5thJan
News article

Almost 3,000 file self assessments on Christmas Day

HMRC has revealed that 2,828 customers filed their self assessment tax return on Christmas Day, compared to 2,700 in 2020.

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HMRC has revealed that 2,828 customers filed their self assessment tax return on Christmas Day, compared to 2,700 in 2020.

The most popular time on Christmas Day was between midday and 12:59pm when 227 returns were filed.

In total, more than 31,000 customers submitted their 2020/21 tax return between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

Christmas Eve was the busiest day of the festive period for filing with almost 20,000 returns made while Boxing Day saw a further 8,641.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC's Director General for Customer Services, said: 'Filling in a tax return won't have been on many people's to-do lists for Christmas, but please don't leave it until the end of January either. We have videos, guidance and helpsheets to support you – just search 'self sssessment' on GOV.UK to find out more.'

The deadline for filing 2020/21 self assessment tax returns is 31 January 2021. Please contact us if you require any help completing your return before this date.

4thJan
News article

Over 440,000 small firms at risk due to late payment crisis

More than 440,000 small firms could be forced out of business by the late payment crisis, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

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More than 440,000 small firms could be forced out of business by the late payment crisis, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

An FSB study of more than 1,200 business owners found that close to one in three has seen late payment of invoices increase over the last three months, with a further 8% experiencing other forms of poor payment practice.

As a result, 8% of small businesses say late payments are now threatening the viability of their business. This equates to 440,000 of the estimated 5.5 million small businesses in the UK.

FSB National Chairman, Mike Cherry, said: 'After another frustrating festive season, small firms are facing flashpoint after flashpoint. Today, it's a fresh wave of admin for importers and exporters – in three months' time it will be a hike to the jobs tax that is national insurance contributions, a rise in dividend taxation, business rates bills and an increase in the national living wage.

'On top of that, operating costs are surging – many will soon be trying to strike energy deals without the clout of big corporates, or the protections afforded to consumers.'

31stDec
News article

Have you made your financial New Year's resolutions?

With 2022 just around the corner, you may wish to consider creating some financial New Year's resolutions to ensure that you remain on course for a successful and profitable year ahead.

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With 2022 just around the corner, you may wish to consider creating some financial New Year's resolutions to ensure that you remain on course for a successful and profitable year ahead.

It is important to make the most of your business and personal wealth, and make sure you capitalise on any allowances and reliefs that may be available to you.

Inadequate financial planning could mean that you miss out on tax-saving opportunities, thereby failing to make the most of your wealth.

Carrying out a detailed and thorough review of your financial planning strategies will help to keep you on track to achieving your financial goals.

As your accountants, we can assist you in implementing strategies to improve your business's bottom line. We will also recommend a number of ways to minimise your tax bill.

We understand that organising your finances often poses an unwelcome burden. That is why we are on hand, helping you to manage your business and personal finances and stay on track in 2022.     

For more information on how we can assist you during 2022 and beyond, please contact us.

30thDec
News article

Don't forget to file your self assessment tax return

The deadline for submitting your 2020/21 self assessment tax return is midnight on 31 January 2022.

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The deadline for submitting your 2020/21 self assessment tax return is midnight on 31 January 2022.

The only exception to this rule is if you received a notice from HMRC to make an online tax return after 31 October 2021. In this case, you have three months from the date of issue to submit your return.

Those who are late in submitting their return face a penalty of £100, even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax has been paid on time. Additional penalties are due for continued late payments and late filing.

2,700 taxpayers filed their returns on Christmas Day in 2020, and another 8,500 submitted them on Boxing Day. HMRC said that the peak hour for filing on Christmas Day was between 2pm and 2:59pm, when 214 returns were submitted.

We can help with all aspects of self assessment, including filing returns on your behalf. Please contact us.

29thDec
News article

Safeguard your business against adverse winter weather

With the festive period underway, businesses are advised to be prepared for adverse weather conditions during the winter months.

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With the festive period underway, businesses are advised to be prepared for adverse weather conditions during the winter months.

Road accidents almost double during bad weather, so try and leave extra time for journeys. In order to avoid public liability claims, businesses are advised to keep their driveways, car parks and walkways clear. In addition, firms should mop and dry their floors if water or slush is brought indoors from outside.

Winter maintenance work on your business's heating system should be carried out as early as possible, and if the property is left vacant over the holiday period, ensure the heating is left on low to avoid burst water pipes.

Businesses are also advised to ensure that guttering is cleared of leaves and debris; make sure they have an adequate supply of grit and a shovel and brushes ready; and stay up to date with the weather forecast.

Finally, to help combat the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19), businesses are advised to ensure employees work from home where possible.

24thDec
News article

One in five businesses rely on Christmas sales to survive

A study carried out by insurance provider Simply Business has suggested that one in five small businesses in the UK rely on Christmas sales to survive.

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A study carried out by insurance provider Simply Business has suggested that one in five small businesses in the UK rely on Christmas sales to survive.

The study found that 43% of the 600 businesses surveyed are still struggling to recover from the impact that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on their firm.

According to Simply Business, the COVID-19 pandemic has cost small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over £126.6 billion in lost earnings.

For a third of SME owners, Christmas sales account for 20% of their annual revenue, the study revealed. One in four stated that they do not feel confident regarding their Christmas sales figures.Meanwhile, 52% of SMEs said they feared that future lockdowns and tighter restrictions could impact their sales.

'For many owners, they quite simply need it to be Christmas everyday if they're to continue their recovery from a devastating two years,' said Alan Thomas, CEO of Simply Business.

'They've faced the pandemic head-on, navigated supply shortages, and adapted to a new normal. They've shown resilience in abundance and done all they can to stay afloat. But without a strong Christmas trading period, one in five small businesses will permanently close in 2022.'

23rdDec
News article

Banks join forces to help protect cash services

An agreement has been reached between the major retail banks to share services, ensuring long-term cash availability across the UK.

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An agreement has been reached between the major retail banks to share services, ensuring long-term cash availability across the UK.

The collaboration, achieved through the Access to Cash Action Group (CAG), marks the beginning of a long-term commitment to ensuring widespread cash and banking access for communities where services are limited.

Cash use has been in decline in recent years – a trend accelerated and exacerbated by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – with current use 35% below pre-COVID-19 levels.

Banks and consumer groups recognise the need to ensure that consumers and small businesses who need cash can continue to withdraw and deposit it. Under the new model, any community that faces the closure of a core cash service, such as a bank branch or ATM, will have its needs independently assessed by cash machine network LINK.

LINK will then determine whether a new solution should be provided to meet that community's cash needs.

John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: 'Access to cash has ongoing importance to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, and protecting it is a priority for myself and this government.

'Following the government's commitment to legislate, I am pleased to see firms working together to develop new initiatives to support continued access to cash. This is a great start, and I look forward to seeing the impact of industry's announcements for new and improved cash facilities in local communities across the UK.'

22ndDec
News article

Chancellor announces £1 billion fund for businesses

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £1 billion support fund for businesses, which includes cash grants of up to £6,000 per premises for each eligible firm.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £1 billion support fund for businesses, which includes cash grants of up to £6,000 per premises for each eligible firm.

Mr Sunak said the government would also help certain firms with the cost of sick pay for coronavirus (COVID-19)-related absences.

To support other businesses impacted by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 – such as those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors – the government is also giving more than £100 million in funding to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund for local authorities in England.

Additionally, the Chancellor announced an extra £30 million to help theatres and museums.

Mr Sunak said: 'We recognise that the spread of the Omicron variant means businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors are facing huge uncertainty, at a crucial time.

'So, we're stepping in with £1 billion of support, including a new grant scheme, the reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and further funding released through the Culture Recovery Fund.

'Ultimately, the best thing we can do to support businesses is to get the virus under control, so I urge everyone to get boosted now.'

21stDec
News article

Welsh government delivers Budget

On 20 December, the Welsh government outlined a Budget to 'build a stronger, fairer and greener Wales'.

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On 20 December, the Welsh government outlined a Budget to 'build a stronger, fairer and greener Wales'.

Presenting the Budget, Welsh government Finance Minister Rebecca Evans stated that it will help to 'support the Wales of today and shape the Wales of tomorrow'.

The Welsh government unveiled a £116 million package of funding to aid with the economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This will be combined with existing permanent relief schemes that see over 85,000 properties continue to receive support. The scheme will be capped at £110,000 per business.

Many firms had been receiving 100% off their rates, which help to pay for services provided by local government, but previous COVID-19 business rate schemes have come to an end.

A further £35 million has been set aside to freeze the non-domestic rates multiplier for 2022/23, so there will be no increase in the amount of rates businesses are paying.

Meanwhile, an additional £1.3 billion in funding will be supplied to the NHS in Wales to help provide effective, high quality and sustainable healthcare following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Budget also tackles inequality and invests in future generations through an additional £320 million to continue a long-term programme of learning and education reform.

Commenting on the announcements made in the Budget, Ms Evans said: 'The UK government's Spending Review did not deliver for Wales and this Budget is delivered in that context. While there are tough choices ahead, we have been able to provide funding that will allow Wales to rise to the challenges we face, grounded in the distinctively Welsh values of environmental, social and economic justice.'

20thDec
News article

Government must act to restore confidence, says CBI

The government must move quickly to restore confidence amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19), says the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

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The government must move quickly to restore confidence amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19), says the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The business group has identified a series of actions to be taken immediately and in the future to ensure the UK is well-equipped to deal with variants of concern.

While businesses are keen to see a roadmap out of ‘plan B’ in January, should further restrictions be required to protect public health, firms will want the maximum amount of time to prepare and adapt.

The business group recommends:

  • forward guidance to support business adaptation
  • prioritising mass-testing over mass self-isolation and working from home
  • utilising all ‘COVID secure’ tools available to build employee and customer confidence
  • maximising the vaccine and anti-viral programmes
  • proportionate border controls so the UK remains open to the world
  • support in order to move in lockstep with restrictions.

Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at the CBI, said: ‘The onset of Omicron means many businesses seeking to get back on their feet are once again reeling from the virus for a second Christmas in a row. Now the government must act at speed to prevent the need for further restrictions.’