Insight / Brexit planning boosts audit and accounting job market

Brexit planning has been a catalyst for a surge in accountancy recruitment as specialist advisory services have seen a rise in demand for skilled professionals. Kathryn Swan, UK lead for accountancy practices at Morgan McKinley, reviews current trends

Accounting / EU’s anti-money laundering country blacklist raises US ire

The US has reacted with fury at the European Commission’s publication of a blacklist of 23 countries, including four overseas US territories, which it says have strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) frameworks

Accounting / Kraft Heinz under spotlight over procurement accounting

US conglomerate Kraft Heinz, the world’s fifth largest food and drinks company, has revealed it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its procurement accounting policies and has had to make a $25m (£19m) adjustment to its fourth quarter results

Tax / HMRC advisory fuel rates for company car users from 1 March

HMRC has published the latest advisory fuel rates (AFR) for company car users, effective from 1 September 2018 with a 4p advisory electricity rate for fully electric cars

Insight / EY and Deloitte named in best 25 big companies to work for list

EY and Deloitte are the only two of the Big Four to have made it into the annual listing of the top 25 best big companies to work for in the UK

Insight / Government’s outsourcing playbook includes suppliers’ ‘living wills’

In the wake of Carillion’s collapse and strong criticism of its handling of outsourcing contacts, the government has issued new guidance on outsourcing decisions and contracting, in a bid to ensure that it gets right more projects from the start, engages with a diverse and healthy marketplace of companies, and is ready for occasions when things go wrong

Insight / AAT ‘speed dating’ kick starts apprentice careers

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has welcomed approximately 25 young people and 15 major accountancy employers to its Barbican office for a ‘speed-interview’ event, designed to facilitate potential placements

Insight / Regulator disbands charity for failing to protect funds

The charity Save the Needy Worldwide (SNW) has been dissolved, one trustee removed and another disqualified following a Charity Commission investigation which found the trustees had failed to protect funds and identified a series of failing amounting to serious misconduct and/or mismanagement

Tax / Guidance on self-reporting facilitation of tax evasion

HMRC has published guidance for self-reporting a company or partnership that did not prevent the facilitation of tax evasion, for use by individuals who are the designated authorised representative for that organisation

Insight / How to deal with an employee who is persistently late

BrightHR chief technological officer Alastair Brown takes a tough line on lateness, explaining how three or more late arrivals should trigger employer action and how to set up a robust attendance policy

Technical Alerts

21 Feb 2019

Tax / Post-Brexit VAT: refunds and MOSS compliance issues

George Bull, senior tax partner and Andy Ilsley, VAT director at RSM assess the latest no deal Brexit VAT guidance from HMRC and warns companies to act now to avoid missing VAT refunds and review MOSS compliance

Accounting / IFRS 9 causes HSBC’s net assets to drop £1.2bn

The impact of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments, effective 1 January 2018, is starting to show as banks begin to publish their 2018 annual reports, with HSBC, Barclays and RBS all being affected by the new standard

Insight / Suspended sentence for bankrupt who burnt cash owed

A bankrupt who claimed to have burnt nearly £70,000 in cash rather than pay insolvency practitioners has received a suspended prison term

Tax / Court reverses Belgian state aid tax decision

A European Commission ruling that Belgium’s ‘excess profit’ tax scheme amounted to €700m of illegal state aid to Belgian subsidiaries of multinational companies has been overturned in the highest EU court, on the grounds that it was an umbrella scheme and not clearly defined

Tax / Income tax haul boosts public finances

Ahead of the Chancellor’s spring statement next month, official figures show public sector borrowing has recorded the largest January surplus on record at £14.9bn, £5.6bn more than the same period last year, boosted by self assessed income tax payments which also hit a record high

Tax / MPs want tax changes to support high street retailers

MPs are backing changes to the tax regime to halt the current decline in high streets and town centres and allow them to flourish in the future, which could include reforms to business rates, a new sales tax and ‘green taxes’ on packaging and deliveries

Insight / Yorkshire furniture maker breaks down in administration

Lee Lockwood, director at Begbies Traynor, and Ray Claughton, director at Rushtons, have been appointed joint administrators of bespoke furniture maker YTM Group, based in Castleford, which has ceased trading with the loss of over 100 jobs

Tax / Brexit VAT expenses reclaim deadline looms

UK businesses should ensure they claim the local VAT incurred in the EU by their staff on expenses spending before the March deadline for quitting the EU, or they could face having to deal with the delays and costs of dealing with countries individually, in the event of a ‘no deal’ withdrawal, CIOT is advising

Tax / Record €3.7bn fine for UBS tax fraud

UBS has been fined a record €3.7bn (£3.2bn) by a French court on tax evasion and money-laundering charges, after allegations the Swiss bank illegally helped French clients hide assets worth €10bn from the tax authorities between 2004 and 2012

Technical Alerts

20 Feb 2019

Tax / What does 'reasonable excuse' mean to the taxman?

A number of tax tribunal decisions every year revolve around HMRC’s interpretation of reasonable excuse, but it is the Upper Tribunal decisions which are important to watch. Meg Wilson CTA, specialist tax writer at Croner-i Tax and Accounting, examines the options for taxpayers considering an appeal and use of the reasonable excuse defence

Tax / July deadline for first MTD for VAT filing for complete quarter

Companies will not have to file their first digital VAT return under Making Tax Digital for VAT until 1 July at the earliest, although the digital reporting requirement becomes mandatory in April

Tax / Only 45% of businesses plan to sign up to Making Tax Digital for VAT before deadline

With six weeks to go to the launch of Making Tax Digital for VAT, HMRC research indicates 81% of VAT mandated businesses are aware of the new requirements and a similar proportion have started to prepare for the changes, although only 45% plan to sign up before the April deadline

Accounting / IFRS 16 set to pull £180bn onto FTSE 350 balance sheets

Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Sainsbury’s, Vodafone and International Airlines Group head the ranking of FTSE 350 companies whose balance sheets are set to be most impacted by the new IFRS 16 lease accounting standard, according to analysis by accounting software specialist LeaseAccelerator

Accounting / Prudential Regulation Authority publishes updated Solvency II statements

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has published a policy statement on ‘Solvency II: adjusting for the reduction of loss absorbency where own fund instruments are taxed on write down’, which has been updated to reflect comments made during the consultation

Insight / Charity Commission email change will suspend website

The Charity Commission has confirmed that no online services will be available over this weekend as it prepares to migrate its email system

Audit / MPs ask Big Four for FTSE 350 hospitality data

The Big Four have been asked to give MPs details of their spending on hospitality and entertainment for FTSE 350 clients, along with details of staff targets and progression, as part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee inquiry into audit quality

Insight / Early results show gender pay gap widening

With only weeks to go until the reporting deadline, four in 10 private companies that have published their latest gender pay gap are reporting wider gaps than they did last year, according to BBC analysis

Technical Alerts

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