The Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement

iStock_000090431079_Small.jpgAre you a business with a turnover in excess of £36m, or a supplier of goods or services to such a business? If so then you have an obligation to complete a Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement.

In 2014, the Walk Free Foundation estimated there were 35.8 million victims of slavery in its many forms worldwide. In 2013, the Home Office estimate that there are between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK. Since July 2014 the Home Office has tried to clamp down on the perpetrators with this statement the latest in a line of efforts.

The statement should include the details that your organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure slavery and human trafficking are not taking place. There is not a set format for the statement, but important parts to include would be your due diligence process and any measures you have taken to ensure slavery and trafficking are not taking place, as well as detailing the ways you will continue to monitor the situation into the future.

If you take no such measures, you are also required to publish a statement to that effect. Obviously admitting to this could cause some embarrassment, not to mention loss of business. If you feel no need to produce a statement, the Home Office could compel you to do so.

The completed and formally approved statement should be published on your company website with prominent links to highlight it from your home page. This should be undertaken as soon as possible with the obligation to do so already in force, with the need to update the statement every financial year.

For more information, visit GOV.UK.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Newsletter Summer 2016

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With Summer fast approaching, its time for our Summer 2016 edition of the newsletter, this time featuring:

  • Highlights from the 2016 Budget
  • All change for ISAs – new tax-free ways to save
  • The rules governing holiday and pay
  • Business Round-Up
  • Web Watch
  • Reminders for your Summer Diary
  • And much more

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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Undeclared Income – It’s On The Cards!

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Did you know that HMRC can track your income by obtaining information about the use of credit and debit cards?

Any individual or business accepting credit or debit card payments for goods or services must be registered with HMRC, who have the power to gather information from the card processing companies.   Although no data is disclosed regarding the actual cards or cardholders, the details they receive are  used to monitor the value of sales for any business using them .  This can then be compared to the income declared on tax returns.

In order to target undisclosed income obtained in this way, HMRC have been operating a Voluntary  Credit Card Disclosure Scheme whereby anyone who has undeclared card income can come forward.  Although there are penalties, they are likely to be in the region of 10-20%, rather than the full 100% which would be levied if HMRC makes the first contact.

If you have undeclared card income, now is a good time to take advantage of the scheme while it is operating.  The first step is to contact HMRC and tell them you wish to take part, following which you have 4 months from the date of acknowledgement to make a full disclosure of all undeclared income or gains. HMRC will expect you co-operate fully with any enquiries they make, as well as remitting all underpaid tax within the time frame, to be considered for the lesser penalties.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Are Fathers More Committed?

iStock_000080815945_Small.jpgAccording to analysis from Trade Union Congress (TUC) fathers get paid 20% more than other men in similar jobs.

The ‘Pay and Parenthood’ report presented its findings which included the explanation that this ‘wage bonus’ could be due to fathers working longer hours and putting in more effort than those without children.

This positive discrimination towards fathers coincides with a survey held by the Fawcett Society, a charity promoting women’s rights. 29% of respondents felt fathers were more committed to their jobs after having a baby, as opposed to the 46% who felt mothers were less committed.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said ‘It says much about current attitudes that men with children are seen as more committed by employers, while mothers are still often treated as liabilities.’

She called for fathers to be given independent paid leave, not shared with their partner, and more opportunities for flexible working to promote workplace equality.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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10 Year Anniversary For Ed Gooderham

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This weeks edition of The South Wales Argus features an article on our very own Ed Gooderham in celebration of his 10 years at the helm!

Cwmbran-based accountancy firm Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of one of its partners leading the business.

Ed Gooderham, who qualified as a chartered accountant in 2002, has steered Green & Co, alongside business partner Nick Park, to double the size of the firm over the past ten years.

Read the whole article online.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

 

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Salary Review: It Pays To Talk

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42% of employees surveyed by law firm Lupton Fawcett Denison Till admitted they were uneasy about discussing their salary with their employer, while 35% would prefer to disclose their earnings to a colleague than talk with a manager.

This leads to potential problems further down the line according to senior associate Nathan Combes. “A common situation is that employees start to discuss their wage with colleagues, which can lead to individuals who are paid less feeling undervalued and leaving, resulting in a high staff turnover.” he said.

The solution? Communication is the key according to Mr Combes. He advised that organisations offer a salary review once a year in an environment where the employees feel comfortable to raise concerns.

“By giving employees a set date for a salary review, employers demonstrate that they are open to discussing the topic, removing the need for staff to turn to colleagues for advice on the matter.”

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Daily Penalties For 2014/15 Tax Returns Still Not Submitted

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For those whose 2014/15 self-assessment tax return was due at HMRC by 31 January 2016 but has still not been submitted, it’s now time to confront that pile of paperwork hidden away in the folder marked “To Do”.

For the majority of those in self-assessment the deadline was 31 January 2016, and if your tax return for the year ended 5 April 2015 was not submitted by that date, you should have already received a notification that you have been charged a late filing penalty of £100.

If the return was still not submitted by 30 April 2016, you will now be incurring daily penalties.  These are £10 per day up to a maximum of 90 days. Therefore, if the return remains outstanding at the end of July 2016 a further £900 is added to the £100 already levied.

If the return is six months late there is another penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater, and at 12 months overdue the penalty is again, 5% of the tax due or £300, if greater. If the taxpayer is deliberately withholding information then higher, behaviour based penalties will be imposed.

And it gets worse. If the tax return is late there is a chance that any tax due is also late, so in addition to the late filing penalties, there will also be late payment penalties.

Not only are you falling short of your obligations by not meeting the self-assessment deadlines, but burying your head in the sand is a costly business.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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