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Extended Sunday trading hours due by the autumn

18 May, 2016

The government has confirmed that it is going to hand local authorities the power to extend Sunday opening hours and that it hopes to have the relevant legislation in place by the autumn. As the law currently stands in England and Wales, whilst small shops are allowed to open whenever they like on Sundays, larger stores (i.e. those over 280 square metres) are only allowed to open for a maximum of six consecutive hours between 10am and 6pm.

Introduction of the National Living Wage

18 Apr, 2016

The new National Living Wage will commence in April 2016. From that date the National Living Wage premium will come into effect on top of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the over 25's. The National Living Wage will initially be set at £7.20 per hour. This represents an increase of 50p over the current NMW rate. The NMW will continue to apply for those aged under 25.

Dormant Assets Commission

29 Mar, 2016

The government has announced the creation of a new Dormant Assets Commission which will be tasked with unlocking billions of pounds worth of dormant assets, such as stocks and shares that have been untouched for more than 15 years.

Cosmetics fraudster jailed

22 Mar, 2016

A Malaysia national who had lived in London has been jailed for 32 months. Chyi Chiann Cheah also known as Susan Chyi was found guilty of VAT fraud following an investigation by HMRC. The woman was involved in the sale of beauty products but used a number of aliases to run cosmetics businesses which were supposedly importing and exporting beauty products to Europe from the Far East via the UK.

Date announced for Budget 2016

07 Mar, 2016

Hot on the heels of the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor has announced that the 2016 Budget will be held on Wednesday, 16 March 2016. This will be the Chancellor’s eighth Budget address. Following the Conservative election victory a Summer Budget was held in July 2015.

Information to curb money laundering updated

29 Feb, 2016

HMRC has published an updated advisory notice on the risks posed by unsatisfactory money laundering and terrorist financing controls in a number of jurisdictions.

Scottish Rate of Income Tax

05 Feb, 2016

The Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) will commence 6 April 2016 and will be administered by HMRC on behalf of the Scottish Government. The SRIT will be payable on the non-savings and non-dividend income of those defined as Scottish taxpayers.

New homebuyers website launched

03 Feb, 2016

A new homebuyers website (www.ownyourhome.gov.uk) has been launched. The Government website provides information on a wide variety of schemes to help people buy their own home. This includes the Right to Buy, Help to Buy and the Help to Buy: ISA schemes. We have summarised the main points of these schemes below.

Tax powers for Wales

30 Jan, 2016

The National Assembly for Wales published the Tax Collection and Management (Wales) Bill in July of this year. The purpose of this Bill is to put in place the legal framework necessary for the future collection and management of devolved taxes in Wales.

In particular, the Bill provides for:

UK Cider industry continues to grow

27 Jan, 2016

In the March Budget earlier this year, the Chancellor announced a cut in the duty rates on lower strength cider by 2%. The measure saved cider drinkers around 1p on each litre of cider.

In the Summer Budget, the Chancellor made a further announcement that the existing duty exemption for small scale cider makers will remain in place until and unless a replacement scheme is established. The European Commission had asked the UK Government to remove the exemption, arguing there is no allowance for it under EU law.

Child Trust Fund consultation launched

18 Jan, 2016

HMRC has launched a new consultation to examine whether Child Trust Fund (CTF) accounts should be subject to lifestyling. ‘Lifestyling’ is the process by which the account provider adopts an investment strategy that aims to minimise variation in the capital value of a CTF caused by market conditions, as the account nears maturity by increasing the proportion of less risky investments.

National Minimum Wage - a further reminder

14 Jan, 2016

A further reminder for employers that new National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will come into effect on 1 October 2015. The hourly rate of the NMW will increase to £6.70 (a rise of 20p) for adults aged 21 years and older. This is a rise of 3% and represents the largest real-terms increase in the National Minimum Wage since 2008.

HMRC is responsible for monitoring the NMW regulations and employers that fail to use the correct rates will have to reimburse their employees and may face penalty charges.

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