Things to look out for in 2015
A new Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent in the spring that will reduce burdens on companies when filing information at Companies House. One of the key proposals is the abolition of the annual return which will be replaced by a 'check and confirm' procedure. It is intended that each year companies will ensure that the information held by Companies House is correct by updating it as and when it changes.
It is also intended that there will be a new Register of People with Significant Control making it a legal obligation for companies to identify people who have control or influence over the running of the company. The Register will be publicly available and is intended to increase transparency and openness. Failure to provide this information will be an offence and carry significant penalties.
There will be many further measures including the abolition of bearer shares, restrictions on Corporate Directors and the introduction of an accelerated strike-off procedure.
2015 will be the year that companies that currently prepare their financial statements in accordance with UK GAAP have to switch to a new framework of reporting. FRS 102 stipulates that the published financial statements for the financial years beginning on or after 1st January 2015 will have to comply with different methods of reporting the value of its assets and liabilities within its balance sheets.
To meet all of the requirements of FRS 102 companies should have restated its balance sheet at its date of transition and now be in a position to do the same in respect of its implementation date. The concept of fair value reporting is challenging and the process of changing over to FRS 102 places high demands on the accounts departments of limited companies.
The biggest changes to Employment Law in 2015 will affect parents. From April, new parents will be able to share the full period of maternity leave between them apart from the first two weeks after the birth which must be taken by the mother. There will also be increased rights for adopting parents, bringing them more into line with full maternity rights. Unpaid parental leave for parents of children under five will be extended to those who have children under eighteen.
Various other measures that come into force during the year include; new financial penalties for employers who fail to pay Tribunal awards promptly; fines on employers who fail to pay the National Minimum Wage will apply for each worker affected; the abolition of 'exclusivity' clauses in zero hours contracts; and protection from discrimination on the basis of caste.
HMRC’s statutory rates of pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and sickness will all increase as usual on 6th April and National Insurance Contributions for those under twenty-one will be abolished. The statutory rates for the National Minimum Wage will increase on 1st October.
On 1st January 2015 there was a significant change to the place of supply rules for the supply of digital services to consumers. The change has a number of dramatic effects - a very significant one being the impact upon the pricing of these services with another being the need to pay over VAT to other tax authorities.
To facilitate these changes a ‘mini one stop shop’ has been introduced that will avoid a supplier of these digital services having to register for VAT in each of the countries in which its customers are deemed to reside. Nevertheless these suppliers need systems in place to account for their VAT liabilities in the respective tax jurisdictions.R&D TAX RELIEF SCHEME
The Government will launch a consultation this month on the issues faced by smaller businesses when claiming R&D tax credits and new guidance will be introduced to help businesses make their first claim.
From 1st April the rate of the above the line credit will increase from 10% to 11% and the rate of the enhanced tax relief for R&D expenditure incurred by small and medium businesses will increase from 225% to 230%.
The Government is also introducing legislation that will restrict qualifying expenditure for R&D tax credits so that the costs of materials incorporated in products that are sold are not eligible. Again this measure will take effect from 1 April 2015.
The scheme is open to all companies that invest in improving their products and services.
BE WELL PREPARED FOR THE CHALLENGES AHEAD
At UK Training we pride ourselves on keeping ahead of our competition by carefully monitoring the legislative and regulatory changes that are proposed or are due to take place. No doubt there will be further proposals and developments throughout the year. We will make sure that all of our seminars deliver the most up to date information to enable your organisation to be well prepared for the challenges ahead.