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Government tackles late payment to small firms

19 Jan, 2021

The Government has announced an overhaul of the Prompt Payment Code (PPC).

Under the new reforms, companies that have signed up to the PPC will be obliged to pay small businesses within 30 days - half the time outlined in the current Code.

Despite almost 3,000 companies signing the Code, poor payment practices are still rife, with many payments delayed well beyond the current 60-day target required for 95% of invoices. Currently, £23.4 billion worth of late invoices are owed to firms across Britain, impacting on businesses’ cash flow and ultimate survival.

Rights to regenerate

18 Jan, 2021

We will soon have the rights to turn derelict buildings into homes and community assets. In a recent press release the Ministry of Housing said:

The public will be able to convert vacant plots of land and derelict buildings into new homes or community spaces, under plans announced 16 January 2021 by the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP.

Tax on an inherited private pension

14 Jan, 2021

Private pensions can be an efficient way to pass on wealth, but it is important to consider what, if any, tax will be payable on an inherited private pension. The person who died will usually have nominated the recipient by telling their pension provider that they should inherit any monies left in their pension pot. If the nominated person can’t be found or has since died, the pension provider may make payments to someone else instead.

IHT Main Residence Nil Rate Band

14 Jan, 2021

The Inheritance Tax residence nil-rate band (RNRB) is a transferable allowance for married couples and civil partners (per person) when their main residence is passed down to a direct descendent such as children or grandchildren after their death. 

New IPO search facility

14 Jan, 2021

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright. 

The IPO has launched a new service that allows users to search for the goods and services they intend to use their trade mark on before they apply.

Intellectual Property Offices worldwide use a trade mark classification system that groups together similar goods or services into 45 different classes. This is referred to as the Nice Classification.

Tax and duties for goods sent from abroad

14 Jan, 2021

Following the end of the Brexit transition period new rules regarding tax and duty apply to goods sent to the UK from the EU. These changes are to ensure that goods from EU and non-EU countries are treated in the same way and that UK businesses are not disadvantaged by competition from VAT free imports. 

For goods sold directly to customers in the UK from overseas with a value of £135 or less (which aligns with the threshold for customs duty liability) the point at which VAT is collected has moved from the point of importation to the point of sale. 

Have you paid your Data Protection Fee?

14 Jan, 2021

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the independent regulatory office in charge of upholding information rights in the interest of the public. Under the Data Protection Act 2018, all organisations that process personal information must register with the ICO. 

By law, every organisation or sole trader who processes personal information needs to pay a data protection fee to the ICO, unless they benefit from a very limited exemption. There are currently more than half a million fee payers

VAT Reverse charge for construction sector

14 Jan, 2021

A further reminder that new VAT rules for building contractors and sub-contractors will come into effect from 1 March 2021. The new rules were originally expected to commence from 1 October 2019, but an initial 12 month delay was announced. The start date was then delayed for a further 5 months until 1 March 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

CJRS guidance on who can be furloughed

14 Jan, 2021

HMRC’s guidance on which employees can be placed on furlough using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been updated. The scheme will continue until at least 30 April 2021. 

The updated guidance includes new information about employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19). This guidance confirms that employers may furlough employees with caring responsibilities arising from COVID-19 who are unable to work or are working reduced hours.

Rogue employers named and shamed for failing to pay minimum wage

14 Jan, 2021

139 employers, including some of the UK’s biggest household names, have been named and shamed in a government press release for failing to pay £6.7 million to over 95,000 workers in breach of the national minimum wage (NMW) legislation.

Apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card

12 Jan, 2021

UK residents can now apply for the new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

Under Britain’s new agreement with the EU, UK residents’ rights to emergency and medically necessary healthcare will continue when travelling in the EU. This includes medically necessary treatment for a pre-existing or chronic condition.

Current European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are valid as long as they are in date and people can continue to use these when travelling to the EU.

Testing for international arrivals

12 Jan, 2021

Passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in, to help protect against the new strains of coronavirus such as those seen in Denmark and South Africa.

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