Welcome to the September 2015 Newsletter from Connolly Accountants Ltd

A leading trade body has this month warned that changes to the taxation of cash machines outside shops could result in smaller retailers being hit with bills running into tens of thousands of pounds. The Association of Convenience Stores is calling on the Government to remove the business rates charge imposed on ATMs, amid fears that the tax charge could result in the demise of free ATMs for shoppers.

Meanwhile, new data from the Taxpayers' Alliance has revealed that the average UK family will pay nearly three-quarters of a million pounds in tax over the course of their lifetime. Lowering your tax bill should form a key part of your financial planning, so contact us today for advice on how we can help you keep more of what you earn.


Small shops could face 'huge bills' after ATM business rate changes

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the Government to exempt ATMs from business rates, as changes to the way they are taxed could leave small shopkeepers facing significant bills.

In 2013 the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) ruled that cash machines situated outside the front of a shop should have a separate rates bill to the main business.

Business rates can cost convenience stores up to £15,000 per year, per machine. It is thought that more than 10,000 ATMs are liable to the charge, which will vary according to how often the machine is used and how much cash is withdrawn.

With the charges set to be backdated to 2010, the ACS has warned that the service is becoming too expensive and financially unviable for an increasing number of smaller shops.

Around 60% of convenience stores currently offer ATMs for their customers to use, but the ACS says changes to the way rates are calculated could lead to more shops having to introduce charges for using cash machines.

In a letter to the Government, the ACS, which represents thousands of independent retailers, called on ministers to scrap the charge on free ATMs, arguing that they offer customers access to their money at a time when many banks in town are closing.

A spokesperson for the trade body said: 'We believe ATMs are a high street enabler providing shared benefits to a range of traders, allowing consumers to access their cash and spend it within their local communities.

'Even within the current system, local authorities have powers to grant discretionary rate relief, and our guidance to local authorities written for the Future High Streets Forum says ATMs should get discretionary relief because they support all local businesses by making cash available.'

In response, a representative of the VOA said: 'We are currently reviewing ATM sites to ensure all sites that should be assessed are correctly rated. This treats all businesses equally, and ensures they pay their fair share of the overall business rates bill.

'We will continue to consult with the machine operators who will be affected by this exercise.'

In March 2015 the Government pledged the most 'ambitious' and 'wide-ranging review' of business rates for a generation, paving the way for a major overhaul of the existing system.

The review will examine how businesses use property, what the UK can learn from other countries about local business taxes, and how the system can be modernised so it better reflects changes in the value of property. It is set to report its findings by the 2016 Budget.

We can advise on a range of business issues, from managing your cash flow and boosting your profitability, to lowering your tax bill. Please contact us today to find out more.

Lifetime tax liability for average family climbs to £734,240

The average British family will pay almost three-quarters of a million pounds in tax over the course of a lifetime, new research suggests.

According to the Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA), an average household will pay £734,240 (in 2013/14 prices) in direct and indirect taxes during their lifetime.

The figure, which is based on data obtained from the Office for National Statistics, equates to a 2.3% increase on the amount calculated for 2012/13 (£717,650).

The TPA claims that over a lifetime, the average household pays £253,040 in income tax, some £146,775 in VAT, £92,795 in employee national insurance contributions, and a further £59,955 in council tax.

Commenting on the findings, TPA chief executive, Jonathan Isaby, said: 'This new analysis shows just how heavy the burden of taxation falls on each and every family across Britain, pushing up the cost of living.'

'Every arm of local and central government must redouble its efforts to root out unnecessary spending and inefficiency in everything they do, so that not a penny of this extraordinary bill is wasted. Britain's tax bill is too high - it must come down, and that means cutting out wasteful spending.'

The UK tax system is notoriously complicated, but with sensible tax planning it is possible to minimise your tax liability whilst remaining compliant with government legislation.

To find out more about how we can help you to reduce your tax bill, please get in touch. We would be delighted to assist you.


ESSENTIAL TAX DATES FOR SEPTEMBER

30 September
End of CT61 quarterly period.
Last day for UK businesses to reclaim EC VAT chargeable in 2014.


QUOTE OF THE MONTH

'While many retailers do pass this [VAT] saving on to customers it is disappointing that some are choosing not to. We urge all airside retailers to use this relief for the benefit of their customers.'

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, commenting on the news that many airport retailers are failing to pass on VAT savings to consumers


WEBSITE OF THE MONTH

www.techworld.com

The latest news and reviews to help you pick the best tech solutions for your business


ON OUR WEBSITE

The latest tax rates and information
The Tax Information section of our website is an essential resource for you and your business, and includes a summary of the recent Summer Budget.

Key issues for businesses
From advice on starting up in business, to VAT and corporation tax planning, the Your Business section of our website includes a raft of handy articles on key business topics.

Airport retailers 'must pass on VAT savings'
Treasury minister David Gauke has called on airport retailers to pass on VAT savings to their customers, following the news that many airport-based shops are currently choosing to keep some or all of the 20% saving applying to goods purchased by those travelling outside the EU.
Click here for the full story

'Sharp rise' in job opportunities as employers seek to take on school-leavers
The number of employers planning to hire school-leavers, apprentices and graduates has risen sharply, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Click here for the full story

Citizen's Advice warns of new pension scams
Savers over 55-years-old have been warned of repeated cold-calls and emails from fraudsters offering pension opportunities.
Click here for the full story

SME growth remains steady despite weak exports
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has announced the growth rates among SMEs in the three months to July.
Click here for the full story

Bank lending to business forecast to rise for time since financial crash
Bank lending to businesses is expected to rise this year for the first time since the financial crash, new figures suggest.
Click here for the full story