August 22, 2014 - Rachel Miller

Also in the news this week – 22 August 2014

Businesses face more RTI penalties

Penalties to be issued by HMRC from October this year for late submissions by employers, or their agents, for Real Time Information could incur further fines for businesses, according to accountants Wilkins Kennedy LLP.
 From 6 October 2014, HMRC will introduce in-year penalties for businesses failing to file PAYE submissions on time. Penalties are based on staff numbers and are issued quarterly. Tony Reeves, payroll supervisor for Wilkins Kennedy LLP Southern Region, said: “More needs to be done to ensure that businesses are aware of penalties and fines that may be incurred. Businesses are also urged to do their homework and make sure they are up to date.”

SMEs risk higher costs if they delay on auto enrolment

New research by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has found that while 90% of its members are aware of auto enrolment deadlines, 51% have still to start taking the necessary steps towards compliance. Ian Cass, FPB head of business support, said: “Awareness and action are two separate things. Companies who fail to plan sooner rather than later could find themselves paying a premium for advice and more limited options. With average costs for auto enrolment currently estimated at £8,900, these are only likely to go up the closer we are to those all-important staging dates.”

"Know-it-alls" top poll of worst personalities at work

A nationwide survey by Flexioffices to find out which office personality is most disliked in the UK has found that the “office know-it-all” is the biggest irritant for 35% of respondents. The “office slacker” got 32% of the votes, followed by the “office suck-up” with 17%.

New home for self-assessment guidance

Self-assessment guidance is to transition from the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website to GOV.UK this week as part of the government’s push to provide all information in one place. HMRC's existing online services, such as Self Assessment, and Corporation Tax, won't change but will now be accessible from GOV.UK. However, self-assessment tax returns and notes won't be moving to GOV.UK until a later date.

Broadband grants available to SMEs in 22 cities

Many UK small businesses can now get a free grant to upgrade their business to a faster broadband connection as part of the wider government rollout of superfast broadband. The Broadband Connection Vouchers scheme enables business owners across 22 cities to apply for a grant of up to £3,000, which will cover the capital and equipment costs of upgrading their connection. The scheme remains open for applications until 31 March 2015 and has a budget of £100 million.