Insight / What is wrong with unpaid internships?

With graduates struggling to enter employment after completing their studies, internships and work experience placements are essential but is it wrong that so many businesses do not pay their interns? Gudrun Limbrick, lead consultant at Word Works, looks at how the Taylor Review and government are trying to change this

Audit / Global ethics board strengthens rules for accountants over inducements

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has updated its global ethics code to strengthen rules to guard against accepting excessive inducements and hospitality, highlighting the importance of avoiding being put in a compromising situation 

Insight / Administrators grill Gaucho steak chain

Matthew Smith and Robert Harding, partners from Deloitte, have been appointed joint administrators of Gaucho Grill Ltd, Gioma (UK) Limited and Cau Restaurants Ltd, the operators of a chain of restaurants specialising in Argentinian steaks which has collapsed, putting over 1,200 jobs at risk

Tax / Record £850m of tax reliefs claimed by creative sector

TV hit ‘Peaky Blinders’ and Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill in the film ‘Darkest Hour’ are just two of dozens of examples from Britain’s world-leading creative sector to have benefited from over £850m of tax breaks in the last year, according to the latest HMRC statistics

Tax / OTS proposes PAYE for online platform gig workers

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) is suggesting the introduction of a PAYE option for online platform workers, which would see operators such as Deliveroo or Uber deducting tax from their earnings and thereby taking responsibility for fulfilling the tax obligations of their workers

Insight / Builder disqualified over hidden sales and VAT loss

The director of a West Midlands construction company has been disqualified for seven years after he failed to declare all the company’s sales income, resulting in an under-payment of VAT totalling over £200,000

Audit / KPMG in banking regulator’s spotlight

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is believed to have held discussions with financial institutions and other regulators over potential risks to KPMG’s business, following the firm’s string of problems in South Africa and challenges to its auditing of collapsed outsourcer Carillion

Insight / People in the news: EY, BDO, Edwin Coe

Career news this week includes a change in managing partner for talent at EY, BDO promotes a member of the audit team to senior partner and Edwin Coe gains a senior tax manager

Tax / Increased transparency requirements put tax functions under pressure

Tax and finance functions are struggling to keep up with digital advances, a push towards transparency and global reforms of the international tax system, according to a survey conducted by EY

Technical Alerts

19 Jul 2018

Insight / Godfrey-Billy: artificial intelligence will set accountants free

With artificial intelligence (AI) and automation threatening to change the face of the accounting profession, Kirsty Godfrey-Billy, chief accounting officer at Xero, asks how technology will reduce repetitive tasks and improve controls

Tax / Armed forces to be compensated for Scottish tax differential

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is to compensate thousands of military personnel based in Scotland against being left out of pocket because of differences between the Scottish tax regime and that used elsewhere in the UK, with top-up payments to be made each year

Tax / HMRC tackles VAT avoidance via offshore looping

HMRC has amended legislation to shut down a VAT avoidance scheme in which financial services exploit current rules using offshore looping

Accounting / Streamlined energy and carbon reporting to be mandatory

Large companies will be required to adopt a streamlined energy and carbon reporting (SECR) framework from April 2019 which will see them include details of energy use, carbon emissions and their energy efficiency measures in their annual report, as part of the government’s drive for business and industry to cut energy use by at least 20% by 2030

Insight / Charity ex-trustees disqualified over financial mismanagement

Two former trustees, one of whom was an accountant, have been disqualified following a joint agency investigation and a Charity Commission inquiry which found serious misconduct and mismanagement in the charities they were running

Insight / Deloitte creates Asia Pacific firm

Deloitte is to create a new entity, Deloitte Asia Pacific, bringing together its geographies in Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, with the aim of increasing its services and presence in the region, which it says is the fastest-growing area of its network

Insight / BDO South Africa to merge with Grant Thornton

BDO South Africa has announced it is to merge with Grant Thornton Johannesburg, with the aim of creating the country’s leading mid-tier audit firm

Insight / Tax fraudster to pay £67K or face two more years in jail

A Gloucester security services company director, who was jailed for a £497,000 tax fraud, must pay back £67,424 or face another two years in jail and still owe the money

Technical Alerts

18 Jul 2018

Tax / Company car tax: key issues for fleet managers

Nigel Morris, tax director, MHA MacIntyre Hudson examines the current state of company car taxation and the key issues for fleet managers

Tax / Post-Brexit VAT non-alignment to add to consumer costs

An amendment to the Brexit customs paper, passed by a narrow majority in Parliament on Monday, which will see the UK exit the EU VAT regime is also likely to increase costs for UK consumers buying goods directly from EU businesses, RSM is warning

Insight / Dodwell named as member of the GAAR advisory panel

Bill Dodwell, former head of tax policy at Deloitte and regular contributor to Accountancy magazine, has been confirmed as a member of the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) advisory panel while also taking up a role as a part-time senior policy adviser at the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS)

Tax / HMRC guidance on disguised remuneration scheme loan charges

HMRC has issued guidance on disguised remuneration schemes, whereby loans are paid instead of ordinary income to avoid income tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs), with users of such tax avoidance schemes now facing charges if they have not repaid their loan or agreement settlement by 5 April 2019

Insight / Government wins vote on leaving customs union

In a tense evening of voting, the government has seen off attempts to alter its agreed post-Brexit trade strategy, with the defeat of an amendment which sought to insist the UK should be forced to join a customs union with the EU if no agreement were reached on frictionless trade by 21 January 2019

Accounting / Global insurers see costs of IFRS 17 implementation balloon

Global insurers have significantly underestimated the costs of moving toward a new accounting regulation, IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts, with more than a third now budgeting over €50m (£44.2m) for implementation, according to research from Deloitte

Audit / FRC auditor fines hit £18m mark

Fines imposed by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) shot up by 23% to reach £17.96m last year, compared with £14.59m in 2016/17 as the regulator responded to pressure to crack down on failures at audit firms, according to research by Thomson Reuters

Insight / Pension company liquidated over £4m abuse

A Kent pension company has been ordered into liquidation at the High Court after an Insolvency Service investigation revealed it had abused over £4m of investors’ savings

Tax / HMRC clarifies VAT treatment of car dealer deposit contributions

HMRC has published a brief explaining its policy on the VAT accounting treatment of car sales promotions where payments are said to be made by motor dealers to finance companies on behalf of the end customer, amid concerns that dealerships and others are adopting different approaches to these dealer deposit contributions (DDCs)

Technical Alerts