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Separate building was part of dwelling

A flat built over a garage came within the scope of the VAT DIY house builder scheme when the flat was ancillary to a separate building. The builder obtained one planning permission to build a main house and garage with flat over it. The garage and flat were built first. He lived in the flat while building the house. This was with the council's agreement. The dwelling was in a remote area where...
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Setting up a company

The government has produced a simple guide on how to set up a limited company. Perhaps predictably, it does not mention the main reason, namely sheltering income from tax. A company pays 19% corporation tax (17% from April 2020), whereas an individual pays income tax at rates from 20% to 45%, and may also pay national insurance. The guidance can be downloaded from here. [19.08]
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Consultations on accounting standards

The following consultations are taking place regarding UK and international accounting standards: FRS 102 section 12: to reflect changes to interest rate benchmarks, with regards to hedge fund accounting new taxonomy to reflect reporting requirements for energy and carbon data from 1 April 2019 IFRS 1: subsidiary that adopts international standards for the first time IFRS 9: clarific...
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No pennies minted last year

Last year, the Royal Mint produced no new 1p and 2p coins. It is the first year that no new 1p coins were minted. It is the first time since 1984 that no new 2p coins were minted. This is because the Treasury, which orders coins, said that enough were in circulation. There are currently 10.5 billion 1p coins and 6.3 billion 2p coins in circulation. No £2 or 20p coins were minted in 2018 for ...
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Currency manipulation

President Trump has accused China of "currency manipulation" in the increasingly bitter war of words between the two countries. In July and August 2019, China allowed the yuan to all to its lowest level in 11 years. The country has usually sought to resist the currency losing value by buying large amounts of yuan. Currency manipulation means a deliberate policy by a country to engineer its e...
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Plastic bags charge

Sales of single use plastic bags by England's seven biggest retailers have fallen by 90% since the 5p charge was introduced in 2015. The average per shopper is now just 10 a year, compared with 140 in 2014. This still means that 1.11 billion bags are sold. Proceeds have raised £169 million to charities and good causes. [19.08]
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Piano supplier fined

Digital piano manufacturer Casio has been fined £3.7 million for illegally preventing discounts of its products, it was announced on 1 August 2019. The fine was imposed by the Competition and Markets Authority. Casio told retailers to sell pianos and other keyboards at a certain price, and then monitored their sales. [19.08]
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GCSE grades

Almost all students taking GCSE exams in 2019 will receive a numerical grade where 9 is the highest, and 1 the lowest. Guidance provided is reproduced below: The vast majority of students taking GCSEs in England in 2019 will receive grades from 9 to 1. Students taking 5 lesser-taught GCSE subjects (Biblical Hebrew, Gujarati, Persian, Portuguese and Turkish) will receive letter grades in 2019...
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Access to Work

In 2018, 36,240 disabled people received support from the Access to Work scheme, the government announced on 7 August 2019. The cost was £129.1 million. It provides funding for specialist equipment, support workers, travel to work, and sign language interpreters. The maximum annual grant is £60,000. Full statistics can be downloaded from here. [19.08]
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Insolvency newsletter

The Insolvency Service published its summer 2019 newsletter on 7 August 2019. The Service explains how it will:   announce plans for the relocation of our London headquarters to Stratford in the Autumn share details of our call for evidence on Insolvency practitioner regulation give an introduction to the new corporate Insolvency rules for Scotland provide an overview of w...
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