Info Article

Small retailers business rates lowered

Small retail businesses in England will see a reduction to their business rates, as announced in Budget 2018.

Business rates will be reduced by a third for many retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000 for two years from April 2019, subject to state aid limits.

The Chancellor said this will mean “an annual saving of £8,000 for up to 90% of all independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes”.

This was part of a series of measures announced to support high streets in the UK under the pressures of high costs and growing competition from online retailers.

While industry bodies have welcomed the boost, some have argued that the system needs wider reform. More…

Government announces apprenticeship levy reforms

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a package of new measures to reform the under-fire apprenticeship levy.

Under the revised rules, employers who pay the apprenticeship levy will be able to transfer a quarter of their funds to organisations in their supply chain, including smaller employers.

Levy-paying businesses have been able to transfer up to 10% of their training funds to other employers in their supply chain since April 2018, but the new measures will increase this to 25%.

The reforms also include £5 million of extra funding for the Institute for Apprenticeships, to improve training standards and update existing ones. More…

Small firms not ready for Brexit

Small businesses are woefully unprepared should the Government deliver a no-deal Brexit, according to a report.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) surveyed 1,234 business owners, and found only 14% had contingency plans in place for the UK exiting the EU without arrangements having been agreed.

The research revealed that 41% of UK SME owners fear the impacts of a no-deal Brexit, compared to one in 10 owners who believe no deal will have a positive impact on their business.

Almost half (48%) believed a no-deal Brexit will negatively affect their ability to do business after the UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. More…

Most small businesses receive funding boost

The overwhelming majority of small businesses that applied for finance in the first six months of 2018 were successful, statistics show.

UK Finance commissioned market research firm BDRC to carry out its SME Finance Monitor Q2 2018 and found 85% of small businesses in the UK secured finance in the first half of the year.

Additionally, around six in 10 SMEs reported that they had a high level of trust in their main bank. More…

Apprenticeships drop by 31% year on year

The number of people starting apprenticeships has dropped by 31% in the last 12 months, the Department for Education has claimed.

In the academic year between August 2017 and May 2018 there were 315,900 apprenticeship starts, compared to 457,200 the same time the year before.

Business groups including the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) argue the apprenticeship levy creates barriers for employers who hire apprentices.

Employers with an annual pay bill of over £3 million are required to pay the apprenticeship levy, and receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against it. More…

BCC calls for further delay to digital accounts rollout

The government’s flagship Making Tax Digital (MTD) scheme should be delayed until 2020/21 for all taxpayers, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

VAT-registered businesses with annual turnover of more than £85,000 are due to be the first to go through the transition to digital accounts for reporting VAT only from April 2019.

But the BCC is calling on the government to push that date back after discovering that only one in ten UK businesses are fully aware of MTD.

The BCC polled 1,073 small firms and found 24% of business owners had never heard of MTD, while 66% had only heard of it by name and know little else. More…

Landlords welcome tax incentives for long-term tenancies

The government is considering introducing tax incentives for landlords who offer longer tenancies, as part of a new consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has launched a consultation on implementing a three-year tenancy model.

This is intended to support the increasing number of private tenants seeking long-term security, as more families and older people plan to stay in privately rented property.

The report put forward a number of options, including introducing a financial incentive for landlords in the form of tax relief or cash payments. More…

Letting holiday accommodation – the good and bad

The pros and cons of letting furnished holiday accommodation.

When furnished holiday property is let on a commercial basis for short periods, the owner can benefit from certain tax reliefs which wouldn’t otherwise be available to residential landlords, providing certain conditions are met.

However, there are also several disadvantages associated with letting property as holiday accommodation whether or not the furnished holiday letting conditions are met. More…

SME’s missing out on balance interest

Small business owners could alleviate pressure on their cashflow by paying more attention to business savings interest, according to a report.

Aldermore polled 950 SME owners and sole traders and found that 62% are earning no interest on their business savings at all.

Over half (53%) are earning less than £300 a year in interest on their business savings, while 65% had the same business bank account as their personal account provider.

While consistently low interest rates offer little incentive to save, 33% of respondents said they were spending their cash too quickly each month. More…

Older results...