Amendment to Money Laundering Regulations to help the self employed small business

Dear Cameron,

I am now semi retired after 40 years as an accountant. My turnover was only £1400 for the year ending 31.3.2010 but on 1.10.2010 I will have to pay the £120 Money Laundering Regulation Fee, the fee would be the same even if my turnover was £50000.

As you will appreciate £120 is 8.5% of my turnover(my turnover will be much the same in the current tax year). I have to absorb most of this fee myself and consider it to be excessive given the value of my turnover. Could you please consider setting a turnover limit below which the fee is not payable, I would suggest £10000,or alternatively, having a fee which is on a sliding scale based on turnover.

 

Why is this idea important?

Dear Cameron,

I am now semi retired after 40 years as an accountant. My turnover was only £1400 for the year ending 31.3.2010 but on 1.10.2010 I will have to pay the £120 Money Laundering Regulation Fee, the fee would be the same even if my turnover was £50000.

As you will appreciate £120 is 8.5% of my turnover(my turnover will be much the same in the current tax year). I have to absorb most of this fee myself and consider it to be excessive given the value of my turnover. Could you please consider setting a turnover limit below which the fee is not payable, I would suggest £10000,or alternatively, having a fee which is on a sliding scale based on turnover.

 

Help for Small Business

I run a small restuarant and have been trading for just over a year. It has been hard to beat the ressesion but we are still paying the bills. For the 1st quarter of this financial year I registered for VAT. The overall running costs of a restuarant is high, staff, rent,rates, serevices in the region of £60k.   As most of our purchases are non-vatable we cannot claim much back. We are a very seasonal business and do most of our trade in the summer. I was devistated when I  was told my VAT bill is £4000 for the 1st Quarter of the year. All of our cashflow to help us through the winter has been eroded in this one bill. Surely this isn't a fair tax for a fairly new business who's turnover is going to be under £150k we are not even in a profit situation yet. We have now regerstered for the flat rate but that doesn't really help as we then can't claim any VAT back that we have paid so it works out that it is just in our favour but only by a few pounds. I can't see any help from the government in my situation. 

There should be a fairer system for the small start up business possibly on a sliding scale for VAT.

    

Why is this idea important?

I run a small restuarant and have been trading for just over a year. It has been hard to beat the ressesion but we are still paying the bills. For the 1st quarter of this financial year I registered for VAT. The overall running costs of a restuarant is high, staff, rent,rates, serevices in the region of £60k.   As most of our purchases are non-vatable we cannot claim much back. We are a very seasonal business and do most of our trade in the summer. I was devistated when I  was told my VAT bill is £4000 for the 1st Quarter of the year. All of our cashflow to help us through the winter has been eroded in this one bill. Surely this isn't a fair tax for a fairly new business who's turnover is going to be under £150k we are not even in a profit situation yet. We have now regerstered for the flat rate but that doesn't really help as we then can't claim any VAT back that we have paid so it works out that it is just in our favour but only by a few pounds. I can't see any help from the government in my situation. 

There should be a fairer system for the small start up business possibly on a sliding scale for VAT.

    

Capital Gains Tax

Why not make calculation/payment of Capital Gains Tax more like betting tax where you could pay an amount on the purchase price OR on any gain.  The advantages are much simpler for the citizen, govt gets some income earlier.

Why is this idea important?

Why not make calculation/payment of Capital Gains Tax more like betting tax where you could pay an amount on the purchase price OR on any gain.  The advantages are much simpler for the citizen, govt gets some income earlier.

Bank / Building Societies – Notification of Interest Rates

It should be mandatory for the saving institutions to mark clearly upon a customers statements both paper and inetrnet, the current rate of interest being paid and if it is gross or nett.

Also that they clearly mark on the statement under which license they are operating and who are the other banks under this license.

Why is this idea important?

It should be mandatory for the saving institutions to mark clearly upon a customers statements both paper and inetrnet, the current rate of interest being paid and if it is gross or nett.

Also that they clearly mark on the statement under which license they are operating and who are the other banks under this license.

Abolish requirement for electronic filing of company accounts

In view of the huge cost to business of what has been described as this "time bomb", please abolish the requirement for company accounts to be electronically filed in iXBRL language from 1st April 2011.

Why is this idea important?

In view of the huge cost to business of what has been described as this "time bomb", please abolish the requirement for company accounts to be electronically filed in iXBRL language from 1st April 2011.

Bona Vacancia daelings with small companies

Bona Vacancia's (BV) companies group of treasury solicitors deal with the assets of dissolved companies: essentially bank balances. I have no doubt that their role is essential when large companies are involved, but that is where that role should stop.

As an independent Engineering Consultant with my own Company I had the unfortunate experience of trying to deal with BV over a £2,000+ balance. I found that my solicitors' costs and BV's costs involved in proving who I was and complying with BVs' guidlines for a Discretionary Payment, made it just not worth the effort.

I was also advised by BV that they had no obligation to return MY money and that I get only one shot at doing it.

I suggest that the ambit of BV should be investigated in depth and dealings with small businesses: say those with assets/ cash balances of <£25,000, should be dealt with in a different and less demanding manner.

Indeed, it could be left to the bamks. 

Why is this idea important?

Bona Vacancia's (BV) companies group of treasury solicitors deal with the assets of dissolved companies: essentially bank balances. I have no doubt that their role is essential when large companies are involved, but that is where that role should stop.

As an independent Engineering Consultant with my own Company I had the unfortunate experience of trying to deal with BV over a £2,000+ balance. I found that my solicitors' costs and BV's costs involved in proving who I was and complying with BVs' guidlines for a Discretionary Payment, made it just not worth the effort.

I was also advised by BV that they had no obligation to return MY money and that I get only one shot at doing it.

I suggest that the ambit of BV should be investigated in depth and dealings with small businesses: say those with assets/ cash balances of <£25,000, should be dealt with in a different and less demanding manner.

Indeed, it could be left to the bamks. 

Repeal the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000

All financial services firms are subject to the Act and the interpretation placed on it by the Financial Services Authority.

Unbeknownst to Parliament the passing of FSMA breached financial advisers human rights by retrospectively removing the ability to claim protection under the Limitation Act 1980. All other UK citizens and firms are able to rely upon the 15 year longstop to protect thrmselves against stale claims.

Financial advisers have not only lost this protection but it has been amde retrospective. In this regard they have lesser rights than terrorists, sex offenders and other unsavoury groups.

If we are fighting for a fairer and more just society then this distortion must be removed.

Why is this idea important?

All financial services firms are subject to the Act and the interpretation placed on it by the Financial Services Authority.

Unbeknownst to Parliament the passing of FSMA breached financial advisers human rights by retrospectively removing the ability to claim protection under the Limitation Act 1980. All other UK citizens and firms are able to rely upon the 15 year longstop to protect thrmselves against stale claims.

Financial advisers have not only lost this protection but it has been amde retrospective. In this regard they have lesser rights than terrorists, sex offenders and other unsavoury groups.

If we are fighting for a fairer and more just society then this distortion must be removed.

zero tax rate for public sector

The salary of those in the public sector is paid for by tax revenue but is then in turn taxed at the standard tax rate – this results in a double handling of the money – in some cases up to 30% of an employees wages are returned simply to pay the wages of another public sector worker –this does not fit with any of the main principals of LEAN handling of cash revenue – at each stage there are inefficiencies

 

I propose reducing the tax rate in the public sector to 0% over a numbe rof years – achieved by a combination of gross pay freeze compensated by tax  rate reduction in order to provide a net income increase year on year

 

This would then provide saving due to reduced double handling  and allow a reduced inland revenue department to save costs through reduced work load and the need to handle issue e.g sending out coding notices etc to those no longer taxable

 

In addition it would provide an incentive to work in public sector while not increasing overall costs

Why is this idea important?

The salary of those in the public sector is paid for by tax revenue but is then in turn taxed at the standard tax rate – this results in a double handling of the money – in some cases up to 30% of an employees wages are returned simply to pay the wages of another public sector worker –this does not fit with any of the main principals of LEAN handling of cash revenue – at each stage there are inefficiencies

 

I propose reducing the tax rate in the public sector to 0% over a numbe rof years – achieved by a combination of gross pay freeze compensated by tax  rate reduction in order to provide a net income increase year on year

 

This would then provide saving due to reduced double handling  and allow a reduced inland revenue department to save costs through reduced work load and the need to handle issue e.g sending out coding notices etc to those no longer taxable

 

In addition it would provide an incentive to work in public sector while not increasing overall costs

Scrap having to informe on customers who pay with cash

Scrap banks having to informe on the customer who pay in or withdraw cash from there accounts

Gordon Brown changed the tax law when he was chancellor alowing Customs & Revenue to go back into your tax matters  20 years if thay want to

Why is this idea important?

Scrap banks having to informe on the customer who pay in or withdraw cash from there accounts

Gordon Brown changed the tax law when he was chancellor alowing Customs & Revenue to go back into your tax matters  20 years if thay want to

Income Tax

Why is it that fraud to do with avoidance of Income Tax of nearly £100bn is 100 times that of the avoidance of VAT which is approx £1bn?

If VAT collection is so successful why can't we use similar methods to collect Income Tax?

Why is this idea important?

Why is it that fraud to do with avoidance of Income Tax of nearly £100bn is 100 times that of the avoidance of VAT which is approx £1bn?

If VAT collection is so successful why can't we use similar methods to collect Income Tax?

Remove or extend the time period on tax free relocation allowances

Current HMRC rules around relocation policy is set at a maximum of £8,500 tax free alowance if you move to a new job within 1 year of the offer but with provision for parents of school children to apply for it beyond the year limit which can be granted at HMRC discretion. 

However, what about those people with caring responsiblities ? I delayed a relocation – offered by my employer – for 2/3 years in oreder to continue to provide respite care and a roof over the heads of my elderly parents, one of whom was diagniosed with Alzheimers. Instead I rented accommodation whilst returning home each week end to continue to support my elderly father's care of my mother.

Both parents (in their 80's) died within 6 months of each other and I was eventually able to move to once I had sold. However I was denied the tax free element (on the first £8,500 of the relocation) because of the current regulations. I was informed by HMRC reps that I should have a) turned down the new job offer (a promotion) at the time, b) moved my parents with me or c) put my parents into a home.

So here's my ideas:-

1) get rid of the time limit – its disciminatory and does not incenitivise people to be move to where the work is if they have family commitments. Instead regulate the number of times you can caim it by employer; and

2) an £8,500 tax free allowance for a full relocation is way out of date and needs increasing. 

  

Why is this idea important?

Current HMRC rules around relocation policy is set at a maximum of £8,500 tax free alowance if you move to a new job within 1 year of the offer but with provision for parents of school children to apply for it beyond the year limit which can be granted at HMRC discretion. 

However, what about those people with caring responsiblities ? I delayed a relocation – offered by my employer – for 2/3 years in oreder to continue to provide respite care and a roof over the heads of my elderly parents, one of whom was diagniosed with Alzheimers. Instead I rented accommodation whilst returning home each week end to continue to support my elderly father's care of my mother.

Both parents (in their 80's) died within 6 months of each other and I was eventually able to move to once I had sold. However I was denied the tax free element (on the first £8,500 of the relocation) because of the current regulations. I was informed by HMRC reps that I should have a) turned down the new job offer (a promotion) at the time, b) moved my parents with me or c) put my parents into a home.

So here's my ideas:-

1) get rid of the time limit – its disciminatory and does not incenitivise people to be move to where the work is if they have family commitments. Instead regulate the number of times you can caim it by employer; and

2) an £8,500 tax free allowance for a full relocation is way out of date and needs increasing. 

  

Cut back Intrastat and EC Sales requirements

These are the most laborius means of collecting statistics.

Is this data really that valuable?

And as for reverse charging VAT – it goes in and out and raises a princely NOTHING for HMRC!

Who exactly is gaining from all of the man hours that go into this (on both sides – Private Industry and Government) ?

Definitely not UK Business!

 

Why is this idea important?

These are the most laborius means of collecting statistics.

Is this data really that valuable?

And as for reverse charging VAT – it goes in and out and raises a princely NOTHING for HMRC!

Who exactly is gaining from all of the man hours that go into this (on both sides – Private Industry and Government) ?

Definitely not UK Business!

 

Remove the requirement of having a guarantee when opening a duty deferment account

Get rid of the need for a guarantee when setting up a duty deferment account.  It's unnecessary and burdensome and adds extra expense which isn’t necessary.

 

Goods imported from abroad are liable for import duty tax.  If you are importing through a large courier company then the courier company will usually pay this on your behalf and then invoice you before delivery.  For the privilege of handling the payment for you the courier company will usually add on an administration fee as well of around £15 a consignment – which for a firm like ours accumulated to hundreds of pounds a month.

To get around this administration fee you can open an account with HMRC directly and handle the payments yourself however in order to do so HMRC ask for a guarantee from your bank to ensure they always get paid.  Which produces its own set of issues:

  1. Setting up a guarantee as a small business isn’t easy.  Administratively we found it very time consuming and it involved many conversations with our bank because no-one seemed to have the authority to sign off the guarantee. 
  2. You have to be credit checked just as if taking out a loan and whilst the guarantee is in place the bank in effect views it as a loan.  Having the guarantee in place therefore reduces the likelihood of being able to take out other banking services as they look at the overall risk over all your accounts.
  3. Once you have the guarantee set up you are charged an arrangement fee of something like 1.5% annually and a service fee of 0.055% a quarter, by the bank.  Therefore reducing the growth prospects of the business.

What is gained here?  Out of choice if there’s one account that a firm would always choose to pay it would be HMRC.  And if you don’t pay then they have their own enforcement officers in every region of the country who can give you a visit – they’re called the police!  This is just another burden on business and unnecessary red tape.

Why is this idea important?

Get rid of the need for a guarantee when setting up a duty deferment account.  It's unnecessary and burdensome and adds extra expense which isn’t necessary.

 

Goods imported from abroad are liable for import duty tax.  If you are importing through a large courier company then the courier company will usually pay this on your behalf and then invoice you before delivery.  For the privilege of handling the payment for you the courier company will usually add on an administration fee as well of around £15 a consignment – which for a firm like ours accumulated to hundreds of pounds a month.

To get around this administration fee you can open an account with HMRC directly and handle the payments yourself however in order to do so HMRC ask for a guarantee from your bank to ensure they always get paid.  Which produces its own set of issues:

  1. Setting up a guarantee as a small business isn’t easy.  Administratively we found it very time consuming and it involved many conversations with our bank because no-one seemed to have the authority to sign off the guarantee. 
  2. You have to be credit checked just as if taking out a loan and whilst the guarantee is in place the bank in effect views it as a loan.  Having the guarantee in place therefore reduces the likelihood of being able to take out other banking services as they look at the overall risk over all your accounts.
  3. Once you have the guarantee set up you are charged an arrangement fee of something like 1.5% annually and a service fee of 0.055% a quarter, by the bank.  Therefore reducing the growth prospects of the business.

What is gained here?  Out of choice if there’s one account that a firm would always choose to pay it would be HMRC.  And if you don’t pay then they have their own enforcement officers in every region of the country who can give you a visit – they’re called the police!  This is just another burden on business and unnecessary red tape.

Remove charge to stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on VAT

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is currently charged on the VAT-inclusive element of the purchase price of land or buildings and on the VAT-inclusive total of any rents paid under a lease of land or buildings. 

This charge should be removed so that SDLT is only levied on the VAT-exclusive purchase price and/or rent.

Why is this idea important?

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is currently charged on the VAT-inclusive element of the purchase price of land or buildings and on the VAT-inclusive total of any rents paid under a lease of land or buildings. 

This charge should be removed so that SDLT is only levied on the VAT-exclusive purchase price and/or rent.

PERMIT VAT REGISTERED BUSINESS TO INVOICE ANOTHER VAT REG BUSINESS NET OF VAT

At present a VAT reg. business has to add VAT to an invoice to another VAT reg.company.

The VAT on the invoice has to be then claimed back from C&E.

If a EU VAT reg business exports to a U.K. reg. VAT business they are allowed to invoice net of the VAT

Surely it will save huge amounts of admin money from C&E and also free unnecessary paperwork from a small business if U.K. invoices can be sent without VAT added to an invoice for a VAT reg business.

Why is this idea important?

At present a VAT reg. business has to add VAT to an invoice to another VAT reg.company.

The VAT on the invoice has to be then claimed back from C&E.

If a EU VAT reg business exports to a U.K. reg. VAT business they are allowed to invoice net of the VAT

Surely it will save huge amounts of admin money from C&E and also free unnecessary paperwork from a small business if U.K. invoices can be sent without VAT added to an invoice for a VAT reg business.

Abolish the need to submit an annual return to companies house

Abolish the need to submit an annual return to companies house for small businesses. Every year it costs me £15 just to log on to a web site, tick a box and click send. £15 may not sound like much but there are penalties for failing to submit the return and it can lead to losing your limited company.

Why not make it mandatory to submit a return only if something changes? There must be millions of small limited companies in which nothing changes from year to year, yet we have to jump through this stupid revenue-raising hoop.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish the need to submit an annual return to companies house for small businesses. Every year it costs me £15 just to log on to a web site, tick a box and click send. £15 may not sound like much but there are penalties for failing to submit the return and it can lead to losing your limited company.

Why not make it mandatory to submit a return only if something changes? There must be millions of small limited companies in which nothing changes from year to year, yet we have to jump through this stupid revenue-raising hoop.

Stop nonsensical automatic penalties

Where a company has been put into dormancy or someone's tax return has been zero for some years (while they bring up children, for example) the situation should be assumed NOT to have changed until and unless the relevant authority is notified.

Why is this idea important?

Where a company has been put into dormancy or someone's tax return has been zero for some years (while they bring up children, for example) the situation should be assumed NOT to have changed until and unless the relevant authority is notified.

Gift Aid on items donated to charity shops

The Gift Aid scheme for goods donated to charity shops should be simplified to encourage charitable giving and help charities carry out their vital work.  Members of the public that wish to Gift Aid donated goods should be allowed to make an enduring declaration for all their donations to charity shops.

Why is this idea important?

The Gift Aid scheme for goods donated to charity shops should be simplified to encourage charitable giving and help charities carry out their vital work.  Members of the public that wish to Gift Aid donated goods should be allowed to make an enduring declaration for all their donations to charity shops.

Reduce Fuel Duty and Introduce Road Charging instead

Significantly reduce the amount of duty charged on fuel, and offset this by introducing road charging on all motorways, on all other major trunk routes and in all conurbations of over 50,000 people.

Why is this idea important?

Significantly reduce the amount of duty charged on fuel, and offset this by introducing road charging on all motorways, on all other major trunk routes and in all conurbations of over 50,000 people.

Provide choice and convenience for all, and allow all Post Offices to issue Car Tax

Allow all Post Offices to provide the Car Tax service, thus giving real choice and convenience to those who want to pay for the Car Tax at a local Post Office. This reduces time spent and a greener way by avoiding the unnecessary travelling to adjacent towns to find a participating Post Office.

Why is this idea important?

Allow all Post Offices to provide the Car Tax service, thus giving real choice and convenience to those who want to pay for the Car Tax at a local Post Office. This reduces time spent and a greener way by avoiding the unnecessary travelling to adjacent towns to find a participating Post Office.

Remove Money Laundering For Term Assurance Life Cover

At present all companies and regualted individual who provide life assurance to the public have to prove the identity of clients. This is reasonable when there is an investment content e.g. for an offshore bond but not for death only term assurance cover. Drugs cartels and terrorists will not shelter their ill gotten gains in these contracts as the only provide a benefit on death or disability. Any barrier that prevents more people from adequately protecting theirs families should be removed.

Why is this idea important?

At present all companies and regualted individual who provide life assurance to the public have to prove the identity of clients. This is reasonable when there is an investment content e.g. for an offshore bond but not for death only term assurance cover. Drugs cartels and terrorists will not shelter their ill gotten gains in these contracts as the only provide a benefit on death or disability. Any barrier that prevents more people from adequately protecting theirs families should be removed.

Money Laundering Regs

Restore the de minimis limit of £50,00 T/O for tax agents to allow for the preparation of tax returns.    I have had to give up part-time self employment due to the cost of regulation which accompanied the introduction of the legislation, and I suspect that I am not the only one.

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Restore the de minimis limit of £50,00 T/O for tax agents to allow for the preparation of tax returns.    I have had to give up part-time self employment due to the cost of regulation which accompanied the introduction of the legislation, and I suspect that I am not the only one.