Insight / Debenhams in second administration in a year

Department store Debenhams is heading into administration for the second time in a year, in a bid to stave off a collapse into liquidation and in the hopes that it will be able to resume trading from its high street shops once the coronavirus control measures are lifted

Tax / Top 10 tips: employee expenses during coronavirus homeworking

If your employees are working from home due to the coronavirus lockdown, there are important tax compliance issues to consider before reimbursing expenses, explains Jacqui Gudjion, corporate and business tax partner at Mercer & Hole

Insight / Coronavirus: essential updates for accountants, tax advisers and auditors

To assist accountants, tax advisers and auditors in dealing with the coronavirus crisis, all our related covid-19 coverage will be available here as soon as new announcements are made, plus expert analysis

Insight / Covid-19: large business interruption loan launched

The government has provided more details of an extension to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), announced earlier in the pandemic, which will now offer loans of up to £25m to large businesses with turnover above the original limit of £45m for support, reports Pat Sweet

Tax / Covid-19: zero hours PAYE employees entitled to 80% furlough scheme

Zero hours workers are entitled to be furloughed under the 80% rules set out in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme based on an average calculation of monthly earnings, reports Sara White

Tax / Covid-19: 80% rules allow training, volunteering and even second jobs

Accountants put on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be able to continue their training to achieve professional qualifications and may be able to take on a second job depending on any restrictions in their employment contract, reports Sara White

Insight / Morrisons wins landmark ruling on liability for employee data breach

The Supreme Court has handed down a landmark judgment in a case involving a group data breach action against a former internal auditor at Morrisons, which could have seen the supermarket chain facing claims for damages running into thousands of pounds, reports Pat Sweet

Tax / Labour names Anneliese Dodds as shadow Chancellor

The Labour Party’s new leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has named Anneliese Dodds as the first woman shadow chancellor, replacing John McDonnell who resigned from the shadow cabinet following the party’s defeat in the December election

Tax / April 6 personal tax changes: rise in NICs threshold

April 6 heralds the start of the new tax year, which sees the personal allowance for income tax unchanged, but a hike in the threshold for national insurance contributions (NICs) and a delay to promised reforms to the IR35 off payroll employment rules, reports Pat Sweet

Technical Alerts

3 Apr 2020

Tax / Covid-19: football clubs fight to keep going as grounds remain closed

Football clubs are coming under increasing pressure to cut top players’ multimillion pound wages as support staff at clubs are put on the government’s 80% furlough scheme, and EFL clubs are already struggling to pay March salaries

Tax / Covid-19: business interruption loan scheme amended

The government has been forced to amend the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) for firms affected by the pandemic, following claims banks were forcing companies to provide personal guarantees, and is adding an option for larger companies, reports Pat Sweet

Audit / KPMG slammed with £700k fine over audit failures at listed company

Big Four audit giant KPMG and a current partner have been severely sanctioned by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) over significant audit failures which occurred in the conduct of a major company audit in 2016

Tax / Covid-19: loan charge taxpayers given ‘special arrangements’

HMRC is to introduce special arrangements for taxpayers affected by the loan charge rules relating to disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes, paving the way for some of them to make claims under the government’s coronavirus support scheme for the self-employed, reports Pat Sweet

Insight / Finance Mole: learning to deal with lockdown

As the country refashions its way of working in the face of the covid-19 crisis, our favourite head of finance wryly recounts the first week under the new rather challenging, albeit sometimes amusing, home working regime

Tax / Covid-19: bus services support grant launched

The government is to provide a £397m package for bus operators to keep key routes running for frontline workers during the current pandemic

Insight / Covid-19: British Airways furloughs 30,000 and puts pilots on half time

The aviation industry is calling for targeted support as British Airways places over 30,000 employees on furlough and EasyJet grounds all flights

Insight / Covid-19: accountants called up to Army reserve

Accountants are among 3,000 Army reservists with specialist skills set to be called up by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to help in the fight against coronavirus

Technical Alerts

2 Apr 2020

Tax / Public sector contractors given access to 80% furlough scheme

IR35 contractors working for public sector organisations through personal service companies who are unable to carry on working due to the covid-19 pandemic will now be eligible for the 80% furlough scheme if their contracts are ongoing, reports Sara White

Insight / Covid-19: electronic signatures and witnessing practicalities when isolating

Electronic signatures are ‘permissible and can be used in confidence in commercial and consumer documents’ during the coronavirus pandemic, the Lord Chancellor has confirmed, but there are times when a witness is legally required. Sophie Brookes, partner at Gateley, examines how to deal with virtual witnessing

Tax / April 1 business tax changes: corporation tax rate remains 19%

HMRC has updated its guidance confirming that the government has shelved its original plans to lower corporation tax, with the main rate (for all profits except ring fence profits) for the years starting 1 April 2020 and 2021 remain at 19%, as announced at Budget 2020

Accounting / Legal updates: April 2020

In this month’s legal updates, Sophie Brookes, partner at Gateley, examines a brace of significant legal privilege rulings at the Court of Appeal in Civil Aviation Authority v R and Sports Direct v Financial Reporting Council

Tax / Digital services tax for IT giants effective from 1 April

From the 2020/21 tax year, digital multinationals like Google, Amazon and Apple, will have to start paying the new digital services tax (DST)

Tax / Covid-19: FCA consults on three-month loan and credit card payment freeze

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched an emergency four-day consultation on plans for temporary measures to help consumers manage their credit in the face of the financial impact of the coronavirus epidemic

Technical Alerts