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Insolvency tax dodgers face five-year scrutiny by HMRC

TAX EVADERS who become insolvent to dodge tax obligations face up to five years' scrutiny from HM Revenue & Customs. The taxman will monitor the tax affairs of individuals and businesses who have deliberately evaded tax for up to five years under the Managing Serious Defaulters scheme in order to ensure they "comply with their tax obligations and permanently change their behaviour". It replaces the previous Managing Deliberate Defaulters scheme, which has been running since 2011 with the aim of returning evaders back to the straight and narrow through close monitoring, with HMRC reporting that early indications suggest that those monitored are indeed disclosing previously undeclared income and amending previous tax returns. More than 3,000 evaders had been placed in the existing scheme since it was launched in February 2011, with those currently monitored under it to...

Minimum wage increase is “unwelcome” news for small business owners

Forum of Private Business fears small companies could struggle with 12p wage increase the government’s plan to increase the minimum wage has met with criticism from some leading business bodies. Set to come into practice in October, the new legislation will increase pay for adults by 12p per hour to £6.31, while 18 to 20 year olds will be paid a 5p per hour increase, taking their pay to £5.03. The pay increases, which are set below current inflation levels, were recommended to government by the Low Pay Commission. However, despite the commission advising government to freeze pay for apprentices, business secretary Vince Cable announced that the government would raise apprentice wages by 3p to £2.68 an hour. Head of policy at the Forum of Private Business fears that small business owners may struggle to pay the increased wages. He...