Tuesday, 8 September 2015

September 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to the September 2015 Newsletter from Easterbrook Eaton Limited

A leading trade body has this month warned that changes to the taxation of cash machines outside shops could result in smaller retailers being hit with bills running into tens of thousands of pounds. The Association of Convenience Stores is calling on the Government to remove the business rates charge imposed on ATMs, amid fears that the tax charge could result in the demise of free ATMs for shoppers.

Meanwhile, new data from the Taxpayers' Alliance has revealed that the average UK family will pay nearly three-quarters of a million pounds in tax over the course of their lifetime. Lowering your tax bill should form a key part of your financial planning, so contact us today for advice on how we can help you keep more of what you earn.

Small shops could face 'huge bills' after ATM business rate changes

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the Government to exempt ATMs from business rates, as changes to the way they are taxed could leave small shopkeepers facing significant bills.

In 2013 the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) ruled that cash machines situated outside the front of a shop should have a separate rates bill to the main business.

Business rates can cost convenience stores up to £15,000 per year, per machine. It is thought that more than 10,000 ATMs are liable to the charge, which will vary according to how often the machine is used and how much cash is withdrawn.

With the charges set to be backdated to 2010, the ACS has warned that the service is becoming too expensive and financially unviable for an increasing number of smaller shops.

Around 60% of convenience stores currently offer ATMs for their customers to use, but the ACS says changes to the way rates are calculated could lead to more shops having to introduce charges for using cash machines.

In a letter to the Government, the ACS, which represents thousands of independent retailers, called on ministers to scrap the charge on free ATMs, arguing that they offer customers access to their money at a time when many banks in town are closing.

A spokesperson for the trade body said: 'We believe ATMs are a high street enabler providing shared benefits to a range of traders, allowing consumers to access their cash and spend it within their local communities.

'Even within the current system, local authorities have powers to grant discretionary rate relief, and our guidance to local authorities written for the Future High Streets Forum says ATMs should get discretionary relief because they support all local businesses by making cash available.'

In response, a representative of the VOA said: 'We are currently reviewing ATM sites to ensure all sites that should be assessed are correctly rated. This treats all businesses equally, and ensures they pay their fair share of the overall business rates bill.

'We will continue to consult with the machine operators who will be affected by this exercise.'

In March 2015 the Government pledged the most 'ambitious' and 'wide-ranging review' of business rates for a generation, paving the way for a major overhaul of the existing system.

The review will examine how businesses use property, what the UK can learn from other countries about local business taxes, and how the system can be modernised so it better reflects changes in the value of property. It is set to report its findings by the 2016 Budget.

We can advise on a range of business issues, from managing your cash flow and boosting your profitability, to lowering your tax bill. Please contact us today to find out more.

Lifetime tax liability for average family climbs to £734,240

The average British family will pay almost three-quarters of a million pounds in tax over the course of a lifetime, new research suggests.

According to the Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA), an average household will pay £734,240 (in 2013/14 prices) in direct and indirect taxes during their lifetime.

The figure, which is based on data obtained from the Office for National Statistics, equates to a 2.3% increase on the amount calculated for 2012/13 (£717,650).

The TPA claims that over a lifetime, the average household pays £253,040 in income tax, some £146,775 in VAT, £92,795 in employee national insurance contributions, and a further £59,955 in council tax.

Commenting on the findings, TPA chief executive, Jonathan Isaby, said: 'This new analysis shows just how heavy the burden of taxation falls on each and every family across Britain, pushing up the cost of living.'

'Every arm of local and central government must redouble its efforts to root out unnecessary spending and inefficiency in everything they do, so that not a penny of this extraordinary bill is wasted. Britain's tax bill is too high - it must come down, and that means cutting out wasteful spending.'

The UK tax system is notoriously complicated, but with sensible tax planning it is possible to minimise your tax liability whilst remaining compliant with government legislation.

To find out more about how we can help you to reduce your tax bill, please get in touch. We would be delighted to assist you.

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