Tax / HMRC warning on managed service company tax avoidance schemes

HMRC is warning contractors about tax avoidance schemes involving unpaid PAYE and Class 1 national insurance contributions (NICs) after its ‘emphatic win’ at a First Tier Tribunal (FTT) in the first case to test managed service companies (MSC) legislation

Tax / HMRC launches online only pension lifetime allowance claims

From 31 July 2016, pension scheme members will have to apply to protect their pension savings from the lifetime allowance tax charge through a dedicated online service as the tax authority withdraws the current paper option

Tax / Partial win for Greene King in £30m tax avoidance case

A tax avoidance scheme used by brewery Greene King which sought to exploit intra-company loans in order to generate tax relief on interest has won a partial victory at the Court of Appeal

Audit / FCA told to tighten controls and cut costs

The Treasury select committee wants the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to tighten up its internal controls and has warned the regulator not to increase its costs, saying it is in ‘special measures’ regarding its effectiveness

Tax / Accenture wins HMRC contract to implement personal tax digital accounts

Accenture has won an IT contract with HMRC to provide software development for the individual taxpayers’ digital tax accounts which are set to go live in 2018, for personal tax reporting under the Making Tax Digital initiative

Audit / EU to replace audit oversight body with CEAOB

The European Commission has disbanded the European Group of Auditors’ Oversight Bodies (EGAOB) and plans to replace it with a new pan-European oversight body, the Committee of European Auditing Oversight Bodies (CEAOB), to enforce the Audit Regulation and Directive (ARD)

Professional Development / Treasury jumps onto the cat bandwagon

Gladstone the cat has acquired a new home at the Treasury as the newest arrival of the Whitehall mouse patrol, alongside fellow felines Larry in Downing Street and Palmerston in the Foreign Office

Insight / Warner Bros release second trailer for film 'The Accountant'

Warner Brothers Films has released a new, more revealing trailer for its film, The Accountant, which stars Ben Affleck as a freelance bookkeeper for some dangerous clients

Professional Development / People in the news: ICAEW, Bishop Fleming, UHY Hacker Young, BTG

Career news this week includes ICAEW awards Little Prize in memory of Accountancy editor, appointment of audit director at Bishop Fleming, UHY Hacker Young makes eight promotions and announces a new partner, BTG hires chair of audit committee

Insight / Mixed outlook from latest insolvency statistics

Company insolvencies are continuing to fall while individual insolvencies are on a rising trend, according to the latest statistics from the Insolvency Service

Insight / Treasury launches business bank comparison website

The Treasury has announced the launch of the Business Banking Insight (BBI) website, which it says is designed to enhance competition and transparency in the banking sector

Insight / HMRC puts freeze on £1.6m ice cream VAT fraudster

An ice-cream franchisee’s plans for a £1.6m VAT fraud went into meltdown following an HMRC investigation, and the London-based company director has now scooped an eight year jail sentence

Tax / Web tool to make transition to universal credit easier

An online tool has been created to help people check whether they can claim universal credit and tax credits according to their postcode, which follows complicated changes made to the benefits system

Audit / Woolf: clamping down on share of non-audit services

As new audit regulations take effect with the introduction of the EU Audit Regulations and Directive (ARD) into UK legislation, Emile Woolf FCA emphasises the need for renewed rigour in governance and auditor oversight

Insight / Seven-year ban for labour services supplier over £350k tax due

The director of a Kent-based company that provided sub-contracting services to the construction industry has been disqualified for seven years, after an Insolvency Service investigation found he had submitted false VAT returns and owed HMRC over £350,000 in taxes

Technical Alerts

28 Jul 2016

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, which saw a 54% jump in fee income

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 when the business went into administration

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