Henry Brown & Co Chartered Accountants
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Fifth of SMEs at risk despite aid package


Some 20% of UK SMEs are unlikely to receive the funding required to see them through the next four weeks, research from the Corporate Finance Network group of accountants claims, with between 800,000 and 1m firms at risk of going bankrupt. While Chancellor Rishi Sunak said a fortnight ago that fir...

NHS staff warned over tax dodge schemes


With more than 20,000 former and retired health service staff returning to work to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, HMRC has reiterated a warning that rogue firms may target staff with aggressive tax avoidance schemes that promise workers they can take home up to 85% of their pay but risk openin...

Contactless limit raised to £45


Measures to help tackle coronavirus have seen an increase in the maximum spend for contactless payments fast-tracked. As of today, the limit increases from £30 to £45, although UK Finance says the process of updating software in sale terminals may mean the new limit will not be active across all...

SMEs pushed toward more expensive loans


The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that some lenders are pushing SMEs seeking to get interest-free loans offered as part of the Chancellor’s COVID-19 support package toward more expensive alternatives that carry large interest rates and other charges. Federation chairman Mike Cherry s...

A fifth of SMEs may fold


A report from Be the Business and research firm Opinium suggests one in five SMEs may have to close down permanently because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A poll of 500 businesses shows that 7% of small businesses have stopped trading, while a further 12% of respondents are likely to close within a mo...

Spend savings first, government tell virus jobless


The Department for Work and Pensions confirmed yesterday that people with savings of more than £16,000 will not be eligible to apply for the government's universal credit scheme. Savings over £12,000 in a Help to Buy ISA will also be considered “capital” under universal credit rules. Anyone...

HMRC accepts quality of tax advice must be improved


HMRC has issued a call for evidence on the tax advice market accepting that standards needed to improve following a review into the loan charge. Sir Amyas Morse found that the tactics used by promoters were "reprehensible" - misrepresenting the DOTAS (disclosure of tax avoidance schemes) system to...

Complaints persist of unhelpful banks


Some companies have just six or eight weeks of cash reserves left, warns Caroline Stockman, the chief executive of the Association of Corporate Treasurers, as banks continue to face criticism over their provision of emergency state-backed loans. Mike Cherry, the chairman of the Federation of Small...

Treasury to cover employer pension payments for furloughed staff


The government is to cover the employer national insurance and minimum auto-enrolment pension scheme contributions on the wages they pay staff furloughed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Treasury says the extra cover could save firms £300 a month per employee....

Two million self-employed could be excluded from coronavirus bailout


Tory MP David Davis has criticised the Chancellor’s decision to tie future tax hikes with the bailout for the self-employed saying it was wrong to treat the £3bn package to protect them during the Covid-19 pandemic as a “trade-off” for higher taxes. Mr Davis welcomed the Chancellor's relief...

UK banks pressured to relax bailout loans rules


The government has chided banks for requiring borrowers to provide personal guarantees in order to access new emergency loans backed by the state with Downing Street declaring that no lender was allowed to "take a guarantee against the borrower's home ... We will take all action necessary to ensur...

Self-employed to pay more tax after state bailout


Rishi Sunak has warned that the tax treatment of the self-employed would have to change when the COVID-19 crisis is over. After announcing the coronavirus support package for contractors the Chancellor said: “I must be honest and say that in devising this scheme in response to many calls for sup...



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