January 2021

Time for a ‘Working from Home’ tax?

Those working from home should be taxed to help support those whose jobs are under threat, says Deutsche Bank in a new report. Economists at the bank have said an additional tax of 5% on workers’ salaries should be added to those who opt to work from home. Such a tax in the UK would generate a pot of £6.9

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Big changes to filing deadlines could be on the horizon

Major changes to the way companies file tax returns and accounts could be on the cards after the government launched a consultation on the issue. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is exploring how in future companies might be able to file accounts only once with government, instead of separately to Companies House, HMRC and other agencies.

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HSBC to close 82 branches in 2021

HSBC UK is to almost 15% of its branches in 2021, reducing its estate by 82 to 511. The closures will be phased throughout the year. Of the branches closing, 81 are within one mile of a Post Office, where customers can carry out day-to-day transactions, two-thirds are within five miles of another HSBC branch and nine in 10 are

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Wait times up for callers to HMRC

Almost half (48%) of customers calling HMRC had to wait for more than 10 minutes to be answered in November, up from 31% the previous month. This meant the average wait time leapt to 12 minutes 45 seconds in November 2020, up from 9 minutes 42 seconds in October, according to accountancy firm Moore. The firm blamed under-resourcing in HMRC’s

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Government has late paying firms in its sights

An overhaul of the Prompt Payment Code (PPC) to crack down on late payment of invoices to small businesses has been announced by the government. Under new reforms, companies that have signed up to the Prompt Payment Code will be obliged to pay small businesses within 30 days – half the time outlined in the current Code. Despite almost 3,000

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Why Use Digital Software Over HMRC

With Making Tax Digital for Income Tax around the corner HMRC will be moving away from maintaining their own software. Now is the time to switch to digital. Digital software helps those that need to submit a tax return keep on top of their bookkeeping. But that’s just the beginning. We’ve asked Mike Parkes from GoSimpleTax to better explain the

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Insurers must pay SMEs’ lockdown losses

Tens of thousands of small businesses could be set to finally receive insurance payments covering their loses from the first lockdown, following a new court ruling. The Supreme Court has found in favour of SMEs receiving payments if they had business interruption insurance policies. The ruling is expected to cost insurance companies hundreds of millions of pounds. The test case

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E-waste is ‘becoming a crisis’

The Covid-19 lockdowns have led to a UK tech sales boom, but concerns are rising over the amount of e-waste being produced. Last year, the Royal Society of Chemistry discovered that there could be 40 million or more unused devices being hoarded in drawers and cupboards around the UK. It has now found that this problem is growing, with 12.8%

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Big rise in student cheating

Universities across the globe are reporting a spike in student cheating during the pandemic, driven by online learning. It has led to calls for a fundamental rethinking of what is being taught and assessed, Times Higher Education has reported. The speedy transition to virtual environments added to student stress and vastly increased their opportunities to use online ‘assistance’. Many students

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