Business and Tax Round-up

Business urges government to reform Apprenticeship Levy

In response to the publication of official apprenticeship statistics, business groups have urged the government to reform the Apprenticeship Levy.

The organisations, including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have called on the government to reform the initiative before it costs UK firms ‘millions’.

The Levy was introduced in April 2017, and is paid by employers with a pay bill of more than £3 million per year. It stands at 0.5% of the pay bill, although an annual allowance of £15,000 also exists.

Apprenticeship Levy funds must be used before April 2019 at this time, they will begin to expire.

Employers who do not plan to use all of the funds in their apprenticeship service account can now make a transfer to another employer, with the aim of allowing larger employers to support other employers.

The CBI has urged the government to introduce ‘greater flexibility’ to the system, and for ministers to ‘loosen the rules around how Levy cash is spent’. Meanwhile, the IoD has suggested that businesses should be given longer to spend the money to ‘ensure that it is spent on the most valuable apprenticeships’.

Business group warns UK small firms ‘unprepared for business interruption’

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that the majority of UK small firms are ‘unprepared’ for the risk of disruption to the business posed by both internal and external threats.

Data published by the FSB revealed that 65% of small businesses do not currently have any plans in place to deal with an interruption to the firm or its supply chains. Some of the most common risks to businesses include: customers who fail to pay for goods or services; the loss of key members of staff; cybercrime and its associated threats; and severe weather and transport issues.

The FSB has urged larger businesses to assist smaller firms with forward planning. It has also called on local governments and authorities to emphasise the need for small businesses to put continuity plans into place.  

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, has called on small business owners to establish clear strategies in advance to help them to deal with potential threats.

Commenting on the issue, Mr Cherry said: ‘By implementing continuity plans, small firms can prepare for many of the sudden changes that can impact on them directly and their supply chains.

‘Given the likelihood that an enterprise will encounter some sort of business interruption issue more than once in their life, it is key to resilience that firms are encouraged to consider all risks that they could face.’

Reminders for your diary

September 2018

1 September | New Advisory Fuel Rates (AFR) for company car users apply from today.

19 September | PAYE, Student loan and CIS deductions are due for the month to 5 September 2018.

30 September | End of CT61 quarterly period.

October 2018

1 October | Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for period ended 31 December 2017.

5 October | Deadline for notifying HMRC of new sources of taxable income or gains or liability to the High Income Child Benefit Charge for 2017/18 if no tax return has been issued.

14 October | Due date for income tax for the CT61 quarter to 30 September 2018.

19 October | Tax and NICs due under a 2017/18 PAYE Settlement Agreement.

PAYE, Student loan and CIS deductions are due for the month to 5 October 2018.

PAYE quarterly payments are due for small employers for the pay periods 6 July 2018 to 5 October 2018.

31 October | Deadline for submitting ‘paper’ 2017/18 self-assessment returns.

November 2018

2 November | Deadline for submitting P46(Car) for employees whose car/fuel benefits changed during the quarter to 5 October 2018.

19 November | PAYE, Student loan and CIS deductions are due for the month to 5 November 2018.

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