August 1, 2011

HMRC’s performance causing serious concern

by Jan Harris

A report by the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) has identified serious problems with HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC’s) performance that it says could undermine respect for the tax system. An inquiry by the Treasury sub-committee found that it was difficult to contact HMRC by phone during peak period and there were long delays in responding […]




July 21, 2011

Carrier bag victory for small shops

by Jan Harris

Wales and Northern Ireland are both planning to start charging shoppers for carrier bags amid concerns that the administration of the scheme could be a headache for small businesses. However, in Wales, shops with less than 10 employees will be exempt from record keeping, although they will still have to donate the proceeds from carrier […]




June 30, 2011

HMRC claims plumbers’ tax campaign a success

by Jan Harris

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) claims that its latest campaign against the small trader has been a success after it gathered £328,756 in unpaid tax from plumbers. However, HMRC has been criticised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) from not ensuring that all plumbers were aware of the campaign. HMRC wrote to 50,000 tradespeople […]




May 20, 2011

PAYE a headache for small firms

by Jan Harris

Employers who haven’t yet filed their PAYE end of year returns (P14/P35s) face a fine for late-filing from HMRC, as yesterday was the deadline. However in a recent poll of small businesses by Intuit, 45 per cent of the respondents were unaware of the deadline, while 28 per cent didn’t expect to complete their Employer […]




March 2, 2011

Business groups criticise HMRC spot checks

by Jan Harris

HMRC’s proposal to carry out spot checks on small businesses, to ensure they are keeping adequate records, has raised alarm among business groups. HMRC intends to target up to 50,000 small businesses, imposing a fine of up to £3,000 if their records fail to meet minimum reporting standards. The initiative, which follows the end of […]




June 7, 2010

Chancellor Osborne to unveil bank tax

by Kay Mitchell

Chancellor George Osborne will proceed with a bank levy despite the failure to agree a universal tax at this weekend’s G20 summit. The summit, which was Mr Osborne’s first G20 meeting, saw no mention of a proposal for a bank levy. Speaking after the summit, the Chancellor said: “We’ll introduce a levy regardless of whether […]




April 7, 2010

Government delays broadband tax

by Kay Mitchell

The Treasury has announced today that the proposed broadband tax of 50p per month on telephone landlines will be delayed. The tax, which was introduced to fund fibre optic cables in rural areas, was set to yield £175 million a year from next year. Millions of Britons were set to receive “super-fast” broadband as a […]




March 24, 2010

Chancellor outlines tax crackdown in Budget

by Kay Mitchell

In today’s Pre-Election Budget, Chancellor Alistair Darling outlined plans to crackdown on tax evaders via new agreements with the Governments of Dominica, Grenada and Belize. Mr Darling told MPs that the Treasury is on the verge of signing tax information exchange agreements with the above mentioned with the new measures expected to bring in an […]




December 7, 2009

Google to charge VAT on Adwords

by Brian Turner

Email came through this morning stating that Google will be charging VAT on Adwords where they do not already have a VAT registration number from the company. This is going to be pretty bad news for sole traders, who are in danger of finding their PPC campaigns become a lot more expensive over night. Here’s […]




July 17, 2009

Google Adsense changes: VAT hit for publishers?

by Brian Turner

Google have just announced to UK publishers some dramatic changes to Adsense TOU. The first is that UK publishers will soon have all reporting done in GBP. While at present this is a voluntary process, Google have made it clear that in future all reporting will be in GBP, and to save USD versions of […]