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Employment and Related Matters
Employment Issues (Tax)
The different forecasts for UK economic growth coming from a variety of institutions and the frequency of small percentage changes, is bewildering for many of us. Clearly, the small percentage point shifts in the economic climate forecast are understood and significant somewhere in the worlds of corporate finance, investment and banking!
An estimated 2.3 million British people could have planned to go to Greece for their summer holidays this year. So now that there is political turmoil in Greece and an increasing threat that it may withdraw from the euro, does Greece become a no-holiday, no-fly zone?
Many aspects of life require careful consideration and balancing of the trade-offs that arise from competing demands. For example, a common lifestyle trade-off is working longer hours versus spending more time with your family. The competing demands within this decision are the income necessary to provide a suitable quality of life for your family versus the immeasurable benefits of quality time with your family. There is no right answer, but most people understand the trade-off and attempt to find the balance that is right for them.
December saw the death of North Korea’s ‘dear leader’ Kim Jong-il, with command of the country seemingly passing to his youngest son – the ‘great successor’ – Kim Jongun. But with sundry generals peering over the younger Kim’s shoulder tensions are likely to remain high, especially around the border with South Korea.
Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, the likelihood is that you will need some professional advice at some point. Employing the services of a good accountant can pay dividends in the future by helping you consider issues such as tax implications, personal liability and capital whilst you concentrate your efforts on growing your business.
Businesses across the country should tap into the expertise of their wider professional teams to ensure long-term success.
A report highlighting that growing numbers of pension savers are being offered the chance to release cash from their pension pot early – only to be hit with hefty hidden charges – was recently published by The Pensions Regulator, the Financial Services Authority and HM Revenue and Customs.Described by an FSA spokesperson as likely to be a scam – where illegitimate businesses try to con individuals out of their pension money – the authorities have taken the unusual step of issuing a joint warning to demonstrate the seriousness of a problem they say affects thousands every year.
A leading equality campaign group, the Fawcett Society, is warning that the pay gap between men and women is at risk of widening. The warning comes on Equal Pay Day, 7 November 2012, marking the point in the year when women effectively start working for nothing compared to men.
It was a sign of the times that the first official word on George Osborne’s Autumn Statement was a tweet from his boss. David Cameron told his 178,514 followers on Twitter: We are on the right track and making progress. His previous tweet had intimated that the Chancellor would announce further investment in education, but the general mood among commentators awaiting the Statement was far less upbeat.
Around 50% of us make New Year’s Resolutions and ‘sort the finances out’ must be one of the most popular: but that’s a little vague – it’s more a wish than a firm commitment to take action. Looking at the January appointments we’ve had with new and existing clients, here are the topics that we’ve discussed most often. If you’re determined to sort out your finances, these may give you some food for thought.
Historically, many people chose to contract out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme using a personal pension scheme. Put simply, this meant that the money that would have gone into the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) went into their personal pensions instead – effectively, they were swapping known benefits from the Government for unknown (but potentially greater) benefits from their own pension scheme.
In September 2012, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, made a number of announcements about actions the Government is taking to tackle tax avoidance. The operation of two components of the strategy were highlighted – the workings of the ‘Affluent Unit’ and the ‘Liechstenstein Disclosure Facility’ agreement.
It seems some time ago now, but on Tuesday November 6th Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney to secure the White House for another four years. World stock markets had risen throughout the day, anticipating his victory.
Savings for older people have fallen by more than 25% over the past year, while incomes for the over-55s have dropped, according to research by Aviva. One in 10 of the over-55s are surviving on less than £500 a month, with single women most likely to be in poverty, said Aviva in its "Real Retirement Report", which over the last two years has tracked the income and spending of 11,600 people in, or near, retirement. The average monthly income of the over-55s now stands at £1,285, a small rise on the quarter before, but 4% down from last year.
There is much debate regarding the active versus passive investment approaches. The purpose of this paper is to explain in more detail what our approach means for investors.
Audit and Accounts
Many of us will be making a New Year’s resolution to sort out our finances in 2012 – but an often overlooked part of putting your finances in order is making sure that your tax planning is effective. Are you claiming all the tax relief you’re entitled to? Are your investments arranged in the most tax efficient way?
Dragon’s Den seems like a good idea. Someone injects cash into your business; they bring years of experience, a proven track record and a contacts book to die for – and all you have to do is give away a slice of your equity. And even if it’s not one of the Dragons, the idea of an outside investor can be attractive, providing the capital and sometimes the expertise that a small business needs to grow.
We’re living in unprecedented times. Countries are threatening to default; the West is facing the prospect of a ‘double-dip recession’ and stock markets are falling sharply. So if you’re running a business, you’d be forgiven for having a one word business plan: “survive.”
HMRC recently offered a small concession to taxpayers by pushing back the current self assessment deadline by two days. For companies dealing with PAYE, however, there are a whole host of deadlines to meet: while we’ll be working with all our clients to meet these deadlines we thought it might be useful to list them here, giving you the chance to do any necessary preparatory work in good time.
With the dust now settling on the office Christmas party, employers could be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief and thinking they can get back to real work. Unfortunately, that might not be the case – because the aftermath of the Christmas party (or any form of entertaining your staff) could leave you with a serious hangover in the shape of an extra tax liability.
Selling a business is likely to be the largest and most important financial deal any business owner will ever make. If you are thinking of selling your business for whatever reason, you should understand the business selling processes and how you can best get through and successfully complete a sale.
News & Events
Many house owners now feel let down and cheated by what has happened to house prices since October 2007. Some house owners who were house buyers just before the end of 2007, may have the right to be very unhappy if they bought at the peak of a booming housing market, which then took a nose-dive before flattening out at a below-peak price level – they may now be suffering the draining effects of negative-equity.
An increasing number of new cash ISA products are being sold with additional interest as a bonus percentage, usually for no more than the first year. Investors who do not review their ISA holdings on at least a yearly basis may find that a later interest yield is dramatically less that they expected. Some people with ISA investments believe that it is not easy or even possible to transfer their ISAs from one provider to another.
What makes a house buyer choose to buy a particular house? What do they have in mind when they look at houses to buy? If, for whatever reason, you are determined to sell your property, you can’t dwell on the state of the house sales market, even if it is sluggish or saturated with unsold houses. You can only do your best to sell yours, either at the price you require, or by going for the appeal of an irresistible, and costly for you, bargain!
On Monday February 27th the German Bundestag approved the Greek bailout by 496 votes to 90. A few days earlier consent had finally been wrung from the Greek politicians, and the €130bn bailout now looks to be in place. Is the Greek debt crisis – the constant theme running through this monthly review – over at last? You would be unwise to bet on it.
As I’m writing this, the end of the tax year is 34 days away. By the time you read it, the deadline will be a lot closer. Nobody likes paying tax, so it makes sense to do whatever you can to minimise the amount of tax that you pay and take advantage of all the allowances that are available to you. Remember, most allowances apply to one particular tax year – and once it has ended the allowances are lost. That’s why Thursday April 5th is such an important day.
New statistics published in February 2012 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reveal that people are working longer than they used to. The average age at which people leave the labour market – a proxy for average age of retirement – rose from 63.8 years to 64.6 years for men and from 61.2 years to 62.3 years for women, between 2004 and 2010.
As a starting point, every individual is entitled to a nil rate band, under which no inheritance tax is payable. For the current tax year, the nil rate band is £325,000. Any inheritable assets over that threshold figure can attract a tax of 40%, payable to HM Revenue & Customs.There are however a number of steps, using exemptions and allowances that you can take to minimise this tax liability. Most of these are about ensuring that the threshold is not ultimately crossed, your wishes are fulfilled and intended beneficiaries do not miss out.
Over the course of a lengthy and illustrious business career, Warren Buffett has offered thoughtful opinions on a wide variety of investment-related issues—executive compensation, accounting standards, high-yield bonds, derivatives, stock options, and so on.
Many owner-managers put in a lifetime of hard work building their business only to throw away some of the rewards by failing to consider properly how they will exit from the business. It's sensible to put an exit strategy in your business plan and review it annually; after all by planning an exit, you can help ensure that you make the most of your business.
Capital Gains Tax is a tax on the profit or gain you make when you sell, give away, exchange or otherwise dispose of all or part of a business asset, owned by yourself or by your business partnership.
On reaching State Pension age you no longer pay National Insurance contributions, but you don't automatically stop paying Income Tax. Taxable income includes that from a State Pension and if this is more than the tax-free allowance, you will still be obliged to pay tax.
The Chancellor presented his third full Budget since the coalition Government took power on Wednesday, 21st March. Billed as 'the budget for working people' with a promise to 'back business', Mr Osborne highlighted the Government's commitment to three specific areas: a stable economy, a fairer, more efficient and simpler tax system and reforms to support growth. As the Budget was announced, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) increased its forecast for UK GDP growth in 2012 from 0.7% to 0.8%. It predicted future growth of 2% in 2013, 2.7% in 2014 and 3% in 2015. Although the Chancellor expects inflation to fall from the current 3.7% to 1.9% by the end of the year, he has reaffirmed the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation target of 2%. The Government views businesses as the catalyst for economic recovery and the budget reflects this, with a number of announcements supporting business growth. In particular, a reduction on the headline rate of corporation tax to 24% from April this year. Further reductions are planned that will take the rate to 22% in 2014. Mr Osborne highlighted that Britain has moved into being one of the top ten places to do business globally and highlighted his intention to more than double annual exports to £1 trillion by 2020. Some of the headline announcements affecting individuals include a hike in the personal allowance, a reduction in the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p, age-related allowances for pensioners being reduced or axed and a new stamp duty rate of 7% for properties worth over £2 million. Over the coming weeks and months, updates and further information on budget proposals, including consultations, will be announced. We will keep you updated on any change in legislation which may affect you. If you have any questions or queries arising from this budget, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
From R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, comes advice, in the form of 'Ten Top Tips', put together by the President of the Association, Frances Coulson. She tells us that taking our business down the insolvency route should always be the last resort and offers the following advice to businesses...
March was a month which began with headlines about the Greek debt crisis and the impending 'final deadline.' By the end of the month the focus – in Britain at least – had shifted to Granny Tax, Cornish Pasties and the shortage of petrol.On March 7th world stock markets suffered some of their worst falls of recent months as investors worried that the Greek bail-out would not be accepted. In the event the necessary thresholds were met quite comfortably, but sadly this didn't signal the end of the global economic malaise.
In business, there is almost nothing more important than cash; whether it's for payment of wages, salaries, VAT or PAYE, the requirements for having cash and the consequences of having none are obvious.
If you are working in the electrical industry, have not told HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about all your income and now want to get your tax affairs back on track, use the Electricians' Tax Safe Plan (ETSP).
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) require you retain your company or organisation's business and accounting records for at least six years from the end of your current Corporation Tax accounting period. For example, if your accounting period ends on 31 March 2012 you'll need to keep the records for that period until at least 31 March 2018.
A company car can be an essential business tool for employers and employees. It can also be an expected component of a remuneration package. But changes in taxation costs and the rising cost of fuel etc, should cause all businesses with company cars to critically evaluate and review their arrangements on a regular basis.
Wednesday April 25th must have been the morning David Cameron felt like phoning in sick. The Office of National Statistics officially confirmed that a shock 0.2% contraction in growth had pushed the UK into its first double dip recession since the 1970s. Meanwhile the Leveson Inquiry rumbled on with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt facing calls to resign; Labour opened an eight point lead in the opinion polls and there were predictions that the increase in diabetes could bankrupt the NHS. All in all a good day for a sick note...
No-one who is going through a divorce finds the process easy: it's long, messy and almost always painful. Even if there are no children involved, divorce is a procedure that takes its toll on both sides: the acrimony, the paperwork – and the inevitable meetings with your solicitor.
At the end of World War Two the first wave of post-war babies were conceived and reached the age of 65 in 2011. The Local Government Association forecast in 2010, that over 650,000 people would turn 65 in 2011 and that this figure would rise in 2012, to over 800,000.
Australia's champion racehorse Black Caviar is unbeaten over 21 races. Think of her as a growth stock with four legs. With a brilliant bloodline and a huge fan base in Australia – she even has her own Facebook page – Black Caviar is turning into the most popular racehorse since the legendary Phar Lap.
From April next year, the Government is introducing a new 'above the line' R&D Tax Credit for firms employing more than 500 staff, which will be available whether the company is making a profit or loss.
The Chancellor, George Osborne has recently scrapped plans to cap tax relief on charitable donations. This follows a warning from charities that they stood to lose a significant proportion of the £1.4 billion of donations on which relief is claimed each year. In addition, Conservative MPs complained that the measure did not fit with the Government's policy of promoting volunteering through the Big Society idea.
The process of risk management will enable you to improve your decision-making, contributing to better planning and prioritisation. Within risk management this helps you allocate capital and resources more efficiently and effectively. You become more able and confident to anticipate what might go wrong, to minimise the amount of fire-fighting you have to do, or in a worst-case scenario, to prevent a failure or serious financial loss.
In April 2013, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is introducing a new way of reporting PAYE, called Real Time Information, or RTI.
There's an old stock market adage which says "Sell in May and go away." This year, "Sell before May and go as far away as possible" might have been more appropriate, as world stock markets tumbled throughout the month. Only one market – Malaysia – managed a gain in the month and several recorded double digit falls.
New research from Santander suggests that one in ten adults couldn't cope financially if their bills were to rise any more over the next year. They could be forced into debt, just to get by.
Bank customers will be able to make donations to charity at 12,000 cash machines in the UK, under changes being launched in the summer.
With HMRC stepping up the number of random tax investigations it is carrying out, it's vital business owners ensure they aren't going to be caught out.
A recent article appearing in the Financial Times caught our eye—or perhaps we should say ear. At first glance it was unremarkable—just one among dozens of recent think pieces suggesting that investors were losing interest in stocks as markets around the world continued to stagnate.
This begs a simple question: so what's the right kind of growth? At first glance, that's a ridiculous question. We're living through what the Governor of the Bank of England has described as "the worst crisis since World War II." What's the right kind of growth? Surely any form of growth is right in the current economic climate. Sadly, it's not as simple as that.
What a window of opportunity for the British taxpayer and 'non-taxpayer' to reflect on their perceptions of the morality of people in the UK who avoid or evade paying tax!
Small and medium-sized businesses are vulnerable to economic downturns and there is a lot written and talked about in terms of how to protect your business against them. We have done the reading and offer you 10 generic starting points for precautions to keep afloat and healthy during a downturn...
The eighth report of the Parliamentary Work and Pensions Select Committee, published in May 2012, focused on Automatic Enrolment (AE) in workplace pensions and the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST). There were a number of concerns and recommendations identified with implications for employers in the context of AE and NEST.
After a legal challenge, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that 'gender discrimination' is illegal when deciding how much people pay for their insurance and the income they receive from their pensions when they retire. There are now changes to the UK Equality Act to implement the judgement – the Gender Directive, by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which removes the ability of insurers to use gender as a factor in pricing policies and determining benefits.
Following the wholesale falls in May, the last thing stock markets needed on 1st June was weak US jobs data. Unfortunately, that was precisely what arrived and markets around the world fell even further.
With impending changes to the child benefit scheme due to be introduced early next year, it's crucial parents are aware of the potential implications for individuals and their families.
Businesses can steer towards a more tax efficient way of buying company cars.
Recently, David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary, told The Daily Telegraph it was "morally wrong" for home owners to negotiate discounts with plumbers and traders by paying them in cash. He suggested they were helping traders to break the law, by allowing them to evade VAT or income tax.
According to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), many people end up paying too much or too little income tax each year, but don't understand why. HMRC has estimated that in the last tax year alone in the UK, over 5 million taxpayers either under or overpaid taxation. For those taxpayers notified that they had overpaid tax, the average tax rebate was estimated to be £379. Taxpayers told that they had underpaid their taxes, needed to make an additional tax payment averaging £537 to HMRC.
Call it what you will – 'crisis' and 'time bomb' are two of the most widely used phrases – the fact that a major problem with pensions is looming has long been acknowledged in the UK. The simple fact is that outside the public sector, most people are simply not making adequate provision for their retirement.
Last year it was Greece: this year, it's Spain. Summer comes around, and with it comes another European country in crisis. On July 23rd the Spanish government had to ban short-selling of shares, bond yields reached unprecedented levels and it looked like the whole country – not just the banks – would need a bailout. 'Plus ca change' as the new French president would say.
The Office for National Statistics revealed last month that there are three million adults between the ages of 20 and 34 living with their parents, 20 per cent up on 1997.
Figures from HMRC show that 55 per cent of the estimated 900,000 higher rate taxpayers in the UK contribute to defined contribution pension schemes.
Low interest rates, stock market uncertainty, lower house prices, rising rents and improving mortgage deals are all contributing to buy-to-let once more looking an attractive investment opportunity for anyone with enough money to buy outright or pay a significant deposit on property.
With the number of businesses in the UK having assets seized by HMRC to settle unpaid VAT bills increasing by more than a staggering 161% last year compared with the year before, firms are urged to make sure that their financial affairs are in order or risk losing valuable capital equipment.
Businesses can steer towards a more tax efficient way of buying company cars. Firms, especially those with staff that undertake significant business mileage, should consider the tax advantages offered by enabling employees to acquire vehicles via a loan from the company, rather than more traditional alternatives such as leasing or hire-purchase.
A Parliamentary Review into standards in the banking industry is looking into whether bank customers should pay for accounts.
When you file an online return, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) expects you to do everything possible to meet the deadline and makes it quite clear that if you file a return late and you don't have a 'reasonable excuse', you may have to pay a penalty. So what might HMRC generally consider to be a reasonable excuse?
Two more deadlines for the taxpayer to meet are fast approaching and there is also the opportunity for HMRC to issue further penalties...
Think you know where interest rates are headed? Join the queue.
Anyone remember August 2007? Kanye West was number one with Stronger, Sven-Goran Eriksson was Premier League manager of the month – and the world was having a financial crisis. August 2007 was "when the world changed" according to Adam Applegarth, the ex-CEO of Northern Rock. It was the month when the US Federal Reserve and the ECB saw 'a sudden lack of confidence' and had to inject $90bn into the financial markets.
For most of us, it's simple. Go to work every month, get paid, have a look at the pension deduction on your wage slip. Once a year you receive a pension update that you don't really understand. Oh well, pop it in the drawer with all the other updates...
The A-level results came out on August 16th and thousands of teenagers up and down the country are now looking forward to starting university in September. Their parents, however, might be gloomily looking at their bank accounts and taking a rather different view.
HMRC's Tax Returns Initiative set to close on 2nd October.
Businesses should reap the rewards that producing regular management accounts can bring.
‘No news is good news’ as the old saying goes – or as world stock markets interpreted it in September, ‘No catastrophic news is good enough, thank you.’
As has been widely reported, there’s been a problem with UK pensions for many years. Outside the public sector not enough people are saving enough money for their retirement – and this month the latest attempt to solve the problem begins.
Private school fees have increased by an average of 68% in the past decade, a rate of growth almost twice the rate of increase in the Retail Price Index (37%) over the same period, according to recent research by Lloyds TSB Private Banking.
Cost-cutting actions should never be put in place within your business without forethought and planning. If, as part of your strategic planning and management, you routinely keep cost-cutting under review, you are already being proactive and less likely to need to respond reactively to every business cost issue that comes along. Cost-cutting is about having a plan with clear management authority to carry out any necessary task.
For VAT purposes, it’s important to know the difference between cars and other vehicles. This is because in most cases, VAT-registered businesses can’t reclaim the VAT when they buy a car. But they may be able to reclaim the VAT when they buy a commercial vehicle, motorcycle or motor home.
The votes have been cast, Mitt Romney has phoned President Obama to concede and the victor has graciously accepted the challenge of guiding the faltering US economy through the next four years.
People who make bad money decisions can often rationalise them. Here are 10 common excuses.
On average women live longer than men. It’s one of the facts that virtually everyone knows and although advances in medicine mean that the life expectancy of men is increasing that fact still holds good today.
Two separate surveys have reported in October 2012 improvements in household finances, bolstering optimism that the recession is coming to an end.
Small businesses can struggle waiting for payments to come from large companies for products and services they have received. For some, the waiting is too much and can be a major contributing factor to their ceasing to trade through insolvency.
October 2012 saw the dawn of automatic enrolment causing millions of workers from every industry across the country to start saving through workplace pension schemes, so they can secure a more prosperous retirement. The government’s intention is to reverse the universal trend of a decline in workplace pension saving over the last fifteen years.
Some myths die hard. One is the notion that there are people who can pick winning investments year after year without ever losing money.
Just as a ‘pet isn’t simply for Christmas’, an accountant isn’t only for filing annual tax returns, it’s a valuable resource that firms should use more to boost their bottom line.
DJH Accountants is celebrating a string of recent successes after a number of its team achieved acclaimed industry qualifications.
For small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), managing cash flow efficiently and effectively is an ever present challenge. Bear in mind that one of the essences of businesses is to get money in as quickly and completely as possible, whilst delaying paying any bills for as long as possible, thus retaining useful cash within the business.
Selecting the right accountant and accountancy firm for your business is an important decision, especially since anyone can set up a business and call themselves an accountant or book-keeper.
December’s least surprising headline duly arrived on January 1st: Deal reached on Fiscal Cliff. For the whole of December (barely pausing for Christmas) President Obama and Congress argued over the deal needed to avoid the ‘Fiscal Cliff'.
Around 50% of us make New Year’s Resolutions and ‘sort the finances out’ must be one of the most popular: but that’s a little vague – it’s more a wish than a firm commitment to take action.
The summer holiday season encourages media retrospectives about financial markets. It's fun to match these up with what people were saying a year before. In December, 2011, the publication Barron's told investors to "buckle up". The consensus prediction of its panel of 10 stock market strategists and investment managers was for the US S&P-500 to end 2012 some 11.5% higher at about 1360.
It took nearly 4½ years, but the cumulative wealth of an S&P 500 strategy with dividends reinvested finally reached an all-time record (measured on a month-end basis) in March 2012, and finished the year 3.3% above the previous high-water mark set in October 2007.
From this month, families with at least one higher-rate taxpayer earning £50,000 a year will have to pay back child benefit through the income tax system, while individuals earning over £60,000 will have the benefit withdrawn completely, following a controversial shake-up that ministers claim will save £1.5 billion a year.
With new figures revealing the number of compensation claims for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance has almost doubled in the past year, it’s a timely reminder for residents affected by the scam of the tax implications of any repayment they might receive.
Your business has intangible assets, which have similar characteristics to tangible assets in that they can be owned or controlled by an organisation and may have a monetary value.
The Government’s Start Up Loan Scheme provides loans of around £2,500 and business advice to young entrepreneurs aged under 30. Since the scheme was launched last autumn, just 460 businesses have been funded, following applications from 3,000 people. The Government says 2,500 loans will have been issued by March 2013.
January opened with the USA economy – if not the whole world – having been saved from tumbling over the Fiscal Cliff thanks to a last minute deal between Barack Obama and the US Congress.
The nights are finally starting to get a little lighter – maybe we can start looking forward to Spring after all. In financial services, Spring means two things; the Budget (on March 20th this year) and the end of the tax year on Friday April 5th.
A minority of off-course punters who regularly put bets on race-horses make a living doing this, and some are very good at it. A report from the United States suggests that similarly in the field of investing in stocks and shares, there is evidence that a few amateur investors make a profit regularly.
Given the Government’s recent introduction of Auto-Enrolment and the determination to see as many people as possible enrolled in company pension schemes, it was inevitable that they would also turn their attention to the state pension.
To say that George Osborne faced a difficult task when he stood up to deliver his Budget speech on 20th March was one of the year’s major understatements. Both economically and politically, the backdrop to his Budget was bleak, particularly with an increase of 48,000 in youth unemployment announced barely three hours before he stood up to speak. Osborne appeared in a bullish mood though, taking to Twitter for the first time to state: Today I’ll present a Budget that tackles the economy’s problems head on helping those who want to work hard and get on.
When I started making notes for this Bulletin at the beginning of March it was quite clear what the main ‘story’ was going to be.
In 1720 hundreds of people were ruined when the ‘South Sea Bubble’ collapsed. The share price of the South Sea Company had been inflated to ridiculous levels by insider trading: bribes were paid to politicians, some people got rich, far more were ruined and considerable damage was done to the national economy.
Earlier this month, the Office for National Statistics updated the ‘national shopping basket’ – the national basket of goods that the ONS uses to monitor rising prices. The big news for the headline writers was that ‘Champagne was out; e-books were in,’ as a nation struggling with the recession stopped celebrating and started reading books at 99p.
Will company cars continue to be a popular employment-related benefit, despite further increases to the generally high income tax charges on them?
With new figures revealing the number of compensation claims for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance has almost doubled in the past year, it’s a timely reminder for residents affected by the scam of the tax implications of any repayment they might receive.
Customer or client relations are an important part of your business, if one desired outcome from your effort is to grow your sales and turnover. You may feel the way to do this is both to increase the numbers and sustain the interest and buying activity of your customers.
It’s easy to get depressed if you read the latest headlines. ‘Business confidence hits a new low.’ ‘UK heads for triple-dip recession.’
“No news is good news” as the old saying goes. By that definition, April was a good month in that there were no disasters. Europe remained relatively stable, Cyprus didn’t implode, Barack Obama and Congress continued speaking to each other and Kim Jong-un kept his finger off the trigger.
Budget day remains one of the biggest dates in the political calendar, and aside from last year’s pasty tax, George Osborne will be remembered for stage management more than flamboyance. After this week, beer drinkers will be marginally richer, wine drinkers marginally poorer. Until the economy perks up, however, there is little room for Budget-day theatre.
This is the first part of a two part article, where we’ve taken a look at some of the common mistakes investors make when they’re buying and selling stocks and shares and other investments. We’ve identified ten mistakes – and this month, we take a look at the first five.
A shift in the UK working culture and confusion around retirement planning is creating a pension ‘black hole’, with almost a quarter (23%) of UK adults stating they have lost track of at least one of their own pension schemes, according to a new poll for Age UK.