Hounslow has the highest Covid rates across London. We need to Stay at Home. Our message is clear: now is not the time for complacency. Infection rates may have come down recently but are still far too high. The NHS remains under intense pressure and many Londoners are sadly still losing their lives. 

We must redouble our efforts to save lives and protect livelihoods by following the rules and bringing the virus firmly under control.
Access to COVID-19 Grants & Funding
Wednesday 27th January 12:00 noon - 1:30 pm

Get your questions answered and understand the full range of business support measures available to you in your business. 

This event will help you find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, what schemes are open and how to apply.

You will also have access to a team of experts to help you solve any key challenges you have in your business. It’s a 15 minute speed mentoring session to get your questions answered and the advice and support you need across all key business areas; finance & funding, sales & marketing, strategy, HR & talent, legal, technology, websites & SEO. This will be conducted in breakout rooms so you can work on a 121 basis. Pre-book your 15 minutes speed mentoring sessions in advance.

Places limited and available on first come first served basis.
International Trade webinar;
Understanding VAT with the EU, Finance help and FOREX risks
Thursday 4th February 10:00 am - 11:00 am

UK/EU Trade deal; A view from the City.
In this trade agreement, international businesses have increased costs. We help deal with key issues including the following:-

  • VAT implications for Exports and Importers
  • Finance
  • Freight
  • Documentation
  • FOREX risk elimination

Sponsored by mtxpress
Local Chambers Networking

Thursday 4th March 10:00am - 11:30am

Members- £10 per person
Non-Members – £15 per person

A great way to hear what Chambers are doing across a wider local area to support businesses and most importantly a way to grow your network and do more business.
These events are always popular so book early to guarantee your place.

Limited Numbers –  Only 20 places are available to each Chamber to enable us to manage the group effectively on zoom. A Wait list will operate and additional spaces may be released depending on overall capacity.
Tax inspections and how to avoid them? 
Anybody running a business needs to be concerned about the possibility of facing a tax inspection- says Nicholas Parkes, an ex-tax inspector turned tax information provider. ‘In the Revenue, we always believed you could pick up any file and find something.’ 

What triggers a tax inspection? 
According to Parkes, 7% of tax inspections are triggered at random – ‘so HMRC can check that they are targeting their inspections properly and also so that nobody feels safe’. The vast majority, though, happen when HMRC believes there’s something wrong. So in theory, small businesses that keep good records and declare everything should have nothing to fear. However, when it comes to mistakes, ignorance is no defence, so firms have to take every care when completing their returns and ensure that they are on time – in other words, don’t give HMRC any cause for concern. 
HMRC is increasingly looking at ratio analysis  where a company’s figures change a lot from one year to the next. Any unusual fluctuations can raise alarm bells for HMRC.  Specific queries like these can trigger what’s called an aspect enquiry as opposed to a full-blown investigation. ‘Example A business owner who had forgotten about a savings account and HMRC discovered this when the bank sent details of the interest to them direct'. 

Good records, tidy accounts and clear tax returns 
New powers such as getting information from third parties and tighter penalty regulations, as well as increased powers to search premises, all mean that businesses are under more scrutiny than ever from HMRC. What’s more, all businesses are now required to file returns online. That means HMRC can use its own software to analyze returns and compare them to sector averages. 

So what else can trigger an investigation? ‘Some types of business get more attention, such as cash-based businesses and industries like building,’ It also depends on your accountant’s credibility rating. If your accountant is diligent and identifies problem areas clearly, it helps. 

Business owners, sole traders and the self-employed are making decisions on a daily basis about how to keep their accounts. And an accountant can only do as good a job as the records they are presented with.’ What every business should do is to use the extra space on their tax return form to explain any unusual fluctuations in turnover or profit.  

Our advice is to review your return carefully, minimise errors and explain any anomalies. If you haven’t left anything out, you should have nothing to worry about.

What happens in a tax inspection? 
In a full inspection, HMRC will ask for all the records and come back with questions. HMRC can raise penalties of up to 100% of the tax that should have been paid. However, if it’s an honest mistake, there’s scope for a reduction. They tend to investigate one year’s accounts, but if they find you have been deceitful they can then go back five more years or even further. Having said that, often an inspection finds nothing and there’s nothing to pay, so it’s just about the inconvenience. But for a small firm, the inconvenience and worry that an inspection causes can be significant.

How to reduce your chances of being inspected?
  • Always submit your tax returns on time. 
  • Make sure your returns are accurate and complete. 
  • Explain any changes from one year to the next. Big changes in turnover or gross profit rates will ring alarm bells, especially when drawings taken from the business or remuneration paid to seem to be insufficient. 
How to Build an Effective Marketing Funnel
Event by Theo Ruby Marketing in partnership with Celia - The Queen Bee of LinkedIn. 

Thursday 28th January 2021, 2 pm on Zoom
Special 25% discount for Bitesize Subscribers using code "BITESIZE25

"I attended the Marketing Funnel workshop run by Theo and Celia in November. Even being experienced I still learnt so much. Fantastic insight – amazing value and support. Highly Recommend!" Jeannie S

"Celia and Theo provided great content in an easy to understand format. It has helped me to assess my own marketing activities and has given me lots to think about." John B
November issue of Let's Talk Business out now

West London Local Chambers & Hounslow Chamber of Commerce are the primary support, networking, and representation organisation in west London for SMEs.

We support the interests, the commercial aspirations and the investment from businesses in Ealing, Hounslow and Hammersmith & Fulham - the Chamber is the voice for all businesses located in the borough