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A third of small businesses unsure how to get finance


A poll by the British Business Bank reveals that a third of British small business owners would like to expand but do not know how to go about securing finance. Only 5% considered bringing in a business angel and 7% thought about crowdfunding. Over half those surveyed said they expect their business...

Watch out for estate growth after death


Experts are warning that large estates could be subject to a “hidden death tax” if they contain investments which continue to grow after death. Richard Morley, a partner at BDO, points out that income accrued by the deceased’s estate during the administration period remains taxable, with execu...

SMEs offer cure for UK brain drain


Santander CEO Nathan Bostock writes SMEs can help fix the UK’s “brain drain”. Young people need to be better informed on how “global corporations in major cities do not have a monopoly on the best prospects - and they may not need to travel far from where they grew up or were educated to fin...

Self-employed workers could lose up to £3k under universal credit reforms


The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has warned that the universal credit system will make self-employed workers up to £3,000 worse off each year because it does not take into account of the fact their income can vary "hugely" from month to month. The Federation...

HMRC must pursue all equally


Dame Margaret Hodge says HMRC’s admission that it lets celebrities avoid prosecution so they can protect their reputations is an affront to “the British tenet that we all are equal before the law.” She says: “It is time we lifted the veil of secrecy that surrounds HMRC, so that we hold it to...

Errors in pensions tax relief cost millions


Tens of thousands of employers have overpaid tax relief to workplace pension savers in the UK, with small businesses more likely to make mistakes....

HMRC targets undervaluation in IHT crackdown


Roughly one in five estates were investigated by HMRC for underpayment of IHT last year, according to UHY Hacker Young. Partner Mark Giddens said a rise in investigations could see more people, who may not be cash-rich, hit with hefty fines. He says: "HMRC knows that there is a temptation to underva...

Nessie worth a monster £41m


A chartered accountant has estimated that the Loch Ness Monster is worth nearly £41m a year to the Scottish economy. Gary Campbell carried out the study using recent visitor figures for the Loch Ness area....

Lords examine Bribery Act’s impact on SMEs


Pinsent Masons lawyer Jennifer Craven looks ahead to the findings from a House of Lords Select Committee which is examining whether the Bribery Act 2010 has led to stricter prosecutions of corrupt conduct, as well as the impact the act has had on SMEs. She notes that a report by PwC found that the n...

HMRC powers under scrutiny from Lords Committee


The Lords' Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee is calling for evidence towards an investigation into HMRC powers and its Making Tax Digital (MTD) plan - to examine what principles should govern the development of the tax office's powers in the digital information age. Lord Forsyth, chairman...

Divorcing spouses unaware of pension entitlements


A charity has argued that women going through a divorce should be given the right to see the size of their husband's pension pot. Age UK says thousands of women are being left worse off in retirement because they are not made aware of their legal entitlement to their husband's private pension as par...

Thinktank proposes asset tax for over-65s


The Social Market Foundation has said homeowners and people with substantial savings should face a one-off “asset tax” of £30,000 when they reach 65 to fund England’s care system for the elderly. The thinktank estimates such a charge would raise £7bn a year and enable care in residential set...



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