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As a business woman I’m disgusted to hear about yet another big company avoiding tax!
I have worked hard for the last eight years building up my business. As a UK wholesale jewellery supplier I know how hard it is to make a profit, but I do and subsequently I pay tax!
Without getting too much on my soap box, I have paid enough tax over the years to buy tens of thousands of Starbucks coffees. Needless to say I will not be buying anymore….
Small Business insurer Hiscox USA recently released the results of their latest small business survey that highlights an increase in physical and mental ailments among small business owners, and in particular female small business owners, that I thought might interest you. Here are a few top-line results:
- Physical Ailments: Three quarters of female small business owners reported physical ailments as a result of stress at work, including lack of energy (33 percent), headaches (34 percent), back pain (29 percent) and anxious thoughts (30 percent).
- Causes of Stress: A combination of longer hours, fear and working harder to service new business has led almost one half (42%) of respondents to describe themselves as more stressed than one year ago.
- Workload: Fourteen percent of female small business owners work 11 hours or more daily, although the majority of entrepreneurs (52 percent) reported working between eight and 10 hours each day.
- Determined: The word the most female small business owners (53%) chose to describe themselves at work was “determined,” followed by “focused” (50%) and “flexible” (47%).
- Outlook: Despite increased stress, more than two-thirds feel mentally prepared to tackle the business challenges of the year ahead, which could be related to 61 percent giving priority to their physical health and 80 percent saying they try to manage a good work/life balance. Although only 12 percent believe the economy is already in recovery mode, 56 percent do expect their business to grow in the coming year and only 8 percent expect it to shrink.
The Royal Wedding extra bank holiday has produced a predictable flurry of queries about who pays for the extra day. The answer to this lies in the contract of employment.
The wording of the specific employment contract has to be looked at. If paid holiday is expressed as “28 days per year inclusive of bank and public holidays”, then there is no right to an extra paid day for the Royal wedding. If paid annual leave is expressed as “20 days plus bank and public holidays”, then there may well be a right to the extra day, although some contracts define what is meant by “bank and public holidays” and list them out. In the latter case, the extra day would probably not be included and so would not be paid.
There is no general right to be on leave on a public holiday – that again depends on the wording of the contract of employment.
The whole idea of having paid annual leave is a relatively modern one. Public holidays were invented in the Victorian era , but it took a long time for paid annual leave to become the norm.
Workers were once required to work as many hours as their boss wanted them to. The battle ground was not annual leave, but working time.
Weekends were not leisure time for working people, and although they might have been given time off work to go to Church, this is a long way from the weekend as we understand it. Saturday was generally a working day and Sunday a church going day.
The traditional northern Wakes weeks were unpaid from the 1870s until the 20th century, being a period of a week (or two) when mills were shut by the owners for refits or maintenance. The August bank holiday was created in 1871, along with Easter Monday, Whit Monday and Boxing Day.
During the 1970s the old bank holidays were changed slightly, and New Year’s Day and May Day were added.
European law tends to treat annual leave as a matter of health and safety, and current minimum entitlements to annual leave are regulated under the Working Time Regulations in the UK. The entitlement for a five day a week worker is 28 days including bank and public holiday, although many employers give more than this via their contracts.
The progressive entitlement to annual leave has created an entire leisure industry of its own. When Dickens’s Ebenezer Scrooge complained about the introduction of the Boxing Day holiday, his business instincts were off base – he should have bought shares in the railway!
Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy. Tel: 08452 303050 Fax: 08452 303060 Website : www.irenicon.co.uk
You can follow Annabel on Twitter
Canadian Federal government eliminate Section 116, pertaining to venture capital and private equity industry, removes tax barriers, welcoming the flow of capital across Canada’s border. Its removal provides an important signal to international investors that Canada welcomes their contributions to growing companies. Canada is open for business!
This gives Canadian companies across the country tax law changes to give them the advantage to compete on the global stage. By amending the definition of “taxable Canadian property” to exclude shares of Canadian private companies (where not more than 50 % of their value is derived from real property in Canada, Canadian resource property or timber resource property), the government has significantly reduced administrative and, in some cases, economic barriers to international investment in Canadian-based innovation and technology. The changes in tax legislation are among the most significant changes to capital gains taxation since the introduction of taxation of capital gains in 1972. This change puts Canada at the top of the list of places to invest globally.
The following describes the tax barriers that were removed and that are no longer preventing international investment in Canada:
Withholding and Section 116 certificate process — The majority of foreign VCs are not subject to Canadian tax when they sell an investment. However, they may face a delay of many months to work through the Section 116 tax clearance process until funds can freely flow to them. Many foreign VCs are structured such that each of the investors in the VC — sometimes hundreds or even thousands — is subject to this clearance process as if they held the investment directly. This delay results in lower returns and frequently causes direct financial loss to investors.
Requirement to file Canadian tax returns by foreigners who don’t owe taxes creates hundreds of pages of unnecessary paperwork — Canada imposed tax filing requirements in circumstances where no taxes were payable by these investors. When a foreign VC sells an investment, each investor of the foreign VC has to file a Canadian tax return even if they don’t owe any taxes. This results in literally hundreds of pages of documents that are required for signature and processing for a single sale. This tax return filing issue also applies to certain Canadian public companies.
This change means Canada is s more welcoming environment for international investors. In the majority of cases, non-residents who were not taxable on the disposition of their investments in such shares due to Canada’s broad international tax treaty network, are now exempt from tax under Canadian domestic law without having to apply for treaty relief. As a result, they are no longer required to comply with the Section 116 tax clearance certificate procedure or file a Canadian income tax return. The changes also remove what were perceived to be barriers for many venture capitalists who considered the previous administrative requirements and economic delays for each investor to be strong deterrents to investing in Canada.
The removal of the Section 116 tax barrier is seen as a tax master stroke by the Canadian government enabling Canada’s emerging technology companies to access deep pools of international capital and the vast international customer markets to which those pools are connected.
There are predictions that over time this move will help propel Canada’s extraordinary technology into global industry leadership and will likely be viewed in the future as a defining moment for the Harper government in Canadian innovation. This amendment will have an immediate, positive and direct impact on Canada’s ability to grow the Canadian technology and innovation industry. Go Canada Go!