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We've scoured the web to get you the most up-to-date advice which includes the most useful tools on offer from the officials themselves.

Effective tax planning is essential if you are to minimise your tax bills. Simple tax planning can significantly reduce your tax liabilities.

The self-assessment tax return is an unavoidable burden if you are liable for self-employed tax or have complicated income tax affairs.

Corporation tax is charged on a company's profits. If you trade as a limited company, ensure that paying this tax is as painless as possible.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are payable whether you are self-employed or employed by your own company, although different rates apply.

As well as your legal obligations, you’ll want to ensure that payroll is painless and that you use any opportunities to improve your tax-efficiency.


Effective VAT planning aims to ensure that VAT is relatively painless, and that you are reclaiming as much as possible of the VAT you pay.

Capital gains are made when you sell something for more money than you paid for it. As a result, you can be subject to tax. Take professional advice.

Business property taxes apply to businesses with commercial premises.There are two commercial property taxes: business rates and stamp duty land tax.

If you have tax problems or face a tax investigation, it pays to seek professional advice and you must act rather than just hoping for the best.

IES calls for better support for obese employees

22 May 2019

People working in a busy officeFollowing recent publication of its new report – Obesity and Work: Challenging stigma and discrimination – the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) wants employers to gain a better understanding of obesity, so they can help to prevent it and the stigma and discrimination that obese staff can suffer.

The IES is a leading independent, not-for-profit centre for research and evidence-based consultancy on employment, the labour market and HR policy and practice. Dr Zofia Bajorek, IES research fellow and co-author of the report, said: “For obese employees, there are still many barriers that need to be addressed, so their needs can be [better] supported.

“We recommend education, because stigma and discriminatory practices are still common. And, research suggests that work can cause obesity, as well as be affected by it. Workplaces need to be an environment where people feel respected and valued, whatever their size, and to do this, non-discriminatory cultures must be developed. There is still a clear need to fight this stigma around obesity and enhance workplace practices.”

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According to the IES, many believe obesity has “reached epidemic proportion” and it is still rising at an alarming rate. An IES spokesperson said: “In the UK, almost seven out of 10 men and six out of 10 women are affected by the condition.

“There is still the common perception that obesity is caused simply by an increased calorific intake and decreased physical activity, but research indicates the causes are multi-factorial and complex – including socio-economic factors.”

The IES believes that having a greater understanding of the causes of obesity is critical when considering how to better prevent it. In the workplace, while obesity can be linked to productivity, absenteeism and presenteeism (ie staff being at work for more hours than they’re paid for), obese people can face discrimination, not only when it comes to getting jobs, but also gaining promotions, said the IES. Common stereotypical beliefs about “obese employees being lazy and lacking self-control” were still prevalent”, it claimed.

Shift-work is believed to have an impact, caused by such factors as “eating behaviours, changes in metabolism and sleep patterns”. Employees who work long hours, particularly in “hostile working environments”, may be at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. Employees with “reduced autonomy, few opportunities to participate in decision-making and increased psychosocial stress may be more at risk of overweight and obesity”, the research found.

According to the IES: “Interventions [by employers] need to address organisational design and work practices, and ensure that correct management support is provided.”

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