Tax doesn't have to be taxing with HMRC videos

Tax doesn’t have to be taxing with HMRC videos

Small Business News – 26th February 2009 Confused about tax? Let a gardener, a tattoo artist and Dan Snow clear things up for you… If you’ve ever thought that you’re the only one who’s unsure about tax, then worry no more. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has just released a series of short online videos giving easy-to-follow overviews on a range of common tax issues. The ten short films, fronted by TV presenter Dan Snow, give you help with the basics on tax, including getting started, VAT, National Insurance and keeping records. The videos are broken down into bite-sized chunks and feature real people – ranging from a stuntman through to a web designer, as well as a gardener and tattoo artist – explaining what you need to know to get your tax righ... »


Struggling firms receive help paying tax bills

More than 20,000 small firms have used HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) Business Payment Support Service to defer their tax bills since it launched at the end of November 2008. Announced in the Pre–Budget Report, the service helps struggling firms by allowing them to set up an affordable tax payment timetable. Under the scheme, HMRC will not apply any late payment surcharges where a deferment has been made, although interest will continue to be charged on outstanding amounts. According to HMRC, more than £350 million of tax, including VAT, PAYE and National Insurance, has already been deferred. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants head of global taxation Chas Roy–Chowdhury said the service was of real benefit to businesses struggling to meet their tax ... »

Firms allowed to delay Tax Payments

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched a business payment support service which allows struggling firms to defer their business tax bills. SMEs finding it difficult to pay income tax, VAT, corporation tax and National Insurance contributions can get in contact with HMRC to arrange an affordable payment timetable, allowing them to make payments over a longer period. Where a deferment has been made, HMRC will not apply any late payment surcharges, although interest will be charged on outstanding amounts. Because HMRC rates of interest are generally lower than rates offered by many high–street banks, tax experts are predicting that there will be a rush to defer payment from firms suffering cashflow problems. According to HMRC, £3 billion in tax could be deferred over the nex... »

Pressure on Government to scrap Empty Property Tax

Lobby groups have increased pressure on the Government to scrap business rates on empty commercial premises, in an attempt to help business landlords struggling with tough economic conditions. The campaign is being led by the British Property Foundation (BPF), which has called on the Government re–introduce rate relief on empty commercial properties. Since the law changed on 1 April 2008, landlords have to pay full business rates on empty retail and office property, following a three–month grace period — previously they received 50% tax relief. Industrial properties now have to pay 50% for the first six months, then the total amount. In an open letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the BPF said the tax was encouraging firms to demolish buildings rather than pay the charg... »

Working From Home

Home workers claim from Taxman

Broadband, the internet and mobile devices such as BlackBerrys and personal digital assistants have made working from home much easier. But the »


SMEs Unaware of Capital Allowances

Just one in three small businesses are aware that they can reduce their tax bill by claiming allowances for outlay on new equipment, according to research from Cambridge University’s Centre for Business Research (CBR). The CBR survey of 2,500 small firms also revealed that of the third of small firms that were aware of capital allowances, just 5% were taking advantage of them. The report blames the Government’s failure to promote capital allowances and has prompted calls for a change to the system. Stephen Sklaroff director general at the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), which sponsored the research said: “The survey shows that HM Treasury needs to rethink the current capital allowance regime. More needs to be done to spread awareness among SMEs, and the same allowa... »

Tax Returns

Owners face £100 fine for missing deadline

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned business owners who intend to file paper self-assessment tax returns that they must do so before the new deadline of 31st October or face an automatic penalty of £100. Self–employed entrepreneurs filing paper returns could previously file up to 31st January, but the extra three months are now only given to people filing their self–assessment online. The new deadline is part of a drive by HMRC to encourage business owners to switch to online filing. Last year, 3.8 million people filed an online return – an increase of almost a million over 2006. HMRC has also called on business owners who stick to the old paper filing system to start collecting the documents they need in good time, including their P60s, self–employed a... »

Enterprise Management Incentives

The Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) scheme is a tax–favoured share option scheme targeted at smaller, entrepreneurial companies. What is the EMI? The EMI is a share option scheme aimed at small entrepreneurial companies that meet certain conditions. It has been designed to assist such companies to recruit and retain both directors and employees, this factsheet will refer to ‘employees’ for simplicity. The scheme offers attractive opportunities for equity participation by employees in recognition of the fact that smaller companies may not be able to match salary levels paid elsewhere. The Enterprise Management Incentives scheme is also flexible enough to allow for the option share to be geared to future capital growth, and performance targets to be used in the schem... »

The UK's business tax burden is like a ball and chain

Tax is ‘Ball and Chain’ to Business

A report by the Confederation of British Industry has suggested that our current tax system is a burden to Business. Ahead of Wednesday’s 2008 Budget, the CBI’s independent Tax Task Force, a group comprising of a dozen leading tax experts from some of the UK’s largest companies and smaller businesses, has released a report, the culmination of nine months work collating data to provide a vision for the UK’s tax system. The report "UK business tax: a compelling case for change" suggests that the ever-increasing tax burden on Britain’s small firms has reached a "tipping point" and the current tax system is unsustainable, especially in light of the globalisation of business in recent years. Rather than simply condemning the current system the r... »

Self-assessment Tax Deadline Imminent

Self-assessment taxpayers have until midnight on Sunday to hand in their 2006-07 tax returns if they want Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to calculate their tax. There is no penalty for skipping the end of September deadline as there is still the midnight 31st January 2008 deadline, but these taxpayers will have to work out their own tax. There are about 9 million self-assessment taxpayers, the majority being self-employed including company directors and partnerships. More complex taxes, including those earning money from the recent surge in buy-to-let properties, are also covered under this system. Tax return forms for the financial year 2006-2007 can be submitted in paper format or by using the HMRC’s online services which have become increasingly popular with arou... »

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