medium-sized Enterprises), held in Brussels on the 6 October called “The benefits of the Digital Agenda for SMEs: towards simplification, enhanced cross-border trade and diversified access to finance”. Hosted by Paul Rübig, MEP, the event will examine the EU’s Digital Agenda for SMEs w... »

Entrepreneurs Get Helping Hand from Chancellor

Accountants sound note of caution about Enterprise Zones Enterprise Investment Scheme increase ‘very good news’ Moratorium of three years for SMEs on new domestic regulation welcomed Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have received a much needed boost from the Government at a time when they need it the most, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in response to today’s Budget. Manos Schizas, SME policy adviser at ACCA, says: “The Government’s intentions were clear: to pile on what incentives it could afford in order to ensure the UK economy rebalances into one that is more reliant on enterprise and manufacturing. All of this is of course very welcome.” Advance figures from ACCA’s latest Economic Conditions Survey show that accountants working for ... »

Top 10 “Known Knowns” in the Budget Today

By ACCA’s Budget team A lot of what will be announced today we already know about. ACCA, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, say they’ve got about 15 pages worth of budget pre-announcements that they could go through but for space reasons they’re going to go through their Top 10*: 1. Rates and allowances Income tax rates, allowances and thresholds for the 2011/12 tax year have already been announced. With effect from 6 April 2011, the personal allowance for those under 65 will increase by £1,000 to £7,475. The basic rate limit will also reduce by £2,400 to £35,000. The rates of employee’s and employer’s Class 1 and Class 4 national insurance contributions (NICs) will rise by 1% with effect from 6 April 2011. This will be partly mitigated by increases to the earn... »

ACCA concerned over Government Pledge to ‘remove accounts and audit’ for SMEs

Audit is not red tape, and it adds value in an enterprising culture. The preparation of accounts and the independent audit of that information bring value to businesses large and small, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in response to the Government’s announcement that “no small firm will have to have independently audited accounts any longer.” ACCA is concerned that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), in a news release issued on Friday 4 March, referred to annual accounts as ‘paperwork’ and the current obligation of companies to prepare them as ‘burdensome’. John Davies, head of technical at ACCA, says: “Annual accounts are prepared and published as a quid pro quo for the privilege of adopting limited liabili... »

PAYE Errors: Not for Employers to Fix

Small-business owners are not responsible for resolving the tax problems that found six million taxpayers paying the wrong amount, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has said. HM Revenue & Customs is sending out letters to 4.3 million people saying that they have paid too much tax after a new computer system calculated the wrong PAYE codes. Simultaneously, it is trying to recoup £2 billion from 1.4 million people who were undercharged. ACCA head of taxation, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, said: "It’s not the employer’s responsibility to correct this. Employers will need to implement the new coding notice which they will receive once a code has been agreed by HMRC and the employee concerned, but other than that they have no obligations." "It’... »

ACCA calls for Government to ‘Think small first’

The newly established Office of Tax Simplification will provide welcome respite for the financially challenged contingent of SMEs across the UK, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). However, the key is as much consistency as it is policy. Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA Head of Taxation, said, “In recent years, the UK tax policy has changed as often as the people in charge of it. We applaud the Treasury’s decision to establish the Office of Tax Simplification, but to make this initiative truly of benefit to businesses of all sizes, it is vital that the work of the Office remains politically independent and that its recommendations do not fall by the wayside as the Coalition Government shifts its focus to other areas of the UK economic recovery.” Roy-Chowdhury also belie... »

G20 Reform Built on Uneven Foundations

G20’s four pillars for agenda reform built on uneven foundations, says ACCA The global body for accountants, ACCA (the Association for Chartered Certified Accountants) has responded to last week’s G20 meeting by saying that its “pillars for agenda reform” are built on shaky ground. The G20’s first pillar – a strong regulatory framework, and the third pillar – resolving issues to do with financial institutions in crisis – are particularly unsteady and lack real global co-ordination, says ACCA, highlighting the fact that no decision was agreed on a global bank tax. Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA, says: “There was a clear message from G20 leaders that taxpayers should not be stuck with the bill when banks fail. But the communiqué says that individual nations will decid... »

10 Top Tax Tips

Whatever the Chancellor’s red box reveals on 22nd June in the Emergency Budget, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has ten non-taxing tax tips to legitimately lighten the load. 1. Be ISA-wise On 6 April 2010, the annual Individual Savings Account (ISA) subscription limit rose to £10,200. The whole sum can be placed in a stocks and shares ISA, or alternatively, up to half can be put into a cash ISA, and the remainder into a stocks and shares ISA. “For a couple, this represents £20,400 savings protected from capital gains or income tax,” says Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA Head of Taxation. “So even though interest rates aren’t as good as they have been, ISAs are still a worthwhile investment... »

Tax Freedom Day

Tax Freedom Day falls on 30 May this year, but with full details of the new Government’s tax policies still to be worked out between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, and with an emergency budget still to come, the total UK tax bill is still up in the air, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). “Tax Freedom Day has crept forward again this year, mostly on the back of the VAT rise in January. Normally, taxpayers can reduce their tax bill by taking advantage of all the tax breaks and benefits that the state offers,” said ACCA’s head of tax, Chas Roy-Chowdhury. “However, the new coalition has promised big tax changes in the months ahead, the details of which are still unclear. The detailed coalition document hasn’t significan... »

Emergency Budget Plans “mostly positive for small firms”

Cuts in corporation tax, partly scrapping increases on employers’ National Insurance Contributions (NICs), and a new small firms’ loan guarantee scheme are among the changes that business groups expect in the new Government’s emergency Budget on 22 June. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) head of taxation, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, said that the emergency Budget was likely to be mostly good news for small firms. “It will be more of a fiscal Budget, in which public spending cuts will be the focus. Many of the support measures introduced under the Labour Government for small firms will stay, such as the Time To Pay Scheme, and most of the tax rises will hit individuals harder than small businesses.” “The announcement of employers’ NICs r... »

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