Saturday 5th December 2015 is Small Business Saturday. 5 million small businesses are involved – click on the picture for more information and to find a small business providing a service that you need.   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new...

HMRC UK Tax Gap Falls to 6.4%

  The HMRC UK tax gap for 2013-14 was 6.4 per cent of tax due, continuing a long-term downward trend, reflecting that HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) approach is delivering steady, and sustained progress. The tax gap, which is the difference between the amount of tax due and the amount collected, has fallen from 8.4 per cent in 2005-06, annual figures released today by HMRC show. This reduction in the percentage tax gap since 2005-06 represents an additional £57 billion in cumulative tax collected over the eight-year period. The largest reduction is in the Corporation Tax gap which has halved since 2005-06, from 14 per cent to 7 per cent of relevant tax liabilities. There has been a sustained downward trend for both large and small businesses, with the overall reduction driven mainly by large businesses. David Gauke, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The UK has one of the lowest tax gaps in the world, and this Government is determined to continue fighting evasion and avoidance wherever it occurs. “If the tax gap percentage had stayed at its 2009-10 value of 7.3 per cent, £14.5 billion less tax would have been collected.” “There is understandable anger when individuals or companies are perceived not to be contributing their fair share, but we can reassure the public that the proportion going unpaid is low and this Government is dedicated to bringing it down further.” Edward Troup, HMRC’s Second Permanent Secretary and Tax Assurance Commissioner, said: “The long-term downward trend shows that our approach to non-compliance is delivering solid and sustained progress. “We are committed to reducing the tax gap further...

HMRC Selling Seized Gold

Almost 150 kilos of gold, estimated to be worth more than £2.5 million, which was smuggled into the UK by a criminal gang, is being sold at auction by Wilsons Auctions in a series of online and live auctions in the weeks ahead. The gold was seized during an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) into a £9 million smuggling plot that saw the gang’s leader, Chaudry Ali of Middlesex, jailed for nine years in 2012. He was ordered to pay back £4.3 million of his criminal profits or serve an extra ten years in prison, when he appeared at Kingston Crown Court in November 2014. Kevin Newe, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Our work doesn’t stop when a criminal is sentenced; we always look to reclaim their illegal profits for the nation’s finances to fund the public services used by everyone. By auctioning the gold we seized during the investigation we are moving another step closer to bringing this long and complicated case to a conclusion and ensure justice is fully served.” The gold is being auctioned in a series of online and live auctions in the weeks ahead with a special live auction on 30 October at Wilsons Auctions in Belfast. Viewing takes place on 28 and 29 October. Two online auctions have already taken place and so far raised almost £700,000 for public coffers. Aidan Larkin, Asset Recovery Department Manager for Wilsons Auctions Ltd, added: “We are delighted to be entrusted with the sale of the gold on HMRC’s behalf, after such a successful investigation and playing our part in realising the assets...

How to write a business plan in 10 steps

Published in the Small Business Guides section of the Xero website Every business needs a plan. Your business plan will keep you focused and help convince investors to lend you money. But how do you write the perfect business plan? Here are 10 steps to help you get it right. Why do you need a business plan? You may be wondering why you need a plan in the first place. After all, you have a clear idea in your mind about what you want to achieve. You know the market, you have the necessary skills. So why do you need a plan? There are many good reasons. Here are just a few of them: To clarify your ideas Writing something down gives it structure and substance. Your ideas will be clearer on paper than in your head. To discover and solve problems The business idea you have in mind may have some holes – you might not have covered everything. This will become much more apparent when your words are on the page. To get feedback from others A properly written business plan can be shared with trusted people to get their advice. As a formal document Banks, investors, accountants and lawyers will want proof that you’re serious about your business. A written plan will provide that proof. To guide you as your business grows A good business plan will keep you on track and focused, even as day-to-day work becomes a distraction. If you’ve never written a business plan before, it can be a daunting prospect. But these 10 steps will help you create the perfect business plan....

HMRC Employer Bulletin 56 October 2015 published online

The HMRC employer bulletin for October 2015 has been published and there are some interesting articles contained in it. You can access the full bulletin here on the HMRC website and it can be downloaded or printed. There are also many webinars being held by HMRC on often misunderstood topics around payroll, such as benefits and expenses. A blog post will follow shortly that aims to alleviate some of the headaches that this area can cause. To summarise the bulletin and articles contained in it: Common RTI misunderstandings mainly around dates for reporting and payments. Also micro employers misunderstanding the temporary relaxation of weekly reporting rules. An explanation of the new ‘payrolling’ for benefits in kind coming into use in April 2016 A link to Booklet 490 which is a guide to tax and NI contributions on employee travel Details of the new minimum wage rates that took effect from 1st October 2015 PAYE payments to HMRC – when to pay when the deadline is at the weekend and what to do if you have paid HMRC too much Deadline for IR35 submissions and payments Changes to some HMRC bank accounts – is yours affected? When a new member of staff joins how do you make sure their starter declaration and tax code are right first time? Details of HMRC toolkits that can help you avoid making errors on submissions. There are toolkits available for PAYE but also for VAT. Although they are mainly used by tax agents and advisors they can also be used by businesses themselves. Links to some are included but not to all 20. These...