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News and information about loans, money, debt, finance and business issues.
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Friday, March 27, 2020

UK Housing Market Put on Hold

The UK government has in effect suspended the country’s property market, stopping estate agents from marketing new homes and banning visits to those already for sale, as it seeks to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The government’s move on Thursday evening followed calls from banks to freeze the market. In talks between lenders and ministers, banks have expressed concern about the impact of the pandemic on valuations.

They are also concerned about granting credit when the economy is in freefall, according to senior bankers.

They have told ministers it has become impossible to survey properties, according to people briefed on the discussion. Bank call centres have also been inundated with anxious homeowners requesting mortgage holidays.

The government had already urged buyers and sellers to delay moving unless it was unavoidable for “contractual reasons”.

Yesterday, it went further, saying no visitors were allowed into properties while the ‘stay-at-home’ measures were in force, including estate agents, surveyors or potential buyers. The edict in effect blocks any new transactions taking place after the current round of pending completions.

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Ocado Has Crashed

@Ocado crashed 
 
Clean up on aisle five!

It looks like the Ocado website is having a little bother, but don’t panic — we’ll have everything up and running again in no time.

It’s probably best to go back and try again, or you can call our Customer Service team on 0345 656 1234

Tax Investigation Insurance

Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

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Rishi's Self Employment Life Raft

Applies to self employed only, not Ltd companies:

- Maximum amount paid £2500/month for 3 months

- It is taxable

- Maximum profits £50K per annum

- Based on average of last 3 years monthly profits max 80%

- No money until June

- Payments backdated to 1 March

- Use the government backed loan facility, mortgage/rent holiday and universal credit in the meantime to cover the period up until June

- HMRC will contact you if you are eligible
 
Tax Investigation Insurance

Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Banks Being Banks - Who Would Have Thought It!?


Banks have been criticised by firms and MPs for insisting on personal guarantees to issue government-backed emergency loans to business owners. 

The requirement loads most of the risk that the loan goes bad on the business owner, rather than the banks.

It means that the banks can go after the personal property of the owner of a firm if their business goes under and they cannot afford to pay off the debt.

Their main home would be protected but the bank could go after other assets.

Tax Investigation Insurance

Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The $6 Trillion Dollar Relief Package

Tax Investigation Insurance

Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Financial Support For Self Employed Coming



Tax Investigation Insurance

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Monday, March 23, 2020

The $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19: Support for Businesses

COVID-19: support for businesses

Updated 20 March 2020
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

We will bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:
  • this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:
  1. Your business is UK based.
  2. Your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020.

How to access the scheme

A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.

Support for businesses that pay business rates

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

We will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:
  1. Your business is based in England.
  2. Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:
  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.
You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.
Further guidance for local authorities is available in the expanded retail discount guidance.

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligibility

If your business is eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, you will be contacted by your local authority. You do not need to apply.

How to access the scheme

Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch early next week to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:
  1. Your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £41 million per annum.
  2. Your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria.

How to access the scheme

The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.
You should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
The scheme will be available from early next week commencing 23 March.

Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.
This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.
It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

The scheme will be available early in week beginning 23 March 2020.
We will provide information on how to access the scheme here shortly.
More information is available from the Bank of England.

Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Eligibility

You are eligible if your business:
  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

How to access the scheme

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.
If you’re worried about a future payment, please call us nearer the time.

Insurance

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.
Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

Tax Investigation Insurance

Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

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Thursday, March 19, 2020

China To Step Up Fiscal Stimulus

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Rishi's £330BN Corona Bridge

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Iran Asks IMF For a Loan

I can't see the USA allowing this!

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Rishi Splashes The Cash in His Corona Busting Budget

 

Rishi Sunak has splashed the cash in his first Budget (the Corona Busting Budget).

- Whatever the NHS needs it will get
- £6BN for the NHS on top of the above
- £650M for rough sleepers
- NI threshold raised to £9500
- Fuel and booze duties frozen
- Business rates abolished this year fro SME's
- £30Bn Corona fund to manage and mitigate the effects of #COVID19 on people and businesses
- Statutory sick pay available for all who need to self-isolate from day one, even with no symptoms
- Businesses with less than 250 people not liable for sick pay
- Banks to offer instant business interruption loans to SME's with no charge
- £500M hardship fund for vulnerable people
- Self-employed and people on zero hours contracts to get benefits from day one
- £2.5BN pothole fund 
- Tampon tax scrapped etc etc

The magic money tree has been rediscovered, in the form of increased borrowing.
 
Tax Investigation Insurance

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Bank of England Cuts Rates By 0.5%

The Bank of England has announced an emergency cut in interest rates to shore up the economy amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Policymakers reduced rates from 0.75% to 0.25%, taking borrowing costs back down to the lowest level in history.

The Bank said it would also free up billions of pounds of extra lending power to help banks support firms.

Later today the Chancellor will deliver his Budget.

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

RBS To Allow 3 Month Mortgage Holiday

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Italy Suspends All Mortgage Payments

As per Reuters:

Payments on mortgages will be suspended across the whole of Italy after the coronavirus outbreak, Italy’s deputy economy minister said on Tuesday.

“Yes, that will be the case, for individuals and households,” Laura Castelli said in an interview with Radio Anch’io, when asked about the possibility.

Italy’s banking lobby ABI said on Monday lenders representing 90% of total banking assets would offer debt moratoriums to small firms and households grappling with the economic fallout from Italy’s coronavirus outbreak.

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Monday, March 09, 2020

Markets Continue To Fall

The markets are continuing to fall, as #COVID19 irrationality grips investors' minds.

Have we hit bottom?

No!

Will it get worse?

Yes!

However, bear in mind that the #COVID19 outbreak will abate within a couple of months. Additionally, the central banks and fiscal authorities will be enacting measures to ameliorate the financial consequences of people's irrationality.

As such, as and when #COVID19 passes - and it will, the markets will rise as people take advantage of the fiscal and monetary stimuli that will remain in place.

For the moment, investors are going to have to grit their teeth.

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Thursday, March 05, 2020

CBI Calls For Statutory Sick Pay To Be Extended To All Workers


Tax Investigation Insurance

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MOFCOM To The Rescue - #COVID19






Tax Investigation Insurance

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Mortgaged To The Hilt Flybe Goes Under

Despite being offered the hope a rescue deal by the government, economic reality (Covid-19 is cited, but not the real issue) has hit Flybe and it has collapsed.

The FT reports that the Treasury subsequently concluded it could not authorise the previously promised loan as Flybe had already mortgaged most of its physical assets, such as buildings, equipment as well as intellectual property, to its shareholders.

This left it with virtually no collateral to offer the government in return. Any borrowings had to be provided on commercial terms to comply with EU state aid rules, ruling out an unsecured loan.

This is very bad news for the employees of Flybe.

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Fed Cuts Rates and Bank of England Looks Like Following Suit

Yesterday the Fed cut rates by 0.5%, and it looks like the Bank of England are preparing for a rate cut this week as well.
As per Nomura


Tax Investigation Insurance

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Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Economic Shock Large But Temporary - #COVID19


 The question is how long is "temporary"?

Tax Investigation Insurance

Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

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Monday, March 02, 2020

Coordinated Central Bank Action Coming

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Friday, February 28, 2020

The Hunt for Safety

Tax Investigation Insurance

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SFO Case Against Three Former Barclays Executives Fails

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Heathrow Won't Get Third Runway

Campaigners have won the Court of Appeal ruling over plans for third runway at Heathrow on environment grounds.

The government will not appeal the decision, as such Heathrow won't get its third runway.
 
Tax Investigation Insurance

Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

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Friday, February 21, 2020

Beware The Coronavirus Container Crunch

Lars Jensen from SeaIntelligence in Copenhagen said the loss of traffic , as a result of the coronavirus shutting down China's ports and container business, is running at 300,000 containers a week.

This will cause a logistical crunch in Europe in early March even if the epidemic is brought under control quickly.

This will lead to shortages and price rises.

Tax Investigation Insurance

Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Barclays Using Technology To Boost Productivity

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Boris Gives HS2 The Thumbs Up


Tax Investigation Insurance

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China's Economy Tanking

This will be a difficult balancing act; on the one had trying to kick start the economy, on the other hand trying to kill to coronavirus. 

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Nissan Halts Production at Kyushu Due To Coronavirus

Tax Investigation Insurance

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Thursday, February 06, 2020

Boeing's Fucked!

Slow Hand Clap For The EU For Fucking Up Contactless Card Payments!

A Brussels crackdown on contactless payments could cause mass confusion for millions of customers and trigger a €57bn (£48bn) hit to businesses across Europe, experts have warned.

The new Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules require banks to verify a customer’s identity every time they make payments totalling €100 (£85).

It means that if customers breach this limit through repeated contactless card payments, they will be forced to type their pin into a machine.

There are fears that the changes – which have already been introduced by Britain's biggest banks – will baffle customers, meaning many walk away rather than paying.

A report published by 451 Research that was commissioned by payments company Stripe estimated that €57bn of payments across the European Union will be abandoned as a result of the extra checks.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Google Apologises For Takeout Breach of Privacy


Google has apologised after finding a bug which meant some people’s private videos were shared with others by mistake.

The bug affected Google Takeout, which enables Google Photo users to export the content of their accounts, for four days, between 21 and 25 November 2019. Google said those who used it may have either received an incomplete archive, or some videos which were not theirs.

Bear in mind, that nothing online is truly "private". Someone, somewhere always has the opportunity to eavesdrop and spy on you!

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

China Attempting To Stabilise Corona Infected Economy

Measures include:

- loosening monetary policy
- reducing growth forecasts
- increasing government expenditure
- reducing banks' capital requirements
- cutting taxes

Monday, February 03, 2020

Chinese Economy Catches The Coronavirus

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Huawei Announcement Expected Noon

Boris Johnson is expected to give Huawei limited access to the UK market.

The announcement is due at around noon.

The End of Uncertainty Boosts The Economy II

Friday, January 24, 2020

The End of Uncertainty Boosts The Economy

Thursday, January 23, 2020

France Bows To US Pressure

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Trump Arrives at Davos


Contrary to earlier rumours, Trump has gone to Davos.

Monday, January 20, 2020

H2S The Open Maw

Friday, January 17, 2020

Frech/USA Trade War Looms - Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape Rodney!


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Flybe Bailed Out


Flybe has been saved from the brink of collapse by the government, with a deal that includes deferred tax payments of approximately £100M.

Aside from the fact that BA is not at all happy with the preferential treatment, I wonder if the same largesse shown to Flybe wrt tax will be shown by HMRC to SME's that are having trouble making ends meet?

No, thought not!

Monday, January 13, 2020

ONS Statistics Are Bollocks


Don't rely on ONS statistics to make decisions, the figures are out of date and always being revised!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Investors Preparing To Sue Woodford

The Telegraph reports that almost 3,500 investors are preparing legal action in a battle to recover losses inflicted by the collapse of Neil Woodford’s investment empire.

The savers are weighing up possible claims against Woodford, his investment company, the supervisor of his funds and the platforms and advisers that recommended and marketed the discredited stock picker’s operation.

About 300,000 investors had their savings locked up when Woodford’s flagship Equity Income fund was suspended in June.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Carlos Ghosn The Great Escape - Coming To a Cinema Near You



The Joy of Debt

The World Bank debt warning is just as applicable to individuals, as it is to countries!

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Woodford Profits From His Failure - Whilst His Investors Suffer