Operating through a Pandemic: Key Lessons for Businesses   

Operating through a Pandemic: Key Lessons for Businesses

Living through unprecedented times is difficult for everyone but coupled with the added pressure of trying to operate a business simultaneously, it can feel overwhelming. Over the last several months, companies all over the country (and the rest of the world) have had their agility tested and have had to implement new attitudes, methods and behaviours for navigating their way through this seemingly endless pandemic. Something to take away from the experience, however, are the lessons that have been learnt by businesses everywhere on how to survive an economic crisis without going under. Lesson #1 – Forecast Cash Flow Knowing the state of your finances now is one thing but being able to accurately predict what your accounts may look like in a month, six months or even a year is one of the best ways to protect yourself from external factors like the Covid-19 pandemic. If you can get into the habit of forecasting your business’s cash flow now, you can use the information to plan a way out of the pandemic, as well as being able to make provisions for any unprecedented future events. It doesn’t have to be a pandemic – it could be something as small and as simple as a shift in the market or a rent increase. Knowing whether or not your business can accommodate such changes is vital to emerging from them successfully. Lesson #2 – Cut Variable Costs Some costs are set in stone (for the most part) – rent and bills, for example. Variable costs, however, are subject to change and keeping these as low as possible at all times...
Late Filing Penalties – A Move to Points System Proposed

Late Filing Penalties – A Move to Points System Proposed

A move from fines to points system A move to a points system rather than fines from 2019 is being proposed. This is in an attempt to focus Treasury attention on serious tax avoidance offences. Rather than on punishing small taxpayers who’ve made mistakes. The present system has been to impose a £100 fine on all self-assessment tax payers when they miss the 31 January deadline. This sum increases as further deadlines are passed without payment. The second deadline is the end of April. In the 2016/17 tax year 840,000 individuals failed to meet the deadline, many of whom appealed against the fine for reasons including illness and hardship. From 2019 The proposed new points system, which would come into effect in 2019, would have a sliding scale based on the number of times an individual or business needs to report to HMRC. For example, individuals paying annually via the self-assessment system would incur a fine after just two points. While those paying quarterly can accrue four points. A benefit of this system is that sustained compliance with the tax regime after a failure will return the points accumulated back to nil. So if you miss filing, but then comply with deadlines for the next annual filing period, your ‘earned’ points will be wiped off your record. For further information please contact us  at Your Finance...
HMRC Ways To Pay Your Tax Bill

HMRC Ways To Pay Your Tax Bill

HMRC ceased to accept payments via credit cards HMRC stopped accepting credit card payments for tax bills from 13 January 2018. Self Assessment tax payments In 2016, more than 800,000 of us paid our self assessment bill by credit card. Allowing us to benefit from the period of extra grace this gave us to dig up the cash and for some, being able to spread the cost over several months by only paying off the minimum charge. Only personal credit cards are covered by the ban. Debit card payments are still possible, although they confer none of the benefits of credit cards. Those with corporate and business credit cards can also still pay. Why the change? New legislation around credit card surcharges which came into effect in the summer of 2017 has caused the knock-on effect that led to this ban. Organisations can no longer charge a fee to those paying with credit cards, but they must still pay the processing fees for credit card payments. HMRC would have been in a difficult position of charging back the processing fees to the public purse. Alternative payment methods are: debit cards, direct debits, online (BACs) or telephone banking services provided by...

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