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March 11, 2016

Also in the news this week - 11 March 2016

No more annual tax return - but what's next?

It's goodbye to the "dreaded annual tax return" and hello to online reporting, HMRC has announced. The introduction of digital tax accounts and quarterly reporting are part of a transformation that HMRC promises will deliver "something that is more effective, more efficient and easier for taxpayers". A new video explains the changes, and there are software packages and apps to help those transitioning from paper to digital. Anyone who genuinely can't use digital tools - because they can't access broadband or don't own a computer - will be offered alternatives, such as the chance to give information by phone.

More zero-hours workers than ever

The number of workers on a zero-hours contract for their main job has risen by 104,000 in the past year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), to 801,000. It means that 2.5% of the employed UK workforce is now on a zero-hours contract, up from 2.3% in 2014. About a third of those on a zero-hours contract want to work longer hours, according to the ONS.

New campaign to get more young people into franchising

The British Franchise Association (BFA) has launched the "Business By 30" campaign to encourage more young people to go into franchising. One in five (19%) of franchisees who launched their business in the past two years were under 30, according to the BFA. The franchise sector is currently worth over £15 billion to the UK economy and employs over 621,000 people. "As a model which offers support and guidance every step of the way, franchising is ideally suited to younger entrepreneurs who may not necessarily have previous business experience," said Pip Wilkins, BFA ceo.

Happy customers, healthy cashflow

It's official - happy customers spend significantly more. A survey by consumer rating specialist truRating has found that people who highly rate their shopping experience spend far more on their visit than those who are disappointed. On average these fans are likely to spend 84% more than a customer who has had a poor experience. Georgina Nelson, ceo of truRating, said: "The correlation between exceptional service and spend is clearly strong, and these numbers really highlight the benefit of getting it right every time."