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Business News Roundup – 22nd April 2024

Business News England

Brought to you by DPC Accountants

Welcome to the DPC round up of the latest business news for our clients for 22nd April 2024.

Please contact us if you want to talk with out team of experienced Stoke-on-Trent accountants about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!



Procurement – can the principles work for smaller businesses?

Can smaller businesses still harness the benefits of procurement?

The government recently published a press release congratulating its procurement department on its 10thanniversary for saving taxpayers £3.8 billion last year.

Larger corporations often have dedicated purchasing departments to handle procuring supplies, services and other business purchases. Specialising in this way allows for finding or negotiating the best deals for purchases and can save businesses considerable amounts of money.

Savings are welcome in businesses of all sizes, but smaller businesses may lack the resources to have a specialised purchasing function in the business. Can businesses without a dedicated purchasing department still harness the benefits of procurement?

We would say yes, here’s how:


Inflation falls in March

Inflation rise slowing

According to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 3.2% in the 12 months to March 2024. This is down from 3.4% in February.

The main reason for the change was that prices for food are rising by less than a year ago. The cost of meat, crumpets, and chocolate biscuits all fell, as did furniture and household goods.

Offsetting these falls, motor fuels have risen over the past year whereas they were falling a year ago.


New service to manage import duties and VAT accounts

New guidance issued

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have published guidance on a new online service to help businesses with their import duties and VAT accounts.

If you or your business are involved in importing goods into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, you can use the new service to get your import VAT statements and certificates; manage your payment accounts; and manage or view authorities.


Lump sum death benefit charge

What do you need to tell HMRC?

New guidance has been published by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to help legal representatives find out what they need to tell HMRC to calculate the lump sum death benefit charge.

When someone passes away and their estate includes certain financial products like pensions or life insurance products, any lump sum death benefit received by the beneficiaries might be subject to inheritance tax. 

If a lump sum death benefit charge applies to the payout, it could affect the overall value of the estate and potentially impact the inheritance tax liability.


Don’t get caught out by tax avoidance

Avoiding risky schemes

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are running a campaign to help people avoid being caught out by tax avoidance schemes. This is particularly relevant to those who are contractors, agency workers, or are working through an umbrella company.

Tax avoidance schemes are schemes designed to bend the rules of the tax system in a way that was not intended. They usually involve contrived transactions whose only real purpose is to artificially reduce the amount of tax someone pays. It is different from effective tax planning.


Updated VAT road fuel scale charges from 1 May 2024

Simplified VAT rules

From 1 May 2024, the VAT road fuel scale charges will be updated. The new rates will need to be used from the start of the next VAT accounting period that begins on or after 1 May. So, if your next VAT quarter starts on 1 June, you will begin using the new rates for the quarter that begins on 1 June.

VAT road fuel scale charges provide a simplified method for calculating and accounting for VAT registered businesses that pay for road fuel that is used both for business and private purposes.


Employment Law changes in April

What you need to know in 2024

New employment laws came into force on 6 April 2024 that apply to all businesses. This article provides a brief summary of the changes for flexible working, carers leave, pregnancy and family leave and paternity leave.


Labour party publishes plan to close the tax gap

Labour plans to boost tax compliance

The Labour party has published their plan to close the tax gap – the gap between tax owed and tax paid – which is estimated at £36 billion.

The plan broadly proposes to do this by boosting tax compliance. Labour plan to be able to raise up to an additional £5 billion a year as a result of their proposed measures. They anticipate that £1 spent on compliance activity will result in £9 of revenue and so reckon they will need to invest £555 million per year to achieve £5 billion of revenue.




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