Category Archives: Business Anecdotes

Less use than expected made of emergency business support schemes

The government’s raft of business financial support programmes, introduced in the depths of the recession, was used by fewer firms than predicted. Six schemes, offering firms subsidies, loans and guarantees, were launched by the Department for Innovation, Business and Skills …

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Simplified de minimis VAT tests for partial exemption

With effect from VAT periods or VAT years starting on or after 1 April 2010, two new, optional de minimis tests will be introduced to save certain partly exempt businesses the need to carry out complicated and time-consuming calculations. They …

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Workers get right to ask to train soon

Employers are being reminded that new rules on the training rights of employees come into force in April. As from 6 April, employers with 250 staff or more will be obliged to give serious consideration to requests from employees who …

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R&D tax credits need to be open to ‘all firms’

The CBI has urged that research and development tax credits should be available to firms of all sizes. The statement from the employers’ group was made in response to a report – Ingenious Britain – produced by entrepreneur, Sir James …

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Firms look to marketing to drive business

Increasing numbers of smaller businesses are boosting their sales and marketing efforts in order to speed recovery in the aftermath of the recession, a new study has found. Following months in which costs have been pared down, firms, it appears, …

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VAT returns and payments are going online

Businesses need to be aware that significant changes to the way that VAT returns are filed and payments are made will be coming into effect very soon. As from 1 April 2010, businesses that have an annual turnover exclusive of …

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Plan to balance public finances must be ‘convincing’

The government needs to set out clear plans for reducing the budget deficit sooner rather than later, the CBI has argued. The CBI wants the Chancellor to use the forthcoming Budget to spell out details of spending plans for various …

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Recovery to be fragile and slower than expected

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has revised its forecast for the UK’s economic recovery, saying that the rate of growth will be slower in 2011 than had been anticipated. The BCC had predicted growth of 2.3 per cent for …

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New business regulations coming into effect this April

Each year, the government introduces regulatory changes affecting businesses on two common commencement dates. These dates are 6 April and 1 October. There are a number of changes due to come into force on 6 April 2010. Some of the …

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Call for Budget to ‘review’ flat rate VAT

The government has been urged to look at the issue of flat rate VAT charges in the forthcoming Budget. According to research carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), almost half of all business sectors (48 per cent) …

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Regulation burden is ‘hampering’ enterprise

The cost to business of complying with government regulation is running at £80 billion a year, a report from the Institute of Directors (IoD) has claimed. The government has been arguing that the actual cost is closer to £13 billion …

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Firms reminded of date for claiming refunds on business rates

Small firms have only a few weeks left to claim a rebate on business rates that may have been overpaid in the past. Businesses that believe they may have been overcharged on their rates’ bills during the past five years …

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Business alliance urges scrapping of NIC rise

A coalition of the UK’s leading business groups has set up an internet petition calling for the planned 1 per cent increase in employers’ National Insurance Contributions to be dropped. The rise is due to come into effect in April …

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Complicated tax rules ‘stifle’ business growth

Three out of four small firms would be better placed to develop their businesses if the tax regime were simpler, a new survey has claimed. The survey of over 1,600 firms, carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), …

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Budget should centre on spending cuts not tax rises, says business group

The Chancellor should focus on reductions in expenditure rather than on tax increases when he delivers the final Budget before the next election. That was the message from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) in its Budget submission. The only way …

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UK economy grew quicker than previously estimated

The UK’s economy expanded by 0.3 per cent during the final quarter of 2009. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) had made an initial estimation of growth of 0.1 per cent. The new, upwardly revised figure suggests that the UK …

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Changes to VAT payments by post

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that, as from 1 April 2010, all cheque payments by post will be treated as being received on the date when the cleared funds reach HMRC’s bank account. This means that VAT businesses …

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HMRC policy on ‘Lennartz’ accounting to be amended

A case heard by the ECJ in 2009, Vereniging Noordelijke Land-en Tuinbouw Organisatie v Staatssecretaris van Financien (C-515/07), has shown that up until now, HMRC have allowed a much wider application of ‘Lennartz’ accounting than should be the case under …

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Smaller firms suffer higher energy prices

Small firms are less likely to secure lower energy price deals than their larger counterparts, a leading business group has claimed. The Forum of Private Business (FPB) said that figures released by the government show that average electricity prices for …

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EU committee proposes longer maternity leave

A committee of the European Parliament has produced draft legislation which, if it is approved, would extend maternity leave. Under the proposals, women across Europe would be entitled to 20 weeks of maternity leave on full pay, up from the …

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