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Important Dates for Individuals and Self Employed -31 January 2018

Balance of any tax, national insurance and student loan owed to HMRC for 2015/16 must be paid.

This is the deadline for paying any outstanding tax,  national insurance and student loan owed to HMRC for 2015/16.

If any help or assistance is needed with these calculations please contact Jodie and her team as soon as possible to avoid any penalties imposed by HMRC for late payment.

Take some of the stress away in 2018.

Call Jodie on 01208 74897

Email Jodie.welch@outlook.com

 

 

 

The strange history of the mince pie.

Fruity, boozy little mouthfuls, mince pies will doubtless make an appearance on every table this holiday season, making spirits bright and then going straight to your hips. The diminutive treats are so omnipresent it’s easy to take them for granted, but they have a long history, which saw them morph from hefty ground-mutton goodies into today’s dainty tarts.

They’ve even been caught up in some intriguing, longstanding legends, which reveal perhaps more about people’s prejudices and desire for a good story than about the dessert itself.

Pies as a culinary art form are old inventions, although they haven’t always involved buttery, flaky pastry. For many centuries, they seem to have been primarily shells of flour and water paste wrapped around a filling to keep it moist while baking.

The cases, which could be several inches thick, according to Janet Clarkson, author of Pie: A History, were perhaps not even intended to be edible. Even once fat had begun to be added to the dough, bringing us into the realm of modern pastry, a pie crust was still sometimes considered more as a kind of primitive Tupperware.

pie full of spices and meat appears in 1390 in A Forme of Curyan English cookbook originally written on a scroll, under the name “tartes of flesh”. To make these morsels, cooks were instructed to grind up pork, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese, before mixing them with spices, saffron, and sugar.

Other recipes redolent of today’s mince pies include one that appears in Gervase Markham’s The English Huswife, published in 1615. In this recipe, an entire leg of mutton and three pounds of suet go in, along with salt, cloves, mace, currants, raisins, prunes, dates, and orange peel. They were big, sturdy things – these pies were not finger food, but enough to serve many diners at once.

A well-baked meat pie, with liquid fat poured into any steam holes left open and left to solidify, might even be kept for up to a year, with the crust apparently keeping out air and spoilage. It seems difficult to fathom today, but as Clarkson reflects, “it was such a common practice that we have to assume that most of the time consumers survived the experience”.

 

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20171208-the-strange-and-twisted-history-of-mince-pies

Penalties for not telling HMRC about an under-assessment

Jodie will be able to help and advise with your self assessment and with prices starting form just £12.50 per hour why do it yourself. Jodie will provide a fast and professional service for all your self assessment needs.  She will also be happy to assist sorting out any historic problems that you may have.

It is always best to be totally honest with HMRC, if however you do make a genuine mistake it is advisable to contact them as soon as you have identified the error to avoid additional charges.

The link below details the possible penalties for not telling HMRC about an under-assessment on your Tax return.

From HMRC website  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/660170/CC-FS7b_11_17.pdf

 

Register for and file your Self Assessment tax return- Deadline approaching.

This needs to be completed by 31st January 2018.

If you haven’t told HMRC you need to send a return

There are different ways to register for Self Assessment if you’re:

You should allow enough time to complete the registration process so you can send your return by the deadline.

 

Jodie and her team will be available to offer help, advice or to do the return for you.  Don’t spend the Christmas period worrying about self assessment. 

Call Jodie on 01208 74897

Email Jodie.welch@outlook.com

 

Here are your last minute Christmas shopping options in Cornwall

http://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/last-minute-christmas-shopping-cornwall-961686

Below are the supermarket opening hours for Christmas

Lidl

(Image: Lidl)

The chain’s supermarkets will be open as normal until Wednesday, December 20. Afterwards, they will be open from 7am to 11pm until Saturday, December 23.

On Christmas Eve, the Lidl stores will open from 10am to 4pm. They will be closed on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Sainsbury’s

Truro: The city’s store will open from 6am to 11.59pm from December 21 to 23. On Christmas Eve, the opening times will be 10am to 4pm.

The store will be closed on Christmas Day but will open on Boxing Day between 9am and 5pm.

From December 27 to December 30, it will open between 7am to 8pm.

FalmouthBetween December 21 and 23, the store will open between 7am to 10pm. On Christmas Eve, you will be able to shop between 10am and 4pm.

On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, it will be closed.

It will reopen on December 27 and, until December 30, will open between 7am and 8pm.

Newquay: The store will open between 7am and 9pm from December 21 to 23.

On Christmas Eve, it will also be opened from 10am to 4pm. It will be closed on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

From December 27 to 30, the store will open between 7am to 8pm.

Waitrose

Truro: Between December 21 and 23, the city’s store will open between 7am and 10pm.

On Sunday, December 24, it will be open from 10am to 4pm. On both Christmas Day and Boxing Day, it will be closed.

On December 27 and 28, the opening times are 8am to 8pm and on December 29 it will open an extra hour until 9pm.

Saltash: On December 22 and 23, the Saltash store will open between 7.30am and 10pm.

On Christmas Eve it will open from 10am to 4pm and will be closed on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

From December 27 to 30, the opening times are 7.30am to 9pm.

Iceland

(Image: Getty Images)

Truro, Falmouth, Redruth and Camborne: The stores will open between 8am to 9pm until December 23, when they will open one hour earlier.

On Christmas Eve, the opening times are from 10am to 4pm and the stores will close for Christmas Day.

On Boxing Day, they will open from 9am to 6pm. From December 27 to 30, they will open from 8am to 7pm.

St AustellOn December 21 and 22, the store will open between 8am and 8pm. On December 23, it will open one hour earlier.

On Christmas Eve, the opening times are 10am to 4pm and the store will also be closed on Christmas day.

On Boxing Day, the opening times are the same as the other stores’ and, from December 27 to 30, it will open between 8am and 6pm.

Morrisons

Cornwall’s Morrisons stores will open from 6am to midnight until December 21.

On Christmas Eve, they will open from 10am to 4pm, and will be closed on Christmas Day.

Shops will reopen the following day at 9am and will close at 5pm.

Normal opening hours are back on December 27.

Tesco

(Image: Getty Images)

Truro: The store will be closed on Christmas Day and will open on Boxing Day between 9am and 6am.

Falmouth Metro: The store will be closed on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Falmouth Express: On Christmas Eve, the store will open from 6am to 10pm. It will be closed the following day and will reopen on Boxing Day at 8am until 10pm.

Redruth Tolgus Superstore: The store will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Redruth Extra: It will close on Christmas Day but will reopen on Boxing Day at 9am until 6pm.

Callington Superstore: The store will be closed both on December 25 and 26.

Launceston Superstore: It will be closed on Christmas Day but will reopen on Boxing Day between 9am and 6pm.

Helston Superstore: The store will be closed on Christmas Day but open the following day between 9am and 6pm.

St Ives Superstore: It will be closed both days.

Penzance Superstore: You won’t be able to shop there on Christmas Day but will be on Boxing Day between 9am and 6pm.

Davy Penzance Express: It will be closed on December 25 but open on December 26 between 8am and 10pm.

Cornwall shows overwhelming support for Royal Mail workers after St Austell postman is sacked days before Christmas

Cornwall has extended an overwhelming show of support for Royal Mail workers after residents were furious to find that a popular postman had been sacked days before Christmas.

The workers at the St Austell Sorting Office on Holmbush Industrial Estate walked out on their break on Thursday morning (December 21) in a display of solidarity after learning the fate of their colleague.

Around 100 postal workers are based at the St Austell sorting office and one member of the team said the postman was a “popular guy” who had been suffering some issues with sickness.

The postal worker, who wished to remain anonymous, told Cornwall Live: “It was a solidarity walkout after a popular member of staff was sacked.

“We don’t agree with it at all, especially at this time of year when the service is under pressure. There’s an appeal pending. It’s all back to normal now until we hear the outcome of the appeal.”

A spokesman for the postal workers’ union, the CWU, said Royal Mail had decided to turn into the “Christmas Grinch” and blasted the decision to sack the worker as “shockingly inept management”.

After learning of Thursday morning’s action, residents from across Cornwall have taken to social media to express their gratitude to postal workers – especially for delivering cards and presents to loved ones at this time of the year.

Postal workers outside the St Austell sorting office

Writing on Cornwall Live, Anita Keel said: “Well done guys. I work for the Post Office and I know exactly how hard you all work, especially at this time of year.

“Illness goes with the territory. Out in all weathers, walking miles, lifting up to 10 kilo sacks of mail. Nobody’s allowed time off even if your dead on your feet. We get verbally abused by the general public every day and if we say something in our defence were reported as being rude.

“Spare a thought to the people who enable you to receive gifts from your loved ones at Christmas. Merry Christmas from the people who are working extremely hard to provide gifts for their own loved ones at Christmas.”

Pound dog: Elvis still earning a fortune 40 years after his death

Elvis Presley in 1975

When a downward-spiralling Elvis Presley died 40 years ago on 16 August 1977, a cynical music industry insider was overheard to remark that it was a “smart career move”.

Apocryphal tale or not, death has given a lucrative boost to the selling power of not just Elvis, but also Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and a host of other music legends.

It has also enabled a number of entrepreneurial fans of the artists in question to make a good living from selling memorabilia and other things connected to their idols.

Elvis’s legacy and monetary worth remain immensely strong in particular – according to Forbes’ list of top earning dead stars he earned $27m (£21m) in 2016, and sold one million albums.

Aged just 42 when he died of a heart attack, the singer’s notorious love of unhealthy food could not have helped. His favourite sandwich was said to consist of two slices of fried bread, with crispy bacon and fried bananas, smothered in jam and peanut butter.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40933580

Black Friday lifts UK retail sales in November

Black Friday helped to propel retail sales 1.6% higher in November from a year earlier, official figures suggest.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that retailers had reported a particular uplift in sales of electrical household appliances.

ONS statistician Rhian Murphy said underlying growth remained “reasonably strong”.

However, analysts said that Black Friday had distorted sales and retailers faced challenging conditions.

The ONS said that the quantity of food bought in November fell by 0.1% compared to the same month last year.

However, the amount of money spent jumped by 3.5%, reflecting a rise in food prices that has contributed to the increase in inflation, which is now at a near six-year high of 3.1%.

In non-food sales, clothing and footwear rebounded from a slump in October to rise 2.3% in November from a year earlier. Department stores, however, saw their sales fall by 0.9% which the ONS said “continues a recent pattern of slowdown in this sector”.

 

Please see : http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42350406

 

 

Rightmove predicts 1% rise in UK house prices in 2018

Property website says 2% price falls in London will be offset by increase in value of homes elsewhere

Estate agent boards
 British homeowners have seen the value of their homes rise 30.9% over six years. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

Rightmove is predicting that house prices across England and Wales will rise by 1% in 2018, but there will be a further decline in London.

In its annual report on the market, the property website predicts that 2% price falls in the capital will be more than offset by an increase in the value of small and medium-priced homes around the country.

Rightmove said the average asking price for an English or Welsh home stands at £302,865 – a 2.6% fall on November, but 1.2% higher than a year ago.

A 1% average increase would represent the lowest annual increase since the 0.8% rise recorded in 2011, it said.

Analysts at the website, which claims to list 90% of estate agents’ properties, said they expected the price of properties typically bought by first-time-buyers (two beds or fewer) to increase by 3% next year.

The site also said it also expected second-stepper homes (non-detached homes with three or four bedrooms) to increase by 2% over the next 12 months.

This time last year, Rightmove predicted that national asking prices would rise 2% during 2017. The increase was in fact 1.2%. Its prediction that inner London prices would fall 5% proved more accurate, as they fell 4%.

Monday’s report chimes with another from the estate agent Savills, which last month also predicted that average prices would rise 1% next year. It said the UK’s housing market had proved “stronger than expected” this year, rather than stagnating, as the estate agent suggested a year ago.

 

From    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/dec/11/rightmove-predicts-1-rise-in-uk-house-prices-in-2018

 

The strange history of the mince pie.

The sweet and spicy fruit mix encased in crumbly pastry has been a Yuletide treat for centuries – though its earlier incarnations might not be so tasty to modern tongues.

Fruity, boozy little mouthfuls, mince pies will doubtless make an appearance on every table this holiday season, making spirits bright and then going straight to your hips. The diminutive treats are so omnipresent it’s easy to take them for granted, but they have a long history, which saw them morph from hefty ground-mutton goodies into today’s dainty tarts.

They’ve even been caught up in some intriguing, longstanding legends, which reveal perhaps more about people’s prejudices and desire for a good story than about the dessert itself.

Pies as a culinary art form are old inventions, although they haven’t always involved buttery, flaky pastry. For many centuries, they seem to have been primarily shells of flour and water paste wrapped around a filling to keep it moist while baking.

The cases, which could be several inches thick, according to Janet Clarkson, author of Pie: A History, were perhaps not even intended to be edible. Even once fat had begun to be added to the dough, bringing us into the realm of modern pastry, a pie crust was still sometimes considered more as a kind of primitive Tupperware.

A well-baked meat pie, with liquid fat poured into any steam holes left open and left to solidify, might even be kept for up to a year, with the crust apparently keeping out air and spoilage. It seems difficult to fathom today, but as Clarkson reflects, “it was such a common practice that we have to assume that most of the time consumers survived the experience”.

Mince pies (Credit: Alamy)

A pie full of spices and meat appears in 1390 in A Forme of Curyan English cookbook originally written on a scroll, under the name “tartes of flesh”. To make these morsels, cooks were instructed to grind up pork, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese, before mixing them with spices, saffron, and sugar.

Other recipes redolent of today’s mince pies include one that appears in Gervase Markham’s The English Huswife, published in 1615. In this recipe, an entire leg of mutton and three pounds of suet go in, along with salt, cloves, mace, currants, raisins, prunes, dates, and orange peel. They were big, sturdy things – these pies were not finger food, but enough to serve many diners at once.

By the mid-17th Century, there appears to have been some connection made to Christmas, although people certainly ate mince pies at other times as well – Samuel Pepys had mince pies at a friend’s anniversary party in January of 1661, where there were 18 laid out, one for each year of the marriage. But he also appears to have expected them for Christmas. When his wife was too ill to make them one year, he had them delivered.

However, a hint of scandal today swirls around mince pies during this period – or rather, just before it, during Oliver Cromwell’s reign over England. During this Interregnum, when the Puritans were in power, they came down hard on what they saw as frivolous, godless additions to the Christian faith, going so far as to try to abolish holy days, including Christmas. While that particular bill did not pass Parliament, another one did, mandating that markets should stay open on Christmas and legislating that nothing in church services should be out of the ordinary that day. Other laws cracked down brutally on holy day feasting and ceremonies of all kinds.There was no mention of mince pies in particular. But in later years, stories began to circulate that during Cromwell’s reign, the spiced treats, derided as a Popeish indulgence, had been made illegal.

 

for full article please see.   http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20171208-the-strange-and-twisted-history-of-mince-pies