Tax / HMRC’s two agreements with Google included tax for share-based remuneration

HMRC has published details of its investigation into Google’s tax affairs revealing that the internet giant had reached two settlements with the tax department, which covered a period prior to the HMRC investigation as well as the 2005-2015 inquiry periods, and which related to share-based remuneration benefit accruing to UK employees

Insight / Managing change in accounting practices: what you need to know

Change management is a critical leadership skill and accountancy practices need to be able to respond to a rapidly evolving  and increasingly connected and demanding client base. William Buist, founder of xTEN Club offers advice and tips on how to transform your organisation

Tax / ‘Needlessly complex’ personal savings allowance comes under fire

There has been mixed reaction to the introduction of the new tax-free personal savings allowance (PSA) with warnings that the change is over-complicated and is likely to cause confusion for taxpayers who will also have to submit regular reports on savings income to the taxman if they are to avoid punitive penalties

Insight / Government plans for mandatory gender pay gap reporting from October 2016

The government has launched a month-long consultation on draft regulations which would compel transparency around the reporting of pay details for men and women for private and voluntary sector employers in England, Scotland and Wales, with at least 250 employees

Tax / Google tax issue - an unnecessary distraction?

Grandstanding and bear-baiting over Google’s high-profile settlement with HMRC distracts everyone from the real issues and exposes MPs poor understanding of the practical application of tax laws enacted by parliament, says RSM senior tax partner, George Bull

Insight / ACCA and British Council in global exam network agreement

ACCA and the British Council have signed an agreement to provide a global, secure exam centre network for ACCA’s paper-based exams (PBE) and computer-based exams (CBE) in the UK and in the 100 countries where the British Council operates

Insight / Accountants slip down online dating site ratings

Female accountants are more likely to be lucky in love this Valentine’s Day than their male counterparts, but both stand to lose out to the attractions of lawyers and advertising execs when it comes to meeting members of the opposite sex, according to research by the dating site eHarmony

Insight / People in the news: KPMG, IASB, EY, RSA Group, PwC Legal, SWAT

In the latest career moves, KPMG promotes new head of audit, Grant Thornton boosts financial advisory services team, IASB confirms chairman Hoogervoorst for second term and RSA Group hires European head of audit

Insight / US tax agent bribe goes to pot

A former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee is on trial in the US over allegations that he solicited and received a bribe from the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary, after claiming his actions had saved the business over £1m

Tax / ‘Cupid tax’ is unfair and flawed, ATT warns

Along with checking the ring and the roses, anyone planning to propose to their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day this weekend also needs to take a good look at their tax bill, according to advice from the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT)

Insight / Small financial services businesses ignore cyber risk

Small businesses in the financial services industry are underestimating the impact a cyber attack could have on their reputation and must take steps to protect it, according to research by the government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign and KPMG

Technical Alerts

11 Feb 2016

Tax / Property taxes: buy-to-let buyers beware

Mark Cawthron, CCH tax writer, analyses key tax changes that buy-to-let landlords and UK property owners need to consider in light of significant changes to tax relief and the 3% levy on stamp duty for BTL and second home purchases

Tax / Lin Homer denies Google ‘out manoeuvred’ HMRC

HMRC chief executive Dame Lin Homer has denied accusations that the UK tax authorities were ‘out manoeuvred’ by Google in reaching a £130m agreement on back tax due, and said that if any ‘material information’ subsequently became available which had not been disclosed, then HMRC would re-visit the inquiry, in her evidence at a session of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

Tax / Google’s £130m tax settlement is largest outside US

MPs have heard that Google’s £130m deal to settle back tax with HMRC was the largest the internet giant has ever settled with a tax authority worldwide outside the US, according to evidence provided at a high octane session of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which is investigating corporate tax deals

Tax / Corporation tax: a call to account?

Corporation tax has served Treasury coffers remarkably well but a rethink is in order and perhaps the key is to simplify and even reconsider current accounting standards, suggests John Whiting, tax director of the Office of Tax Simplification

Insight / Plans to tackle pension scheme early exit and transfer issues

Following a consultation on the barriers to take up of new pension reforms designed to offer more flexibility, the Treasury is to introduce legislation to cap early exit charges, and is considering how to tackle the issue of making it easier to switch schemes

Tax / Warning on HMRC’s 'gamekeeper-turned-poacher' tax experts

Management changes and organisational restructuring at HMRC has seen spate of tax officials moving to the private sector with a glut of 'gamekeeper-turned-poacher' tax experts that could undermine the function of the tax authority

Tax / Vulnerable customer indicators for direct recovery of debt powers

The tax department has set out a list of indicators for what those whom it will reconsider when it comes to applying its direct recovery of debt (DRD) enforcement powers, which aim to target those who refuse to pay tax owed to HMRC

Insight / Director disqualified for failing to plug hole in accounts

A plumber from Glasgow has been disqualified as a director for a period of five years for causing the company to undertake accounting transactions that benefited him, thereby reducing the balance he owed to the company on his overdrawn directors loan account (DLA) to nil

Technical Alerts

10 Feb 2016

Insight / Mazars announces 10% rise in profits as fee income heads to £150m

Mid-tier accounting firm Mazars has reported a 14% increase in UK turnover in the year to 31 August 2015 as overall fee income increased from £130.9m to £149.7m

Tax / HMRC and PAC go head-to-head over Google tax deal

Ahead of tomorrow’s session of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is set to examine the recent £130m deal with Google to settle back tax, HMRC has published a factsheet outlining its approach to handling the tax affairs of large companies, saying it wants to ‘help dispel myths’ which have arisen about how HMRC ensures compliance among multinationals

Audit / PwC and Deloitte prominent among companies offering hospitality to central government

PwC and Deloitte feature on the list of companies which offer hospitality regularly to central government departments, according to an investigation by the National Audit Office (NAO) which has called for the rules and processes for accepting gifts and hospitality to be tightened

Tax / BTL landlords urged to review tax liability

Buy-to-let landlords keen to add to their property portfolios before the introduction of the new 3% additional stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on second properties in April need to carefully work out the implications of other tax changes if they are to maintain profitability, according to analysis by the UK200Group of accountancy and legal firms

Insight / College principal sentenced for evading tax on rental income

A college principal who failed to declare the rental income has been sentenced for evading income tax and ordered to repay £283,886.47 within three months or face three years behind bars

Insight / Banks and police join forces to tackle fraud as CEOs targeted

The Home Office is to set up a taskforce bringing together the banks and police to tackle fraud across the UK, as new scams such as online CEO fraud start to proliferate

Insight / Glasgow restaurant owner takes away disqualification

A restaurant owner from Glasgow has been disqualified as a director for eight years for failing to ensure that adequate books and records of the company, Greencrescent Ltd, were preserved and/or delivered up to the liquidator, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service

Accounting / Monsanto pays $80m penalty to settle accounting violations

US agri-business giant Monsanto is to pay a $80m (£55m) penalty to settle claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it violated accounting rules and misstated company earnings relating to its flagship product Roundup, by failing to recognise revenue and expenses correctly for a special sales promotion

Technical Alerts