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July 04, 2014

Also in the news this week – 4 July 2014

Tax deadline looms for self-employed

The 31 July deadline for self-assessment tax payment is fast approaching. As well as the 4.54 million self-employed people in the UK, higher rate taxpayers, company directors and anyone with more than one income are required to make a payment on account – part of their annual tax payment. And they risk heavy fines from HMRC if they fail to pay on time, ACCA has warned. Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA, said: "Many will be encountering this summer tax deadline for the first time. It's not the most publicised of tax deadlines. It's hidden in the depths of the holiday season."

Fourth of July – UK Independents Day

This Friday sees UK retailers celebrate the fourth Independents Day for independent retail businesses organised by People 1st. This year, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the vast amount of support that is available to independent businesses to help them train their employees, become more competitive and grow. The initiative is championed by Theo Paphitis and has the support of David Cameron and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, as well as local business leaders including Friska founders Griff Holland and Ed Brown.

Questioning the value of a degree

Just 8% of business executives say their higher education degree has been the key driver in their career progression, according to a poll by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The survey of 950 senior executives across the world has found that skills are deemed the most important factor (for 44% of respondents), followed by career development opportunities in their organisation (13%), personal connections (11%) and the growth of the industry in which they work (11%). A university degree came in fifth.

Record number of SMEs using EIS to fund growth

The number of UK businesses looking to raise funds under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) jumped 16% to 2,718 in 2013/14 from 2,336 the year before, according to Chancery Investment Partners. The Enterprise Investment Scheme is designed to encourage private investment in unquoted companies through tax breaks. Applications for funding through EIS by small businesses has climbed every year since the height of the financial crisis in 2008/9. Gary Robins, partner at Chancery Investment Partners, said: "EIS is becoming ever more popular among credit-starved SMEs looking to fund the next stage in their growth".