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Tuchbands Chartered Accountants
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For SMEs there was a £400 million Treasury pledge to extend Government-backed Enterprise Capital Funds, and plans for new bank lending under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee.

The R&D tax credit will also be increased for SMEs.

The doubling of Small Business Rate Relief was extended for a further year from 1 April 2015.

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VAT for Small Businesses

Value Added Tax is a tax that suppliers of either goods or services charge on top of the cost of the goods or service. There are four different VAT categories depending on the type of goods and services supplied.

1. Exempt
2. Zero Rate
3. Reduced Rate
4. Standard Rate

Make sure you know which category applies to the different parts of your business.

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The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) recently estimated the tax gap for 2013/14 in real terms to be £119.4bn with £80bn of that arising from tax evasion. However, HMRC disagree with these estimates and give their own estimate of the tax gap for 2013/2014 as the significantly lower figure of £35bn. The method HMRC use for calculating their figure is endorsed by the IMF and similar to methods used by other countries. However, it is widely recognised that the tax gap is difficult to measure because there are many sources of uncertainty and error. The calculation method is also limited to what tax can be collected under present tax laws and not what could be collected if the tax laws were changed.
#taxevasion, #taxgap

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An IR35 Forum was established as a result of an announcement in the 2011 Budget about the government’s commitment to improving the way IR35 was administered. The IR35 Forum looks at how the legislation works in practice and provides advice on improvements to the way it is administered.

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In response to the increasing use of corporate tax planning strategies that exploit tax loopholes and allow corporations to report profits in countries with much more favourable tax regimes, the OECD have made recommendations in a major move towards international co-operation to deal with tax abuses.

The UK is the first of 44 countries to formally commit to implementing new reporting, and multi-nationals based in the UK will now have to report in which countries they make their profits and in which countries they pay tax.

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Changes have been made to the compulsory online VAT filing regulations to allow telephone filing, where that is possible, and paper filing where neither internet nor telephone filing are possible.

The change is aimed predominantly at older people who may be computer illiterate, disabled people who cannot use a computer and people living in areas with unreliable internet access.

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Any bank or financial institution in the UK which has a US operation must, under the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act) rules, review their customers’ tax information or be subject to a 30 per cent penalty tax applied to their US operations. FATCA effectively places the burden of checking whether any clients owe tax in the US onto the financial institutions by imposing such a high penalty for non-compliance.

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HMRC's Let Property campaign offers individual landlords, and those renting out their own homes, the chance to disclose any taxable income that they have not previously disclosed. The tax authorities have recognised that some people might have been unaware that their rental property income was actually taxable so are allowing the tax to be paid with no, or low, penalties – the exact amount is dependent on individual circumstances.

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Some recent surveys have indicated that there is a correlation for small businesses between having a business plan and the profits they make. This suggests that any SME without a business plan could be losing out on potential profits. That may seem quite a surprising assessment but significantly more companies with a business plan made a profit than those companies that did not have a business plan.

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Did you know you can save tax just by choosing a different company car, getting a company mobile phone or reporting losses from rental property to HMRC?

Read more about these and our other Top Tips for Saving Tax
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