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SME owners hit hard by Covid stresses


New research from Santander reveals that a third of small business owners say working through the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health while two in five are questioning whether they want to continue running their business due to the pressure COVID-19 has created. Four in 10 women sai...

Sunak told self-employed won’t survive tax rises


With the Chancellor currently drawing up plans to plug the hole in Britain’s finances, Rishi Sunak has been warned that many contractors will not be able to survive if they are forced to pay more tax, with many having received no support at all during the coronavirus pandemic. Derek Cribb, the hea...

MPs call for halt of wider MTD roll-out


The Public Accounts Committee has warned that it is unclear whether the Making Tax Digital (MTD) rules rolled out in 2019 have achieved their stated aim of reducing tax errors. As of April 2019, VAT-registered businesses and self-employed people with a turnover exceeding the £85,000 VAT threshold h...

16% of self-employed pay into pension pot


Just 16% of Britain’s self-employed workers are saving into a pension, according Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a marked decline on the 48% recorded in 1998. This equates to more than 3.5m people of working age who are not putting money aside into a private pension. For those not paying into...

HMRC probes 24k freelancers over support grants


HMRC is contacting 24,000 freelancers who applied for state support grants amid the coronavirus crisis, checking to ensure they met the criteria for self-employed income support grants when they applied. Those that made claims after they were forced to stop trading during the pandemic will be told t...

MPs in tax gap call


The Commons Public Accounts Committee has called on HMRC to offer greater detail on the gap between tax that should be paid on the UK's economic activity and the tax actually collected. While HMRC said the tax gap was estimated to be £31bn in 2018/19, the committee said the figure has a wide margin...

Firms urged to declare furlough errors


Companies have just one week left to disclose incorrect claims made to the Government’s furlough scheme, with HMRC having given employers an amnesty to come forward with errors before saying it will start "gloves off" investigations. Ministers last month said that up to £3.5bn of support through...

HMRC: 55k home workers use new tax relief portal


HMRC says 54,800 home workers have made tax relief claims via a new online portal since it launched on October 1 – with this equating to a rate of three claims a minute. The portal has been designed to process tax relief on additional expenses for employees who have been told to work from home ami...

Sunak’s job support scheme won’t plug flood of unemployment


Two UK think tanks have warned that the Chancellor’s job support schemes will do little to prevent a rise in redundancies this winter. The Institute of Public Policy Research is warning of nearly 3m job losses while the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates that at least 1.25m more...

Self-employed face tax bills higher than their income


Freelancers whose income has been slashed this year due to the pandemic could soon face tax bills higher than their earnings. Self-employed workers pay a biannual tax in advance based on their previous income, someone on £50,000 before the pandemic would owe around £16,682 in tax, even if their i...

A third of small firms don’t expect to survive


Research by law firm Fladgate shows that 35% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fear that they will not be operating beyond a year. One in five SMEs said their business is already in "distress" while 64% report they are just about surviving on current support measures. Jeremy Whiteson of F...

CVAs made easier for SMEs


Britain's insolvency trade body has simplified the process of putting together a proposal for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) for small businesses. R3 has created a standard form to assist struggling businesses to carry out a CVA, which are typically deemed too complex and expensive for SMEs t...



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