PracticeConsultingWalking the talk on e-business

Walking the talk on e-business

Gordon Brown was on the road last week extolling the virtues of the e-business revolution. This week Number 10 launched its new website.

Meanwhile the government’s e-envoy Alex Allen continues to tell businesses that ministers are serious when they say they mean e-business.

In the City, however, the reaction to this fervour is muted. QXL is justly proud of an eightfold increase in its share price over the last three months of 1999.

But QXL – like Freeserve, lastminute.com and Britain’s other dot.com stars – is not happy with the government and Brown in particular.

With dot.com share prices rocketing skywards these businesses face a national insurance nightmare. In recruiting and retaining staff, these start-up companies can only promise jam tomorrow through share options.

But these options are subject to employers national insurance – based on the value of that share price.

In QXL’s case a whopping £15m.

Not surprisingly the companies want to see it changed. They have a point.

The charge to the company is made when the employee sells his or her shares. So the better these companies perform, the higher their national insurance bills.

This ‘share price tax’, as QXL have labelled it, is not a tax on profits but a tax on the profits the market believes a company might make.

If Brown wants to deliver a Budget for e-business next month, he might wish to start here.

Related Articles

5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

Accounting Software 5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

Consulting Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Richard Toone, CVR Global

Accounting Firms Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Richard Toone, CVR Global

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Deloitte 'self-imposes exile' on government contracts to defuse PM row

Accounting Firms Deloitte 'self-imposes exile' on government contracts to defuse PM row

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Julie Adams, Menzies

Accounting Firms Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Julie Adams, Menzies

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: Deloitte's tech thing; PAC wants HMRC 'contingencies'; and Sports Direct

Business Regulation Friday Afternoon Live: Deloitte's tech thing; PAC wants HMRC 'contingencies'; and Sports Direct

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: HMRC complaints rise; Deloitte scoops big audits; and corporate reporting woes

Audit Friday Afternoon Live: HMRC complaints rise; Deloitte scoops big audits; and corporate reporting woes

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
New head of equity capital markets for KPMG

Accounting Firms New head of equity capital markets for KPMG

1y Stephanie Wix, Writer