Accounting / Tips and pitfalls for senior accounting officers (SAO)

Rebecca Wilkinson CTA FCCA, corporate tax senior manager at Menzies reviews the revised HMRC rules for senior accounting officers from maintaining robust tax accounting systems to eligibility criteria

Insight / Harris Lipman acquisition pushes Menzies fee income to £40m

The acquisition of mid-tier accounting firm Harris Lipman contributed to 20% growth at Menzies LLP, which saw the firm retain its ranking in the top 20 league table, as results for the year to 31 June 2016 show

Insight / Large businesses say high staff turnover damaging HMRC relationships

The high turnover rate among HMRC customer relationship managers (CRMs) - the key intermediaries between clients and tax officials - means some large businesses feel their relationship with the tax authority has deteriorated over the past year

Tax / US Treasury hits out at ‘supra-national’ EU probe into Apple tax

The US Treasury department has fired a warning at the European Commission ahead of its expected ruling on whether Ireland offered Apple a preferential tax arrangement amounting to state aid, suggesting its investigations into the technology giant and other US multinationals are undermining multilateral progress on reducing tax avoidance and are based on a ‘selective’ interpretation of transfer pricing rules

Insight / Chancellor guarantees EU funding and grants beyond Brexit

The Treasury has confirmed that British businesses and universities have been given guarantees over future funding under EU schemes like Horizon 2020 and should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU

Accounting / IFRS Foundation issues guide to IFRS taxonomy common practice

The IFRS Foundation, responsible for the governance and oversight of the International Accounting Standards Board, has issued a guide explaining IFRS Taxonomy common practice content including examples of best practice and areas for possible future review

Tax / EU and EEA nationals pay more in tax than claim in benefits

Latest HMRC statistics show that European Economic Area (EEA) nationals in the UK pay more in income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) than they take out in tax credits and child benefit, with the biggest contributions coming from French and Irish nationals

Audit / IAASB consults on development of external reporting

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released a discussion paper exploring ways to improve the quality and scope of external reporting for entities  by identifying critical emerging reporting issues for auditors and company reporters 

Tax / HMRC advisory fuel rates for company car users rise from 1 September

HMRC has published the latest advisory fuel rates (AFR) for company car users, effective from 1 September 2016 reflecting the upward trend in forecourt fuel prices

Insight / Last fraudster of £643k ‘Project Dobbin’ tax fraud jailed

The final defendant in an investigation into a £643k tax fraud by 17 tradesman, has been jailed for seven years after failing to declare his earnings to HMRC

Technical Alerts

24 Aug 2016

Tax / Worldwide Disclosure Facility for offshore tax evaders effective 5 September

HMRC is to set up a Worldwide Disclosure Facility to allow taxpayers with offshore non-disclosed accounts to legitimise their tax arrangements, although details about the actual restrictions and penalties are not clear, nor a closing date for the amnesty period

Accounting / Houchen: the end of manual reporting for accounts

The accounting error in the M&S quarterly accounts highlights the risks of complex manual reporting processes as companies handle increasingly diverse financial data sources, warns Dee Houchen, senior director for ERP applications, Oracle

Tax / HMRC plans ‘requirement to correct’ for offshore tax evaders

As part of a package of moves to tackle offshore tax evasion, HMRC is consulting on plans to introduce a ‘Requirement to Correct’ (RTC) obligation compelling those with offshore interests who have yet to put their UK tax affairs in order to do so by September 2018, ahead of the widespread adoption of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

Tax / Online tax refund facility under digital tax accounts promised

Taxpayers who have set up a personal tax account can now apply for an online refund of any overpaid tax and receive payment within three to five days, HMRC has announced

Tax / VAT treatment of dwelling formed of several buildings revised

HMRC has changed the policy on the VAT treatment of a dwelling formed from the construction of more than one building or from the conversion of non-residential buildings into a dwelling, following several wins for taxpayers over challenges to its original position at the First Tier Tribunal (FTT)

Insight / Director ban dished up for restauranteur's inadequate records

An Aberdeenshire director has been disqualified for eight years for failing to ensure her restaurant company kept adequate books and records, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service

Insight / Client relationships undermined by over reliance on IT

The increasing use of IT and automated systems is having a negative impact on accountants by reducing their interaction with their clients leading to 60% of firms losing one to ten clients in the past year, research has shown

Insight / Inquiry into financial discrepancy at Salford charity

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a Salford-based Orthodox Jewish charity, Chessed L’Yisroel Ltd, over concerns about its financial affairs, which include failure to account for a £130,000 loan and the loss of £250,000 due to failure to make repayments to a lender

Insight / Scotland warns of Brexit economic risk

The UK’s decision to leave the EU is projected to cost the Scottish economy up to £11.2bn per year and Scottish public finances up to £3.7bn, according to the first in a series of analyses the Scottish government plans to publish to look at the potential impact on Scotland of the UK’s Brexit vote

Technical Alerts

23 Aug 2016

Tax / Employees will lose out in salary sacrifice tax changes

Changes to the taxation of salary sacrifice schemes favour employer imposition over employee choice although the government has ringfenced pensions so that for the time being they are protected, says Tim Stovold, head of tax at Kingston Smith

Insight / Economic trends: unknown knowns on sterling post-Brexit

The risks around monetary policy and sterling volatility as a start date for Brexit negotiations continues to remain unclear are areas for concern, warns Carl Hasty, director of SmartCurrencyBusiness

Tax / Help to Buy ISAs cannot be used for house deposit at exchange of contract

The effectiveness of the government’s Help to Buy ISA scheme has been questioned since first time buyers are not able to withdraw the funds when they are required at point of exchange of contracts when buying their first property

Insight / Fake invoices see father and daughter directors banned

A father and daughter who were directors of a wholesaler and supplier of electrical goods have been disqualified for total of 16 years for raising false invoices

Tax / OECD consults on branch mismatch structures to curb profit shifting

The OECD is consulting on the mechanics of dealing with branch mismatch structures under Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 2, designed to neutralise the effects of hybrid mismatch arrangements as part of the wider anti-avoidance action plan

Tax / Micro businesses need more clarity about digital tax accounts

The UK’s smallest businesses and freelancers are in still in the dark about HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) plans, with most not aware of the requirements despite the recent launch of a raft of consultations on the process and rollout plans for the new tax reporting system

Tax / MP leads call to end Scottish Limited Partnerships

SNP MP Roger Mullin is leading calls to scrap Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs) over fears it facilitates ‘aggressive’ tax avoidance and financial crime

Insight / Late payment or business failure behind a fifth of corporate insolvencies

At least one fifth of UK corporate insolvencies in the past year were caused by late payment or the insolvency of another company, according to research by insolvency and restructuring trade body R3 highlighting this is as a longstanding issue which needs addressing

Tax / Liechtenstein signs up to automatic tax information exchange

Liechtenstein is the latest signatory to OECD’s Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, signalling its commitment to tackle tax evasion in the jurisdiction by agreeing to the automatic exchange of financial tax information

Insight / Charity Commission to probe olive oil sales by Christian charity

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Gilbert Deya Ministries amid concerns about its governance and the possibility it has been selling olive oil for its healing qualities in breach of regulations and the law

Insight / London firm Jeffreys Henry appoints first managing partner

Jeffreys Henry has named Justin Randall as the London-based accounting firm’s first managing partner, with responsibility for taking the lead on developing and implementing a growth strategy at the firm, currently ranked at number 71 in Accountancy’s Top 75 firms league table

Technical Alerts