On the backdrop of the recent political and economic uncertainty and the numerous headlines that these have brought, one market sector that has seen an uptick has been the Scottish recruitment market as companies across a range of sectors seek to hire temporary staff to cover current demand and/or increase the recruitment of specialist project expertise.
Technology has long been a hunting ground for investors with aspirations of backing the next ‘game changing’ idea, concept or invention. With the global thirst for continual development, process efficiencies, speed of communication and less human intervention, it is little surprise that the UK tech sector grew 2.6x faster than the rest of the economy.
Where in the world will I invest? A question often asked and given the current happenings in world markets, a very topical one. If you listen to the news, some countries may seem like better places to invest than others, based on how their economies and stock markets are doing at that particular time.
Many Scottish businesses are currently experiencing an increase in opportunities to export their products and services into new markets out with the UK. Whilst undoubtedly international growth will present exciting new opportunities for businesses, it is vital the necessary due diligence of any new market is undertaken in order to ensure the financial side of things is protected. There are many businesses historically that have been guilty of pursuing international growth without due consideration being given to the new overseas financial environment that they are entering – doing business in a new country will differ in many respects, compared to the UK operations which the business will be used to. One of the key considerations in this respect is in relation to the tax regime in that country.
David Attenborough recently starred at Glastonbury giving a passionate speech about the impact humans and our behaviours are having on the sustainability of our planet. This got me thinking about the growing interest from clients in responsible investing and questions we are asked about whether individuals can integrate their values around sustainability. For instance, how can they reduce their portfolio’s environmental footprint while maintaining sound investment principles and achieving their investment objectives?
You would think calculating how much holiday pay an employee should receive would seem a straightforward process. However, various court decisions over the past 5 years have changed this, meaning employers now face a range of additional circumstances they need to consider when calculating holiday pay.
Pay As You Earn (PAYE) special arrangements for Short Term Business Visitors (STBVs) were introduced alongside the normal STBV Appendix 4 to allow for a simplified PAYE procedure to be operated for STBVs. These arrangements were brought in to relax the PAYE requirements for employers with STBVs from overseas branches or territories with which the UK does not have a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA). From 6 April 2020, the current PAYE “special” arrangements will be changing and become known as ‘STBV Appendix 8’.
With the relentless stream of news readily available about financial markets, it can be tempting to focus on the latest economic data, stories about high profile investment managers or the performance of individual funds. Such an approach could lead you to overlook the basic principles that can give you the best chance of success.
There has been a definite shift in how HMRC carry out employer compliance enquiries, moving from face to face site visits to desk-based enquiries. This may be down to HMRC centralising in their move to regional Centres, an attempt to save money on travel and subsistence or a combination of both. Nevertheless, this certainly does not mean that HMRC are more trusting than ever and this new approach adopted by HMRC should be treated with the same importance and caution as one would an Inspector arriving at the business premises.
Farmers and their families will most likely be aware of the important Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) reliefs currently available on the value of their businesses. Agricultural Relief (“AR”) and Business Relief (“BR”) can relieve the full value of the farming operation and it has long been recognised that the policy objective behind these reliefs is to prevent the breaking up or sale of farms (and other businesses) on death.
Whilst I was flying down to London this morning I wondered if the aeroplane was on the balance sheet yet? Prior to the introduction of IFRS 16 airlines by leasing their planes meant that the plane as well as its related lease liability was an off-balance sheet item.
Selling a business is a topic of much debate and discussion but despite this, it is rarely planned with serious consideration typically only crystallising then an approach is made, market factors change, the owners near retirement age or perhaps have a shift in their life objectives.
We are living in uncertain times and the current financial climate, alongside the turmoil in British politics caused by Brexit, is making it harder and harder for businesses to survive, as shown by the recent high-profile insolvencies of Thomas Cook; Debenhams and Jamie’s Italian.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock you will be aware that back in July HMRC issued draft legislation on their proposed changes to the current IR35 Off Payroll Working rules in the Private Sector from April 2020, bringing the rules in line with those implemented to the Public Sector in April 2017. While HMRC are looking to introduce these changes due to their estimate that they will bring in excess of £1billion additional taxes, there is still a lot to be learned from when these changes were introduced to the Public Sector and actions to be taken to ensure businesses are ready for carrying out their new obligations from next year and that HMRC’s tools are fit for purpose.