If your business doesn’t have a blog, I recommend that you start one in 2017.
The key reasons why you need a blog are:
- It helps you and your business to become the ‘go to expert’
- It massively increases inbound traffic and raises your social media profile
- Its an opportunity to give back and to help your audience resolve common problems
Phillip Hammond gave his first Autumn Statement on 23rd November 2016
As expected Brexit is forecast to reduce growth and borrowing will be higher.
But let’s focus on the Business related key points:
- National Living Wage increasing to £7.50 from £7.20 in April 2017
- Personal Allowances will increase to £11,500 in April and to £12,500 by the end of the Parliament
- The Higher Rate Threshold will increase to £50,000 by the end of this Parliament
- Salary Sacrifice is to be restricted to Childcare, Cycle to Work and Ultra-low Emmission Cars
- Employee Share Scheme lose their income tax relief and capital gains tax exemption
- New rules will take effect in April 2017 regarding Assets made available without transfer of ownership
- From April 2018 termination payments could be subject to employers NIC
- Corporation tax rates are reducing
- Financial year 2017 19%
- Financial year 2018 19%
- Financial year 2019 19%
- Financial year 2020 17%
- From April 2017 new rules will create a restriction meaning that losses of up to 50% of profits can be offset with a £5m allowance per company
- From April 2017 corporation tax relief for interest will be restricted where the interest is over £2m
VAT & Insurance Premium Tax
- Insurance Premium Tax is going up to 12% in June 2017
- A new 16.5% Flat Rate will be applied to businesses in the Flat Rate Scheme with limited expenses such as Labour Only Contractors, the new rate starts in April 2017
- Changes to the Flat Rate Scheme should generate £695m by 2021/22
- The Government will push ahead with the introduction of a new penalty for a person who enables another person or business to use a tax avoidance scheme that is defeated by HMRC
- HMRC will increase the number of court cases
- The introduction of £1,000 property income allowance from April 2017
- Letting Agents will no longer be able to charge renters fees
The latest version of the Directors Loan Tool Kit for 2015-16 was published in May 2016, official the guidance is voluntary, but I am not sure that tax inspectors will consider as voluntary!
Here is a link to the full tool kit
Here are some things to watch out for when preparation your accounts
The changes are outlined in this document – CIS Link
- Reducing the Gross Status minimum turnover threshold to £100,000 a year for businesses with multiple directors (from April 2016)
- Initial and annual compliance tests will focus on fewer obligations
- There will be further amendments to the need to submit Nil returns
- It will be easier for Joint Ventures to obtain Gross Status if one party already holds Gross Status
- Online verification will be mandatory from April 2017
- Earlier repayments can be made to liquidators in insolvency proceedings. Currently where a subcontractor is a company, no repayment of any amount deducted and paid over to HMRC by a contractor can be made to the subcontractor until after the end of the tax year in which the deduction was made. These rules will be amended so that in certain cases where the amount deducted by the contractor is excessive, a repayment can be made during the tax year.
- Mandatory online filing of CIS returns will be introduced with the offer of alternative filing arrangements for those unable to access an online channel by reason of age, disability, remote location or religious objection.
- The directors’ self assessment filing requirements will be removed from the initial and annual compliance tests.
- You must re-submit returns for any period that you amend
We await the budget on 16th March 2016 for full details.
New YouGov research reveals that most British people expect a global financial crisis this year. 51% say this is very or fairly likely compared to 28% who say it is very or fairly unlikely. You Gov
There are several key reasons behind this thinking:
- Stock Market have created inflated values for businesses in that last couple of years and could fall dramatically this year
- China is in crisis, last week it suffered a 7% slump in its main share index
- The World Bank and OECD have both expressed doubts over economic growth
- Interest Rates are expected to rise
- Falling Oil Prices – great for consumers but bad for many economies
What should you do to prepare for the worst (hoping it doesn’t happen)?
- Pay off debt and reduce your interest rate exposure
- Improve your Cash Cycle and tighten credit controls
- Re-examine your investment strategy
Let’s hope there isn’t a crisis!