Accountancy Daily

Tax / Australia rules Uber drivers contractors for tax purposes

In a landmark ruling for the gig economy, an Australian court has ruled that Uber drivers should be treated as contractors for tax and employment purposes, rather than as employees, which could have repercussions in the UK, where the ride hailing company is fighting a similar case through the courts

Tax / HMRC refunds £1.8m child benefit tax penalties

HMRC has made £1.8m in refunds to nearly 5,000 taxpayers as a result of cancelling ‘failure to notify’ penalties in high income child benefit charge (HICBC) cases, on the grounds they had a reasonable excuse

Insight / Fiona Wilkinson takes over ICAEW president role

ICAEW’s new president for 2019/20, Fiona Wilkinson, has stated she plans to use her time in office to be an ambassador for inclusion in accountancy and to rebuild the reputation of the profession after it has been slated for audit performance

Insight / Called to account: June 2019

The latest scandals, convictions and penalties this month include a celebrity accountant jailed for £3.5m fraud, director banned over £5.6m football stadium accounting own goal, a restauranteur cooks VAT books and time called on pub landlord’s £7m tax errors

Tax / Chancellor calls for global action on digital services tax

Chancellor Philip Hammond is to use today’s meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Fukuoka, Japan to underline the need to update global tax rules to reflect the digital world as multinationals operate crossborder and base themselves in low-tax jurisdictions 

Insight / Brexit uncertainty slashes UK foreign direct investment

Although the UK retained the top slot as the number one location for foreign direct investment (FDI) into Europe in 2018, there has been a significant drop in the number of inbound mergers and acquisitions as uncertainty around Brexit affects long-term decisions

Insight / Finance Mole: do you need to take a flight to get invoices paid?

Finance Mole heads to Italy to support the Head of Sales with debt collection and is surprised when he wins over some sceptical European colleagues when he promises to hassle head office for a new coffee machine

Insight / People in the news: BDO, PKF Littlejohn, Deloitte, PwC, BHP

In this week’s career moves, partner promotions at BDO and Deloitte, Houston takes top job at Deloitte NSE, new hires and promotions at PwC, Grant Thornton, Cowgills, Carey Olsen and BHP, and incoming IAASB chair

Insight / 'No evidence of charitable activity’ at Gaza aid charity

The Charity Commission has published a highly critical report on Viva Palestina, the aid charity founded by former MP George Galloway, saying it may not have conducted any charitable activity or distributed any humanitarian aid, and finding its former trustees were responsible for mismanagement

Technical Alerts

6 Jun 2019

Tax / Dodwell: does the cost of tax reliefs make sense?

The personal allowance costs the government £195bn a year in tax relief, while inheritance tax exemptions amount to £17bn a year, just some of the numerous reliefs adding to the complexity of the tax system but necessary to determine tax liability. Bill Dodwell, head of the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS), analyses the annual costs to the Exchequer

Tax / Labour considers overhaul of stamp duty regime

The Labour party is considering plans to overhaul the current stamp duty system by phasing out the charge for purchasers and increasing capital gains tax on second property sales

Audit / Woolf: no improvement in standard of audit work

Auditors will never be able to fulfil their responsibilities until regulators ensure accounting rules are fit for purpose, while pressure from client companies has led to legacy misstatements and the Big Four audit firms simply set aside contingency for multimillion pound fines, says Emile Woolf FCA

Accounting / European single electronic format for financial statements mandated

The European Commission has issued rules requiring all listed companies across EU member states who report under IFRS to submit their annual financial statements digitally as iXBRL documents from 1 January 2020

Insight / Johnston Carmichael expands with Dundee opening

Johnston Carmichael, Scotland’s largest independent accountancy firm, has opened a Dundee office as part of a strategic expansion of its operations

Tax / Greece most difficult country to operate a business

Greece is the most challenging country to do business with a fragmented tax system and complex compliance requirements, but the world’s largest economies are the most complex and unpredictable places for multinational firms to operate in

Insight / Charity and trustees removed for ‘serious abuse’ of funds

The Charity Commission has removed a charity and its trustees from its register, after an investigation uncovered ‘serious abuse’ of its funds, including spending on gym memberships and TV subscriptions, and no evidence of any charitable activity

Technical Alerts

5 Jun 2019

Audit / PwC plans audit overhaul to stave off break-up threat

In a bid to stave off demands for the break-up of Big Four audit firms, PwC plans to spend £30m a year on a significant transformation of its audit business, with a raft of measures designed to address growing concerns from regulators, but the firm will not hive off its audit business

Tax / HMRC targets insurance premium tax avoidance

HMRC is consulting on the operation of insurance premium tax (IPT) in a bid to stop artificial manipulation of fees and commission to avoid the tax and is considering anti-avoidance measures

Tax / Machinations of follower notices and accelerated payment notices

As part of the government’s clampdown on aggressive tax avoidance schemes, HMRC was given powers to issue follower notices and accelerated payment notices (APNs). Meg Wilson CTA, specialist tax writer at Croner-i, examines their effectiveness and the grounds for cases won by taxpayers

Accounting / Deloitte acquisitions expand specialist IP and HR services

Big Four firm Deloitte has strengthened its specialist services with the acquisition of ClearViewIP, a global intellectual property (IP) consulting and transaction advisory business, as well as the UK-based HR and reward specialist Stitch Communications

Tax / 22% hike in senior accounting officer fines

HMRC is ramping up scrutiny of top level accounting executives at large businesses, with 152 CFOs and senior finance executives personally fined for corporate tax accounting failures last year according to Pinsent Masons

Tax / Government set to review NHS pension taxation stranglehold

In response to concerns that changes to pension taxation due to reductions in the tapered annual allowance has resulted in highly paid NHS medial staff cutting their hours or retiring early, the government is to consult on way to make pensions more flexible for senior clinicians delivering frontline care, reports Pat Sweet

Tax / UK overseas territories top tax haven risk list

The UK’s overseas territories and crown dependencies have been accused of harbouring tax havens and accounting for nearly a third of corporate tax avoidance risks globally, according to analysis by Tax Justice Network

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