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UK economic growth continues, claims business group

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The UK economy continued to grow in the second quarter of this year, according to new data released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

In its latest Economic Survey, the BCC found that growth was particularly strong in the manufacturing sector, with home and domestic sales rising significantly.

Meanwhile, manufacturing export sales increased by 11 points to +31% - its highest level since Q3 2006. Confidence and employment levels within the industry also rose between April and June.

However, the BCC said that sluggish growth in the service sector remained a 'serious concern' and needs to be addressed if the country is to avoid a double-dip recession.

‘This is very much a tale of two sectors,' said David Frost, Director General of the BCC. 'Manufacturing is performing far better than services.'

He added: 'With very austere times ahead, no one should kid themselves into thinking that the UK's economic recovery is totally secure. There will need to be an unwavering focus on ensuring business is able to deliver growth, create jobs, and drive a lasting recovery.'

Categories: Business & Economy

The Companies Act 2006

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Companies Act 2006 received Royal Assent on 8 November 2006, and has been introduced in a series of stages. On 1 October 2009 the final 500 or so sections of the Act came into force.


Many features of company law date back more than 100 years, and are not necessarily suitable for regulating modern companies. The Act acknowledges that a vast proportion of companies registered in the UK are small owner-managed private companies and introduces significant measures designed to modernise and simplify company law and thereby reduce the regulatory burden.


The main features of the final set of changes are detailed below.


New Company formation

From 1 October 2009 the documentation required for forming a new company will be very different.


The Memorandum of Association will be a short document, serving the limited purpose of evidencing the intention of each subscriber to form a company and become a member of that company. Companies will no longer be required to specify their objects, and the concept of authorised share capital will be abolished.


New Model Articles will be introduced.  There will be three types, as follows:


Private company limited by shares

Private company limited by guarantee

Public limited company

They are written in plain English and are shorter and simpler than 'Table A' (which has been around in various forms for the last 150 years). In practice, companies will be formed using either Model Articles, Model Articles with amended provisions, or bespoke Articles.


The Statement of Capital is a new document required as part of the formation documentation. It is a 'snapshot' of a limited company’s issued share capital at a given time. It will need to be provided in various other circumstances, including as part of the application to incorporate and with each annual return made up on or after 1 October 2009.


Existing Companies

Companies formed before 1 October 2009 will have constitutions which were designed under 'old' law, so there will be a need for transitional provisions. For instance, provisions contained in their memorandum which go beyond the newly required limited information (such as objects clauses and authorised share capital) will automatically be regarded as provisions of their Articles of Association.


Where the Articles contain matters which are not required under the specific provisions of the Companies Act 2006, the company may consider them to be unduly restrictive. For example they may cover matters such as rules about annual general meetings and proxies, company secretary, extraordinary resolutions and the chairman’s casting vote.


Companies would be well advised to examine their Memorandum and Articles of Association with a view to adopting the new Model Articles, or to changing some of their current provisions.  Changes to Articles should be made by a special resolution, requiring a majority of 75% of the voting rights of those eligible to vote.  Special resolutions can be passed by written resolution, but a copy should be filed at Companies House within 15 days of its being passed.


Did you know? At more than 700 pages in length, the Companies Act 2006 is the longest Act ever to be passed by Parliament. One of the reasons for this length is that the Act replaces the majority of existing companies legislation, in particular the Companies Acts 1985 and 1989.


Directors’ Service Addresses

Directors (and company secretaries where applicable) of both existing and new companies will have the right to set out a service address rather than their usual residential address.  The service address may be the company’s registered office.


Individual companies will have to maintain two registers of directors – one containing, amongst other things, a service address for each director, and a further register containing the residential address of each director (protected information).


Home addresses will not be put on public record by the Registrar of companies after 30 September 2009. Companies House will still hold a register of residential addresses, but access will be very strictly limited (eg liquidators, the police, HM Revenue & Customs and credit reference agencies). If no action is taken, the residential address will automatically become the service address until the information is provided in the next annual return.


Only shareholders of traded public companies will be required to provide any address to Companies House.


Registrar's Powers

The Registrar of companies will be given a range of new powers. These include powers to decide on the form and manner in which companies must deliver documents, what is needed for a document to be properly delivered, provision of electronic delivery for certain documents, and amendments to the register.


Draft forms and guidance are available on the Companies House website (www.companieshouse.gov.uk). They are subject to change up to 1 October 2009.


Striking off

The existing procedures will be carried over in a similar form. However, there will be a new simplified administrative restoration procedure for companies struck off by Registrar’s action. Whatever the route of dissolution, the time limit for application to restore will be six years (currently two years for liquidation, 20 years for striking off).


The Companies Act 2006: some key changes

1 January 2007


Companies are required to disclose company details on all order forms, websites and relevant electronic documents

20 January 2007


EU Directive enabling companies to make greater use of electronic communications

6 April 2007


Removal of the maximum age limit (previously 70) for directors of public limited companies, and directors no longer need to disclose share dealings to the company

Removal of the statutory annual report by the Secretary of State to Parliament

New provisions relating to fees payable to the Registrar of Companies

Implementation of the Takeovers Directive

1 October 2007


The Companies Act sets out directors’ responsibilities to their companies

Annual General Meetings become optional for private companies

6 April 2008


Period for filing accounts shortened from ten months to nine months for private companies and from seven months to six months for public limited companies

Company secretary becomes an optional appointment for private companies

Shareholders may agree a limitation of auditors’ liability

1 October 2008


Companies allowed to give financial assistance for purchase of their shares

Duty of directors to avoid conflicts of interest

Companies must have at least one director who is a ‘natural person’

Nobody under the age of 16 may be a director

The right to challenge ‘opportunistic registration’ of company names

1 February 2009


Increased penalties for the late filing of accounts

1 October 2009


A simpler method of forming and administering new companies

Concept of authorised share capital is abolished

Directors may file a ‘service’ address rather than a residential address

The Registrar of Companies is given new powers

This is an abbreviated summary of what is a complex piece of legislation. Please contact us for further information.


We have expertise in all areas of running a business, and we would be delighted to assist you.


New requirements for online filing

Friday, July 09, 2010

April 2010 sees the introduction of a number of changes to the way that businesses must file and pay certain taxes. The only way to file these taxes will be online and payment must be made electronically. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is keen to encourage online filing of returns, and the switch to online management and electronic payment of tax comes as a result of a review of HMRC's online services.


PAYE returns

Almost all employers are now required to file their employer annual return online. Employers with less than 50 staff must file end of year forms online by April 2010 at the latest, and from 6 April 2011 the requirement to file in-year forms (including P45 and P46) online will also apply to these employers.


Meanwhile, penalties for late payment apply from 6 April 2010 and will affect payments due to be made from May 2010 onwards. The system will be based on the number of defaults during a tax year, and excludes the first default. The penalties will range from 1% of the total amount for the next three defaults, to 4% of the total for 10 or more defaults. Any sums that remain unpaid after six months from the penalty date will be subject to a 5% surcharge, with a further 5% surcharge applying after 12 months.




There will be a limited number of exceptions to the new system. In particular, late payment penalties will not apply to employers who have agreed “time to pay” arrangements with HMRC, where payments continue to be made in accordance with the terms of the arrangement; and where the employer or contractor has had “reasonable excuse” for not paying on time. (“Reasonable excuse” does not include any late payments which have arisen simply due to an inability to pay).

In the light of this significant change in approach, it is important that employers review their systems and procedures so that they will not fall foul of the payment deadlines.


VAT returns

From 1 April 2010, HMRC will begin the process of phasing out paper VAT returns. Businesses with an annual turnover of more than £100,000 (excluding VAT) will need to file returns online and make payments electronically, for accounting periods beginning on or after that date.


Businesses with an effective VAT registration date on or after 1 April 2010 will need to have returns filed and payments made online, regardless of their turnover. The remaining VAT registered businesses may continue to file paper returns for the time being, but the situation is set to be reviewed by 2012.


Penalties for failing to make an electronic return will be applied to periods ending on or after 31 March 2011.


Corporation tax returns

Also in the pipeline, for returns due after 31 March 2011, corporation tax returns must be filed online with accompanying accounts and computations in Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), the new standard designed for business financial reporting. Payments must also be made electronically. Companies House will accept company accounts in the same format, which will apply to all company tax returns being submitted to HMRC from April 2011.


You are advised to ensure that you make the appropriate arrangements in good time. We can help with all your tax planning needs, including dealing with your tax returns on your behalf – please contact us for information and assistance.


Welcome to Chandler & Georges

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Welcome to Chandler & Georges; a dynamic and progressive firm of Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors with offices in South East London and Ilford, Essex. We have successfully provided tax and accounting services to businesses and individuals for over 25 years.

As you will see from our website, we offer a wide range of services, helping our business clients to achieve greater profitability, and our individual clients to enjoy greater wealth.

So whether it is traditional tax and accounting services, Self-Assessment Tax Returns or more proactive business and tax advice, we approach the task with the professionalism and dedication you should expect from a firm of qualified accountants.

You are welcome to make full use of the free online services on this site. You will find hundreds of pages of up-to-date information and advice to help you with your business development, personal finances, and tax planning. To discuss how we can help you further, please contact us.

Categories: Business & Economy, Companies House, Financial reporting, HMRC, Payroll, Tax