Anna’s Accountancy Alerts – Week 39 (27th December 2021 – 2nd January 2022)


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Costs of going green

A report published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed that the costs associated with going green have impacted small firms’ plans for becoming more sustainable.

The FSB’s report found that the majority of UK small firms are concerned about climate change but just one in three has plans in place to combat it.

67% of firms polled stated that they have started to address their energy usage, and 18% said they have invested in microgeneration.

However, 24% of businesses said that uncertainty around return on investment has prevented them from taking action, and 22% cited a lack of sufficient capital to invest in assets as a barrier.

Payment plan

HMRC reports that its self-serve time to pay payment plan has brought in £46m since April with 20,000 people settling outstanding tax bills.

The HMRC’s self-serve time to pay system was set up to help taxpayers struggling to pay their bills in full and it allows self-assessment taxpayers to manage how they pay their tax.

HMRC stated that last year, 123,000 taxpayers used self-serve time to pay to spread the cost of their 2019-20 tax bill which was worth £460m.

The self-assessment deadline is 31 January 2022 for 2020-21 tax returns, and this is the date to pay any outstanding tax.

Minimum wage

Over 200 businesses have failed to pay the minimum wage to 12,000 workers and could face £2m in penalties

Companies named include groups such as outsourcer Mitie, transport firm Go-Ahead, retailer House of Frazer, and food producer Greencore.

The list highlighted the different ways in which these businesses underpaid their staff, 37% made deductions to pay with workers having to pay to comply with its dress code, 29% were highlighted for unpaid working time such as mandatory training, trial shifts, or travel time, 16% failed to pay the correct rate to apprentices, and 11% failed to increase wages when the rate was increased by the government.

These businesses have since had to pay back what they owe to staff and face fines of up to 200% of what they owe, the total fines on this list could possibly reach around £2m.

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