Self assessment deadline ‘extended for some’

31 Jan 2014

According to recent press reports, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has extended the submission deadline for self assessment tax returns by two weeks.

The extension will only apply to those taxpayers who signed up for the online self assessment service between midnight on 21 January and midnight on 31 January, or individuals who have requested a replacement ID or password.

Those eligible for the extension will have until 15 February to submit their tax return, without incurring the £100 late filing penalty. However a spokesperson for HMRC pointed out yesterday that ‘the tax is still due by midnight tomorrow [31 January] so it doesn’t get you out of paying the tax.’

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) called for the deadline to be extended earlier this week, as it is estimated that approximately 1.5 million people still have tax returns outstanding.

Changes to child benefit and an increase in self employment levels mean that more people are now required to fill out a self assessment tax return, including many who are doing it for the first time.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the ACCA, commented that he thought HMRC’s move was ‘pragmatic and realistic’.

2014 Budget ‘will help small businesses’, pledges Chancellor

30 Jan 2014

Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to address the issues facing the UK’s small businesses, in his forthcoming Budget.

Addressing the Federation of Small Businesses policy conference, the Chancellor said that the Government is keen to hear the views of small business representatives ahead of the Spring Budget, which will take place on Wednesday 19 March.

The Chancellor emphasised a number of business measures recently announced by the Government, including the introduction of the new Employment Allowance, which from April 2014 will grant every UK business and charity up to £2,000 off their employer national insurance contributions bill. 

The move is expected to remove over 400,000 businesses from the requirement to pay employer national insurance altogether.

‘We are very much in listening mode. We are hungry for your ideas about what we can do to help small businesses,’ said the Chancellor.

We can help with all aspects of running a business – please contact us for advice and assistance.

We are hiring…Marketing Executive

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Client-side – Marketing Exec

Description:

Nunn Hayward LLP is a Chartered Accountancy firm based in Gerrards Cross where an exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced Marketing Exec to work in an innovative, friendly environment. Reporting to the Marketing Committee, you will be actively involved in delivering the company’s marketing strategy and activity plan. This role offers broad exposure to multiple marketing functions, both online and offline, so you should be skilled in managing projects while ensuring quality in the execution of each campaign.

You’ll need working knowledge of Excel, Word and PowerPoint, and demonstrate ability for copywriting. Attention to detail is key, as you will be responsible for helping to create high-quality content for Nunn Hayward’s prospects, partners and clients. The role is ideal for a commercially-minded marketer who is looking to broaden their experience, and it’s a great opportunity to hone valuable skills in email marketing, data processing, social media, event organisation and copywriting.

Key responsibilities:

  • Support the Marketing Committee in the development and execution of marketing and communications plan to timescales and budget.
  • Writing insightful and engaging content across a variety of media including email, web and print (e.g. direct mail, advertisements, blog).
  • On-going development and update of website and social media sites with relevant content.
  • Sometimes working with other Partners/staff to deliver lead generation campaigns (direct mail, e-shots).
  • Assisting with the development of corporate collateral, working with external suppliers (design, print).
  • Executing communications activity (press releases, newsletters, award submissions).
  • Planning and organisation of event activity from seminars and clinics to hospitality and internal events.
  • Updates and analysis of campaigns and events.
  • Management of prospect and client database for targeted internal sales activity.

Skills and experience:

  • Marketing experience in any capacity.
  • Marketing or Business degree or professional qualification preferable.
  • Experience of developing and delivering social media.
  • Excellent written English Skills.
  • Excel, Word, PowerPoint skills are essential.

You:

  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Good team player.
  • Very proactive in communication.
  • Self-motivated with strong organisational skills.
  • Enthusiastic as well as a hands on approach.
  • Capable of managing multiple projects simultaneously.

If you think this is the job for you, then we’d love to hear from you. This role is ideally suited for a candidate traveling/commuting from the Buckinghamshire and London area with our offices just three minutes from Gerrards Cross train station.

Please email your CV and covering letter to Clare Weston:

cweston@nhllp.com

or send them to Nunn Hayward LLP, Sterling House, 20 Station Road, Gerrards Cross, SL9 8EL

Business welcomes UK growth figures but ‘further action is needed’

29 Jan 2014

Business groups have welcomed the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which reveal that the UK economy grew by 1.9% in 2013, but have warned that further action is needed in order to safeguard economic recovery in the longer term.

The latest ONS figures represent the strongest rate of growth since 2007, although growth in GDP slipped from 0.8% to 0.7% in the final quarter of the year.

There was positive news for the UK services sector, which grew by 0.8% in the fourth quarter, while manufacturing output grew by 0.9%. However, growth in industrial production fell from 0.8% to 0.7%, and construction output fell by 0.3%.

Commenting on the news, Chancellor George Osborne said, ‘The economic recovery is broadly based with manufacturing growing more than other sectors, and that’s evidence that the long-term economic plan is working’.

‘There’s plenty more to do but we’re heading in the right direction.’

However, while acknowledging an increase in UK business confidence, some experts have raised concerns over the nature and sustainability of the recovery.

Business Secretary Vince Cable warned that the recovery is ‘heavily based’ on housing prices and consumer spending, and highlighted the need to rebalance the economy in order to avoid a ‘boom-bust’ cycle.

John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said, ‘It is of course heartening that Britain is now amongst the fastest-growing advanced economies. But more must be done to shore up the foundations of this recovery if it is to be a lasting one. Unless we do much better on the three ‘T’s – training, transport infrastructure and trade support – our aspirations for investment at home and success around the globe cannot be achieved’.

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) echoed the BCC’s outlook, highlighting the importance of achieving sustainable growth.

Alexander Jackman, FPB Head of Policy, said, ‘This fourth quarter of successive growth will do much to boost business confidence further as we start 2014 in earnest. It is important now to ensure this growth is sustained and that businesses across the board are able to invest. From trading in new markets to taking on new people, small businesses still require support to ensure they make the right investments for their business’.

Government announces ‘deregulation drive’ for small businesses

28 Jan 2014

The Government has announced a package of measures aimed at reducing the red tape burden for the UK’s small businesses.

Speaking at a Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) conference, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to take further action on red tape, with more than 3,000 rules to be scrapped or amended.

Business groups have broadly welcomed the announcement, with the British Chambers of Commerce acknowledging the progress made on domestic regulations, but calling on the Government to include tax changes and EU regulations in its ‘one in, two out’ policy for new regulations.

Meanwhile, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) welcomed the news but urged the Government to avoid making frequent changes to regulations in the future.

The FPB’s Alexander Jackman commented, ‘The constant churn of employment law regulations provides as much of a burden to small businesses, who have to invest time and resources – or expensively outsource – in order to understand areas. Parental leave is a prime example. Businesses accept the need for it, but are frustrated that periods of leave and processes constantly change’.

Business reacts to 50p tax rate plans

27 Jan 2014

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls announced in a recent speech  the Labour party’s intention to return the top rate of income tax to 50%,  should they win the next election.

Last year the Coalition Government reduced the tax rate  for those earning over £150,000 to 45%, which was welcomed by businesses.

Today in an open letter to The Telegraph, heads of 24 companies heavily criticised the Shadow  Chancellor’s plan, warning that increasing the tax rate would halt the economic  recovery and cost jobs. The letter said, ‘We think that these higher taxes will  have the effect of discouraging business investment’.

Katja Hall, Chief Policy Director for the Confederation  of British Industry (CBI), agreed: ‘We don’t believe that introducing a 50p  income tax rate is the right way to raise money because this puts talented  people off coming to the UK to invest and create jobs’.

But Richard Murphy, director for think tank Tax Research  UK, said the UK was ‘seeing a massive increase in inequality’, and the proposed  tax rate would help ‘balance up’ the economy.

Workers’ union Unite has also spoken out in favour of the  proposal, saying that Labour ‘understands the need for a fairer taxation  system. Voters will know now that Labour is emerging as a positive choice for  this country’.

Cap on pension fees delayed

24 Jan 2014

The Government has announced that the introduction of a cap on pension charges, which was due to come into effect from April, will be postponed for ‘at least a year’.

The cap on charges would have meant that pension operators could charge no more than between 0.75% and 1% for those automatically enrolled into a pension. Currently, some older schemes can charge up to 2.3% every year in management charges. 

Pensions minister, Steve Webb, who had previously declared a ‘full frontal assault’ on the charges, said that it was ‘only right and fair to give employers a minimum of 12 months’ notice of the changes’. He stressed that the Government would still act ‘to ensure people are not ripped off by excessive pension charges’.

News of the delay has been widely welcomed by the pensions industry.

John Lawson, Aviva’s head of policy, responded by saying that ‘the consequences of getting this wrong are serious’, adding that time should be taken to concentrate on getting the rules right. ‘If that means government and the industry need to take more time to consider the best solutions, then we should take it’, he said. 

Yvonne Braun, head of savings retirement and social care at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) also agreed with the decision, stating that with the introduction of auto enrollment, implementing the proposed pension fees cap now could ’cause disruption’.