Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

European Union

Small Business Act approved by EU

The Council of Ministers, the EU’s most important decision–making body, has approved the Small Business Act (SBA) for Europe, which includes a three–stage action plan to help small firms through the economic downturn. The three priorities highlighted were to give all SMEs in the EU better access to finance, reduce their administrative burden and help them to benefit from European and international market opportunities. Though not legally binding on EU member states, the action plan includes a mixture of legislative proposals, such as giving those that trade in more than one member state new status as a European Private Company, as well as non–legislative commitments. The latter including providing small firms with better access to loans and introducing an ‘SME... »

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Email Tax Scam Targets Small Firms

Small businesses have been warned not to be taken in by a fake email purporting to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) promising a tax refund in exchange for bank details. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has issued the caution after a number of businesses were taken in by the ‘phishing’ attack and gave out credit card or bank details. The head of the ICAEW’s tax faculty, Frank Haskew said: “Alarm bells should ring when you are asked to submit your credit card details – this is information you should not give out to anybody. HMRC never asks for this information but fraudsters are becoming increasingly savvy and the ‘tax refund’ document looks very convincing at first glance. “As people are getting ready ... »