HB&O Headlines - March 2018

29th March 2018

Spring Statement 2018

Spring Statement 2018 - download our report

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his 2018 Spring Statement on Tuesday 13th March. As expected, the statement was relatively light on content. The Chancellor focused on economic forecasts, with no tax changes or spending increases unveiled in what proved to be a much shorter update compared with previous statements.

The Spring Statement revealed that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) revised its forecast for growth up to 1.5% - up 0.1% on the previous forecast announced in Autumn Budget 2017. However, GDP is expected to fall back to 1.3% in 2019 and 2020 as the OBR left its November 2017 forecast unchanged.

Borrowing fell to £45.2 billion in 2017/18 – £4.7 billion lower than the OBR’s forecast in November 2017, while the Chancellor confirmed any further borrowing is expected to fund capital investment only.

Aside from updated economic forecasts, the rest of the Spring Statement focused largely on policy consultations – including tackling the plastic problem, tax relief for self-funded work-related training, and corporate tax and the digital economy.

Philip Hammond also announced that the next revaluation of business rates would be brought forward by one year to 2021, four years after the last revaluation. Full details can be found in our budget report.

 
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company directors

New laws to protect company directors

 
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has identified increased risks of identity fraud for directors, based on research done by fraud prevention agency, Cifas.
The BEIS will be bringing in new laws to combat this problem. Whilst the exact terms of the new legislation are unclear, it will provide directors with increased rights to keep their home address and date of birth out of the public registers.
 
Clients might not be aware but existing provisions already allow directors to protect their personal details. All directors must provide Companies House with a service address, where they can be contacted, and which is shown on Companies House records. However, this could be their business address instead of their home address.
 
At HB&O we always advise clients to consider using their business address as their formal service address, on their annual Confirmation Statement and, where possible, on all other Companies House filings.
 
If you have any queries, please contact our team.
 
IASME

HB&O is "GDPR-ready" following IASME certification

 

We are delighted to announce we have achieved the stringent IASME Certification, covering information security and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

We want our clients to have complete confidence that we have taken all reasonable steps to protect their data.

Since October last year, we have been preparing for the forthcoming GDPR, which comes into force in the UK on 25th May 2018, having already secured the Government-backed Cybersecurity Plus accreditation in 2016. The GDPR module of the certification includes a further 30 questions to assess readiness, including assessing business risks, training staff, dealing with incidents and handling operational issues.
 
HB&O was awarded the IASME standard on 2nd March 2018.

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tax compliance

SMEs spend 15 days a year on tax compliance but miss out on reliefs

 

The average small business in the UK spends £5,000 and 15 working days a year on tax compliance, according to a study conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
 

The findings indicate businesses spent a total of 126 hours on tax administration. The most time-consuming taxes were VAT, PAYE and employer national insurance contributions, taking 95 hours a year combined. Around a quarter say the taxes they pay are difficult to understand.
 
Lack of information about the tax system could also mean missing out on potential benefits. At HB&O, we’re working with a wide range of clients to help ensure they make the most of tax reliefs. Whether that’s Research and Development Tax Credits, Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) or Enhanced Capital Allowances.

As a result, we’ve secured significant tax savings for clients who had previously not realised they were eligible for reliefs. To find out more about our tax services, visit our website or email Neil Allcroft.
 
And if you’re finding tax compliance a burden, don’t forget our Virtual Finance Office and cloud accounting services are here to help, so you can spend more time on running your business and less time on tax administration. Take a look at our VFO video for more details.

 
Termination payments

Termination payments set to change from 6th April 2018

 
The rules for taxing payments made on the termination of someone’s employment are changing from 6 April 2018.
The rules introduce a new approach and reclassify some payments currently benefitting from the £30,000 exemption as earnings (with the result that benefit of the exemption is lost). The £30,000 exemption will remain; but its scope will be more limited than at present.
 
A new class 1A national insurance contribution (NIC) charge will be introduced from 6 April 2019 (one year later than originally planned) on taxable termination payments in excess of £30,000.
 
The new rules will remove much of the ambiguity surrounding payments in lieu of notice (PILON), which from 6 April 2018 will generally be taxed as earnings, regardless of whether there is a contractual entitlement or customary expectation to the payment.
 
For full details, take a look at our Active Practice Update covering the changes or contact one of our tax managers, Mark Johnson or Vanessa Glenn
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Leamington Business Awards

Leamington Business Awards are back!

 

The Leamington Business Awards are back for 2018, sponsored by The Box Factory.

Following the success of last year’s event, sponsorship has been secured from a wide range of organisations looking to support Leamington’s business and charity achievements.

New for this year is the launch of the South Warwickshire Achievement Award, open to any organisation operating across South Warwickshire with links to Leamington, either through history, services or suppliers. This is the first time organisations outside of Leamington have had the chance to apply for an award and we’re looking forward to seeing lots of entries.
 
The awards open for entry in early April. To be the first to know more, sign up to the LBA newsletter.
 
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