The Chancellor of the Exchequer will give his Autumn Statement at 12.30 on Wednesday 5 December.
Let’s hope there is more in it for small businesses than this year’s Budget which without a doubt was aimed at big business.
The Economist summed it up neatly
There was lots of talk about helping small business. The budget sent a different signal.
P.S. Personally I think the small business sector will be ignored yet again. It will be interesting, however, to see what he does about the low tax bills of the multinationals which trade in the UK. Probably the same as for SMEs ……..nothing!
I read Taxation every week to keep my tax knowledge up to date but have never considered the Westmorland Gazette to be another source!
This week they have published a story about a back street bookie who didn’t declare all his earnings and has been landed with a £26,000 bill.
A couple of things stand out from this case which are worth bearing in mind if you’re in business:
- I haven’t seen HMRC use this method of calculating “omitted” income for a few years, which surprises me because it’s very easy for them to use and very difficult for the taxpayer to disprove. Perhaps it’s making a comeback!
- The bookie’s failure to keep proper records was actually used against him to prove he had suppressed his takings!
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recommend that you pay electronically. This is safer, more secure and very efficient. If you pay using one of the following methods you do not need your HMRC payslip:
- Internet banking
- Direct Debit
- Debit or credit card over the internet using BillPay
- Bacs Direct Credit, telephone banking or CHAPS
If you want to pay by cheque you should use the HMRC computer printed payslip which you should have received recently.
If the payslip hasn’t arrived or it’s been lost you can generate your own payslip on the HMRC website
HMRC are warning us that any P9Ds, P11Ds and P11D(b)s must be submitted to HMRC before 6 July, which can mean only one thing
HMRC will penalise you if the returns are late
In a month when tax avoidance and tax evasion have been rarely out of the news, who better to nominate as 3CA Rat of the Month but Philip Green, friend of politicians but no friend of small businesses.
Last week John Humpreys, in an interview with the Prime Minister on BBC’s Today programme, tried to establish what the government meant by the term ‘aggressive tax avoidance’.
Unfortunately, he over-stepped the mark and the BBC was forced to issue an apology to Philip Green.
With a specific link on Wikipedia titled Tax avoidance and the specific target of UK Uncut’s original protests I cannot think of a worthier recipient for this month’s Rat of the Month.
Speculation about the contents of tomorrow’s Budget has been rife but I’m not sure that there will be much in it for small businesses – there has been too much talk about big business and tax evasion.
If you do own a small business and you’re going to listen to the Budget, I suggest you take any announcement of measures designed to “help” business with a large pinch of salt.
If the Chancellor talks about reducing corporation tax make sure he is referring to the small profits rate of 20% (the rate most small businesses pay) rather than the rate which most big businesses pay (26%). It’s interesting that the small profits rate has remained at 20% during a period when the ‘big business’ rate has fallen from 28% to 26% and in just over a year’s time will fall another 2% to 24%.
Abuse of service companies by ‘top earners’ such as Ken Livingstone and the head of the Student Loans Company may well allow Osborne to introduce measures to charge National Insurance on dividends. Be very careful if he starts to talk of abuse and service companies. It could be very costly for SMEs.
Earlier today I wrote
Harry Redknapp has made tax fun and has allowed me to talk to football supporters for the first time in my life and be knowledgeable too!
The editor of AccountingWEB thought it good enough to include in their story on the Harry Redknapp case, which has had to be pulled because the comments may have been in contempt of court. And you thought accountants were boring!
I have never known so many people of differing backgrounds and interests follow a tax case so closely. Yesterday I found myself reading tweets from James Pearce, the BBC Sports News Correspondent, who is at the court. Every so often, he has to leave the courtroom so that he can send a tweet, Twitter and presumably the use of smartphones are forbidden in the courtroom itself.
I was so impressed with his coverage of events that I added him to my Twitter list, TaxTweets, so thatI could read his tweets easier. Bearing in mind this list includes HMRC, Taxation magazine and The Tax Journal I thought I should at least tweet him and tell him, never expecting an answer.
Leaving aside the question of ‘Where do I get the money from?’, the date for paying your (Self Assessment) tax is approaching fast.
To pay online you’ll need your Self Assessment reference and a note of the amount you have to pay.
Log on to your internet banking and select ‘HM Revenue & Customs’ from your bank/building society’s beneficiary list (which is sometimes called a ‘payee list’) or use HMRC’s bank account details to set up a manual instruction. When using your bank or building society’s beneficiary list, take care in selecting the correct HMRC entry for the payment you want to make.
If you’ve lost your Self Assessment reference number, also referred to as your unique taxpayer reference (UTR), you’ll find this on your payslip and on any correspondence sent to you by HMRC – including the ‘Notice to complete a Tax Return’ if you file online, or on your paper tax return.
The reference number is made up of 11 characters, for example: 1234567890K. You can make sure you have the correct reference by using HMRC’s Self assessment reference checker.
HMRC have made a blank payslip available online for all those taxpayers who pay by cheque and have lost their personal payslip.
The form can be completed and printed here.
HMRC have issued a press release today titled
There’s just one week left to send your 2010/11 tax return to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), if you want to avoid a penalty.
Obviously what HMRC say is correct but the important part of the message is hidden in the final paragraph and, to add insult to injury, states how wonderful HMRC are!
HMRC’s systems are able to cope with these large volumes of online returns
Don’t fall for this. HMRC’s systems are quite likely to fail and you may be unable to submit your return on time if you leave it until January 31. Worse still, it isn’t out of character for HMRC to use this press release to refuse any requests for a penalty to be cancelled, on the basis of “we told you so”.
Don’t take the risk submit it sooner rather than later.