Tax

Deadline looms for paper returns – People wishing to file their tax return on paper face a looming deadline, but flexible workers in the self-assessment process need to be aware of the rules, the BBC says. About one in 10 people in the system files tax returns on paper. The deadline for doing so is 31 October, while online filing has a deadline of the end of January 2017. Experts suggest more people may be in the system due to the rising number of entrepreneurs and self-employed freelancers found in the more flexible “gig” economy.

Corporation tax could be cut to 10% in event of “brutal Brexit” – Downing Street advisers have suggested the UK could cut its corporation tax rate to 10% if the EU makes Brexit difficult and resists efforts to preserve passporting rights for Britain’s financial services companies. A source familiar with the thinking said: “People say we have not got any cards. We have some quite good cards we can play if they start getting difficult with us. If they’re saying no passporting and high trade tariffs we can cut corporation tax to 10%.” However, a No 10 spokesman said no formal proposals had yet been put forward for a UK corporation tax cut: “There’s nothing like that being floated at this stage.”

Small business and enterprise

Signs of a successful entrepreneur – Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners, details the tell-tale signs of a successful entrepreneur in the Sunday Times. Rarely are entrepreneurs good at both sales and cost control, says Mr Johnson. Those adept at the latter are usually accountants and the strongest business partnerships are often a combination of the two different skills. Other signals are a “hunger to scale up” the ability to hand over responsibility to talented individuals.

Pension restrictions boost VCT investments – Despite the number of the tax-efficient savings vehicles raising funds falling by almost a quarter over the 2015-16 tax year, investors put £435m into VCTs, equalling the previous years’ figure.

UK economy, finance and markets

Pressures increase on traditional high street – More than 2,600 high street shops closed in the first six months of 2016, while new openings have fallen to the lowest level for five years, according to a report from PwC and the Local Data Company. Overall there were 503 fewer by June – the biggest loss since 2012. Matthew Hopkinson, director of the Local Data Company, said: “The spaces left by the traditional occupants of our high streets are being increasingly filled by health care operators, food and beverage operators and the ongoing rise of the discounters.”

Growth slows in third quarter – Economic growth in Britain nearly halved during the third quarter to 0.4%, official figures due on Thursday are expected to show. Economists believe that the ONS will say that GDP grew by 0.4% over the July to September period, compared to the 0.7% growth achieved during the second quarter.

Weak pound prompts flood of investment by Americans living in UK – Bambridge Accountants has said it has seen a threefold increase in the number of US clients moving money to the UK following the fall in sterling, looking for investment and property bargains.

Home sales down – Figures from HMRC show that despite record low mortgage rates, the number of homes sold in the UK in September fell by 4.3%. This was 11.3% lower than in September 2015.

Other

Three-quarters of Brits commit “micro-crimes” – Research from YouGov shows 74% of Brits are “micro-criminals” – willing to lie about their age to get a better deal or take plastic bags without paying for them. The most common micro-crime was paying someone cash-in-hand knowing that they won’t pay tax, with 43% confessing to this. Illegally streaming media is the second most commonly committed crime. YouGov said 77% of men were micro-criminals compared to 71% of women, while 78% of middle class people are likely to have committed a micro-crime compared to 69% of working class people. Other top micro-crimes are not paying public transport fares, lying about a child’s age to get a cheaper deal and putting goods through a self-service till for less than full price.

Christian Elmes, Partner

Christian Elmes trained at PwC and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1999, before moving to Morgan Stanley (2000-2002) as Associate in the Investment Banking Division (IBD).

He was appointed Director of Finance, Teather & Greenwood Investment Management in 2002 and moved with the Tax Efficient Solutions team to Smith & Williamson in 2004, becoming Deputy head of the department. He left to co-found Enterprise in 2011.

Over the last ten years, Christian has been responsible for developing a number of tax efficient products, particularly Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS). He is able to lead on tax efficient product development from inception through to completion, because of his financial and tax background and commercial experience.
Christian is competent across a broad range of sectors including, leisure and hospitality, media, property and renewable energy.

Christian is a non-executive board member to a number of leisure and hospitality companies, Casper & Cole Ltd, Wright & Bell Ltd, Ruth & Robinson Ltd, Camm & Hooper Ltd and Darwin & Wallace Ltd.

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