Insight / Tips and advice: preparing your accounting practice for sale

When accounting firms look to sell their business, it is essential to profile and prepare the business ready for a sale, from the critical financial data to softer information about management structure, client base and staffing splits, advises Keith Underwood, managing director of merger experts Foulger Underwood

Tax / Tax revenues up £35.6bn as CGT and stamp duty bite

HMRC’s tax take has seen its biggest jump since the recession in the last year, rising by £35.6bn, with a 10% hike in revenue from national insurance contributions (NICs) while higher rates of property tax have raked in £1.1bn in additional revenue

Tax / HMRC consults on draft guidance on enabler rules for tax advisers

HMRC is consulting on draft guidance covering new legislation on enablers of defeated tax avoidance schemes which will be introduced once Finance Bill (No.2) 2017 receives Royal Assent, and which could see accountants and lawyers liable for penalties as a result of providing contentious advice in this area

Accounting / IFRS 15 rollout will stop mobile networks overcharging after contracts end

Telecoms giants Vodafone, EE and Three are continuing to charge customers extra for a handset after this cost has been covered in their fixed deal, research suggests, despite the looming prospect of IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers

Accounting / Charities must comply with financial sanctions requirements

Charities need to ensure they comply fully with the latest financial sanctions rules, warns the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI)

Insight / Unpaid tax bills see HMRC pull the plug on computer reseller

Misco UK Ltd, a computer reseller business has gone into administration after HMRC applied for a winding-up order over unpaid taxes, with the loss of around 300 jobs

Insight / Charity Commission looks into children’s disability charity

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Dream It Believe It Achieve It, over concerns about its financial controls, including the charity’s relationship with connected companies.

Audit / European Court of Auditors to audit EU fraud

The European Court of Auditors is to conduct an audit on how the European Commission manages the risk of fraud in EU spending, in response to concerns that not enough is being done to tackle the issues

Insight / Call for watchdog to assess public spending plans

Failures in financial planning mean the government is being forced into poor and reactionary spending decisions, instead of getting ahead of problems before they become crises, spending over £10bn in five years just to keep troubled services going, according to research by CIPFA and the Institute for Government

Insight / Roofer’s £102k tax fraud falls through

Richard Cakebread, a self-employed roofer, has been jailed for 20 months for evading £88,000 in VAT and stealing a further £14,000 by failing to pay income tax, following an investigation by HMRC

Insight / People in the news: RSM, IVSC, Quantuma, Leon & Co

In this week’s moves and appointments roundup, RSM appoints a tax director in its Manchester office and the firm’s legal arm makes it onto the Legal 500 list, the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC) appoints a trustee member

Technical Alerts

19 Oct 2017

Tax / HMRC races to update IT system to handle dividend tax change

HMRC’s own computer systems have been unable to deal with the slew of changes to dividends and interest income introduced for the year ended 5 April 2017 so it is having to take swift action to address the problems, warn RSM head of tax risk and investigation Mike Down and tax manager Sarah Saunders

Accounting / FRS 101: disclosure exemptions explained - part 2

Anne Cowley ACA examines the disclosure requirements and exemptions provided under FRS 101 Reduced Disclosure Framework, and explains how to make the most of reporting under this accounting regime and any potential pitfalls for reporters

Insight / DWP takes over pension dashboard project from Treasury

Development on the pension dashboard will continue with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announcing that it has taken over the responsibility from the Treasury after economic secretary Simon Kirby, who was involved in the project, lost his seat in the June election

Audit / UK regulation could need EU recognition post-Brexit

The regulation of audit after the completion of Brexit may need to be recognised as equivalent by the EU in order for UK firms’ work to be accepted, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has admitted

Tax / IRS to require health coverage details with annual tax returns

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced it will not accept electronically filed tax returns for taxpayers who do not include information about the health coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), starting from the upcoming 2018 filing season

Tax / Amazon wants tax breaks for second US HQ

Amazon’s announcement that it is looking for a US city in which to set up HQ2 and its requirement that the chosen location is ‘business friendly’ has sparked controversy over whether the contenders should offer tax breaks and other financial incentives

Insight / UK organisations lagging on cyber security preparations

Despite some well publicised and damaging cyber security incidents recently, nearly one in five UK organisations do not prepare for cyber attacks and only half conduct penetration tests to examine their defences, according to research by PwC

Insight / Warning on ‘endemic’ low pay in UK

There has been little progress in the number of people managing to escape from poorly paid jobs in the UK with women earning less than men, according to a report from the government’s Social Mobility Commission

Insight / Treasury Committee launches inquiry into women in finance

The Treasury Committee is to investigate women in finance, focusing on the Treasury’s women in finance charter and the progress made against it, in a bid to identify the barriers to women entering and progressing in the financial services industry

Insight / Sham company director fakes death to avoid 14-year disqualification

In move described by the Insolvency Service as ‘bizarre’ a man who ran a sham TV company, which he claimed had a turnover of £4.7bn, got a friend to claim he had died, in order to avoid disqualification for dishonest attempts to obtain credit made through a limited company

Technical Alerts

18 Oct 2017

Tax / Partnership taxation: chargeable tax and profit allocations

The imminent overhaul of tax rules for all types of partnerships will have a wide-reaching impact, particularly on the bare trust/beneficiary approach. Mark Cawthron LLB CTA outines the key changes and sets out potential pitfalls for partners to consider

Tax / HMRC urged to act on online VAT fraud by overseas sellers

HMRC has been too slow to address the problems of online VAT fraud by overseas sellers and its estimates of the tax loss are ‘out of date and flawed’ according to a report from the public accounts committee (PAC), which says the current uncertainty over the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU risks making the problems worse

Accounting / Time to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Businesses are being warned to prepare in advance for the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which come into force from May next year. Sophie Brookes, partner and professional support lawyer at Gateley plc, outlines the key changes as part of the new data regulations

Accounting / FCA mines Rio Tinto for record £27m fine over disclosure failings

FTSE 100 mining giant Rio Tinto has been fined a record £27.4m by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for breaching disclosure and transparency rules, and is also facing fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US against both the company and its former CEO and CFO

Insight / ACCA says more focus needed on ethics at work

Half of UK workers have encountered unethical situations at work and a similar proportion also do not think their employer is committed to ethical behaviour, according to a survey by ACCA calling for more focus on ethics released on 18 October, which is designated as global ethics day

Tax / OECD reports action taken to amend preferential tax regimes

Governments have dismantled, or are in the process of amending, nearly 100 preferential tax regimes as a result of the introduction of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) standards to improve the international tax framework, according to a progress report from the OECD

Tax / Calls for UK to hike self employed NICs and cut pension triple lock

The OECD is recommending the UK considers increasing National Insurance contributions (NICs) for the self employed and reforming the ‘triple lock’ on state pensions as part of efforts to support the UK economy, which it says has weakened in the aftermath of the decision to leave the EU

Insight / FTSE 350 governance and reporting inconsistent

Although FTSE 350 compliance with the UK corporate governance code is at its highest level ever, investor engagement continues to decline, particularly for smaller companies, according to analysis by Grant Thornton

Audit / KPMG appointed auditor of FTSE 100 chemical company Croda

PwC has lost another longstanding FTSE 100 audit client as Brazilian chemical company Croda International has announced KPMG will take over the audit from PwC for year end 2018

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