HMRC have issued their response to the consultations on MTD. The more cynical among us might take the view that HMRC have decided what they are going to do and any “consultations” are purely for cosmetic purposes! (more…)
Small business planning is very important as SMEs that fail to plan are certainly planning to fail. You’ve probably heard that phrase many times but don’t dismiss it as a cliché, learn to live by its rules. Small businesses are often so busy treading water, they spend all their energy and attention on staying afloat. Learning how to write or make a business plan is quite essential and it’s a key step for most SMEs. But if you want to do better than ‘just about managing’, you really need to plan for the future – after all, if you don’t know where you’re heading, how do you know which direction you need to go in?
There is a myth that a huge percentage of new start-ups don’t survive the first year, but this has recently been debunked – in fact, it appears that in the UK, more than 8 out of 10 companies succeed in the first 12 months, and between a third and a half are still trading after five years.
Plan to succeed
These success rates could be down to the support that’s now available for new entrepreneurs. There are a lot of organisations that help start-ups and small businesses succeed. In Hertfordshire, the organisation Wenta has been providing advice and support – a lot of which is free of charge – for entrepreneurs across the county for over 30 years.
Writing your business plan isn’t just a good idea when it comes to applying for loans and support, it will also help you focus your ideas about your company and clarify the direction you need to take it in. Online, the government has published advice about writing a good business plan, along with links to templates and examples to help you draw up your own plans.
It doesn’t matter how many members of staff you have working for you, getting the payroll right is crucial to your business.
The main reasons companies outsource payroll services are to save time and to make sure they’re fully compliant with legislation. If you’re not a payroll specialist, then you’ll have to spend time trying to get to grips with the process when you could be more productively working on your core business instead. Payroll can be straightforward to implement if your employee/s have no issues. But most of the time there are other things to be taken into account such as statutory sick pay, maternity pay, student loans, deductions earnings orders etc.
Keeping in line with legislation is hugely important, so if you’re not outsourcing, you will need to be pro-active to make sure you don’t risk having to pay fines for not getting it right. Legislation about tax, NI and pensions is changing all the time and you could be spending precious time away from your core business researching changes in the rules.
Budget Day will be 8 March 2017 and every year we expect the Chancellor to do something to restrict tax relief for pension contributions. (more…)
With effect from 1 April 2017: (more…)
Our previous update on this topic was on 30 August 2016 following the publication of consultation documents by HMRC. There was a very significant response to these, most of which was unfavourable. (more…)
In 2014, the Government published the results of a call for views from UK businesses about corporate responsibility, and published it in a report, Good for Business & Society. In it, the authors describe corporate responsibility as a voluntary action that “creates shared value for business and society”.
Whilst many companies have defined their CSR policies, we feel that because all the fundraising we do as a team are activities we’d get involved with anyway, we don’t need to make it official, whether it’s for the benefit of charity fundraising, helping out in the local community, or giving local businesses a boost.
With the self-assessment tax return deadline looming, this is the time many freelancers and ‘solopreneurs’ start panicking!
Many find filling in their tax return an onerous prospect and, as a result, it’s traditionally a task which gets left until January, with some only just getting it in on time: in 2016, 385,000 people filed their returns on 31 January, narrowly avoiding the £100 penalty – even so, an anticipated 870,000 returns were still to be filed, which also suggests that hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to do their own returns.
As the next step in abolishing tax returns and replacing them with individual digital tax records, on 15 August 2016 HMRC published a series of consultation documents. These set out some of their ideas and timings, but were open for responses by professionals and businesses until 7 November 2016. The undermentioned points are subject to any amendments which might be made as a result of the consultations. (more…)
There has been a lot of uncertainty in the world this year, with political events sending the stock marketing yo-yo-ing and the continued drawing out of Brexit making the markets increasingly nervous. What’s going to happen to investments in 2017 is almost anyone’s guess, and in some quarters appears to be more influenced by psychics rather than solid facts. One woman in America, for instance, is predicting a stock market crash because there have been crashes in and 1987, 1997 and 2007.
What to consider when deciding on investments
You don’t have to have a lot of money to make an investment. A simple savings account with a bank or building society counts as an investment. Other types of investment are: