Revenue targets undeclared second incomes

29 Apr 2014

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has taken the latest step in its crackdown on undeclared income, with the launch of its Second Incomes Campaign.

The campaign targets individuals who are employed and resident in the UK, and who receive additional income that is not currently taxed, for example as a result of consultancy or training fees, organising events, profits from making and selling craft items, or profits from buying and selling goods at markets or boot fairs.

The voluntary disclosure scheme aims to offer taxpayers the opportunity to bring their tax affairs up to date, under the best possible terms.

Individuals who wish to sign up to the scheme first need to notify HMRC. They will then need to fill in a disclosure form and pay what is owed within 4 months of receiving acknowledgement from HMRC.

Taxpayers who fail to make a voluntary disclosure could face higher penalties or criminal prosecution at a later stage.

We can help with all of your tax planning needs. Please contact us for advice.

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Revenue targets undeclared second incomes

29 Apr 2014

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has taken the latest step in its crackdown on undeclared income, with the launch of its Second Incomes Campaign.

The campaign targets individuals who are employed and resident in the UK, and who receive additional income that is not currently taxed, for example as a result of consultancy or training fees, organising events, profits from making and selling craft items, or profits from buying and selling goods at markets or boot fairs.

The voluntary disclosure scheme aims to offer taxpayers the opportunity to bring their tax affairs up to date, under the best possible terms.

Individuals who wish to sign up to the scheme first need to notify HMRC. They will then need to fill in a disclosure form and pay what is owed within 4 months of receiving acknowledgement from HMRC.

Taxpayers who fail to make a voluntary disclosure could face higher penalties or criminal prosecution at a later stage.

We can help with all of your tax planning needs. Please contact us for advice.

CBI: Outlook for economic growth is ‘exceptionally strong and broad-based’

28 Apr 2014

The outlook for British economy over the next three months is ‘exceptionally strong and broad-based’, according to the CBI.

In their latest monthly survey of 675 firms across the manufacturing, retail and services sectors, respondents recorded solid growth in activity, with a balance of +25%, up from +19% in March. Firms are optimistic that growth will pick up again over the next quarter, with the expectations balance at +42%, the highest figure since the CBI started collecting the data in 2003.

Output rose from the eight-month low recorded in March, and remains well above average, suggesting that the UK’s economic recovery is ‘steadily advancing’.

Katja Hall, the CBI’s Chief Policy Director, said: “These latest growth figures, and the strong expectations for the next quarter, provide further encouraging signs of increasing vigour and confidence across the UK economy.

“While consumer spending accounted for the lion’s share of GDP growth last year, there are firm indications of growth becoming more broad-based. We expect growth to strengthen in 2014, underpinned partly by rising business and consumer confidence and supportive monetary conditions. Productivity and earnings are also expected to start recovering this year.”

Bank of England to oversee hacking

25 Apr 2014

The computer systems of 20 major banks are to be targeted by hired hackers to assess their defences against cyber-crime.

Ethical hackers, also known as ‘white hats’, will be asked by the Bank of England to access the computer systems of the banks and financial leaders, after the ‘Heartbleed’ bug was discovered to be one of the biggest ever security flaws since the internet has existed.

Those on the list to be tested reportedly include the Royal Bank of Scotland as well as the London Stock Exchange. The Bank of England has said that online security is an important consideration for all financial institutions.

Scenarios will involve replication of the tactics used by known online terrorists and cyber criminals. In 2013, almost two dozen financial institutions in the UK took part in an exercise to simulate their response to an online terrorist attack. The simulation was known as Waking Shark II.

Reports indicate that a pilot of the initiative has already taken place. Companies are encouraged to remember that they must report any cyber-crime to law enforcement officials as well as their own regulators.

Nunn Hayward are recruiting for a Audit & Accounts Semi-Senior

Nunn Hayward LLP are looking to recruit a professionally qualified Audit & Accounts Semi-Senior who has significant experience in ISA compliant audits, bookkeeping and statutory accounts preparation and has worked extensively in Practice.

The successful candidate will be experienced in conducting all areas of statutory audit work (planning/fieldwork/completion) so that this can be presented to the Audit Partner for their review.  They will have experience managing teams in the field but also be able to work effectively on their own. 

The successful candidate will be friendly, confident and enthusiastic with good organisational skills.   

The successful candidate will be comfortable working with incomplete records and will have shown a proven ability in being able to work methodically and efficiently through to extended trial balance stage before then producing statutory accounts.

The successful candidate should have a good knowledge of statutory accounts disclosures for small/medium sized limited companies and will have also worked on sole trader/partnership/LLP accounts. 

A candidate who has experience in more specialised audit and accounts preparation fields would also be viewed favourably. 

They would have good experience in preparing corporation tax computations and returns and preparing income tax computations to enable our tax team to prepare personal tax returns from their base computation.

We are looking for somebody who has good written and verbal communication skills.  They should be somebody who is computer literate, with a good working knowledge of Microsoft packages, statutory accounts package (ideally IRIS but not essential) and tax software.

Salary competitive and dependent on experience.

The successful candidate would be based at our Gerrards Cross offices but there will be travel to clients as necessary.

Please send your CV and covering letter to info@nhllp.com

Pensioners to be given advice on life expectancy

24 Apr 2014

Pensions minister Steve Webb has suggested that anyone over 65 should be given advice on how long they are likely to live in order to help them manage their savings.

Research into mortality figures has been growing in recent years, and reasonable estimates have now be made by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on an average individual’s life expectancy given their location.

The Government is keen to point out that there will always be a margin for error and that these figures are just a guide.

If a person is aged 65, a recent ONS chart serves as a guide to over how many more years they will need to spread their savings. These estimates range from 17 years for men and 19.5 years for women in Scotland, to 19 years for men and 21.5 years for women in the south east of England.

This advice comes as part of the Government’s pension changes, mentioned in the Chancellor’s Budget Speech last month.

SMEs ‘still feeling the squeeze’ despite economic improvements

23 Apr 2014

Small and medium-sized businesses in the UK are still experiencing financial problems despite the trend towards economic recovery, recent research suggests.
The latest Red Flag Alert from Begbies Traynor has revealed a 22% increase in the number of SMEs experiencing significant financial difficulties, when compared with the same period last year.

In all, more than 200,000 small businesses reported financial problems, with many consumer-facing firms in particular experiencing difficulties with accessing suitable finance and competing with larger commercial chains.

Meanwhile, a separate report has found that late payment remains another significant barrier for many small UK businesses.

The latest survey from the Forum of Private Business (FPB) reports that 23% of its members experienced an increase in late payments over the course of the last year, while just 3% experienced a decrease. In addition, 29% saw an increase in the average amount of time taken by firms to settle a late payment.

According to the FPB, around £30bn is currently tied up in late payments, costing small firms time and resources, and meaning that many have to seek external finance.

Phil Orford, Chief Executive of the FPB, said, ‘Government is mulling over responses to a recent late payment discussion paper, which revealed ample ideas for tackling the issue in a more robust manner including the reintroduction of compulsory reporting of company payment terms and practices, and annual checks for Prompt Payment Code signatories’.

‘It is essential that government uses the recommendations to introduce effective measures and accepts that it not only has a responsibility to play in this area but also that its increased action can also act as an important catalyst for better payment practices.’