Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New reforms to protect consumers hard-earned cash

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

The UK Government’s Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has revealed an arsenal of planned reforms to boost competition and protect the public from rip-offs, fraud and exploitation as the pandemic restrictions lift.

Plans set out in a new consultation will deliver on the manifesto commitment to ‘give the Competition and Markets Authority enhanced powers to tackle consumer rip-offs and bad business practices.’

Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK’s economic recovery relies on the strength of our open markets and consumers’ faith in them.

“By delivering on our commitment to bolster our competition regime, we’re giving businesses confidence that they’re competing on fair terms, and the public confidence they’re getting a good deal”

 

Protecting consumer rights

In an increasingly e-commerce consumer environment, customers are facing a relentless stream of tricks, designed to make them spend more money than they can afford.

The consultation proposes initiatives to update consumer rights to keep pace with market developments:

  • To strengthen protection for consumers investing in prepayment schemes such as the Christmas savings club, being mandated to safeguard customers’ money.
  • They also outline plans to clamp down on subscription traps, requiring businesses to be explicit on what exactly it is customers will be signing up for, and allowing them to cancel without any difficulty.
  • The consultation highlights the issue of misleading online ratings and commits to criminalising the act of paying someone to write or host a fake review.

Enforcement

Tougher penalties for non-compliance will see increased authority for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to implement fines for businesses who don’t comply.

The CMA will be able to enforce consumer law directly rather than going through the court processes which can take a considerable amount of time.

They also plan to support consumers and businesses to resolve disputes more independently by improving consumers’ access to arbitration and mediation services, without having to go to court. This includes a proposal to make arbitration compulsory in sectors where large, one-off payments are made, for example in the used car and home improvements sectors.

 

Promoting competition

The Government aims to create a competitive, open and fair market, thus achieving its goal of enabling businesses to build again, driving investment and creating more jobs after the pandemic.

Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, Rocio Concha said: “The pandemic has highlighted weaknesses in UK consumer protections that have allowed unscrupulous businesses to exploit customers.

“The government must now ensure that these proposals are swiftly implemented, and are underpinned by the right resources, so that consumer protection is strengthened.”

Sponsoring a charity

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

Charity sponsorship payments are different from donations because your company gets something related to your business in return. Typically, your business brand would be promoted by the charity in some way.

You can deduct sponsorship payments from your business profits before you pay tax by treating them as business expenses.

Payments qualify as business expenses if the charity:

  • officially supports your products or services,
  • allows you to use their logo in your own printed material,
  • allows you to sell your goods or services at their event or premises,
  • links from their website to yours.

If you are unsure whether a charity payment qualifies as a sponsorship payment or a donation, contact the HMRC charities helpline, 0300 123 1073.

Tax-free property and trading income

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

You can claim up to £1,000 each tax year in tax-free allowances for property or trading income. If you have both types of income, you will qualify for a £1,000 allowance for each.

If your annual gross property income is £1,000 or less, from one or more property businesses you will not have to tell HMRC or declare this income on a tax return. You may be required to complete a tax return for other income.

Likewise, if your annual gross trading income is £1,000 or less, from one or more trades you may not have to tell HMRC.

If your annual gross trading or property income, from one or more trades or businesses is more than £1,000 you can use the tax-free allowances instead of deducting any expenses or other allowances.

This would be useful if your actual expenses were lower than the £1,000 allowances. However, you cannot use the allowances to create a trading loss. You can deduct up to £1,000, but not more than the amount of your income. This is known as ‘partial relief’.

If your expenses are more than your income it should be beneficial to claim expenses instead of the allowances.

You cannot use the allowances in a tax year, if you have any trade or property income from:

  • a company you or someone connected to you owns or controls,
  • a partnership where you or someone connected to you are partners,
  • your employer or the employer of your spouse or civil partner.

You cannot use the property allowance if you:

  • claim the tax reducer for finance costs such as mortgage interest for a residential property,

deduct expenses from income from letting a room in your own home instead of using the Rent a Room Scheme.

Tax Diary August/September 2021

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

1 August 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2020.

19 August 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2021)

19 August 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 August 2021.

19 August 2021 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 August 2021 is payable by today.

1 September 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2020.

19 September 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2021)

19 September 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 September 2021.

19 September 2021 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 September 2021 is payable by today.

VAT – Second-hand cars – using the Margin Scheme

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

If you sell second-hand vehicles and you were not charged VAT when you purchased the vehicle, using the Margin Scheme will save you money.

If you did not use the VAT Margin Scheme, you would have to account for VAT on the full selling price of each vehicle. However, if you use the Margin Scheme, you can account for VAT on the difference between the price you paid for a second-hand vehicle and the sales price when you sell the car.

If you sell a vehicle for less than you paid for it, you will not have to account for any VAT on the sale.

You do not have to use the Margin Scheme, it is optional.

If you decide to use it, there are conditions you will have to meet. If you cannot meet all the conditions, you cannot use the scheme.

The main conditions published by HMRC are:

  • the vehicles must be eligible,
  • you must have acquired the vehicles in eligible circumstances – in most cases, this means that you have obtained eligible vehicles for resale in circumstances where VAT was not chargeable,
  • you must calculate the margin in accordance with the rules of the scheme, there are special rules about how to calculate your buying price, your selling price and your margin under the scheme, your margin may not be the same as your profit margin,
  • you must meet the record-keeping rules of the scheme, there are special rules about invoicing and stock records.

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