March 15, 2013
Are you ready for Patent Box?
The Patent Box is new Government legislation providing an opportunity for firms to make the most out of their intellectual property. The scheme enables companies to apply a lower rate of Corporation Tax to profits earned after 1 April 2013 from its patented inventions and certain other innovations. The relief will be phased in from 1 April 2013 and the lower rate of Corporation Tax to be applied will be 10%. Graham Johnson, partner at specialist IP firm, Appleyard Lees, said: "It is vital that businesses review their products, manufacturing processes and R&D plans ahead of 1 April 2013 to consider where patents might be applicable and to maximise on tax savings."
IT skills gap leaves UK exposed
Although the number of IT jobs available is increasing, the number of graduates with IT qualifications isn't keeping up, according to the job site Technojobs. It is predicting a "huge skills deficit" that could damage the UK's competitive advantage. There was a 10% increase in enrolments to computer science courses from 2011 to 2012 — however, job numbers rose by over 21% in the same period and look set to jump again this year. Anthony Sherick, director of Technojobs, said: "Without tailoring our education system to deliver future IT professionals, we are likely to experience a whole range of problems, from cyber security threats to companies outsourcing abroad and the consequential impact on unemployment in the UK."
Peter Jones launches new apprenticeship
The Peter Jones Foundation has launched a Higher Apprenticeship in innovation and growth, offering apprentices a fast route into a business career. The Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship is part of the Ignite Your Future programme. It enables apprentices to earn while they learn and develop business leadership skills. Peter Jones said: "Employers are constantly on the hunt for employees that push the boundaries and that stand out from the crowd. We have developed the Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship to nurture 'intrapreneurial' and confident business leaders, who will energise a company from within."
HMRC to close enquiry centres
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is to close its 281 enquiry centres and instead pilot a new support service for 1.5 million customers from June. The service will provide telephone support and visits to homes and businesses. Lin Homer, HMRC's chief executive, said: "This new service will enable us to tailor that help in a way that works better for customers, and is more flexible and affordable than the service we currently provide." HMRC will close its enquiry centre network in 2014. Customer visits to its 281 centres have halved since 2005.
Banks shut their doors on entrepreneurs
One in six businesses have resorted to using a payday loan to fund their venture, 13% have used money from friends and family and only 20% of micro-businesses funded their start up through a bank loan. These are the result of new research from guarantor loans provider, Amigo Loans. It also discovered that of those that have had a business fail, 21% believe it's because they were unable to get a bank loan.
ITC Enterprise Awards open
Billed as the "Oscars" of IT awards, the ITC Enterprise Awards recognise technology entrepreneurs in the UK. The Enterprise Awards categories include: Young Entrepreneur (under 30), Emerging Entrepreneur, Developing Entrepreneur, and a special award for Recovery of the Year. There will also be recognition of Outstanding Mentor of the Year. The winners will be announced at the annual dinner on 7 June.