News and information about homes and working from home

UK unemployment rate falls to 4.8% in March

AVASK Marketing Business News, COVID-19 News

The UK’s unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.8% in the three months to March despite the country still being in lockdown, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). It is a drop from the 4.9% rate recorded by the ONS in February. The number of payroll employees increased for …

Government confirms start date for Plastic Packaging Tax

AVASK Marketing Business News

The UK government has confirmed that its plastic packaging tax (PPT) will come into force on 1 April 2022. The PPT was announced in the Spring Budget and will be charged at a rate of £200 per metric ton of chargeable plastic packaging components of a single specification. It will …

News and Information from AVASK about the COVID-19 Coronavirus and how AVASK is responding

Businesses planning to adopt ‘hybrid’ working after easing of COVID restrictions

AVASK Marketing Business News, Company News, COVID-19 News, E-commerce News

A survey carried out by the Institute of Directors (IoD) has found that businesses are planning to adopt so-called ‘hybrid’ working once the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions are fully lifted. The survey of 600 business leaders revealed that 63% of firms intend to shift towards one to four days of …

CBI calls for more clarity on COVID-19 roadmap

AVASK Marketing Business News

The government must provide further details on its roadmap out of lockdown to bolster the economic recovery, says the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). At present, social distancing guidelines mean only two-thirds of employees can physically work on premises, and firms are operating at 81% of pre-pandemic capacity, according to a CBI survey. Consequently, without clarity on …

News and Information from AVASK about HMRC

HMRC sets out penalty regime for SEISS abuse

AVASK Marketing Business News

The fourth Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant is now live and HMRC has set out the penalties for abuse. An overclaimed SEISS grant includes any amount of grant which the self-employed were not entitled to receive or was more than the amount HMRC said the applicant was entitled to …

News and Information from AVASK about the COVID-19 Coronavirus and how AVASK is responding

Pandemic caused biggest annual employment fall for older workers

AVASK Marketing Business News

Research carried out by the Resolution Foundation has found that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused the biggest annual employment reduction for older workers since the 1980s. In a new report, the Foundation revealed that the pandemic has created ‘a U-shaped employment shock’, affecting younger and older workers more than …

News and information about cyber security

HMRC records huge increase in scam attempts

AVASK Marketing Business News

Last year saw a major increase in the public reporting suspicious contact to HMRC. Figures from the tax authority show HMRC received 975,420 referrals of suspicious contact in 2020, a 71.3% increase from the 569,140 reported the previous year. Over half of these referrals relate to bogus tax rebates. However, …

IPSE demands clarity on gig economy

AVASK Marketing Business News

The government needs to provide clarity around the status and rights of gig economy workers, says the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE). The demand follows the Court of Appeal’s ruling that Addison Lee drivers are in fact workers and entitled to holiday pay and the national minimum …

News and Information from AVASK about HMRC

HMRC contacting claimants for fourth self-employed grant

AVASK Marketing Business News

The online service for applications for the fourth Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant is now open for claims, HMRC has confirmed. All applications must be submitted by the individual self-employed worker and cannot be handled by accountants or tax advisers. The fourth grant will be 80% of three months’ …

News and information about cyber security

Cyber-attacks on the rise for businesses

AVASK Marketing Business News

The proportion of businesses targeted by cyber criminals in the past year increased from 38% to 43%, according to the insurer Hiscox. The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2021 showed that over a quarter of those business targeted have experienced five attacks or more. These cyber-attacks are pushing many firms to …

News and information about homes and working from home

New 95% mortgage scheme launched

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A new government-backed mortgage scheme to help people with 5% deposits get on to the housing ladder is available to lenders from 19 April 2021. First announced at the 2021 Budget, the scheme will help first-time buyers or current homeowners secure a mortgage with just a 5% deposit to buy …

accounting-news

Recent changes to IR35 ‘undermine the self-employed’, says IPSE

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The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has stated that the recent changes to the rules relating to off-payroll workers, commonly known as IR35, ‘undermine the self-employed at the worst possible time’. The changes to IR35 took effect on 6 April 2021, and shift responsibility for making the …

News and Information from AVASK about the UK Government

UK economy improved in February despite lockdown

AVASK Marketing Business News

The UK economy returned to modest growth in February despite the country being under lockdown but remains sharply below its pre-pandemic peak, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The latest data released by ONS shows that UK GDP rose by 0.4% in February, having shrunk in January. Growth …

News and information about vehicle grants

UK cuts electric vehicle grants by £500

AVASK Marketing Business News

The government has cut the Plug-in Car Grant and Van & Truck Grant by £500 and lowered the pricing cap on qualifying electric vehicles. The Department for Transport will now provide grants of up to £2,500 for electric vehicles on cars priced under £35,000. This is a reduction from the …

News and Information from AVASK about HMRC

New claims required for home working tax relief

AVASK Marketing Business News

Employees who are working from home will need to make new claims for tax relief for the 2021/22 tax year, HMRC has stated. From 6 April 2020, employers have been able to pay employees up to £6 a week tax-free to cover additional costs if they have had to work …

News and Information from AVASK about the UK Government

Business confidence boosted by plans to re-open UK economy

AVASK Marketing Business News

A survey carried out by the Institute of Directors (IoD) has revealed that confidence amongst UK businesses has been boosted by plans to re-open the UK economy. The IoD’s latest confidence tracker found that business leaders’ net optimism in the outlook for their organisations rose from +36 to +41. From …

News and information affecting businesses from AVASK

IMF upgrades UK economic forecasts for 2021 and 2022

AVASK Marketing Business News

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has upgraded its UK economic forecasts for 2021 and 2022. The IMF predicts economic growth of 5.3% this year and growth of 5.1% in 2022. However, the UK economy is still only predicted to return to its pre-pandemic size by late 2022. Had governments failed …

News and information from AVASK about HM Treasury, London, UK

Start of new tax year ushers in raft of fiscal changes

AVASK Marketing Business News

The 6 April start of the new tax year sees important fiscal and business changes come into effect, including the introduction of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS). The RLS provides financial support to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme gives lenders a guarantee of 80% …