September 2019

‘Send Christmas presents now to avoid Brexit charges!’

Brits with EU-based family and friends should mail Christmas presents well before the end of October to avoid potential no-deal taxes and paperwork. That’s the view of international parcels firm ParcelHero, which recommends sending Christmas gifts to the European Union (EU) as soon as possible. This will avoid the potential expense and bureaucracy of shipping gifts after a no-deal Brexit.

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‘Ban all watches from exams to stop cheating

An inquiry into cheating in exams across the UK has concluded that all watches should be banned from all exam halls to discourage cheating. Smart watches that connect to the internet are already banned from use by students taking public exams, but the review – by the Independent Commission on Examination Malpractice – said it is becoming difficult to distinguish

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‘Don’t leave filing company accounts to the last minute’

Companies House is advising the 300,000 companies that must file accounts by the end of September to not leave it to the last minute. It is also recommending companies file their accounts online, for which a company authentication code is required (details at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/30-september-filing-deadline-for-accounts). Once applied for, the authentication code is sent by post to the company’s registered office and

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Firms could be forced to pay double Social Security contributions

Payroll teams need to urgently review Social Security arrangements for employees who work here and in Europe as the UK heads towards Brexit or risk incurring significant costs, say accounting and tax advisory firm Blick Rothenberg. Robert Salter, an employment and expatriate tax specialist at the firm, said: “If the UK does leave the EU without a deal, companies may

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Penalties on rise for self-assessing late payers

HMRC is handing out an increasing number of penalties to people submitting via self-assessment for overdue tax payments.   The value of overdue tax for the 2017/18 financial year, which is still being collected in, currently sits at £1.6 billion. That compares to final figures of £1.83bn for 2016/17.  HMRC is able to impose a penalty of 5% of the tax owed on

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Government urged to simplify Apprenticeship Levy

Leading accountancy body the ICAEW has called for a more ‘flexible’ Apprenticeship Levy, arguing that the UK’s SMEs are in danger of missing out on young talent if the levy is not reformed. Introduced in 2017, companies with a pay bill of £3m or more must pay the levy but can reclaim government vouchers for apprenticeships, whereas companies with a

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Electronic signatures now valid

Electronic signatures can be used to execute documents, including where there is a statutory requirement for a signature, the Law Commission has confirmed. This means that, in most cases, electronic signatures can be used as a viable alternative to handwritten ones. Businesses and individuals are already using electronic signatures on contracts every day. But despite this frequent use, the Commission

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HMRC delays VAT domestic reverse charge

The introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services will be delayed for 12 months until 1 October 2020, the Revenue has announced. The domestic reverse charge means the UK customer who get supplies of construction services must account for the VAT due on these supplies on their VAT return rather than the UK supplier. This removes the scope

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42% of women in the UK know someone who had to give up work due to lack of flexibility

New study from Women in Business Expo uncovers the challenges women face in the workplace New research from Women in Business Expo has found a lack of flexibility and issues with childcare are some of the biggest challenges women in the UK face in their careers. The research, which surveyed working women throughout the UK, found that 42% of women

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