Business rates ‘staircase tax’ heaps yet more pressure on the UK’s small businesses claim critics

Just when you thought the new business rate system couldn’t get any worse for UK SMEs, it now appears that many small businesses may be penalised by the Valuation Office Agency and face large backdated bills if their business premises straddles two or more floors and uses a shared staircase to access upper levels of the commercial building.…


Double glazing salesmen was self-employed

Employment status tax cases often make the headlines in the professional press and the June 2017 case of Tomlinson was no exception. In this case, the First-tier Tribunal found that a double glazing salesman (Mr Malcolm Tomlinson) was self-employed and not an employee as he had claimed.…


Paying Class 2 NICs

Whether or not Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) can be paid depends on whether an individual falls within the definition of a ‘self-employed earner’ for NIC purposes, and if so, whether profits are in excess of the existing small profits threshold (£6,025 for 2017/18).…


New anti-money laundering regulations take effect

The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Pay) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/692) took effect from 26 June 2017 and replace the previous 2007 Regulations with new statutory requirements for systems and procedures. Broadly, the regulations require firms undertaking certain financial activities to apply risk-based customer due diligence measures and take other steps to prevent the firm’s services from being used for money laundering or terrorist financing.…


Auto-Enrolment changes: what obligations will small businesses face from October 1st?

Is your small business ready to fully comply with its obligations under Auto-Enrolment? Are you actually aware of what these obligations are, and what they will mean for SMEs? Well, if you’re unsure about the changes on October 1st, then here’s a brief explanation about exactly what’s going to happen later this year.…


Government pledges regional initiatives to rebalance national economy

One of the principle drivers in the last Government’s economic policies was targeted regional initiatives. These initiatives were intended to create a more balanced economy by driving regional growth and narrowing the gap between the South of England and the rest of the country. It was hoped that added investment would not only boost regional economies, but would also be of considerable benefit to small businesses.…


Rise in the national living wage is disproportionately affecting small businesses claims FSB

Is your small business struggling to cope with financial pressures? Is your SME being squeezed by commodity price inflation, rising wages and the falling value of the pound? Well, it might be little comfort, but you are not alone. Many small businesses are facing similar pressures. These problems, however, have also been compounded by increases in the national living wage. Many SMEs who were already struggling, have found that the increases in the national living wage(NLW) have piled on further pressure and pushed them to the brink according to the latest survey carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses.…


SMEs struggling to cope with higher business rates and levels of bad debts

How tough are small businesses findings things at the moment? Well, a new survey by Bibby Financial Services of 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses would suggest that things are, in fact, far tougher than many financial experts could have reasonably predicted. The survey discovered that bad debt, in particular, was proving to be problematic for SMEs: the study found that average levels of bad debt had increased by almost 70 percent in just one year. The only conclusion to be drawn from such dramatic increases is that all businesses are feeling the pinch.…


Bacs research shows late payments are costing SMEs over £2 billion a year

If you run a small business, you’ll probably already be painfully aware of the threat that late payments can pose to your business. Delayed payments might not make that much of a difference if your business is big enough to take a temporary hit. However, for many SMEs delayed payments can be the difference between survival or going under. Few people, other than accountants, have truly appreciated the scale of the problem: that is, until now. Research by Bacs Payment Schemes Limited has discovered that the UK’s smaller businesses are facing a total bill of £2.16 billion to chase overdue payments.…


Paying voluntary NICs

There are various reasons as to why gaps may arise in an individual’s national insurance contributions (NIC) record, for example, because that person has been on low earnings for several years, they have been living abroad, or because they have been unemployed and have not been claiming benefits. In certain circumstances therefore, it may be possible, and beneficial, to pay voluntary Class 3 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) as this can safeguard entitlement to a future state retirement pension and certain other state benefits.…


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