Many SMEs missing out on online bonuses

Many small businesses are losing money by missing out on Government incentives for using e-services

Small businesses don't know they could pick up on a tax-free payment from the government for filing their employers' annual return online.

If they file their return online, small businesses can claim a £250 payment from HM Revenue and Customs. But according to a survey of 400 small businesses by accountancy software company MYOB, one in four are unaware of the offer.

General manager of the MYOB business division Simon Smith told ZDNet UK sister site silicon.com: "We were surprised when our research showed that quite so few companies were aware of this. It's not mandatory for them, but if they do the government will provide them a financial incentive to do so."

It said companies with fewer than five employees are the most likely to miss out, with a third unaware of the incentive.

Smith said that small businesses still have time to move over to electronic filing before the 19 May deadline, but should apply for online log-in details now.

Small businesses that continue to file online can also pick up more money — up to a total of £825 — over the next five years, MYOB said.

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