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Scopulus Business Newsletter - 17-07-08


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Dear Subscriber

In this issue:

  • Tax news
  • Tax tip
  • Business tip
  • Legal tip
  • Legal news
  • Articles watch
  • Website updates
Tax News
Over the last few months we keep hearing in the news about the fiasco regarding the discs with 25 million individuals personal data being lost by the HMRC.  Such was the outrage that It even sparked a debate in the Houses of Parliament. Now we learn that this resulted in the resignation of Paul Gray the chairman in November with a £137,000 lump sum payoff.  You can read about his other benefits here.

Tax Tip

Car parking fees can get very expensive for employees when they park at or near work. The employer can choose to pay for this cost either directly or by reimbursement to the employee if they pay for it. This is tax free for both the employer (employers NI) and employee (NI and PAYE). 
But what is the meaning of "at or near the employee’s workplace".  As this is not specified this is said to be what is reasonable in the location and does not necessarily need to be the nearest car park as that may be full, closed or unsafe at the time of parking.
Speak to your accountant first to get it right. Another perk to keep the troops happy.

Business Tip

It seems at times that we need a password for everything - the computer, banking, shopping online, most programs we use, some websites we use and therefore having a secure and memorable password is crucial.

There are a number of approaches for picking passwords. A few years ago when we only had a few to contend with, we would think of memorable passwords. Now we have many, it is impossible to remember them all and need systems to keep track of them. As in the article watch below its all about security and picking a password that cannot be guessed is key. We have a number of password tools in our Useful tools section that can help you create hard to break passwords.

Legal Tip

Employers from time to time have problems with employees when they leave, especially in the service industry where confidential information and client details are paramount to success. Nobody wants their secrets taken to the competition or client revenue taken away. Communication and dialogue is key to keeping the peace and protecting the business. When an employee leaves it is a good idea to have a termination agreement where all concerns are agreed on subjects of contention by both parties. This is a useful document for personnel to keep on file. You can get one here.

Legal News

Data sharing of your information has been a subject of a review by Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, and Dr Mark Walport, the Director of the Wellcome Trust. For some, this is a sore subject and fears are based around organisations that seem to think they can do what they want without taking into account the law, common sense and a little consideration for privacy. You can read what they found and their recommendations here
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on the 15th July 2008 served enforcement notices against HM Revenue and Customs and the Ministry of Defence following the recent high profile reports of data breaches.

Articles watch

Everything these days is password protected. We need a password to do most things and most of us have far more then we thought we would ever have five or ten years ago. The whole purpose of a password is security. Security of Passwords ISO27001
The relationship between the UK and the USA is still strong and co-operation is the key to rewards. The governments have struck a deal on travel between the countries relating to business travel. Agreement to speed up travel between the UK and US

Website Update
In conversations with the Treasury and HMRC we have learned that Money Laundering Regulations are changing or at least the interpretation of who falls under it. They have asked us to wait until the new updates have been published before they can give us some answers on how to proceed with ventures.

Kind Regards
The Scopulus Articles Team

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-07-21 13:34:45 in Newsletter

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