This week in HMRC and across government we’re celebrating the UK’s small businesses in the run-up to Small Business Saturday on 2 December. My name’s Robbie Morrison from the Customer Service Change team. We work alongside our colleagues in HMRC Digital Service developing and providing digital support to businesses and agents.
If you run or work for a small business then congratulations - you are one of over 5 million in the UK and help make up 99% of all UK businesses. We’re on a mission to help small businesses get off the ground and support them to grow, and that’s why we’ve created a whole range of online tools and support for small businesses – here are just some of them:
Small Business Online Forum
We launched the Small Business Online Forum in August to give new businesses and self-employed individuals help and support on things like filing, paying their taxes for the first time and how to use our digital services.
Over 1,500 business professionals are already using the service, generating 30,000 visits to the forum. Help is also available on:
- starting a business
- support for growing a business – including taking on employees and expanding
- buying and selling abroad
- completing tax returns
- tax credits
Anyone with a small business can find out more and join the community at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-help-for-small-businesses-launched
And if you’ve got questions about your 2016/17 tax return, why not join our Q&A session on the forum on 6th December 15:00-16:00? Find out about allowable business expenses, simplified expenses, how and when to pay, budgeting for your tax bill and more from the experts!
Learning available online
HMRC offers a variety of online resources to help new employers and self-employed. This includes everything from support on starting and growing a business, to information on VAT and business expenses. We cover this wide range of subjects in our live and recorded webinars, e-learning and YouTube videos.
The best part is, businesses can access all these resources in their own time, when it suits them and their working pattern. Thousands of small businesses are already benefitting:
- Nearly 700,000 watched our YouTube videos in 2016-17
- 240,000 have used our e-learning packages
- Over 240,000 tuned into our live and recorded webinars in 2016 to 2017
- 10am – Record keeping for the self-employed
- 12pm – Self-employment help and support
- 2pm – Business expenses for the self-employed
- 4pm – How to complete your online tax return
Beyond the digital: R&D tax reliefs
Britain is home to some of the most innovative and forward-thinking businesses around, and that’s why we want to support them and help them grow.
Research and development reliefs enable small companies to claim a generous tax relief for the costs of a research and development project.
In 2015-16, the scheme provided £1.3 billion in tax relief support to SMEs. Check if you’re eligible so you don’t miss out!
Business Tax Account
Last but not least, we encourage every business to sign up for their own account. Around 3 million businesses are already benefitting from the Business Tax Account, which gives an online overview of a business’s current tax position and provides integrated help and support.
You can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services/register
Meanwhile we’ll continue to create and develop our digital services and support packages for small businesses and wish everyone a successful Small Business Saturday this year.
Robbie Morrison, Customer Service Change Team
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