Monthly Archives: September 2012

HMRC offer email help to small businesses

HM Revenue and Customs has invited small and medium-sized firms to sign up to receive regular emails from them giving help and support.

The new service is primarily for people who are new to business, either setting up or expanding.

HMRC’s Head of SME Education Design, Colin Ford, said: “Starting and running a business is challenging and HMRC recognises that its customers sometimes need help to understand their tax affairs.

“Signing up is a simple process. We do not ask for any personal information beyond a name, e-mail address and phone number.

“At a time when businesses need all the help they can get, HMRC is keen to do everything possible to ensure SMEs have the information they need to make their tax affairs as smooth as possible.”

Once a customer/business signs up, they will receive about six emails signposting a range of help including videos, interactive tools, factsheets and online presentations or webinars.

The help is tailored to the level that the customer indicates they need and their likely cycle of tax obligations. The email service will not be able to provide answers to specific questions from the signed up companies.

Greater Flexible Working – Positive Legacy of Recession?

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s (REC) Flexible Workforce Commission has reported that Businesses have found they can reduce absenteeism, improve staff morale and productivity and are better able to attract and retain top talent if they adopt more flexible working arrangements.

The report outlines the competitive advantage gained by businesses that adopt less traditional structures for their workforce such as the use of compressed hours, home workers and temporary and part-time contracts.

29 businesses and employer bodies both from the UK and abroad were interviewed by the Commission about their experience of using a range of flexible work practices and contains several key recommendations for business and government including:

• Businesses must engage workers in designing flexible roles and reinforce to the whole workforce that flexibility is not just for certain groups but for everyone.

• Businesses must do more to train leaders and managers, giving them the confidence and skills to lead flexible teams effectively.

• The government must move the debate beyond the current focus on family friendly working practices by encouraging far greater uptake of all forms of flexibility throughout the public sector.

• Trade associations and professional institutes should work cooperatively with unions and employee organisations to advocate the benefits of flexibility for both businesses and workers and move the debate beyond talk of ‘casualisation’ and ‘employer-imposed flexibility’.

• Recruitment agencies must advise employers on job design and flexible work options, challenge assumptions about flexibility, help their clients improve job descriptions and advertisements to reflect flexible options available and devise creative and bespoke solutions in line with business need.

Kevin Green, the REC’s Chief Executive said “A wider understanding of flexible work needs to be adopted by government to help move the debate beyond the current focus on family friendly working practices. Part-time working, contracting and other flexible solutions have been a significant factor in keeping people in work and companies in business during this recession.

“The UK has a competitive advantage in its flexible labour market and by enhancing and promoting the benefits of flexibility to all, we can leverage this advantage to create more, and better, jobs in the UK.”

HMRC – Tax Crackdown

HM Revenue and Customs has stepped up its crackdown on tax underpayment by launching five new targeted taskforces, including the first one to focus on a professional sector, the legal profession.

HMRC are expected to recover more than £19.5 million from tax dodgers, the taskforces will target those who do not pay the right amount of tax in:

. The legal profession in London
. Grocery and retail in South and North Wales, the North West and the South West
. Hair and beauty in the North East
. Restaurants in the South East and Solent
. The motor trade in Scotland

Taskforces are a result of the Government’s £917 million spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011/12, which aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014/15.

These new taskforces are an indication of how much HMRC is stepping up its crackdown on non-compliance. Taskforces are usually reserved for areas where there is known practise of evasion. Also the latest move brings about the first task force to target a professional group, the legal world. In the past, professions such as doctors, the medical world, and education specialists have been approached through a disclosure regime giving them the opportunity to contact HMRC to put their tax affairs in order within a specific time frame.

3 Steps to Getting Business from Social Media

You’re invited to attend the forthcoming event.

Please click on the link below for full details:-

3-Steps-to-Getting-Business-from-Social-Media

A boom in Freelancing!

PCG, the voice of freelancers has reported a boom in freelancing with more and more people joining ranks with contractors and a host of businesses looking to temporary employees to carry out work.

Ten years ago, dial-up was what freelancers had to rely on, which in comparison to today’s standard was slow and tedious. Today, the majority of internet users have access to high-speed connections, making working much easier. The growth of Wi-Fi connections is also a recent phenomenon and it means you have more freedom to travel around than you ever had in the past.

Innovations in mobile technology means freelancers can continue working on the move, rather than being chained to a desk. New applications go hand-in-hand with new mobile devices and it seems like tools to help freelancers are coming out almost every day.

Not only are there applications for your desktop–now there are apps for your phone, your tablet, and even for your favourite social media account, meaning that there is usually an app to help you with any problem as a freelancer.

Another advantage of being a freelancer is being your own boss! You are able to make your own decisions and are not required to take on work that you are not comfortable with. It also gives you the chance to start out part time and keeping a regular job at the same time, which is perfect if you are unsure how your new venture will work out. Freelancing also gives you the option to increase your wages by way of increasing your work load and or increasing your rates.

Experience is one thing that everyone is looking for and freelancing is a great way to boost yours. Taking on projects outside of your comfort zone is important as it will help build your skills and knowledge.

HMRC Campaign – A month to pay up

Thousands of higher rate taxpayers who have failed to submit tax returns will receive letters from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) this month, reminding them that they have only one month left to take up a special opportunity being offered by the tax authority.

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