Tax / Publishing tax strategies - what you need to know

Large businesses are now required to publish their tax strategy online, with smaller businesses looking to follow suit. FD Recruit outlines the new ruling coming into effect this year, who is affected and why smaller businesses might voluntarily join in

Insight / AAT beats ICAEW to sign women in finance charter

AAT has beaten the ICAEW to become the first accountancy body to sign up to the government’s women in finance charter, as the Treasury announces almost half of UK financial services staff are now covered by the pledge for signatory firms to work together to help build greater gender balance

Tax / HSBC chief loses closure notice bid over non-dom status

The tax status of Stuart Gulliver, HSBC group chief executive, has been put in the spotlight again following a procedural ruling at First Tier Tribunal (FTT), which found that HMRC is not bound by an earlier decision regarding his non-UK domicile status when considering his more recent tax returns

Audit / PCAOB cracks down on ex-PwC Brazil partner over audit failure

A former partner at PwC’s Brazilian firm has been fined $10,000 (£8,021) and given a two-year ban by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) for audit failures in relation to the accounts for US consumer goods and bakery supplier Sara Lee

Accounting / IFRS 9 transition arrangements fraught with difficulty, warns EBA

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has issued an opinion on the transitional arrangements and credit risk adjustments to mitigate the effect of the accounting standard IFRS 9 Financial Instruments on prudential ratios, warning that it could mean banks recognise lower loan-loss provisions or impairments than they do at present

Tax / Tax-free childcare rollout from 28 April

The government’s tax-free childcare scheme will begin for parents of the youngest children on 28 April with general rollout for parents with children under 12 throughout 2017, as government launches a Childcare Choices website allowing parents to pre-register to join the scheme

Insight / Finance staff pick Dublin as post-Brexit location

Dublin’s financial services sector stands to gain from a post-Brexit boost when it comes to bankers choosing the location they would most like to live, once they are displaced from London, according to a survey by online removals platform Movinga

Insight / FTSE 100 CEOs earn 386 times national living wage

FTSE CEOs earn 386 times the pay of a worker earning the national living wage (NLW), according to research by the Equality Trust, which is calling for support from the public to put pressure on the government to introduce mandatory pay gap reporting

Tax / Landfill tax to be extended to illegal waste sites

HMRC is consulting on whether to extend the scope of the landfill tax to include material disposed of at illegal waste sites, as announced at Budget 2017, in a bid to tackle criminal activity

Technical Alerts

21 Mar 2017

Tax / Lewis: probate fees set to hit £20k for larger estates

The government recently announced that probate fees will rise, in some cases by substantial amounts, with the stated aim of helping to fund the modernisation of the courts and tribunals service. Anne Lewis, partner at Cripps, considers the potential pitfalls for high net worth individuals

Tax / Government seeks to clarify partnership taxation

Beneficiaries of a nominee or bare trust arrangement will be treated as partners under proposals to clarify the taxation of partnerships, a consultation outcome has revealed

Tax / Potential tax rule changes for late-life oil and gas assets

The Treasury has now published the discussion paper on the tax treatment of late-life oil and gas assets, first announced at Budget 2017, which considers potential changes to the tax rules to facilitate the transfer of such assets to new investors, in a bid to support economic recovery in the sector

Insight / Campaign to crack down on business cartels

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is targeting illegal business cartels in a bid to ensure a fair deal and free competition, with the launch of its first-ever advertising campaign and up to £100,000 on offer to whistleblowers

Tax / HMRC mulls ‘split payment’ approach to online VAT collection

HMRC has issued a call for evidence on an alternative method of collecting VAT for online business to consumer sales, in a bid to tackle the growing problem of tax losses on sales via online marketplaces made by businesses based overseas

Tax / HMRC to crack down on fraud in construction industry

HMRC is consulting on proposals to combat organised fraud in labour provision within the construction sector, which include introducing a VAT reverse charge and changes to the qualifying criteria for gross payment status (GPS) within the construction industry scheme (CIS)

Tax / Tax break on employee costs in legal cases

HMRC has published draft guidance on changes to tax rules where an employer funds costs or pays for legal indemnity insurance for employees for proceedings related to their employment, with the aim of making them simpler to operate

Tax / Rules introduced on cash equivalent of assets as benefits

HMRC has set out details of new rules for calculating the taxable value of the benefit of an asset provided to an employee, member of their family or household, for private use, in circumstances where ownership of the asset is not actually transferred

Insight / Restauranteur jailed for cooking the books in VAT scam

An Edinburgh businessman who ran two Indian restaurants in the city has been sentenced to 21 months in prison, after his £86,000 VAT evasion was uncovered by an HMRC investigation

Technical Alerts

20 Mar 2017

Tax / Draft Finance Bill 2017 hints at transition plans for quarterly reporting

The 700-plus page draft Finance Bill has been published confirming plans to go ahead with quarterly reporting from 2018 for unincorporated businesses over the VAT threshold and an indication that there could be scope for variable transition rules for different types of business, reports Sara White

Tax / Making Tax Digital penalty system out for review

With 12 months to go until the start of quarterly reporting under Making Tax Digital, the government has set out three options for the new penalty regime for non compliance ranging from a points-based system to annual HMRC compliance checks although the fines, which could be up to £3,000 for those who keep no financial records, will not kick in immediately

Tax / Cut in money purchase pension allowance limit to £4k effective 6 April

The Treasury has confirmed it will go ahead with plans to slash the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) scheme for pension transfers to £4,000 with less than a month until the new limit comes into force, reports Sara White

Tax / SDLT payment window cut delayed until April 2018

The implementation of the 14-day window for filing and payment of stamp duty land tax (SDLT), reduced from 30 days, has been delayed to April 2018 after conveyancers expressed concerns over dealing with complex transactions while complying with the new time frame

Tax / Non-resident companies owning property to pay income tax and CGT

The government is consulting on the capital gains tax and income tax liability of non-resident companies owning UK property with a view to bringing their taxable income and/or gains from the disposal of certain UK residential property interests, within the UK tax regime for the first time

Tax / Changes made to alignment dates for making good on benefits in kind

Draft guidance has been released by the government for changes to the tax treatment of benefits in kind where an employee 'makes good' the benefits in kind from 2017 to 2018 tax year

Tax / Guidance released for tackling disguised remuneration

Guidance has been released in the draft Finance Bill 2017 outlining changes made to the measures to tackle disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes since Autumn Statement 2016

Tax / Clampdown on promoters of VAT avoidance schemes

The draft Finance Bill 2017 has confirmed plans to widen the scope of the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes (DOTAS) to include all indirect taxes including VAT, from 1 September 2017, with penalties of up to £10,000 for non-compliance

Audit / FRC to investigate own member over Connaught leak

The FRC has launched an internal investigation after a member leaked information about the regulator’s investigation into PwC’s audit of Connaught to the press, reports Calum Fuller

Insight / Preparing for Brexit: essentials for accountants

Carmine Papa, managing partner at PKF Littlejohn, outlines the steps that businesses need to start taking now in order to prepare for a post-Brexit world, including risk analysis and response planning

Tax / Tougher penalties for hidden economy tax evaders planned

The government plans to introduce tougher penalties to curb those operating in the black economy with a more robust ‘failure to notify’ regime as part of its overall review of the HMRC penalties system as well as focused HMRC activity to crack down on tax evaders

Tax / Treasury reviews taxation of employee expenses for uniforms

The Treasury is consulting on whether to alter the tax rules for employee expenses as the cost for tax relief on expenses, which are not reimbursed by the employer such as uniforms and additional travel expenses, now cost the Exchequer £800m a year

Insight / Article 50 to be triggered on 29 March

Prime Minister, Theresa May will trigger Article 50 and officially begin the process for the UK to leave the EU on 29 March 2017, Downing Street has confirmed

Insight / Begbies Traynor good fit for shoe company in administration

Ian Walker, partner at Begbies Traynor’s office in Exeter, has been appointed administrator of The Blink Partnership Ltd, trading as Ted & Muffy, a Somerset-based footwear company, which is now seeking a buyer and has made a third of its staff redundant

Tax / CIPD calls for gig workers' tax status to be clarified

Nearly 1.3 million people are engaged in gig work, but their employment status and rights are unclear and are in need of clarification, according to research from the CIPD which shows that two thirds believe that government should guarantee them employment rights

Insight / Charity Commission push to improve financial governance

The Charity Commission is on a drive to ensure trustees understand their basic financial responsibilities when running a charity, and is calling on financial professionals and accountants to take a leadership role in the renewal of financial governance in the charity sector

Insight / HMRC unpicks tailors £700K tax fraud

A father and daughter who ran a Chelsea tailors have been sentenced after pocketing around £700,000 that should have been paid in tax, following an HMRC investigation

Tax / HMRC wins case over £26m tax in ‘The Queen’ film partnership scheme

The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of HMRC in a long running legal battle over the use of film partnership schemes as tax avoidance, which acquired interest in the films The Queen and Polanski’s Oliver Twist, ruling that the partnerships were not trading so tax relief was not due

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