Is there such a thing as too much teamwork?

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Open plan offices and the use of messaging apps have encouraged always-on, constant collaboration at work. But research from Harvard’s Ethan Bernstein suggests that we develop more, and better, solutions to problems when we take occasional breaks from the group so we can ponder on our own. Such intermittent collaboration strikes an ideal balance between […]

Record keeping & tax: what, how and until when?

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Good record keeping is vital, not just to ensure timely and accurate filing of tax returns but also in the event of any challenge by HMRC. Penalties can also be levied if your records are incomplete or inaccurate. Generally, you need to keep sufficient records to support any income or expenses included in a tax […]

Charities’ annual return deadline 31 October 2018

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The cut-off date for submitting the 2017 annual return is 31 October 2018, if a charity has a 12-month accounting period (ends in December). While thousands of charities have already filed, the regulator cautions that those who have left it late risk trying to file nearer to the deadline, potentially without the correct information or […]

EU adopts proposal to cut VAT on e-books

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The Professional Publishers Association (PPA) has welcomed an EU decision to reduce VAT on online publications, including electronic books, newspapers and periodicals. At present, electronically supplied services such as digital publications are taxed at the standard VAT rate, which in the UK is 20%. This contrasts with traditional media, which is zero-rated. The directive, which […]

Small charities failing to provide accurate financial data

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According to a Charity Commission survey, not enough small charities are providing correct information in their annual returns because too many are relying on someone with insufficient knowledge of their organisation’s accounts, leading to errors. In a review of a sample of charities, 38% of charities with incomes below £25,000 per annum were found to […]

Childcare vouchers deadline 4 October 2018

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The Government will withdraw the tax and National Insurance relief associated with childcare vouchers for brand new applicants from 4 October 2018, with Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) providing help with childcare costs instead. For anyone who has not claimed childcare vouchers yet, it means they need to join in time for their employer to action their […]

Charities Commission shows its teeth

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The Charities Commission have publicised an inquiry they are holding into a charity that has repeatedly missed accounts filing deadlines.  The failure to file accounts on time is cited as evidence of mismanagement and misconduct; and reason to examine all financial and governance aspects of the charity.  Whether “naming and shaming” is really the most […]

Charities Against Fraud – new website and how to report an serious incident

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The Charity Commission and others have established the Charity Sector Counter Fraud Group (CSCFG) to help improve the charity sector’s resilience to fraud.  As part of this project they have set up a new website http://charitiesagainstfraud.org.uk/ Trustees should report any fraud in their charity to the police immediately, and also to the Charity Commission, under […]

Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme – HMRC Update

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Charities can use the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme to claim back tax on donations up to £8,000 (was £5,000 up to 5 April 2016).  See HMRC updated spreadsheets used for making such claims.   As with all of our tax tips and web pages this information is necessarily summarised and of a general nature.  […]

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