Tax / Making Tax Digital for VAT registration takes seven working days

HMRC has warned that the registration process for Making Tax Digital for VAT, due to come into effect from 1 April, will take seven days to complete, and will not be a real time service

Audit / Audit and quality management: changes to auditing standards - part 1

In the first in a four-part series, Katharine Bagshaw FCA considers quality management of audits and looks ahead to three new standards due to go out for consultation in 2019

Insight / FRC’s Mike Suffield to join ACCA in summer

Mike Suffield is leaving his role as acting executive director of audit and actuarial regulation at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) to join ACCA as its director of professional insights in August 2019, after it was announced last week that the FRC would be disbanded to make way for a new audit regulator

Accounting / PRAG updates pension scheme accounting guidance after Lloyds case

The Pensions Research Accountants Group (PRAG) has published guidance on how pension scheme accounts need to account for their equalisation liabilities for guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs) following the Lloyds judgment on pension equality

Tax / Buy-to-let landlord campaign fails to fill £500m tax gap

Despite HMRC’s campaign to target underpayments of tax due on rental properties, less than 3% of estimated eligible landlords have used the let property disclosure facility, according to data from Saffery Champness, which is warning that property taxation is likely to see a greater focus as landlords come under scrutiny over their tax compliance

Tax / HMRC and BEIS extend post Brexit guidance for SMEs

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published a leaflet for SMEs, outlining changes that may affect the business when the UK leaves the EU, with advice on actions to take and sources of support

Tax / Q&A: a valid notice of enquiry?

Steven Jones, tax adviser at Croner Taxwise, considers whether or not a HMRC notice of enquiry can be cancelled if it is sent to an individual’s old address and previous tax adviser

Tax / Tribunal pulls up claim for DIY VAT relief on electric blinds

A taxpayer seeking to reclaim around £2,300 under the DIY house-builders scheme for fitting electric blinds to an eco-building has had his claim denied at a First Tier Tribunal (FTT), on the grounds that these were not items which are ordinarily incorporated into buildings of this kind

Audit / PwC pays $335m over Colonial Bank audit failures

PwC has paid $335m (£253m) to settle claims brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) relating to professional negligence in the US firm’s auditing of the Colonial Bank, which collapsed in 2009 with an estimated $3bn loss to the deposit insurance fund

Technical Alerts

18 Mar 2019

Tax / Spring Statement 2019: implementation dates effective March 2019 onwards

Our essential snapshot of the key measures announced in Spring Statement 2019, Budget 2018, Spring Statement 2018 and Autumn Budget 2017, including rule changes to EIS funds, structures and buildings allowance, digital services tax, amendments to diverted profits tax, and more

Tax / Etherington: what's driving decline in use of tax paying trusts

With the number of tax paying trusts in serious decline, has Britain just fallen out of love with trusts or are complex tax rules and related risks driving behaviour, asks Chris Etherington CTA, private client partner at RSM

Tax / HMRC targets accountants over tax evading clients

HMRC sent over 1,400 production orders to accountants, lawyers and other professional services firms last year demanding information on clients that it wants to investigate for suspected tax evasion

Tax / Lack of transparency on overseas property valued at £56bn

Over £56bn of properties in England and Wales are owned by anonymous companies registered in tax havens according to analysis by Global Witness, which is calling for faster government action on beneficial ownership registers

Accounting / PwC probe finds £5.6bn of accounting errors at Steinhoff

A probe by PwC into accounting irregularities at South African retail giant Steinhoff International, which owns Poundland in the UK, has uncovered some €6.6bn (£5.6bn) of errors over an eight-year period

Accounting / Sub-postmasters win first trial over accounting IT issues

A group of over 500 former sub-postmasters (SPMs) have won an important first step in a series of trials relating to claims that the Post Office incorrectly and unfairly held them responsible for accounting discrepancies, which they held were due to failings with the Post Office’s Horizon IT system

Tax / Scottish government consults on devolved tax policy framework

The Scottish Government is consulting on a new approach to the planning, management and implementation of the fully devolved taxes in Scotland, with the aim of bringing greater transparency and efficiency to the process, and broader engagement with taxpayers and the accountancy profession

Tax / Hong Kong leapfrogs UK for offshore company registrations

Hong Kong has toppled the UK as the top international financial centre (IFC) for global corporate services, while the trend towards moving business to onshore and mid-shore jurisdictions continues to increase, according to research by Vistra

Insight / Risk proofing M&As for tax liabilities

Leon Steenkamp provides practical guidance on how tax insurance can be used to mitigate tax risks arising from group restructurings, and mergers and acquisitions

Technical Alerts

15 Mar 2019

Insight / How can accounting firms improve their brand image?

The Big Four audit firms have strong identities and take brand seriously, but outside the top tier, accounting firms project a fairly autonomous image and do not differentiate themselves. David Shalam, creative director at Studio 2br provides five tips for building a brand that stands out

Insight / Interserve faces administration as rescue talks fail

Outsourcing giant Interserve is expected to go into administration after the company’s shareholders voted against a rescue plan

Tax / HMRC wins battle to tax Lehman Brothers interest payments

HMRC has won a longstanding legal challenge over whether or not PwC as administrators to collapsed bank Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (LBIE) should deduct income tax from some £5bn of interest payable to creditors, after the Supreme Court ruled in its favour

Tax / April payslip changes: are you ready?

Richmal Price, payroll expert at employment law specialist Peninsula, answers five of the most frequently asked questions about payslip changes effective from 6 April 2019

Insight / Number of UK millionaires drops 16%

The number of people in the UK earning more than £1m per year has dropped from 19,000 in 2015/16 to 16,000 in 2016/17, with the introduction of the EU bankers’ bonus cap playing a key role, according to UHY Hacker Young

Insight / People in the news: BDO, Grunberg & Co, CFW

This week's news of professional moves in the sector includes four partner appointments at BDO across various teams and offices, a trainee joins Grunberg & Co and CFW chartered accountants appoints an equity partner and associate partner

Insight / BEIS to hold webinar on accounting and audit requirements post-Brexit

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is to hold a webinar on Tuesday 19 March at midday informing businesses of accounting and audit changes and how to operate legally in the EU in the event of a no deal Brexit

Insight / FTSE 350 boards challenged over ‘one and done’ female diversity

The Investment Association (IA) and the Hampton-Alexander review have written to 69, or one in five, of the FTSE 350 companies, challenging them about the lack of gender diversity on their boards, with suggestions their approach is ‘tokenistic’

Insight / Bans for disqualified director and stooge boss

A previously disqualified director has been banned for a second time after illegally running a Yeovil restaurant using former colleague as a stooge boss, with both of them remiss in paying tax and filing tax returns during the period it was in operation

Audit / MPs want ‘step change’ in local body auditing transparency

More than one in five local public bodies do not have proper arrangements in place to secure value for money for taxpayers, and some are also not putting enough information in the public domain about their performance, including reports from their external auditors, a public accounts committee (PAC) inquiry has highlighted

Tax / Call for ‘weekly national allowance’ to replace income tax allowance

There are calls for the government to abolish the income tax personal allowance, which was confirmed as £12,500 in the Spring Statement, and replace it with a weekly cash payment of £48 to all adults earning under £12,500 in a bid to lift 200,000 families out of poverty

Insight / Lack of funding for cyber security for government online services

Despite the importance of the digital economy and the move to online services such as Making Tax Digital, the government does not have a sufficiently clear strategy for ensuring cyber security and may not have allocated sufficient funds to its five-year action programme, the National Audit Office (NAO) is warning

Technical Alerts

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