We’re all for eliminating tax evasion (illegal) and minimising aggressive tax avoidance (legal but often not fair). But we know that many multi-nationals avoid massive amounts of tax because they engage clever tax advisers to set up complicated “smoke and mirror” offshore structures. We also know that wealthy individuals use aggressive tax planning schemes to avoid tax – the press is full of names, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But we also know that many of our clients are also under scrutiny from HMRC. None of these would call themselves wealthy. They are building businesses, or looking after the family’s hard-earned wealth. But they are easy pickings for the taxman. Why pursue the rich and wealthy when…
Thursday, 12 February 2015 09:36

Pre-election advice we’d all love to follow

Great to hear the prime minister and other politicians suggesting that businesses should pass on the benefits of the economic recovery to staff by way of pay rises. Most owner managed businesses have significantly better relationships with staff, place a much higher emphasis on their well-being than larger businesses or public departments, & I’m sure would love to heed the prime minister’s advice. Does he not realise how hard he’s made this though by introducing the auto-enrolment pension scheme, which will effectively amount to an additional 8% tax on the cost of employing people in 3 years’ time?”   Martin Cox  
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published its seventh statement of new regulation which lists the new domestic regulations that it intends to introduce in January to June 2014 which fall within the ‘one-in, two-out’ rule. BIS publishes a statement of new regulation every six months. As part of its undertaking to cut the burden of red tape, it implemented the ‘one-in, two-out’ rule some time ago, which means any new regulation imposing costs on business must be off-set by deregulation in two areas. From an employment law perspective, the statement confirms two key implementation dates. Firstly, on 31 January 2014, the new Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 will come…
Friday, 24 October 2014 05:20

DIY budget – now I’ve seen it all

The 2014 Budget, which is due on 19 March, is the last real Budget before the next General Election. There will probably be a Budget in March 2015 and with the General Election due no later than June 2015, that Budget is not likely to contain very much in the way of content and will probably only set tax rates and allowances for the forthcoming year and, no doubt, a few election headline grabbing giveaways!  But the 2014 Budget is going to be interesting. Many are calling it a DIY Budget, as it has recently been announced that the government is to consult with the public as to what they’d like to see in the Budget. This is an interesting…
Friday, 24 October 2014 05:20

Tax Return Deadline

Well, it’s the start of a new year, but of course the time of year when many people are frantically trying to get their tax returns submitted on time. Remember that individuals needing to submit a self-assessment tax return have until 31 January to do this. HMRC has recently published a selection of reasons people have given for submitting their tax returns late. These include: My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder) I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer) After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman) My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader) My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser)…
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement will be given on 5 December (it was going to be 4 December but has been put back a day to allow the Prime Minister time to return from a trade mission). The Autumn Statement is now almost as important as the Budget; indeed, I would argue even more so. A few days after the Statement, the draft clauses of the 2014 Finance Bill will be published, and these will then be subject to various consultations before they are enshrined in law in the 2014 Finance Act, later next summer. But, and this is a big but, many of the proposals are likely to be effective from the date of the Autumn Statement. So we will be…
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