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Budget 2012 News for Small Business.

22nd March, 2012

Budget 2012 News for Small Business.

Small businesses could be among those taking advantage of another update in the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) after the government announced that another 1 billion is being made available for bidding.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said that companies can apply for funding from the RGF pot to help them expand and create jobs in the future.

He added that 48 companies have already benefitted from the first two rounds of the funding, helping to create or protect 330,000 jobs.

Mr Clegg is now encouraging more companies to come forward.

"I want to see more businesses that are confident they can create jobs and get Britain building and making things again, coming forward - making sure their hats are in the ring," he explained.

The availability of more money was announced in the Autumn Statement, at the same time as the government revealing it will be renewing its focus on cutting red tape.

The coalition is poised to announce 3 billion worth of tax breaks in today's (March 21st) Budget, it has been claimed.

Media reports suggest that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will announce a significant increase in the personal tax allowance.

An allowance of 10,000 per annum - something which Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has long called for - is set to come into effect next year.

In the short term, taxpayers are set to see the rate rise from its current level of 7,475 to between 8,105 and 9,000 from April 2012.

Treasury sources have claimed that the move will form the centrepiece of the Budget and will be today's single biggest expenditure.

"This move will form the centrepiece of the Budget. Nick Clegg openly called for the measure but George Osborne was more than happy to agree to this. It illustrates the coalition working well together," the source is quoted as saying.

The UK's smaller businesses are set to benefit from a new scheme launched by the government.

In a bid to help small enterprises with an annual turnover of up to 50 million, the coalition has launched the National Loan Guarantee Scheme.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne revealed that the government is to use the country's financial credibility to guarantee up to 20 billion worth of unsecured bank loans.

"The government promised to help small businesses get access to lower interest rates. Today, we deliver on that promise with a nationwide scheme," he commented.

"It's only because we've earned credibility with our deficit reduction plan that we have low interest rates, and it's only because of this scheme that we can pass the benefits of those low rates onto businesses."

Mr Osborne was keen to point out that the coalition is not guaranteeing individual loans to businesses and therefore is not taking on the credit risk of loans made under the scheme.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that it is to adopt a new approach to PAYE late filing penalties.

It comes as the department looks to lessen the number of businesses faced with 400+ penalty notices each September.

HMRC worked with a number of professional tax bodies to devise the new system as part of its drive to improve service standards.

"The background to this issue is that where employers do not file their annual P35 return by May 19th, they incur penalties of 100 per 50 (or fewer) employees for every month (or part month) that their return is late," HMRC explained.

"In some cases, employers were unaware their returns were late until they received a first penalty letter in September covering four months' worth of accrued penalties."

As part of a number of changes designed to improve its services, HMRC will now alter the date when it issues the 'Notification to complete form P35 Employer Annual Return' from mid-February to mid-March, so that businesses will receive it much nearer to the end of the tax year.


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