Tax / Buy-to-let taxation: stamp duty tax charges - part 7

In part seven of our exclusive series on buy-to-let taxation, Adam Kay, partner at Saffrey Champness,  reviews the impact of the 3% SDLT levy on additional property purchases 

Audit / Blockchain: game changer for audit?

Given its dubious black economy origins, initially there was widespread distrust of Blockchain among audit and accounting circles. But it could change audit radically if it is adopted by larger businesses and auditors are forced to review their technical capability, reports Calum Fuller

Audit / FRC publishes response to corporate governance reform proposals

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has released details of its response to the government’s green paper on corporate governance reforms, identifying the interests of stakeholders, executive remuneration, accountability of large private companies and effective enforcement as key areas of reform

Tax / Careless taxpayer has penalty reduced by £158k

A taxpayer, who has previously appeared on the Sunday Times rich list, has had his penalty reduced by £158,000 at a First Tier Tribunal (FTT), after he incorrectly claimed capital loss relief, on the basis that the penalty should be calculated upon the used portion of the loss only

Tax / Microsoft founder Gates advocates robots pay taxes

Billionaire Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has predicted that in future there will be a need for robots to pay taxes, as increasingly automation replaces more jobs, in order to prevent inequalities

Tax / £30K tax-free redundancy payments to be scrapped

Government is planning to abolish rules under which the first £30,000 of redundancy payments are tax free in a move which will have far reaching implications for companies and employees from 2018, according to analysis from Wolters Kluwer

Tax / NHS staff targeted by tax rebate scam

NHS workers are being targeted by a scam run by tax rebate companies that claim they offer services where they can get a refund, according to a warning put out by Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime

Tax / Hammond under pressure to review business rate rises

Chancellor Philip Hammond is coming under pressure to offer further concessions in the Budget next month to the planned hike in business rates, after Conservative MPs joined business groups and major retailers in a public outcry against the impact of new valuations, the first in seven years

Insight / Nexia International post 4% rise in fee income

Nexia International, the worldwide network of independent accounting and consulting firms, has reported its financial results for 2016 which show a 4% rise in total fee income, to hit $3.2bn (£2.58m)

Insight / DWP consults on defined benefit pension scheme reforms

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a consultation on measures to ensure defined benefit (DB) pension schemes within the private sector remain a secure and sustainable option, given the growing number of schemes in deficit

Insight / VAT fraud café owners face suspended sentence

Two North London café owners, who claimed £67,000 in VAT fraudulently and spent the money on gifts including Premier League football tickets for their family, have been sentencedto a suspended sentence after an investigation by HMRC

Technical Alerts

20 Feb 2017

Tax / Farming businesses too complex for quarterly reporting

The rigid framework of quarterly reporting under Making Tax Digital does not make sense for the farming community due to accounting complexity, use of capital allowances and seasonality of the business, NFU head of tax tells Lords committee. Sara White reports

Accounting / Stallabrass: post-Brexit accounting standards from UK GAAP to IFRS

Matthew Stallabrass, partner in the corporate team at Crowe Clark Whitehill, considers how Brexit may affect the future use of key accounting standards in the UK from FRS 102 - new UK GAAP - to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 

Accounting / Sale & Purchase Agreements and locked box deals

At the heart of every deal is a Sale & Purchase Agreement (SPA) that defines the terms of the transaction, the basis for deriving the final consideration and the price adjustment mechanism on which the seller and purchaser should both agree. Co-heads of Grant Thornton's SPA advisory team Patrick O'Brien and Nick Andrews explain how they are changing

Tax / Cash basis strongly supported by buy-to-let landlords

Landlords have shown strong support on being taxed on the cash basis as part of the Making Tax Digital plans saying that it is an important and strong aspect for small landlords as well as showing overall positivity towards digitalisation, as part of evidence given to the Lords Committee

Tax / Small businesses face ’10 year payback’ for Making Tax Digital

Small businesses could face a wait of up to 10 years before they see a return from investing in becoming compliant with Making Tax Digital, members of the House of Lords’ Economic Affairs Committee have heard. Calum Fuller reports

Accounting / Climate change reporting will increase length of annual reports

Enhanced climate-related disclosures would make climate change a boardroom issue, but must not mean annual reports become less useful to investors as the volume of information increases, ICAEW has warned

Insight / Accountant forged mother’s will

A chartered accountant who forged his dead mother’s will as part of a long-running and acrimonious dispute litigated across multiple jurisdictions with his three brothers over control of a $200m (£160m) family business has been branded ‘a self-confessed liar’ in the High Court

Tax / Lords to examine Making Tax Digital for farmers and small businesses

Farmers, small businesses and landlords are to give evidence to the Economic Affairs Finance Bill sub-committee on the government's Making Tax Digital project today

Tax / Chips may be down 30% for overseas US poker players

UK and overseas poker players competing in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament and other events held in the US risk their winnings becoming subject to a 30% US tax, after an expert in gambling taxation highlighted changes to the way the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plans to apply the rules

Tax / Stamp duty land tax avoidance schemes hit the wall

There has been a sharp drop in the amount of unpaid stamp duty land tax (SDLT) collected by HMRC over past year, which was a third of the previous year’s total, suggesting the crackdown on property-based tax avoidance schemes is having an impact, according to law firm Collyer Bristow

Insight / Ham Baker group sold by FRP Advisory to Intrinsic Equity

Newly formed Ham Baker Group Limited, backed by Birmingham-based equity fund, Intrinsic Equity, has acquired the shares in five solvent subsidiaries of F J Holdings Limited and the trade and assets of the Flow division from administrators at FRP Advisory, safeguarding more than 130 jobs

Tax / Republicans block Democrats from releasing Trump’s tax returns

Republicans have voted against releasing President Donald Trump’s tax law returns after Democrats attempted to use a forgotten 1920s law to order the Treasury to release the President’s returns to the ways and means committee, following Trump’s continued refusal

Accounting / IFRIC 22 on foreign currency transactions up for review

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) is consulting on its assessment of IFRIC Interpretation 22 Foreign Currency Transactions and Advance Consideration (IFRIC 22) against the endorsement criteria in the IAS regulation

Insight / Pub landlord disqualified over non-payment of VAT

The former landlord of The Albion pub in Bristol has been disqualified as a company director for three and a half years for trading to the detriment of HMRC, after an Insolvency Service investigation found he owed £180,000 in VAT

Insight / ‘Fantasist’ who fabricated VAT claims jailed

A Wiltshire woman, who falsely claimed to be a furniture restorer to commit a £166,000 VAT fraud, has been jailed for two years and eight months after an HMRC investigation found that she had not undertaken any work

Insight / OTS seeks tax policy advisers

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) is looking for people to join its team, and is advertising for up to three tax professionals with current or recent experience in the private sector or within government to join as senior policy advisers

Technical Alerts

17 Feb 2017

Insight / BREAKING: SFO charges Harlequin chairman with fraud

Chairman of Harlequin Hotels & Resorts David Ames has been charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) with three counts of fraud by abuse of position

Insight / Argos flouts national minimum wage in £2.4m underpayments

High street chain Argos, now owned by Sainsbury’s, is being asked to pay £2.4m in back wages and a £1.5m fine after an HMRC investigation found the company had been paying less than the national minimum wage (NMW) to thousands of workers

Insight / An FD’s guide to surviving uncertain times

From budget reviews to cashflow control, extraneous events like Brexit and potential political instability, finance directors can protect their businesses from external factors by putting an effective risk management plan into place, says Phil Scott, managing director at FD Recruit

Insight / Internationally mobile workers risk being hit by double tax bill

Internationally mobile employees are being penalised as they often have to pay double tax, while  complex tax treaties leave them out of pocket and there is a lack of clarity on pensions and social security payments, according to a study of international tax practitioners around the world, conducted by Blick Rothenberg

Tax / House of Lords committee calls up HMRC chiefs to defend Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital will be back in the spotlight on Wednesday as sneior HMRC officials are called up to give evidence at the House of Lords committee reviewing the draft clauses of the Finance Bill 

Tax / Interactive fair tax mark map launched

The Fair Tax Mark group, an independent accreditation process assessing corporation tax practices and reporting, has launched an interactive map showing businesses signed up to the scheme

Tax / HMRC teams up with National Trading Standards in estate agent crackdown

HMRC and National Trading Standards, the body which protects consumer rights, have agreed to step up their exchange of information in order to crack down on rogue estate agents

Insight / People in the news: RSM, Moore Stephens, Duncan & Toplis, The Works

In the latest accountancy jobs moves, RSM bolsters forensics team with director hire, Moore Stephens snaps up private client partner and The Works secures ex PwC corporate finance specialist for board position

Insight / PwC challenges ‘myths’ about executive pay

PwC is warning that the current clamour for reform of executive pay will not achieve its aims because of a lack of robust evidence and says more needs to be done to ensure a new approach is based on realistic assessment of pay and performance

Tax / VAT flat rate rise will not reduce abuse of system

Plans to crackdown on abuse of the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) may be ineffective and have unwelcome consequences for tax compliant small businesses, claims CIOT

Accounting / EFRAG consulting on draft endorsement for IFRS 16

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) is now consulting on its draft endorsement advice on the new lease accounting standard, IFRS 16

Technical Alerts