eNews – October 2014
In this month’s enews we report on mis-sold interest rate hedging products, guidance on Gift Aid and free admission, an update on the broadband voucher scheme and HMRC’s latest phishing scam.
Please do get in touch if you would like any further guidance on any of the areas covered.
Mis-sold interest rate hedging products
Following a review of the way some banks sold Interest Rate Hedging Products (IRHP), some businesses are entitled to redress payments. These redress payments are now starting to be made to those businesses which were affected.
Mis-sold interest hedging products (IRHP)
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has identified failings in the way some banks sold IRHP to businesses taking out business loans, which were intended to offer protection against rising interest rates.
The banks calculate the amount due which can be made up of three elements:
basic redress – represents the difference between the actual payments made and the payments that would have been made without the productcompensatory interest – at 8% per year and consequential losses – losses suffered due to not having the use of the money.
If you do receive a redress payment please let us have the paperwork so we can review the position. There are certain circumstances where the tax treatment of the payment will be different so please do contact us so we can investigate the position and ensure the correct accounting and tax treatment.
Internet link: HMRC news
Gift Aid and free admission
HMRC have updated their guidance for charities to explain that the terms and conditions attached to a donation that gives a right of admission to property cannot include a right to a full or partial refund of the admission payment.
To read the full HMRC guidance click on the link below.
Internet link: HMRC guidance
UK broadband voucher scheme overhauled
Businesses are being urged to take advantage of a scheme to get faster, cheaper broadband. The government is overhauling its plans for getting ultra-fast broadband to UK businesses after disappointing take-up of its current scheme.
As reported by the BBC only £7.5m out of a possible £100m has so far been spent, with just 3,000 businesses taking up vouchers. As reported by the BBC:
‘Initially the government had expressed hope of reaching 200,000 small businesses.
With a March 2015 deadline for the money to be spent, the government is keen to galvanise interest.
Changes aimed at making it easier to get the money include a redesigned website and a more streamlined process of applying for a grant.
Other changes include:
- Qualifying businesses no longer need to fill in an application form but can access the government grant with a call to a pre-approved broadband supplier
- Businesses that already have a different supplier in mind need only to fill in a form to get their quote approved
- Suppliers can also apply to BDUK (the group overseeing the process) with a set of eligible connection costs, cutting the need for businesses to apply at all
- Once a broadband package has been approved, suppliers can market them to eligible businesses with no more need for forms or rubber-stamping.’
As reported by the BBC, Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said:
‘This is a golden opportunity for businesses to take advantage of better broadband. The grant takes away the costs of installation, which are normally charged up front or added to monthly charges.’
Internet link: BBC news
Latest fake ‘HMRC’ phishing scam
We are aware that there is a new bogus email which is phishing scam aimed at taxpayers. The email which is supposed to come from HMRC states that the recipient is no longer eligible to receive a tax return and needs to sign up with their current details to get back into the system.
Internet link: ICAEW
Deadline for ‘paper’ self assessment tax returns
For those individuals who have previously submitted ‘paper’ self assessment tax returns the deadline for the 2013/14 return is 31 October 2014. Returns submitted after that date must be submitted electronically or they will incur a minimum penalty of £100. The penalty applies even when there is no tax to pay or the tax is paid on time.
If you would like any help with the completion of your return please do get in touch.
Internet link: HMRC deadlines
Latest labour market employment figures
The Office for National Statistics has announced that the latest statistics, based on the period May to July 2014, show that employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall.
According to the ONS:
‘There were 30.61 million people in work. This was 74,000 more than for February to April 2014, the smallest quarterly increase since April to June 2013.
Comparing May to July 2014 with a year earlier, there were 774,000 more people in work.
The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, slightly higher than for February to April 2014 (72.9%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.6%).
There were 2.02 million unemployed people, 146,000 fewer than for February to April 2014 and 468,000 fewer than a year earlier.’
Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment & Skills, said:
‘The fact that unemployment is lower now than at any time since late 2008 is good news. There is more to do, but it’s clear that our growing economy is feeding through to new jobs.
Jobs growth is coming from the private sector, more than making up for public sector job losses, and more young people are finding their feet in our labour market.
With unemployment dropping, and wage settlements in larger firms starting to pick up, we expect to see average earnings growth begin to rise in time.’