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Business Premises Renovation Allowance (BPRA)

29 Sep, 2016

The Business Premises Renovation Allowance (BPRA) is a special capital allowances scheme to encourage the conversion and renovation of empty business properties in specified assisted areas (i.e. deprived areas in the UK).

The use of the BPRA provides for a 100% tax deduction on the capital costs a business incurs in converting, renovating or repairing empty business premises that have been vacant for at least a year, in order to bring them back into business use. The relief is available to individuals and partnerships as well as companies.

Lifetime ISA launch

22 Sep, 2016

The new Lifetime ISA, that will help those aged between 18 and 40 to save for a new home or for their retirement, is expected to be available from April 2017. The legislation necessary to bring about the introduction of this new flexible savings plan is currently progressing through the various parliamentary stages.

EU Payments Account Directive

22 Sep, 2016

The EU Payments Account Directive more commonly known as PAD sets a European wide standard on the services provided to EU residents by banks. The directive is meant to ensure that services, including an account switching service, the right of access to a basic bank account for those who are legally resident in the EU and clear and transparent information on fees and charges, are available across EU banks.

The marriage allowance

22 Sep, 2016

The marriage allowance came into force on 6 April 2015 and allows lower earning couples to share part of their personal tax-free allowance. The marriage allowance is available to married couples and those in a civil partnership where a spouse or civil partner doesn’t pay tax or doesn’t pay tax above the basic rate threshold for income tax (i.e. one of the couple earns less than £11,000 in 2016-17). There is a different marriage allowance for those born before 6 April 1935.

Prompt Payment Code

22 Sep, 2016

New measures to support the Prompt Payment Code (PPC) have been confirmed in a letter sent to PPC signatories from the newly appointed Minister for Small Business, Margot James and chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM), Philip King.

New £5 note launched

15 Sep, 2016

The new £5 note entered into circulation on 13 September 2016 and is the first note issued in England to be printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic. It will take a few weeks for the notes to become commonplace across the country. The new plastic £5 note will feature the image of Sir Winston Churchill.

In tandem with the launch of the new £5 note the process of withdrawing the current paper £5 notes from circulation will begin. The paper £5 notes will remain as legal tender until May 2017 after which they will need to be exchanged at the Bank of England.

Autumn statement 2016

15 Sep, 2016

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond has announced that he will deliver his first Autumn Statement to the House of Commons on 23 November 2016. This will be the first big statement by the new Chancellor and will help reveal the fiscal direction of the government after the Brexit vote.

VAT refunds from EU countries

15 Sep, 2016

The VAT paid in other EU countries may be recoverable by VAT-registered businesses in the UK, who bought goods or services for business use. The exact rules that determine what VAT is refundable depends on the other countries' rules for claiming input tax. It is important to note that VAT incurred in foreign countries can never by reclaimed on a domestic UK VAT return.

Tax-free childcare scheme

15 Sep, 2016

HMRC has updated their Tax-free childcare scheme (TFCS) guidance entitled Tax-Free Childcare: Top things childcare providers should know. The TFCS will support working families with their childcare costs and will be launched in early 2017 with all eligible parents able to join the scheme by the end of next year.

Annual Investment Allowance

15 Sep, 2016

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) limit has changed significantly over the last number of years. However, the limit has been fixed at £200,000 for all qualifying expenditure on or after 1 January 2016.

Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) schemes

15 Sep, 2016

The use of the EMI can help small growing companies to attract and retain sought after employees. The EMI allows employees to buy shares free of Income Tax and NICs on the difference between the amount paid for shares when an option is used and the actual value at the time. HMRC’s guidance has been updated.

Sports Direct to address its employment failings

13 Sep, 2016

Earlier this year, the founder of the embattled retailer Sports Direct was given a grilling by a government select committee of MPs following allegations of poor working practices and worker exploitation at its Derbyshire warehouse.