Business and Other Briefings

ECGD: The Export Credits Guarantee Department, the UK export credit agency, has announced that it will be extending its Fixed Rate Export Finance (FREF) scheme to 31 March 2011. During 2010 ECGD will discuss with banks & exporters how to take forward the decisions set out in the interim response to ECGD’s 2008 consultation on the future of FREF.  Access to the FREF scheme is subject to its existing budget, of which £4m currently remains available for new business.
Press release ~ Fixed Rate Export Finance (FREF) scheme
FSCS: The Administrators of Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Limited (in Administration) ("KSF") recently issued a notice to creditors advising that they intend to make a second interim distribution to unsecured creditors.  FSCS understand that the distribution is expected to be paid in or around December 2009 and creditors must submit their claims to the Administrators by the date specified in the notice.
KSF customers who submit a claim in the administration will still be able to make a claim for compensation to the FSCS (assuming they have not already done so).  However, the FSCS will take into account any dividend received by KSF customers from the administration when calculating the amount of compensation (including any element representing interest) payable to customers that are eligible under FSCS rules.
Press release ~ Link to Administrators
HMRCHM Revenue & Customs is issuing a reminder to anyone who hasn’t yet submitted their 2008-09 Self Assessment tax return – don’t forget, your return must be both on time & online. The 31 October deadline for paper returns has now passed, which means you must file your return online by the 31 January deadline.  If you submit a paper return after 31 October, or you file online after 31 January, you could receive a £100 penalty.
Press release ~ HMRC’s Self Assessment Online service
Newswire – GC: With less than one month to go before the change in law 1 January 2010, section 19 certificate holders are being asked to contact the Gambling Commission urgently if they have yet to make an application for a personal licence.  The GC has consistently reminded employees in the bingo & casino industry who still hold certificates of approval, issued under section 19 of the Gaming Act 1968 (section 19 certificates), to apply for their new personal licence.  Existing section 19 certificates will cease to have effect at midnight on 31 December 2009.
Section 19 certificates, such as red, white & pink certificates, were issued to employees in specified roles within the bingo & casino industries.  Personal Functional Licence applications cost £185 and Personal Management Licence applications £370.The need for criminal record checks means that personal licence applications made after 1 December 2009, are unlikely to be determined in time for 1 January 2010.
Press release ~ GC: Bingo ~ GC: Casino
HMRC: VAT-registered businesses are being urged to get ready now for major changes to VAT return filing & paymentHM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has sent a leaflet to all 1.9m VAT-registered businesses to alert them to the fact that, from 1 April 2010, those with an annual turnover of £100,000 or more (excluding VAT) will have to file their VAT returns online and pay their VAT electronically.
Under the changes, businesses registering for VAT on or after 1 April 2010 will also have to file their return online and pay electronically, whatever their turnover. To file a VAT return online, businesses new to HMRC’s online services need to register for the VAT Online service. Current HMRC online service users can add VAT. Further help & advice, including an online demonstrator and a step-by-step guide to filing online, is available on HMRC’s website.
The HMRC mailing also carries a reminder of 2 other changes coming into effect on 1 January 2010 – the reversion of the standard rate of VAT on 1 January 2010 to 17.5% and changes to EU cross-border VAT rules.
Press release ~ HMRC - VAT ~ VAT: Cross-border VAT changes 2010 ~ Increase in the standard VAT rate
HMRCRevenue & Customs Brief 74/09
This Revenue & Customs Brief 74/09 sets out transitional provisions which apply to supplied affected by the changes to the Tour Operators' Margin Scheme, which are due to come into effect on 1 January 2010.
HMRCRevenue & Customs Brief 73/09
New guidance on the eligibility of Finnish, Greek and Irish dividends to dividend tax credits.
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