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Oct 4

Protect your home

A government think-tank, the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS), was briefed to consider a non-tax issue, a restricted form of limited liability for sole traders.

At present, a sole trader’s personal assets (including their home) are vulnerable to a claim by business creditors if the sole trader business becomes insolvent.

The principle behind this Sole Enterprise with Protected Assets (SEPA) scheme is that it will allow an individual to continue to trade as a sole trader whilst offering protection for their primary residence against claims arising from the business. The primary residence will not be protected from personal claims nor will any other asset be protected.

In essence, SEPA offers a limited, limited liability vehicle for sole traders.

In conclusion the OTS report says:

The case for SEPA’s introduction is not by any means cast iron. But our work indicates that SEPA has the potential to be a useful simplification for those that would otherwise consider incorporation. Furthermore, it could provide a boost to enterprise.

Accordingly, we recommend that it should be developed into a formal proposal. While doing so, one would have to address some of the issues that we have raised in this report as well as fully assessing any impact on the creditor and debt collection markets.

Which in plain speaking means SPEA is a good idea, but don’t hold your breath. We will have to wait and see if the required changes in legislation appear at some future date.

Sep 26

Grants available for food producers and suppliers

Up to £20 million is being made available to increase productivity and sustainability in crop and ruminant agriculture systems through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Innovate UK are looking for projects that improve productivity and sustainability in crop and ruminant agriculture.

There is £20 million to be shared across 2 types of project:

  •  productivity solutions, which develop a single intervention within a supply chain or production system,
  • supply chain solutions, which develop multiple interventions across at least 3 parts of the supply chain, for example: beef producers, beef processors and supermarket retailers; plant breeders, arable producers and food manufacturers.

Projects should focus on one of two themes, to:

  • drive productivity and improve environmental outcomes in crop and ruminant production systems,
  • develop new, highly efficient, high-value production systems that maximise productivity and improve environmental performance.

This could include:

  • combining digital technologies and engineering solutions with biological, environment or social science to improve productivity,
  • developing technologies and systems that connect farms and supply chains,
  • transferring an innovative technology from another sector into agriculture.

More details on the GOV.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/efficient-and-sustainable-agriculture-apply-for-funding

Sep 5

Fox: UK SMEs can be “intrepid exporters again”

Writing in the Sun on Sunday, trade secretary Liam Fox says Brexit provides Britain with the opportunity to “make our businesses intrepid exporters again”. He says that everywhere he goes people want to trade with Britain, trust the UK’s laws and financial services, and “envy our universities”. But it is the Brits who are least confident, he says. He cites a deal with China last week which saw the country open up to UK dairy products, which he complains received scant mention in the press. Dr Fox goes on to urge small businesses to seize export opportunities and take advantage of Government support. He says 99% of British businesses are SMEs but 90% do not export, and points to the Government’s network of Export Champions that he says will help successful exporters guide others and aid Britain in becoming a thriving, independent “trading superpower”.

Source: The Sun on Sunday (02/09/2018)

 

 

Sep 5

HMRC sends out thousands of warning letters to taxpayers

Taxpayers with overseas links have received final warnings from HMRC urging them to declare any “overseas income or gains” by the end of September to avoid paying higher tax penalties.

Source: Financial Times (01/09/2018)  

 

 

Sep 5

Corporation tax receipts rocket

Figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility show corporation tax receipts have surged since the rate was cut. The levy raised £57.6bn last year, when firms handed over 19% of profits. That was 44% more than in 2010 when corporation tax was 28%. Corporation tax receipts have also risen 26% since the EU referendum. Sam Dumitriu of the free market Adam Smith Institute think-tank said the figures should prompt ministers to reduce tax on firms which invest. “A competitive corporate tax rate has made Britain a more attractive place to do business,” he said.

Source: Daily Mail (30/08/2018)

 

 

Sep 5

Slow roll-out damages MTD’s benefits

HMRC has admitted that its Making Tax Digital programme will end up costing businesses more than it saves them. Original forecasts said the scheme would save businesses £100m a year from 2021 but its annual report reveals there will be no cost savings and the extra work will end up costing firms £37m a year. HMRC said the change to its forecast was due to the fact that only companies with turnover of more than £85,000 will have to file returns digitally, whereas, initially, it was to include all businesses. Most of the savings from the scheme would have been made by companies below this threshold, HMRC said.

Source: The Mail on Sunday (02/09/2018)

 

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