The Association of Cycle Traders is launching a telephone counselling helpline for its members, their staff and immediate families as part of a strategy to broaden the range of value-added services offered through its Act Smart membership package.

ACT launches telephone counselling helpline and IBD tax protection

Launching in early July all calls to the helpline will be free, confidential and will have no limit on length of call. Callers will speak with qualified counsellors who are members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and are covered by their code of Ethics and Practice.

ACT’s Mark Brown said: “The helpline will be able to assist on a wide range of issues, from the stress caused by financial difficulty to dealing with bereavement and managing depression. This launch adds greater depth to our service provision but most importantly gives our members, their staff and immediate family access to a valuable resource offering help and support when they need it most.”

The counselling service is part of a new partnership between ACT and DAS, Europe’s leading business support and legal expenses provider. DAS will also be providing a complete business helpline service for ACT members, offering qualified legal support on business matters in the UK and Europe as well as assistance in the event of a business emergency such as fire or flood.

And from 1st July businesses with ACT membership will be covered by a new legal expenses insurance package which means all costs will be paid in the event of a commercial tax investigation by the Inland Revenue.

The new insurance covers both full tax investigations and enquiries into a particular aspect of the policy holder’s tax return. The policy pays legal costs up to £50,000 and is provided by DAS, a business support and legal expenses provider, who also offer a tax advice telephone helpline for ACT members as part of the new service.

Brown said: “The complexities of the tax system can prove a minefield for any company and regardless of how carefully your accountants complete your tax returns you can still end up involved in a dispute. Such disputes can not only prove to be very expensive in terms of the cost of fees and demands, they are also very time consuming and stressful. HM Revenue & Customs has targets for the number of Full and Aspect Enquiries to be raised and the amount of unpaid tax to be recovered. These targets are often exceeded.”

"As well as tax investigation insurance the policy also provides cover in the event of PAYE or VAT disputes. The new insurance is now automatically included as a standard part of the annual ACT membership subscription, which means it is available at a much reduced cost than would normally be the case when purchasing a standalone policy.”

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