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2017: A year of more uncertainty

It’s been another roller coaster year for the business community, with Brexit continuing to dominate the agenda and a General Election that added to the overall feeling of uncertainty. But yet again business people have proved to be a resilient bunch, coping with whatever is thrown at

Is this plan relevant to you?

Company directors are missing out on a tax-efficient way of getting life insurance cover simply because they don’t know about it. It is called ‘Relevant Life Cover’ and despite being widely available, figures reveal that its take up is still low. So what is it? Relevant Life cover was

No move on VAT is welcome

The decision by the Chancellor Philip Hammond not to lower the VAT threshold as part of his Budget measures is very welcome news for small businesses. There was widespread concern before his speech that he would make the move and as a result many businesses would have struggled with t

Going electric: Good for the environment and your tax bill

The advent of the electric car is being hailed as a driving force behind a new green revolution on our roads. Figures reported this month reveal that they are still a small part of the motor market – something in the region of 3.5 per cent of the total. And more than 64 per cent of th

The taxman gets even tougher

New figures have revealed that HM Revenue and Customs is disputing more self-assessment forms than ever before – and collecting a rising amount of cash from personal tax investigations. According to the new figures, reported in The Times newspaper, the amount of money netted from pers

Being prepared for the worst

It remains a subject people are uncomfortable to talk about – but it is vital that SMEs address what happens in the event of the death of a shareholder. While many businesses may have shareholders’ agreements in place and insurance to mitigate against the loss of a key member of the t

Cutting out the admin and getting to the bottom line

The average small business currently spends a massive 120 days a year on administration such as paperwork, accounting and recruiting. And that accounts for more than five per cent of the total manpower for the average SME, according to cloud accounting software expert Sage. If product

Protecting your business’ future

The loss of any key person in business can be devastating – even more so in an SME. So why is it that so many of our small businesses are failing to protect themselves from such a terrible event by taking out insurance against such an eventuality? A recent study revealed that large nu

Are you ready for GDPR?

It has been described as the biggest shake-up in data protection laws for a generation. But how ready are you for GDPR? Nearly half of at small and medium sized business owners have not heard of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, according to a report this month. And less than

Taxman rakes in £1bn as avoidance clampdown gets results

HM Revenue and Customs collected another £1.3bn in disputed tax last year from individuals and small businesses as its crackdown on ‘aggressive’ tax planning shows no sign of losing momentum. The figure, revealed in a report in the Financial Times (FT), is up by a fifth on the sum col

A new leaf for autumn

While the government worked out its new and unexpected position over the summer in the aftermath of the election, many were left wondering what the implications are now across a range of business and personal tax planning. Towards the end of July the Treasury issued a guidance note ou

Thousands wrongly ‘punished’ after dipping into pension pots

The great pension reforms were heralded by the government as the start of a new era of freedom of choice. The tax rules that were changed in 2015 were designed to give people aged over 55 greater access to their pensions. However a report in The Daily Telegraph newspaper has revealed