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

22 Aug 2016

Tax / Nunn: HMRC penalty regime takes taxpayers to the brink

Yvette Nunn sees a trend towards aggressive tax cases as HMRC increasingly takes a hard line over minor infringements of tax rules, which oftentimes are down to trivial errors, with the recent cases of J & W Brown and Steady a prime example with trivial fines heading to court

Tax / Quarterly reporting for larger businesses under MTD set for autumn consultation

Final details on the plans for quarterly reporting for incorporated businesses, including SMEs and larger businesses, are set to be published in a seventh HMRC Making Tax Digital consultation planned for later this autumn

Tax / HMRC pushes for voluntary quarterly online filing for charities

As part of the consultation on implementing Making Tax Digital (MTD), HMRC is looking at whether charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) should adopt quarterly online filing of tax information, but says it currently has no powers to make this compulsory

Tax / Treasury revisits new non dom rules with grace period for mixed funds

The government is committed to planned reforms to the way  non doms - individuals with a foreign domicile - are taxed in the UK and is consulting on updated proposals which include charging inheritance tax (IHT) on UK properties, and also a review of Business Interest Relief (BIR) rules to encourage greater investment into UK businesses post-Brexit

Tax / Editor’s comment: ‘enablers’ targeted in extreme avoidance crackdown

The latest power grab by HMRC will see a series of harsh penalties for the so-called ‘enablers’ of aggressive tax avoidance schemes, described colourfully as 'peddlers' by the financial secretary to the Treasury but will these measures simply create more confusion over definitions and liabilities, asks Sara White, editor of Accountancy

Insight / SMEs prioritise Germany as key to exports post Brexit

SMEs view market access and trade deals as the key government priorities as it negotiates the UK’s exit from the EU, according to a survey conducted for PwC, while analysis from EY suggests financial services organisations are more concerned about passporting and workers’ rights

Insight / Bankruptcy restriction on accountant who misappropriated £140K

An assistant accountant from Harrow who misappropriated €160,510 (£138,263) from the Swiss arm of the recruitment company which employed him has been given an 11-year bankruptcy restriction order by the High Court

Insight / Accounting failures spark ban for director of fuel-saving company

The director of an Aberdeen-based company set up to market a fuel-saving device has been disqualified for six years for failing to maintain and preserve proper accounting records, after an Insolvency Service investigation found inadequate documentation of some £275,000 of expenditure

Technical Alerts

19 Aug 2016

Tax / HMRC signals move to points-based penalty system for taxpayers

HMRC plans to use the introduction of the Making Tax Digital (MTD) online strategy to move to a points-based penalty regime for failure to submit tax information on time, using a graduated model similar to the ‘speeding points’ system used for drivers who break the law, and is also potentially seeking wider investigative powers

Insight / Brexit, a new PM and what it means for finance directors

Despite opinion polls showing that the UK’s financial directors and CFOs strongly favoured remaining in the EU, the UK is now attempting to plot a future operating on the outside, so what are the immediate risks and considerations for top finance teams, asks Phil Scott, managing director at FD Recruit

Tax / Bank surcharge boosts corporation tax receipts to £7.5bn

The total corporation tax for July hit £7.5bn in July, boosted by the first receipts from the new bank surcharge, which totalled £343m, but the budget surplus currently stands at under £1bn, compared to £1.2bn in the same month last year

Accounting / Accounting whistleblower turns down share of $16.5m SEC reward

A former risk officer at Deutsche Bank has turned down a multimillion dollar whistleblower reward from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for his part in exposing accounting failures at the bank, in protest at the US regulator’s failure to punish senior executives

Tax / Government fights obesity with detailed plans for £520m sugar tax

The Treasury and HMRC are consulting on the detailed proposals for the new soft drinks industry levy, set to raise £520m a year when it is introduced from April 2018 and designed to reduce the nation’s sugar consumption by taxing highly sweetened fizzy drinks

Tax / HMRC to extend property categories for life insurance policies

HMRC is consulting on the current property categories that can be selected under the terms of a life insurance policy without that policy becoming a personal portfolio bond, with a view to adding further property types in response to representations from the investment industry

Insight / Directors disqualified after failing to practice what they preach

Two directors who provided financial management service to schools, have been disqualified for 11 and a half years for failing to register with HMRC despite charging VAT

Tax / Tax on long haul flights set to increase from 2017

Air Passenger Duty (APD) rates for tax years 2017-18 are set to increase for long-haul flights, reflecting a continuous increase in the tax level for long haul destinations, including Asia and Australia

Tax / Australia’s ‘backpacker tax’ policy under review

The Australian government has launched a review into tax issues affecting working holiday maker visa holders, including details on the proposed ‘backpacker tax’

Technical Alerts