Also in the news this week - 31 July 2015

Tax deadline day is here

Today, July 31, is tax deadline day for anyone that has to complete a self-assessment form, including company directors and the self-employed. It means you have to make a 'payment on account' by the end of July — one of the two advance payments towards your tax bill each year. Failing to comply could incur a surcharge, interest payments or even the seizure of assets. Figures highlighted by Funding Options show that HMRC used its power to seize business assets to settle late tax bills against 1,080 SMEs last year. Under powers known as distraint, HMRC can seize assets to cover the value of unpaid tax, penalties and interest payments without a court order.

Government commissioner to tackle payment disputes

The Government has outlined plans to give a new Small Business Commissioner the power to help small businesses handle disputes over late payment and other supply chain practices. Small business minister Anna Soubry said: "Small businesses are owed £26 billion in late payments. The Small Business Commissioner will tackle the imbalance of bargaining power between small suppliers and large customers, and encourage them to get round the table and sort out disputes at a fraction of the cost of going to court. It will also provide advice, investigate complaints and see where further action is needed to clamp down on unfair practices."

Networking lessons

Business networking generates the majority of leads for over a quarter of SMEs and start-ups according to new research by Premierline in collaboration with BNI. In addition, 92% said referral groups are successful for generating leads. However, the poll also found that a quarter of people admit they have forgotten the name of the person they are introducing and over half of networkers forget to bring business cards.

Dementia affects one in ten firms

Nearly one in ten (8%) of UK companies have already encountered employees with dementia, according to new research from PMI Health Group. It found that 90% of UK HR professionals believe dementia is a concern for business and 74% agree with the Alzheimer's Society's recent calls for every company in the UK to have a dementia policy. The research also revealed that 29% of HR professionals have had to give staff time off to look after relatives with dementia and 69% now offer flexible working to staff who are caring for elderly relatives.

via Business Feeds

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