Promising Small Business

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    Confessions Of A Uk Tax Investigator

    Many sole traders and small business owners in the UK are oblivious to the insider dealings of HMRC, formerly known as the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise.

    Many seem to think that because their businesses are very small, the Tax Man will not notice them. How wrong they are. HMRC have the most state-of-the-art technology at their disposal and are very much aware of the activities of individual traders. Most often under the spotlight are market traders and construction industry workers, but more recently the work-at-home entrepreneurs have attracted much interest.

    More and more individuals are setting up online businesses and selling just about every type of product imaginable. Some are earning five and six-figure incomes from auction sites like ebay and some are doing very nicely from Googles Adsense program. Its not difficult for HMRC inspectors to track down website owners and ebay sellers and they also have the power to access traders PayPal records and accounts.

    Anyone not declaring their incomes from these business activities are putting themselves right in the firing line. Tax fraud and tax evasion are serious matters, which can result in very serious consequences. Should a tax inspector become suspicious of a trader, he can instigate a full investigation. The whole process could take months, during which time they will uncover every single piece of evidence needed to prosecute the perpetrator.

    Depending on the severity of the tax fraud or the extent of the tax evasion, the individuals concerned could find themselves facing a heavy financial penalty, business closure, loss of the family home or even imprisonment. And they will still have to pay back all taxes due. Is it worth the risk?

    Its a gamble with unfanciable odds and overwhelming risks. The only answer is to play it straight and play it fair. Who wants to be looking over their shoulder for the rest of their working life? Like it or not we all have to pay our share of taxes. But that doesnt mean you have to give it all away to the taxman. Just be sure to claim for every single allowance available and for every single tax deductible item which is applicable.

    Youll find that your tax bill will be a lot less than you thought. And more importantly youll be able to sleep at night. The best advice is to get the best advice. Better still if you can get an inside view of how the governments HMRC organization works and stay ahead of the game eh? If only

    Bill Knight

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    Making Informed Investment Decisions

    Making an investment is an extremely important decision, not just for business houses but also for individuals. It is crucial that investors consider a few things before they make their investment decision for certain. Market factors are very important and they should be given prime consideration, as they define the future of your investments.

    As the global markets are still recovering from the hard-hitting subprime crisis of 2008, taking market factors into consideration have never been so important ever before. It is also necessary that investors consider their long-term goals and not just short-term interests before making an investment. This helps with avoiding a bad or rash investment decision. Let us have a look at some of the important points that demand consideration at the time of an investment:

    1. Having an emergency repository of funds: It is a given that all investors must compulsorily have an emergency fund of sorts to help them cope with future exigencies, such as sudden falls in the market, unemployment, and so on. This emergency fund can be built using a portion of the monthly salary over a considerable period of time or alternatively, channeling a large part of the same towards building the fund over a lesser period of time. This would depend on personal choices and financial ability, etc.

    2. Assessing ones financial position: Before entering the world of investing, it is extremely important that potential investors take time and conduct an assessment of their financial position. This step is mainly to help potential investors understand their financial risk-taking capacity and also their plan-goal compatibility, while taking the market conditions into consideration.

    3. Pre-caution from fraud: Given that the markets are still only just recovering, it is not rare to find fraudulent practitioners in the world of finance and investment. Therefore, it is always advisable to be on the alert for fraud. One way to avoid entering into deals with fraudulent companies is by investigating their authenticity through research, and also checking with friends and family who are also aware of and are engaged in investment.

    4. Types of assets and spreading investment risk: Out of stocks, bonds and cash, seldom does one see the simultaneous rise of all three types of assets at the same time. Therefore, it is best if the investor spreads his or her risk and decides to invest in more than one type. That way, in the event that the value of your investment in one type falls, the investment in the other is still available to compensate or fall back on.

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    Commodities Trading Market With Financial Spread Betting

    Commodities trading continues to be another popular avenue that traders have been pursuing. This pertains to trading in base metals, foods, gold and silver and so on. The trading is done in the same way to stocks and foreign exchange and the basis for trading may be the demand supply fluctuations in specific commodities.

    So how does financial spread betting enter into play with commodities?

    The answer is easy. The high costs of certain gold and silver for instance like gold, platinum would make it hard for that common trader to purchase and stock them for trading. If they are finding stock prices expensive, it’s possible to imagine how difficult it might be to trade commodities within the physical market. Moreover, these are not items which lend perfectly to physical trading unless you are in the company of commodities and also have your own wholesale or retail setup. That can be one reason for you to hedge positions by playing futures or spread betting in it.

    For many traders however, commodity trading represents an opportunity to make quick money based on fluctuations within the international market and it is the same advantage of leveraged trading that they can enjoy when you are performing financial spread betting in it. Actually the whole of this year has seen tremendous upsurge in gold, silver and platinum prices and all sorts of those who have gone long on these gold and silver have made a lot of money.

    The volatility inside a metal like gold is also not so high in the sense that prices might not have a huge dip. This encourages traders to maintain wide stop losses so that whether or not the price does drop, they aren’t stopped out and can trade the upswing again when they do their margined trading on this metal. Oil was another commodity that was heavily traded in the futures plus the financial spread betting market towards late 2008 which pushed in the oil prices significantly.

    It must be however mentioned that prices of commodities do follow events in the international space also it would help if you can follow those closely. Additionally, local regulations also play operator with a few governments increasing or decreasing duties on either import or export on certain commodities they perceive are in short supply or in excess. This would have an immediate effect on the market price and that’s something traders have to be cognizant of.

    Obtain the latest information and news on and other detailed information today. Learn crucial facts on topics for example .

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    Mortgage Modification Companies – Are They Legit

    Facing possible foreclosure is indeed a highly stressful situation for any homeowner; this is your home, your security, your future! Deciding to go it alone or have a mortgage modification company assist you can be very confusing and only adds to your stress! Which is best for you? Are there mortgage modification companies out there that are legitimate?

    Let’s first look at going through the process on your own. Depending upon your lender there are many requirements that must be met to qualify for a mortgage modification. There are a lot of forms and crucial information that must be presented correctly and accurately if you hope to qualify. You can do the research required; you can contact your lender yourself as millions have and had very successful outcomes! The key here is to do your homework! Make sure you know exactly what your lender requires! Leaving out even one form or one piece of vital information could be the determining factor in qualifying and getting approved! If you are comfortable doing the research and filling out the forms and in dealing directly with your lender than you can certainly do this on your own!

    If you don’t feel quite as confident and want help, it is available! There are legitimate mortgage modification companies that will walk you through the process and deal with your lender so you don’t have to. You do need to do some homework before choosing someone to assist you! There are some scams out there to be wary of! Mortgage modification companies will charge a fee that can be thousands of dollars. For many homeowners it is worth paying that fee for the security of knowing the company is dealing with the lender to get you the best possible modification loan. The choice is truly up to you! Make sure to investigate the mortgage modification companies prior to choosing one to work on your behalf.

    You can also hire an attorney to help you with the loan modification process. Usually an attorney will charge more than the mortgage modification companies will because an attorney is on retainer. Keep in mind that you do not need an attorney for this process, again that is up to you!

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    Is Whole Life Insurance Investment a Worthy Investment

    A whole life insurance investment is a relatively simple concept. You will be presented with a product that has a set premium and you will be paid the agreed upon amount of the death benefit at the end of the policy holders life. You will also have an investment component included in the policy. All money you contribute over and above the premium will be placed into a cash value account which is then invested on your behalf by the insurer.

    Apart from providing you with cash value account and a guaranteed death benefit to leave to your heirs a whole life investment has some other features as well. You have the option to borrow against the cash value your policy or fully withdraw an amount if you have an emergency need for the funds available during the life of the policy.

    The theory behind a whole life policy is that it will pay out set death benefit and a cash value to your beneficiaries all while you are guaranteed a set, unchanging premium for the life of the policy. It does more than this, though, when you consider the fact that all the money is tax free and/or tax deferred.

    Because of this tax free feature you will have the ability to make a portfolio that can achieve a number of goals that you otherwise may not be able to. You can actually use the whole life policy to secure a smooth succession in the case of a family owned business or to protect your other assets.

    You may be met with derision about your interest in a whole life insurance investment by detractors who say that it isnt a real investment because it isnt run like ones stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. While it may not grow that fast, it has the potential to a much safer long term investment since it is done in a safer manner that is designed to ensure your money keeps growing despite market ups and downs.

    A whole life insurance investment policy is generally seen as a “savings asset” as opposed to an “investment asset” because your money is saved and grown in a much less aggressive fashion than regular stocks and bonds. With a whole life insurance policy your additional money will be placed into a savings account where it will accrue interest. You dont have to invest the money within this savings account, but you can do so if you wish to. The savings account on its own, though, will become a huge asset over time.

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    New Regulatory Body Set To Transform Britains Wine Investment Industry

    NFIB and WIA to Provide Better Protection for Wine Investors

    Millions of Britons enjoy drinking it and many now see it as a long-term investment. Unfortunately, fine wine has also become a focus for fraudsters who trick investors into buying wines or vineyards that bear little resemblance to what they see in the prospectus, or may not even exist. The increasing number of such rorts in Britain has led to calls for action to be taken to protect investors and to increase consumer confidence in fine wines. In the upshot, the UKs National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is joining forces with the newly-formed Wine Investment Association (WIA) to tackle the problem.

    On 14 February 2013, the NFIB and the WIA jointly announced the launch of the new self-regulatory body which will aim to transform the growing wine investment industry by providing better protection for investors in the UK. The WIA has been formed by leading figures from the fine wine investment industry and seeks to support the sector’s growth through voluntary regulation, establishing best practices and setting up processes to identify fraudulent activity.

    Director of the NFIB, Det. Supt. Dave Clark, said: “Fraudsters will always follow the money, wine investment is just the latest in a long line of investment opportunities that are being exploited and corrupted to the detriment of the industry as a whole. He added that the NFIB sees the creation of an auditable framework of self-regulation as a step towards maintaining and increasing consumer confidence, while also identifying investment companies which do not operate in accordance with the required high standards.

    New Code to Tackle Wine Investment Frauds

    Following an extensive consultation period, the WIA has set out the standards and procedures with which its members must comply to remain in good standing. Under the new code of conduct to be drawn up, wine investment firms will undergo stringent audits by accountancy firm Mazars. These will include checks on systems such as stock rotation and to make sure that purchase orders and invoices tally. The director of the WIA, Peter Shakeshaft, revealed that companies which successfully complete the independent audit process commissioned by the newly-formed regulatory body will bear a WIA logo offering consumers a trustworthy safety kitemark. Shakeshaft added: Our industry has been held back far too long by unscrupulous practitioners and issues around fraud. The WIA will really hold the industry to account.

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    US Domestic Remittance Market Research Report Ken Research

    Espousal of mobile banking and mobile payments continues to augment rapidly in the United State and is expected to change the domestic remittance landscape in the country.

    An extensive variety of financial services are currently being offered through the mobile channel in the US. These services comprise of mobile banking, person-to-person payments, mobile shopping and price comparison services. Espousal of mobile banking and mobile payments continues to augment rapidly in the US. Banks are increasingly investing billions of dollars in developing smart apps, providing additional features for mobile banking and remittances. The majority of the banks believe that the mobile channel will help them reduce their transaction cost and increases customer engagement and enhancement. With mobile phone penetration surpassing 90% of the population, the profit potential of remittances via mobile is huge.

    The m-remittance market in the country is also observing a growing number of collaborations between the banks and MTOs, facilitating quicker mobile money transfers. For instance, The US Bank has expanded the Western Union money transfer service to its online and mobile banking platforms. Western Union services will be directly integrated with the US Bank mobile banking app. Similarly, MasterCard has partnered with eServGlobal, a mobile payment solutions provider to expand the capabilities of its international mobile remittance platform HomeSend. Hub providers such as BICS HomeSend and few others have made it feasible to integrate mobile wallets or money transfer systems of two different providers. As the companies collaborate and enhance each other’s mobile remittance capacities, m-remittance services are expected to evolve and will become more flexible. Mobile money transfers are a viable option for an under-banked or unbanked population. Many Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are keen to explore the segment of mobile money, especially for the under and unbanked population in the US.

    The market for mobile remittances and mobile person-to-person payments has proved to be a lucrative, as telecom groups, technology companies, retailers and banks have been entering into a business which is projected to grow rapidly in the next few years. More and more companies are expected to venture into the m-remittance landscape, thus bringing in superior technologies and innovation.- – According to the research report.

    The report -The US International, Domestic Remittances and Bills Payment Market Outlook to 2018 – Tie-ups and Mobile Remittances to Foster Future Growth- provides detailed overview on the International, Domestic Remittances and Bills Payment Market of the US and helps readers to identify the ongoing trends in the industry and anticipated growth in future depending upon changing industry dynamics in coming years. The report will help industry consultants, Money Transfer Agents, Banks and other stakeholders to align their market centric strategies according to ongoing and expected trends in future.

    Read more-

    Author Bio: Contact Person- Ankur Gupta Email Id- Website-

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    India’s Strong Gold Investment

    We all know that the glitter of gold can be too hard to resists sometimes. This is why investing in gold has become one of the most profitable transactions that you can make these days. When it comes to choosing the right gold products you surely have where to pick from: 1 kilo gold bar, gold coins, gold bullion, one ounce gold bars, gold funds and so on. The variety of gold investments is daunting, therefore making a choice can become a rather difficult task.

    Gold is and has been the preferred investment for Indians especially because the potential price increase and because it is considered a hedge against inflation. Studies show that when the inflation rises with 10 percent, for example, then the process for gold will rise for 30%.

    Throughout generations, gold has been one of the most trusted investment vehicles. Taking into consideration that the gold production on a worldwide scale is far below than the demand, gold prices are likely to go up in the months to come. Gold has proved itself to be the only medium of exchange that is absolutely free of credit risk. This is why the trend among investors is to invest at least part of their savings in the precious metal.

    Buying gold however, can take numerous forms. One of the most popular ways of investing in gold in India is definitely jewellery. For Indians, owning gold jewellery is a sign of wealth and it gives them the advantage of owning physical gold and also being able to use it for fashion purposes at the same time. Of course, there is a downside to this also: the loss of value due to impurities, the high charges and exchange rates when and if they decide to sell them.

    Another gold investment product, which has become quite popular is represented by the gold bar. This is the oldest form of gold preservation and the advantage of this product is that it can be found in various sizes: one ounce gold bar, 1 kilo gold bar, 20 grams gold bar and so on. This gold product offers the satisfaction of holding gold and knowing that you can buy or sell it online at any time. When you own physical gold bars then you need to deposit it in a vault and take out insurance in order to protect your investment.

    India, as well as other important economic powers of the world, such as China, have started to invest heavily in gold. Therefore, when you want to make sure that you protect your investments then you have to start doing the same thing.

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    One Sure Way To Find A Reliable Loan Modification,

    Eventually you may need to pick a loan modification specialist. This can be very difficult if you don’t know what to do. One way to find a specialist is to do a little investigating, ask a few friends for advice, or consult some professionals who work in this area. Here are some guidelines.

    One sure way to find a reliable loan modification specialist or modification firm is to ask people who have used the services of such professionals in the past. Personal recommendations might not give you many names. You may need to explore other avenues of finding help. There are other means of finding a loan modification specialist. Ask your local real estate broker. Due to the very nature of their business, they will know lawyers who have had experience with the procedures involved in foreclosure, financial disasters, and loan modifications.

    A simple call to your local state bar association can assist you in finding a lawyer who has experience dealing with situations similar to your own. You might not be comfortable letting your lending institution know how difficult things are for you. However, a talk with the bank manager about your situation may also result in a recommendation.

    A foreclosure attorney is another source of finding a loan modification specialist. Due to the nature of their business, these lawyers have dealt with loan modifications while representing their clients. They might be reluctant to offer a name, but you won’t know until you ask.

    After you have done the research and found some possible loan modification specialists, narrow your list to three choices. Call the attorney or firm and ask if they would be willing to negotiate a loan modification on your behalf. Don’t jump right in to the process and start giving out personal information right away; take some time to get to know who you are hiring. Even then, never give out your mortgage ID number, driver’s license number, social security number or credit card numbers over the telephone

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    Secret Offshore Bank Account – Is It Possible

    Secret offshore bank accounts are the stuff of legend. This article intends to debunk some of the myths about secret offshore banking by setting out what is and isn’t possible.

    1) It’s impossible to open an offshore bank account without first somehow identifying yourself. This means sending a notarized copy of your bank account/passport details to the bank or intermediary.
    2) Most offshore banks will also require a reference from a bank at home.
    3) If you open an offshore account in the name of your offshore company, you still need to provide all the formation documents, and the name and address of a real person. No bank will let a faceless entity open an account without pinning it down to a real person.

    So how is it Secret?

    Well, the reasoning behind all this, is that if you open an offshore account the bank may let you have a ‘number’ rather than a name. This so called ‘numbered account’ allows you to send wire transfers without third parties knowing who you are. An account in the name of a company will do a similar thing, allowing you to send and receive payments almost anonymously, because the company name rather yours will show up on all transactions.

    The problem is, this doesn’t shield you from government inquiries. If for example a government authority suspects you of having an undeclared offshore account, that you are hiding money from your spouse or otherwise engaged in funny business they can go to the country or bank in question and request your details. While some countries will reject the majority of these requests others are more pliant.

    Switzerland and the Cayman Islands are two in particular that co-operate with US and EU authorities. Although both have strong bank secrecy laws on paper, these are not so closely followed in practice. Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse have made headlines recently over IRS investigations into US held offshore accounts.

    The truth is, if you really want a secret account you may have to look further than ‘traditional’ tax havens. That means jurisdictions without tax-information exchange agreements or other links to high-tax countries.

    Another option is using an offshore bank account alternative. This could be (for example) sending your funds to a trust company which then opens a bank account for you in their name. Although this is also not 100% foolproof, it does offer another level of privacy in the same way that an offshore company will shield your identity.

    Whichever option you choose to take, it pays to follow some ‘golden rules’ of privacy:

    1) Limit the number of people who know about the offshore bank account to as few as is humanly possible.
    2) Fund the account with a cheque or western union transfer, rather than by wire from your home bank. 3) Never send funds directly back home from the offshore account.

    Good luck!