Pat Sweet

Pat Sweet

Pat Sweet is online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, published by Croner-i, covering news stories as they happen each day. With a background in specialist business publications, Pat covers tax, audit and accounting, as well as management consultancy and IT, and is now focused primarily on developments in the accounting and finance markets. Contact Pat Sweet

Tax / Buy-to-let landlord campaign fails to fill £500m tax gap

Despite HMRC’s campaign to target underpayments of tax due on rental properties, less than 3% of estimated eligible landlords have used the let property disclosure facility, according to data from Saffery Champness, which is warning that property taxation is likely to see a greater focus as landlords come under scrutiny over their tax compliance

Tax / HMRC and BEIS extend post Brexit guidance for SMEs

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published a leaflet for SMEs, outlining changes that may affect the business when the UK leaves the EU, with advice on actions to take and sources of support

Tax / Making Tax Digital for VAT registration takes seven working days

HMRC has warned that the registration process for Making Tax Digital for VAT, due to come into effect from 1 April, will take seven days to complete, and will not be a real time service

Tax / Tribunal pulls up claim for DIY VAT relief on electric blinds

A taxpayer seeking to reclaim around £2,300 under the DIY house-builders scheme for fitting electric blinds to an eco-building has had his claim denied at a First Tier Tribunal (FTT), on the grounds that these were not items which are ordinarily incorporated into buildings of this kind

Audit / PwC pays $335m over Colonial Bank audit failures

PwC has paid $335m (£253m) to settle claims brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) relating to professional negligence in the US firm’s auditing of the Colonial Bank, which collapsed in 2009 with an estimated $3bn loss to the deposit insurance fund

Tax / Hong Kong leapfrogs UK for offshore company registrations

Hong Kong has toppled the UK as the top international financial centre (IFC) for global corporate services, while the trend towards moving business to onshore and mid-shore jurisdictions continues to increase, according to research by Vistra

Tax / Lack of transparency on overseas property valued at £56bn

Over £56bn of properties in England and Wales are owned by anonymous companies registered in tax havens according to analysis by Global Witness, which is calling for faster government action on beneficial ownership registers

Accounting / PwC probe finds £5.6bn of accounting errors at Steinhoff

A probe by PwC into accounting irregularities at South African retail giant Steinhoff International, which owns Poundland in the UK, has uncovered some €6.6bn (£5.6bn) of errors over an eight-year period

Accounting / Sub-postmasters win first trial over accounting IT issues

A group of over 500 former sub-postmasters (SPMs) have won an important first step in a series of trials relating to claims that the Post Office incorrectly and unfairly held them responsible for accounting discrepancies, which they held were due to failings with the Post Office’s Horizon IT system

Tax / Scottish government consults on devolved tax policy framework

The Scottish Government is consulting on a new approach to the planning, management and implementation of the fully devolved taxes in Scotland, with the aim of bringing greater transparency and efficiency to the process, and broader engagement with taxpayers and the accountancy profession

Tax / HMRC wins battle to tax Lehman Brothers interest payments

HMRC has won a longstanding legal challenge over whether or not PwC as administrators to collapsed bank Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (LBIE) should deduct income tax from some £5bn of interest payable to creditors, after the Supreme Court ruled in its favour

Insight / FTSE 350 boards challenged over ‘one and done’ female diversity

The Investment Association (IA) and the Hampton-Alexander review have written to 69, or one in five, of the FTSE 350 companies, challenging them about the lack of gender diversity on their boards, with suggestions their approach is ‘tokenistic’

Insight / Bans for disqualified director and stooge boss

A previously disqualified director has been banned for a second time after illegally running a Yeovil restaurant using former colleague as a stooge boss, with both of them remiss in paying tax and filing tax returns during the period it was in operation

Audit / MPs want ‘step change’ in local body auditing transparency

More than one in five local public bodies do not have proper arrangements in place to secure value for money for taxpayers, and some are also not putting enough information in the public domain about their performance, including reports from their external auditors, a public accounts committee (PAC) inquiry has highlighted

Tax / Call for ‘weekly national allowance’ to replace income tax allowance

There are calls for the government to abolish the income tax personal allowance, which was confirmed as £12,500 in the Spring Statement, and replace it with a weekly cash payment of £48 to all adults earning under £12,500 in a bid to lift 200,000 families out of poverty
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