HMRC has released details of proposals to enhance the effectiveness of the IR35 tax rules, which were established in 2000 to stop people avoiding tax by working through an intermediary such as a Personal Service Company (PSC). HMRC is recommending various options for change, such as treating people who work through a PSC as direct employees and requiring them to be taxed as such. HMRC is inviting views about how such an approach would work in various situations, and whether the proposed IR35 reforms would achieve their objectives. The deadline for responses is 30th September 2015
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Eligibility for the Export Working Capital Scheme organised by UK Export Finance (UKEF) is to be extended to exporters’ direct supply chains. This is one of the procedures set out in the Government’s Productivity Plan, which has been introduced to reverse the UK’s long-term productivity problem and secure rising living standards. The development is made possible by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. It will ensure that UKEF’s services are comparable with other leading export credit agencies, helping to keep UK exports competitive.
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Companies that are still running the Windows server 2003 operating system are now vulnerable to cyber-attacks by hackers looking to exploit security holes as Microsoft have ceased to issue security patches. Approximately 400,000 UK companies are still using the outdated operating system. In a report published at the beginning of this year, IT research company IDC stated: “Failure to have a current, supported operating system raises significant concerns about an organisations ability to meet regulatory compliance requirements, as well as the needs of business units, partners and customers”.
For further information about the vulnerability, go to:
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published draft regulations to remove self-employed people who do not employ others from the scope of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. If made law, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 will exclude the self-employed unless their work falls within a required category or poses a risk to a third party. Required categories include agriculture, construction, railways and work involving asbestos, gas or genetically modified organisms. The new regulations are predicted to come into force on 1st October 2015.
The draft regulations are available at:
The European Commission has confirmed details of funding under the England Operational Programme for 2014-2020, which includes an allocation of €3.6 billion from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Approximately 40% of the funding will be allocated to support small businesses to enhance their competitiveness. This is expected to result in 65,000 smaller businesses receiving advice and support by 2023. The rest of the funding will be used to focus on various priorities such as strengthening innovation and research and technological development. (RTD). Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu stated: “The programme we have adopted today for England complements the efforts already made for locally driven growth. The investments are strategic and targeted on key growth generating areas.”
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