Also in the news this week - 2 December 2016

Bargain-hunters embrace mobile shopping

The biggest shopping period of the year - from Black Friday to Cyber Monday - was busier than ever this year. Data from ChannelAdvisor reveals that 64% of purchases took place on mobile devices (22% on tablets, 42% on mobile) up from 48% in 2015. In addition, 73% of shopping searches took place on mobile devices. The most active day for browsing across all platforms was Cyber Sunday; Black Friday generated the most purchases.

IR35 reforms cause concern

A new poll by Crunch Accounting has revealed that 66% of contractors are "very worried" about the public sector IR35 tax reforms announced in last week's Autumn Statement; and 42% said they will stop working in the public sector as a result. Jason Kitcat, head of policy and public affairs at Crunch Accounting said: "Contractors falling under these rules will be paying the same taxes as employees without having any of the benefits, whilst also having to pay the costs of running their own firms." The new rules will apply from April 2017.

HMRC promotes the benefits of online tax accounts

HMRC is urging first-time self-assessment taxpayers to register for a Personal Tax Account (PTA). As well as easy access to their account, a PTA also provides access to support services such as webchat and virtual assistant. Following its launch last December, 850,000 customers chose to submit their 2014/15 self-assessment return via a PTA in January 2015. Customers submitting their tax return online for the first time will need to register for an activation code, which will be posted to them.

Young female entrepreneurs have the edge

UK start-ups run by women under the age of 35 are more likely to succeed than other businesses according to new research from Microsoft Office 365. Its study has found that just 3% of UK firms owned by under 35 year-olds are running at a loss, compared to 9% of those owned by entrepreneurs who are over 55. Meanwhile, just 2% of female-owned businesses were making a loss compared to 8% of their male counterparts.

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