Audit / Stallabrass: CMA joint audit proposal is a challenge to mid-tier firms

The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) recommendation of joint audits for FTSE 350 companies will force mid-tier firms to invest in resources and skills to be able to contend with the Big Four. Matthew Stallabrass, partner, corporate audit at Crowe, considers the implications of the Kingman and CMA audit reviews

Tax / Q&A: how to avoid £100k personal allowance taper

In our regular Q&A series from Croner Taxwise, in the run-up to the self assessment deadline of 31 January, Alexandra Fielding looks at ways to mitigate the risks of reaching the £100,000 personal allowance taper through the use of charitable donations

Accounting / FRS 105 micro accounting: why adopt micro-entity standard – part 2

In the second of a two-part series on the micro-entity regime under FRS 105, Anne Cowley ACA looks at why micro-entities should adopt this standard, but only if they are not considering rapid expansion as the jump to fully-fledged FRS 102 will be a big one

Tax / HMRC admits tax return penalty error

HMRC has been forced to admit that it issued penalty notices for late filing in error to hundreds self assessment taxpayers, just days after denying claims that this had occurred

Tax / Ronaldo accepts €18.8m fine for Spanish tax failings

Star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has accepted a €18.8m (£16.5m) fine and a suspended 23-month jail sentence from a Spanish court, as part of a deal to settle charges of tax evasion in Spain

Tax / Spain to introduce digital services tax

Spain is set to introduce a digital services tax (DST) which would be levied at 3% on the digital revenues of large tech companies, along with a financial services transactions tax, which together are expected to raise around €2bn (£1.76bn) a year

Insight / Consultation on code for private prosecutors

The Private Prosecutors’ Association (PPA) is consulting on a draft code for anyone who carries out private prosecutions, which allow individuals, businesses or organisations who have been the victims of crime to bring a criminal case themselves, without the involvement of law enforcement agencies

Insight / EY names Carmine Di Sibio as global CEO

Carmine Di Sibio has been elected the next EY global chairman and CEO, succeeding Mark Weinberger, who steps down on 1 July 2019 after six years in the role

Audit / FRC Carillion probe to continue ‘well into 2019’

The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) investigation into Carillion is set to continue for much of this year but will be completed ‘promptly and thoroughly’, the regulator has said in an update on its examination of KPMG’s auditing and the conduct of two former finance directors of the failed outsourcer

Insight / Waste company boss jailed for £250k VAT fraud

The boss of two Manchester waste management businesses has been jailed for making fraudulent claims for more than £250,000 in VAT repayments following an HMRC investigation

Technical Alerts

21 Jan 2019

Audit / KPMG suspends Carillion audit partner

KPMG has suspended Peter Meehan, the audit partner for failed outsourcing company Carillion, and three other members of staff after discovering issues with documentation provided to the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC’s) audit quality review (AQR) of the company in 2017

Tax / Inheritance tax: residence and transferable nil rate bands – part 3

Lisa Macpherson ATT TEP, head of tax technical at PKF Francis Clark, unpicks the complexity of the inheritance tax residence nil rate band (RNRB), transferable nil rate band and compliance issues, with case studies of typical scenarios

Tax / MTD: examples from around the world

There are just over 70 days until Making Tax Digital (MTD) goes live in the UK. James Bunney looks at several other countries where digital reporting has been introduced in recent years

Audit / Last day for CMA audit market consultation response

Today marks the final deadline for responses to the consultation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on changes to legislation to improve the audit sector, which include separating audit from consulting services; greater accountability for audit committee chairs and introducing a ‘joint audit’ regime

Insight / Insolvency Service warning on pension scams

The Insolvency Service has issued a warning to people to guard their pension savings from investment scammers and negligent trustees, having identified over £200m of losses after closing down 24 companies for pension misuse

Tax / RSM warning over VAT guidance on claims handling

HMRC has issued guidance on delegated authority claims handling by lawyers, which may create additional VAT costs for law firms and lead to disputes with their insurance clients, RSM has warned

Insight / Accountants’ economic confidence at all-time low

Global economic confidence fell for the third consecutive quarter in Q4 2018, ending the year at an all-time low according to a quarterly survey of global economic conditions (GECS) from ACCA and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

Tax / World’s richest 26 people wealthier than poorest 50%

Just 26 people now own the same wealth as the 3.8bn people who make up the poorest half of the world, down from 43 in 2017, according to analysis by Oxfam which says the gap between rich and poor is widening and wants governments to do more to even out the distribution via changes in taxation

Tax / 80,000 individuals sign up to Help to Save scheme

Over 80,000 people on lower incomes have signed up to the government’s new saving account, Help to Save, depositing over £10m

18 Jan 2019

Tax / Cup Trust charity trustee accused of 'mismanagement and misconduct'

The Charity Commission has concluded a five-year investigation into The Cup Trust, a charity involved in a complex tax avoidance scheme worth £46m, having found ‘clear mismanagement and misconduct’ on the part of sole trustee Mountstar

Insight / Difficulty of juggling instant wins and long-term strategies for CFOs

Today more than ever, CFOs need to provide business strategy both in the long and short term. Angela Mazza Teufer, senior vice president at Oracle looks at how they can achieve just that without letting go of the day-to-day financial oversight

Tax / Carpenter knocked back over bonkers TV expense

A curse by a witch, being too short to reach the post box and cold fingers were among the more outlandish excuses given to HMRC for not completing a tax return on time, with expenses claims for family holidays and 55-inch TVs also being turned down

Accounting / NAO flags concerns over health of NHS finances

The National Audit Office (NAO) warns that the current funding model for the NHS is not sustainable, despite the government’s pledge of an additional £20.5bn cash boost, because of the existence of substantial deficits in some parts of the system and the continued failure to hit performance targets

Tax / Making Tax Digital engagement letters released by tax institutes

With less than 80 days to the rollout of Making Tax Digital for VAT, a number of professional institutes, inlcuding AAT, ACCA, ATT, CIOT and STEP, have released initial engagement letters defining client relationships under the new digital reporting framework

Tax / HMRC extends deadline for taxation of trust consultation

HMRC has extended the deadline for responses to its consultation on the taxation of trusts by a month, with feedback now welcomed up to 28 February

Tax / UK agreement with Israel cuts dividend tax

The UK has signed a new Israel tax agreement to update the double taxation convention (DTC) with the country, offering reduced dividend tax rates for inward investors

Insight / KPMG expands Asia Pacific legal services

KPMG has launched a law firm in Hong Kong and is to open another in Shanghai later in the year as part of moves to expand its legal capabilities in Asia Pacific

Insight / People in the news: UHY Hacker Young, PKF Littlejohn, Deloitte Legal

Career news this week includes a head of global mobility services at UHY Hacker Young, PKF Littlejohn appoints a co-head of its forensic and fraud team and Deloitte Legal in the UK gets its first managing partner

Insight / SEC brings charges over $4m data hack

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is charging nine defendants who hacked into the regulator’s electronic data gathering, analysis, and retrieval (EDGAR) system and extracted non-public information to use for $4m (£3.09m) of illegal trading

Insight / EY administrators to plant hire group

Sam Woodward, Alex Williams and Hunter Kelly of EY’s restructuring team have been appointed joint administrators of plant hire company, Hawk Plant (UK) Ltd and subsidiaries, which has collapsed, putting over 400 jobs at risk

Tax / Appeal upheld over missing HMRC letters

A case of disputed late filing penalties saw the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) uphold an appeal by an employee who claimed that HMRC should have known his address as they had previously been in correspondence with him

Tax / HMRC loses £300k chocolate brownie VAT case

HMRC has lost a case involving the VAT status of a ‘raw chocolate brownie’ containing no egg, dairy or gluten but which a First Tier Tribunal (FTT) has ruled is a cake and not a chocolate bar, and should therefore be zero-rated, opening the way for manufacturer Pulsin’ to reclaim £300,000 in tax

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