Accounting / Economic trends: council funding system faces overhaul

David Phillips and Neil Amin-Smith, economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) examine the plans for radical overhaul of the council funding system, the impact of the funding pilot on local authoritiy spending and question whether it is creating fairer distribution of funds for local authorities

Accounting / Labour party to review auditing and accounting regime

The Labour party is commissioning an independent review of the corporate auditing and accounting regime in the UK, with shadow Chancellor John McDonnell declaring ‘no more Carillion scandals on Labour’s watch’

Insight / Number of restaurant insolvencies increases by 20%

There has been an 11% drop in the number of job vacancies in the UK’s restaurant sector over the last six months, according to research by Moore Stephens which suggests companies are cutting staff to save on costs

Insight / Carillion ex-FD challenges pension contributions comment

Carillion’s former finance director, who was criticised in the joint select committee’s report on the outsourcer’s collapse as the so-called ‘architect of its aggressive accounting approach’, has challenged claims that he was dismissive of the need to address the company’s pension deficit and demanded a rectification

Insight / CVA on menu for Carluccio’s restaurant chain

Restaurant chain Carluccio’s is the latest high street casualty to seek a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposal in a bid to reduce rents and cut costs which, if successful, will be supervised by KPMG

Insight / Mothercare puts CVA on shopping list

Mothercare has joined the list of high street retailers looking to set up a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposal, which will be supervised by KPMG if the company’s proposals are successful

Tax / MPs critical of Motability’s £2.4bn reserves

MPs are calling for an overhaul of the finances at Motability, the body which provides access to vehicles for people with disabilities, after a joint Parliamentary committee report found its reserves of £2.4bn are ‘out of proportion’ to the risks it faces and branded the CEO’s £1.7m salary ‘totally unacceptable’

Technical Alerts

18 May 2018

Tax / Government aims to extend IR35 off-payroll working rules to private sector

Private sector companies are likely to be drawn into the IR35 off-payroll working rules as the goverment ramps up its plans to curb the use of personal service companies and launches a consultation on extending existing ‘off-payroll’ working rules into the private sector to address a claimed £1.2bn a year in lost tax take, reports Pat Sweet

Tax / Public sector contractor beats HMRC over IR35 case

There is continuing confusion surrounding HMRC’s application of the IR35 rules regarding disguised employment, after an IT contractor who challenged a £26,000 tax bill arising from work on a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) project won his appeal at a First Tier Tribunal (FTT)

Insight / Want a career as an accountant in the music sector?

From artists planning an international tour to record labels looking after numerous acts, the music industry can be financially complex, especially now that the sector is shifting from sales to streams. Tony North, co-founder and CEO of Centtrip Music, considers the various tax rules and complex accounting that accountants in this sector face

Tax / Royal wedding bells ring in tax liabilities

As the world gears up to celebrate tomorrow’s exchange of vows between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the UK stands to see a big boost to weekly retail sales, but there are warnings of the dangers of ignoring the tax implications for those seeking to cash in on the royal wedding, whether by renting out rooms or offering impromptu hospitality

Tax / IR35 rules make it harder to recruit public sector contractors

With a number of IR35 public sector cases going against HMRC, the tax authority has released research showing that the majority of public sector employees are now up to speed with the rules although nearly 40% report difficulties filling specialist vacancies as a result of the rule change

Insight / Accountex 2018: exhibitor highlights and what's new

On 23-24 May, Accountex – the UK’s biggest accountancy exhibition – will be held at London ExCeL. Here’s a first look at what’s new from some of the exhibitors for 2018, to help you plan your visit

Insight / Failure to report on PSC register risks criminal prosecution

Companies House is sending out reminders to companies and individuals who have failed to publish their ownership information on the people with significant control (PSC) register before their details are passed to the Insolvency Service’s criminal enforcement team

Audit / Global ethics board consults on professional scepticism in audit

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has issued a consultation on how to improve the standards of professional scepticism shown by accountants and auditors, and whether to make it a mandatory requirement

Audit / Government names advisory group for audit regulator review

Two ICAEW members are among the panel of 11 senior figures from business, the investment community, governance and regulation that will support Sir John Kingman’s review into the audit regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

Technical Alerts

17 May 2018

Audit / Big Four audit firms too powerful, claim MPs post Carillion

MPs are calling for an urgent review into the competition review into the statutory audit market, citing concerns over the lack of competitive tenders, dominance of the Big Four audit firms and an absence of independent scrutiny following the collapse of Carillion, reports Sara White

Accounting / IFRS 16 Leases: tips and advice for utilities sector - part 3

In part three of this series on IFRS 16 Leases, Peter Westaway, senior manager audit at Deloitte, explains the key changes to lease reporting for utility companies under IFRS 16 

Audit / NAO warning on NHS outsourcing contract with Capita

MPs have raised warnings about procurement issues with a £330m NHS England contract with outsourcer Capita which was designed to achieve a 35% cost saving

Tax / Online gambling tax rise to offset betting terminal stake cut

The government’s decision to cut the maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2 is likely to result in a hit to the estimated £450m tax take from the machines each year, with the Treasury looking to increase taxes on online gambling to address the shortfall

Tax / EU go-ahead for enterprise management incentive (EMI) tax break

The EU has breathed new life into a £380m scheme designed to broaden SME employee ownership in the UK by renewing EU state aid approval for the enterprise management incentive (EMI) scheme, which lapsed last month

Tax / HMRC tax inspectors face review of dispute handling

MPs are set to review HMRC’s approach to conducting tax enquiries, resolving tax disputes and assessing tax liability to see if it HMRC inspectors are dealing with cases fairly and in an even-handed manner, with submissions requested by the end of this month

Insight / Collective redundancy and insolvency guidance updated

The Insolvency Service is to publish guidance for employers and insolvency practitioners to clarify how to manage staff redundancies during insolvency to address incompatibilities between insolvency and employment law identified in a call for evidence

Technical Alerts