General News

Businesses urged to claim £2500 voucher for broadband boost –

Is your business struggling with its broadband speed? Check out this recent government press release.

Businesses around the UK are being urged to make use of a £2500 voucher for gigabit broadband speeds before the scheme closes due to high demand.

The Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme has already helped more than 7000 UK businesses and surrounding homes, who have used the vouchers to contribute to (and in many cases fully fund) the installation cost of a full fibre gigabit capable connection.

The £67 million scheme was initially expected to run until March 2021, but high demand for vouchers means that funds are now expected to be committed a year earlier, and perhaps even sooner if the current success of the scheme continues to grow. To date, demand for the scheme has been strongest in the South West, followed by the South East, Yorkshire and the North West.

For the full article follow the link below:


WiRE Charity Network and Trade Fair – Tuesday 27th November 2018

WiRE  Charity Network and Trade Fair

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Mini Trade Fair

To celebrate our second anniversary, and to promote the WiRE ethos of support, networking and the exchanging of skills between women in business, we are holding a mini Trade Fair at our premises in Wickhambrook.

Some of our attendees will be showcasing their products and services in our meeting rooms, all promoting what they do best!   Money raised will be donated to West Suffolk Hospital’s My WiSH Charity.  (All spaces for stands have now been taken).


Please come along to support your fellow Women in Rural Enterprise colleagues, to network, buy some goodies and perhaps make new contacts.  The usual meeting cost of £5 for WiRE members and £8 for non-WiRE members will apply in this instance.  For every attendee, £5 will be donated to our charity.

The event will run from 10.00 until 12.00, with stand set-up from 9.15, followed by a celebratory light lunch of savoury nibbles and a glass of ‘something fizzy’.

We do hope that you will join us for what we anticipate will be a very enjoyable morning.


If you would like to book a place please contact us on 01440 821991 or email  We would require payment in advance so that we can manage the catering numbers and this can be done online to The Rainbird Partnership, sort code 60-10-21, account number 90168917.

We hope to see you all on the 27th.




From The 1st April 2019 VAT registered businesses must send their VAT returns to HMRC using MTD software.

If your taxable turnover drops below the VAT threshold, currently £85,000, you must still submit returns through MTD software unless you deregister or are exempt from MTD for VAT.

Even if your business is below the VAT threshold you can sign up for MTD for income tax purposes.


Is my business compatible to sign up for MTD?

Business records will need to be kept digitally from the start of your accounting period. If you don’t keep digital records or your software isn’t compatible you will need to look for suitable software.

HMRC have provided a list of suitable and MTD-compatible software here:

For more details on MTD follow the link below:


Pensions Re-enrolment –

Every three years you must put certain staff back into a pension scheme. This is called ‘re-enrolment’.  Your re-enrolment duties must be carried out approximately three years after your automatic enrolment staging date. Your duties will vary depending on whether you identify that you have staff to re-enrol, or whether you have no staff to re-enrol. Either way, you will need to complete a re-declaration of compliance to tell us how you have met your duties.

Remember, re-enrolment and re-declaration is your legal duty and if you don’t act you could be fined.

Already carried out your first re-enrolment? Find out what you’ll need to do for your next re-enrolment.

What you need to do and by when

1. Choose your re-enrolment date 

Choose your re-enrolment date from within a six-month window, which starts three months before the third anniversary of your automatic enrolment staging date and ends three months after it.

On your chosen re-enrolment date, you’ll need to assess certain staff to work out if you need to put them back into your pension scheme.

Use our example letter template to write to staff to tell them that you’ve put them back into a pension scheme.

Favorable Charitable VAT issue decided by the FTT (First Tier Tribunal) – – Les Howard

Thanks to the Wellcome Trust Ltd (TC06761), the first tier tribunal (FTT) has decided an important VAT issue in favour of the charitable sector. However, HMRC may launch a further appeal as there is £13m of VAT at stake.

The facts

The Wellcome trust incurred costs in relation to its investment activities. These investments are largely overseas. It receives advice from investment managers within and outside the EU. These have been accepted as non-economic business activities.

From January 2010 the trust treated the ‘place of supply’ of these services as being in the UK, which is the location of the recipient of the services. This is called the “general rule” and it applies widely to professional and other services. Where the recipient, like the trust, is not fully taxable, this generates irrecoverable VAT – in this case, £13m over a four-year period.

The tribunal commented that UK VAT legislation is “clearly not compliant” with European legislation on this point. This raises the further question of how such supplies will be treated post-Brexit. That is for a later article!

The rules

Although the trust is a corporate body, its activities have long been held not to be economic. This was the ruling of the ECJ back in 1999 (case ref; C-155/94).

The FTT sought to determine whether the trust should be treated as ‘a taxable person acting as such’ in relation to those investment activities in the EU Directive 2006/112 (PVD), art 44. If so, then the place of supply is the UK, and the input tax is established.

However, the FTT reviewed art 44 in light of the implementing regulations (EU 282/2011) art 19, which provide that a taxable person receiving services for private purposes shall be deemed to be a non-taxable person. The FTT held that non-economic business activities should be treated in the same way. Thus, the place of supply was where the supplier is located, and more significantly, no input tax loss arises.

HMRC guidance

HMRC guidance states that, where charities receive services from outside the EU, the place of supply rules mean that the value of the services is added to their taxable supplies (VAT Notice 700/12, para 4.6). This potentially triggers a liability to register for VAT.

Where the charity is VAT registered, the charity may suffer the loss of irrecoverable input tax, in line with the charity’s “business: non-business” method of allocating expenses.


Charities should contact their regular VAT advisers promptly in order to submit claims for such input tax.

Budget Summary 2018 –

Budget 2018: 24 things you need to know

The Chancellor has presented his Budget to Parliament – here’s a summary of what was announced.

Cartoon Chancellor stood outside No.11

1. Public finances have reached a turning point

Since 2009-2010 the deficit has fallen by four-fifths, from 9.9% to 1.9%. Public debt peaked in 2016-17 and is now falling. On average, spending on public services will grow 1.2% above inflation a year from next year until 2023-24.

2. Employment is at a near record high and the OBR forecasts it is set to keep growing

The economy has grown every year since 2010, and is projected to continue growing in each year of the forecast. The unemployment rate is at its lowest for over 40 years, there are over 3.3 million more people in work since 2010 and the OBR forecasts 800,000 more jobs by 2022.

3. National Living Wage will increase to £8.21

From April 2019 the National Living Wage will increase from £7.83 an hour to £8.21. This will benefit around 2.4 million workers, and is a £690 annual pay rise for a full-time worker.

4. The tax-free Personal Allowance will rise to £12,500

The Personal Allowance – the amount you earn before you have to start paying income tax– will increase by a further £650 in April 2019 to £12,500.

This rise comes a year earlier than planned, and will be maintained in 2020. This means a basic rate taxpayer will pay £1,205 less tax in 2019-20 than in 2010-11.

5. The Higher Rate Threshold will increase from £46,350 to £50,000 in April 2019

The amount people will have to earn before they pay tax at 40% will increase from £46,350 to £50,000 in April 2019.

This means that in 2019-20, there will be nearly 1 million fewer higher rate taxpayers than in 2015-16.

6. £1.7 billion to increase existing work allowances in Universal Credit

Increases to work allowances will mean working parents and people with disabilities claiming Universal Credit will be £630 better off each year.

People will also receive extra help as they move from their existing benefits to Universal Credit and there will be targeted support for people repaying debts.

7. A new railcard for all young people aged 26 to 30, available nationally by the end of the year

The first digital only railcard will offer up to a 1/3 off most rail travel.

8. Fuel duty will remain frozen for a ninth year

In 2019, fuel duty will remain frozen for the ninth year in a row, saving the average driver £1,000 since 2010.

9. Short-haul rates of Air Passenger Duty will not rise

Short-haul rates of Air Passenger Duty will not rise for the eighth year in a row, keeping costs down for 80% of passengers. Long-haul rates will rise in line with inflation.

10. Duty on beer, cider and spirits remains frozen

The cost of a pint of beer will be 2p lower than if duty had risen by inflation.

11. NHS funding will increase, including more spending for mental health

The NHS is the public’s number one priority and the government will increase its budget by £20.5 billion after inflation by 2023-24. Within this, the NHS will increase mental health spending by more than £2 billion a year by 2023-24.

12. £650 million for social care next year

Local authorities in England will receive a further £650 million in social care funding next year.

13. Lifting the borrowing cap to allow local authorities to build more housing

From today in England the government is lifting the cap on the amount of money local authorities are able to borrow to build housing. Local authorities fund housing through a separate Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

The Welsh Government is also taking immediate steps to lift the cap in Wales.

14. £400 million extra for schools this year

This will be £10,000 for the average primary school and £50,000 for the average secondary school.

15. A commemorative 50p Brexit coin will be available to buy from Spring 2019

The Royal Mint will create a new commemorative Brexit coin to mark the UK’s exit from the European Union.

16. Up to £19 million in commemoration of the Centenary of the WWI Armistice

  • Up to £8 million to help with the cost of repairs and alternations to village halls, Miners’ welfare facilities and Armed Forces organisations’ facilities.
  • £10 million to support veterans with mental health needs through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.
  • £1 million for First World War Battlefield visits for school students.

17. £30 billion to improve roads

A £28.8 billion National Roads Fund, paid for by road tax, includes £25.3 billion for the Strategic Road Network (motorways, trunk and A roads). The largest ever investment of this kind.

It will also help fund the new network of local roads (known as the Major Road Network), and larger local road projects.

Local authorities will receive £420 million to fix potholes on roads and renew bridges and tunnels, and there will be a £150 million to improve local traffic hotspots such as roundabouts.

18. More money for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will all get more money to spend in devolved areas, including education, health and housing. This Budget means:

  • over £950 million more for the Scottish Government through to 2020-21
  • over £550 million more for the Welsh Government through to 2020-21
  • over £320 million more for a Northern Ireland Executive through to 2020-21

There will also be £150 million for a Tay Cities Deal, £120 million for a North Wales Growth Deal, £350 million for a Belfast City Region Deal and opening negotiations on Derry/Londonderry and Strabane City Region Deal.

19. Over £1.5 billion to support the high street

Small retail businesses will see their business rates bills cut by a third for two years from April 2019, saving them £900 million.

Local high streets will benefit from £675 million to improve transport links, re-develop empty shops as homes and offices and restore and re-use old and historic properties.

Public lavatories will receive 100% business rates relief.

This adds to previous reductions in business rates since Budget 2016 which will save firms over £12 billion over the next five years.

20. £1 billion more for defence over the next two years

The Ministry of Defence will receive an extra £1 billion to help protect the UK against changing threats such as the rise in cyber-attacks and the resurgence of state-based threats.

This funding adds to the £800 million announced earlier this year.

21. Increasing funding to help departments to prepare for Brexit to over £4 billion

The government is providing £500 million of additional funding for departments to prepare for Brexit for 2019-20. This is on top of the £1.5 billion already announced for that year.

22. The Annual Investment Allowance will increase to £1 million from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020

The government will increase the Annual Investment Allowance five-fold from £200,000 to £1 million to help businesses to invest and grow.

Also, from October 2018, businesses will be able to deduct 2% of the cost of any new non-residential structures and buildings off their profits before they pay tax.

23. A 2% digital services tax on large digital firms

From April 2020, large social media platforms, search engines and online marketplaces will pay a 2% tax on the revenues they earn which are linked to UK users.

24. Further changes to the apprenticeship levy to support employers

From April, large businesses will be able to invest up to 25% of their apprenticeship levy to support apprentices in their supply chain.

Some employers will pay half of what they currently pay for apprenticeship training – from 10% to 5%. The government will pay the remaining 95%. We will announce further details on when this will be available in early 2019.


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