The government’s scheme to help businesses that are struggling to pay their tax bills could see a rise in requests to delay payments as the self-assessment date approaches.

An interesting, albeit minor, change to the treatment of postal services was announced towards the end of 2009, although it has not as yet been implemented.

A major change to the way that VAT is charged across the EU could impose extra admin costs on UK firms.

Prospective tax rises and the return of VAT to the old rate of 17.5 per cent may have had an adverse effect on consumer confidence.

Shoppers in the UK who buy goods on the internet from countries outside the EU can now spend more without being liable to customs duty.

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