Tax / Tax planning: offshore envelope wrappers and OEICs

Offshore tax planning does not have to be off the books. Structured mitigation makes sense from offshore bonds to open-ended investment companies (OEICs) for the right investors, says Freddy David, managing director of HBFS

Insight / PKF UKI network reports hike in fee income to £125m

PKF UK and Ireland (PKF UKI) has reported £125m in total annual fee income in the UK and Ireland for the year ending 31 May 2016, after Francis Clark joined the network

Audit / FRC rolls out first audit firm governance code

The Financial Reporting Council has issued a revised Audit Firm Governance Code, which it claims ‘sharpens purpose and enhances transparency’ and is the first time a stand-alone guide for auditors has been available

Tax / Early pension drawdown figures hit £6bn

The number of flexible pension withdrawals made in the second quarter of 2016 hit £1.77bn, double the amount withdrawn in the same period last year, but the rate of withdrawals has slowed, suggesting more individuals are making smaller, regular withdrawals

Tax / Tax filing deadlines: Aug – Dec 2016

The key HMRC filing deadlines from August to December 2016 including firns P46 (Car) for quarter ended 5 July, employment intermediaries' quarterly report 6 April to 5 July and notice of chargeability to tax for 2015/16

Insight / Michel Barnier named as Brexit negotiator

The European Commission has named Michel Barnier, the man who oversaw the introduction of sweeping reforms of statutory audit, as its chief negotiator in charge of leading a taskforce which will prepare and conduct discussions with the UK about its withdrawal from the EU, following the vote to leave in the referendum last month

Tax / Labour leader hopeful calls for return of 50p tax

Owen Smith has pledged to transform the UK tax system if he wins the current contest to become Labour leader, announcing plans to reinstate the 50p personal tax rate and introduce a new wealth tax on the richest 1% of taxpayers, in a bid to tackle what he described as ‘ballooning’ inequality

Insight / DC pension code stresses TPR’s expectations of trustees

The Pensions Regulator’s new code of practice for defined contribution (DC) pension schemes, which sets out the standards that pension trustees need to meet to comply with legislation, has come into force with effect 28 July

Tax / Consultation on BEPS involving interest in banking and insurance

The OECD is consulting on approaches to address Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) involving interest in the banking and insurance sectors

Tax / MPs want independent scrutiny of OTS senior appointments

The Treasury select committee has tabled an amendment to the finance bill, designed to ensure the independence of the chair and tax director of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), after its plans for independent scrutiny of the appointments were turned down

Technical Alerts

27 Jul 2016

Audit / ARD: what the audit rule change means for mid-tier firms

Separation of non-audit services under the recently introduced Audit Regulation and Directive (ARD) will open up opportunities for mid-tier firms in the listed market, say James Roberts and Jo Gilbey of BDO

Insight / Dundee newsagents banned over £1m HMRC lost revenue

A husband and wife from Dundee who were directors of a newsagents have been disqualified for a combined 13 years for submitting false information to the tax authorities, which resulted in over £1m of lost revenue for HMRC

Insight / High street banks threaten charges over negative interest rates

Two high street banks, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), have warned businesses they may consider introducing negative interest rates, which would effectively mean they would start charging to accept deposits

Tax / MPs warn HMRC over customer service levels

HMRC's plans to cut the cost of its personal tax services by a further 34% in the next five years raises the risk of another collapse in service levels, according to a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which wants the department to balance its potential savings with the costs to taxpayers left waiting on the telephone

Insight / Pay gap between accountants and lawyers narrows

The pay gap between chartered accountants and lawyers has reduced to 13.7% as a result of the average pay for accountants rising by 2.8% in 2015 to £35,900, according to research by Nixon Williams

Insight / KPMG puts administration on the menu at Silverstar Foods

Will Wright, Mark Orton and Colin Haig, partners at KPMG restructuring, have been appointed joint administrators to food wholesaler Silverstar Foods Ltd, which has collapsed with the loss of over 450 jobs after an attempted business turnaround failed

Practice Development / Kingston Smith appoints female board member

Top 20 accountancy firm and chartered accountants, Kingston Smith, has appointed one of its partners, Anjali Kothari, to its executive board

Insight / Demand for FTSE 100 executive pay reform increases

Pay packages for senior executives in the FTSE 100 remained largely unchanged last year, but shareholder dissatisfaction with companies’ top level pay rates is increasing, according to research by PwC

Insight / CABA and Dementia UK to support ICAEW members

The Chartered Accountants Benevolent association (CABA) has partnered with charity Dementia UK to support ICAEW members and their families who are living with, or are providing care for someone with dementia

Technical Alerts

26 Jul 2016

Tax / Tax claims: how to protect yourself from litigious clients

As tax rules become more complex and clients more willing to sue, Virginia Hickley, head of financial claims at Mills & Reeve examines how accountants can safeguard against claims

Tax / OECD to report on countries’ non-compliance in tax transparency

At the recent G20 meeting in China, finance ministers stressed their support for greater tax transparency, calling for a report from the OECD on the implementation of automatic exchange of information before the end of the year, and stating that by July 2017 it wants a list of non-compliant jurisdictions

Tax / HMRC alters student loan repayments amid service problems

HMRC has made changes on the deduction of student loan repayments from employees’ pay with the introduction of two types of student loan, plan one and plan two, coming into effect from the 2016/17 tax year, however issues have arisen with downloading employer notices for student loans

Tax / BT broadband outage ‘illustrates risk’ of reliance on online services

The broadband service outage suffered last week by BT broadband customers illustrates the risk for firms and their clients of over-reliance on online services, advisers warn

Insight / Charity Commission inquiry into charity set up by 12 year old

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Young Pioneers, a charity set up by a 12 year old schoolboy who experienced bullying, over concerns about its governance and financial administration

Insight / Scotland calls for ‘multinational’ UK negotiation on Brexit

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has indicated there could be a push for a second Scottish independence referendum if the UK government fails to demonstrate that Scotland’s interests will be protected during negotiations to leave the EU following the Brexit vote, which could include finding a way for Scotland to retain its EU membership

Audit / FRC criticised over ‘inexplicable’ decision on HBOS audit investigation

The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC’s) failure to take regulatory action sooner following the failure of HBOS has been strongly criticised by the Treasury select committee, which says its original decision not to investigate the auditing of the bank was ‘a serious mistake’, labelling its response ‘inexplicable’ and ‘unacceptable’

Insight / Charity Commission removes trustees over financial mismanagement

The Charity Commission has removed all three trustees from the charity Didi New Organisation, after an inquiry found they had not kept sufficient accounting records to explain the charity’s transactions and activities, there were no internal financial controls in place and they were unable to evidence the proper end use of the charity’s funds

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