Tax is almost constantly in the news as media and politicians discuss issues of avoidance and evasion by major corporates and celebrities. However, behind the headlines the Government is quietly increasing pressure on HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to reduce the difference between the amount of tax it actually collects and the amount it estimates is due – the so-called ‘tax gap’ – which is leading to increased pressure on SMEs.
With the amount owed to businesses in late payments standing at £46.1 billion the issue of managing a healthy cash flow and enforcing credit control is a significant one. The situation is also worsening – in 2008 the amount owed in late payments was £18.6 billion, less than half what is owed today, so there is a real need to take action.
It isn’t really a question of size that matters when considering whether to outsource your payroll, but more a case of looking at the business benefits you might derive from getting someone else to do the donkey work. It is worth remembering, however, that while you pass the work to someone else, you retain ultimate responsibility that your company is compliant with legislation.
Despite the rapid growth of the alternative finance sector, doubling year on year since 2012 and now funding some £1.74 billion, small businesses are still missing out on getting much needed finance.
At the start of 2014, small and medium sized enterprises accounted for 60% of the estimated 5.2 million businesses operating in the UK. With the general election fast approaching party manifestos cannot fail to offer some significant pledges to help these all important businesses.
Many people are aware that entrepreneurs’ relief (ER) is available on the disposal of shares or a qualifying interest in a business. Fewer will know that ER is also available on the associated disposal of assets held personally by the shareholder or business owner but used by the business.
The sale of a business will usually take the form of a share sale or a sale of the business’ trade and/or assets. The way in which the proceeds from the sale are structured will directly affect the seller’s claim for entrepreneurs’ relief (ER).
Funding. Sooner or later, every business needs an injection of cash. Whether it’s for launching a start-up, investing in new technology, or financing an expansion, sourcing fresh funds can be crucial. That funding may take a variety of forms—loan; investment; grant—but regardless of the route taken, funder confidence is vital.
In past years, inspectors at Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) had a considerable amount of discretion when it came to helping taxpayers who have run into difficulties paying VAT or PAYE.
Obtaining angel investment funding is based on making you and your business as attractive as possible to your potential investors. To do this, you need to explain your company’s proposition and the potential return on investment clearly and succinctly so that your target investors understand your offer and find it attractive. You may think you have an amazing idea, but unless you can present it well others may not take the same view!
As a director of a Software Consultancy, a chartered accountant and previous financial director across multiple sectors, I am in quite a unique position in terms of understanding not just how to invoice, but what tools to use to do it.
So here are my top 10 tips: