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Latest News

Credit where it’s due

Credit card payments have overtaken cash in British shops for the first time. In fact notes and coins were only the third most popular form of payment last year. Just £1 in every £5 spent is now cash. Debit cards account for over half of all transactions (by value). UK Finance is predicting that fewer than one in 10 transactions

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Chasing late payments costs UK business more than money

New research from Intuit QuickBooks demonstrates the impact of poor payment practices on UK small firms, with about 56.4 million hours wasted chasing overdue and late payments every year. This is more than a working week spent each year chasing money that’s owed for the typical small business. The study of more than 500 small businesses, found that 30% would

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Beware self assessment tax scams, says HMRC

HMRC is warning millions of self assessment taxpayers to be aware of fraudsters in the run up to the 31 January deadline. Over the past year, HMRC received nearly 900,000 reports from the public about suspicious HMRC contact in the form of phone calls, texts or emails. More than 100,000 of these were phone scams, while over 620,000 reports from

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UK taxes at highest ever levels

UK taxes are at a historical high, accounting for over a third of GDP at 34.4% and up almost seven percentage points from the 1950s, according to a new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). In the 1950s, taxes accounted for just under a third of GDP at 27.5% (£5.8 billion). Since then, tax revenue rose to £627.9

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NatWest unveils biometric credit card

The first UK biometric fingerprint credit card issued has been issued by NatWest. The bank is piloting the new technology with 150 customers, in partnership with Mastercard and Gemalto. The bank has previously piloted biometric debit cards, but this is the first-time credit cards have been issued. The cards will offer contactless payments using fingerprint verification for transactions up to

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Delaying first-time payments

UK banks may be forced to delay payments made to an account for the first time by 24 hours, under proposals that would help victims of fraud to claim refunds. An influential Commons Treasury committee believes such a move would protect against so-called ‘authorised push payments’ scams in which growing numbers of individuals are tricked into making payments to fraudulent

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SMEs’ attitude towards mental health ‘changing for the better’

While the impact of mental ill health continues to be felt across the SME community, with four in every 10 firms reporting that at least one of their employees has taken time off work because of it, attitudes are changing for the better. Only 7% of SMEs are of the view that feelings towards those suffering from mental ill health

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API streaming first from Companies House

Companies House has launched a new streaming application program interface (API), designed to help users access real-time information about companies in a quick and easy way. The streaming API, a government first, allows users to tap into specific data from the register, pushing new information to users as it changes and updates. There are four different types of information customers

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OTS calling for more streamlined tax payment regime

The independent Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) wants HMRC to make it simpler for self-employed people and landlords to meet their tax obligations. It has just published a report containing three recommendations focusing on areas for further, more detailed, work concerning: the potential for HMRC to offer a fully integrated individual tax account, providing an end-to-end tax reporting and payment

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