Tax / Election 2019: how party tax policies stack up

Zak Jakubowski examines the tax plans of the main political parties and their impact on businesses and individual taxpayers. Plus, download our quick party-by-party guide on tax pledges

Insight / Finance Mole: office politics beats election hustings

With less than a week until the election, Finance Mole is keeping his head down, avoiding irritating political insights by focusing on the Christmas raffle

Insight / People in the news: PwC, Beever and Struthers, Pinsent Masons

In this week’s accountancy career moves, partner promotions at Grant Thornton, Johnston Carmichael and BHP, and hires at BKL and Pinsent Masons

Tax / HMRC cuts call waiting time to five minutes

The number of taxpayers calling HMRC to ask for advice and deal with problems has fallen with less use of phone services in October as more people go online to use digital services as the number of digital accounts exceeds 21m

Insight / University launches Level 6 accounting apprenticeship

A lecturer at Birmingham City University has won the backing of the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) for a campaign to create a new Level 6 degree apprenticeship, offering potential apprentices the opportunity to earn and learn, and qualify to honours degree level

Insight / Isle of Man seeks hundreds of accountants

The Isle of Man government has launched a drive to recruit hundreds of accountants in 2020, with a campaign highlighting the financial incentives and quality of life on offer for those looking to relocate

Insight / Only 22% of CFOs rated personally effective

Under a quarter of CFOs are personally effective and most spend too long on finance tasks, wasting the equivalent of one day a week when they could be supporting the business in other areas, according to Gartner

Technical Alerts

5 Dec 2019

Tax / US opposes OECD plan to tax multinational digital giants

The US has signalled strong opposition to OECD plans to introduce a wide-ranging digital tax which would hit multinationals, particularly US IT giants

Insight / BEIS guidance on the impact of Brexit on company law

If and when the UK leaves the EU, there will be a number of significant changes to accounting rules and company law. Sophie Brookes, partner at Gateley plc, examines the latest BEIS guidance for accountants

Tax / Nunn: tax hazards of trivial benefits at Christmas

A rigid £50 cap on the trivial benefits exemption can catch out lucky staff who receive generous gifts from employers. Yvette Nunn CTA ATT MAAT, director of Berkeley Associates, warns of potential tax pitfalls if you receive a lavish Christmas hamper or a wedge of gift vouchers

Insight / FTSE 100 failing at boardroom ethnic diversity

The UK’s top companies are failing to improve ethnic diversity at their leadership levels, with the total number of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) FTSE 100 board members dropping over the past year, according to research from Green Park

Tax / HMRC hauls in £3.9bn from sin taxes

There has been a 49% hike in the extra tax raised as a result of investigations into the underpayment of sin taxes, with HMRC collecting £3.9bn last year

Insight / Clintons cards saved in pre-pack deal

Clintons, the greeting cards retailer, has been sold out of administration in a pre-pack deal to original owner Esquire Retail, safeguarding 2,500 jobs 

Audit / BDO global revenues up 10%

BDO’s global revenues rose by 10% last year to hit $9.6bn (£7.3bn), with the international network completing more than 20 mergers and acquisitions including one of its biggest-ever, combining with Moore Stephens LLP to become the fifth largest firm in the UK

Tax / Offshore fund investors warned to check tax reporting

With two months to go before the 2018/19 self assessment tax return submission deadline, offshore fund investors need to check their tax reporting, before HMRC does, to avoid penalties

Technical Alerts

4 Dec 2019

Tax / HMRC manuals: challenging the guidance

HMRC’s internal guidance manuals have been available to taxpayers since 1994, but can still be challenged in the courts and can be wrong on occasion, warns Stephanie Webber, tax writer at Croner-i 

Accounting / M&C Saatchi hikes accounting misstatement to £11.6m

M&C Saatchi is to make £11.6m of adjustments to its 2018 and 2019 financial results, and has appointed PwC to take over from KPMG as the advertising agency’s external auditor

Accounting / International reporting: IBOR Phase 2 and management commentary

Changes to the Interbank Offered Rate (IBOR) will impact IFRS 9 while a review of management commentary will tighten requirements around disclosures, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has confirmed. Jeroen Van Doorsselaere explains

Tax / Guidance on tax-free allowance for trusts revised

HMRC has updated the guidance about the tax-free allowance for trusts and how to report capital gains tax (CGT)

Tax / Silicon Six tech giants responsible for $100bn tax gap

The US tech giants making up the Silicon Six have avoided some $100bn (£77bn) of tax since 2010, according to research from the Fair Tax Mark

Insight / Grant Thornton wealth advisory business sold to 1825

Standard Life Aberdeen’s advice firm, known as 1825, has completed its acquisition of Grant Thornton's £1.7bn wealth advisory business, which was first announced in July

Accounting / Council tax abuse tops local government fraud figures

Levels of local government fraud are falling, largely because of a crackdown on fraudulent housing claims, although this still accounts for three quarters of the £253m fraud figure

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