Tax / Spring Statement 2018: not a tax non-event

Chancellor Philip Hammond kept his first Spring Statement short and sweet, instead updating the public on the state of the economy and choosing to save any tax measures for the Autumn Budget. Expert tax writers from Croner-i summarise the 13 consultations announced in preparation for this fiscal event

Insight / Improving workplace wellbeing: tips and advice

David Price, CEO at Health Assured, provides advice for employers to follow when promoting workplace wellbeing initiatives to improve job performance and retention among employees

Insight / Handling difficult interview questions: tips and advice

Despite preparing for an interview beforehand, many accountants are thrown off guard by tricky and unexpected questions. Simon Wright, operations director of provides advice on how to handle any difficult questions which may be thrown your way

Audit / FRC renews call for competition inquiry into Big Four

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is continuing to push for an inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into the Big Four, arguing it consider the case for ‘audit only’ firms in a bid to encourage more competition and reduce conflicts of interest

Insight / People in the news: BDO, Menzies, JW Hinks

In this week’s moves and appointments roundup, BDO fills its newly created head of growth advisory position, Menzies appoints two specialists in its Leatherhead office, JW Hinks appoints a pensions audit senior

Tax / Child benefit changes may have hit pension entitlements

MPs are warning that the changes to child benefit and poor communication from HMRC may mean thousands of parents risk losing out on future pension entitlements, and are calling on the Treasury to provide more analysis of the numbers affected

Insight / Scheme for film production accountants launched

The current boom in the UK film business has led the trade body the Production Guild of Great Britain to partner with the University of Hertfordshire’s school of creative arts to pilot a new scheme designed to develop the next generation of UK production accountants

Tax / Online platforms ‘jointly and severally’ liable for UK VAT

New legislation making online marketplaces more accountable for VAT fraud committed by online sellers on their platforms have come into force this week, as part of a package of measures in Finance Act 2018 which the Treasury says are set to raise an additional £1.2bn in tax

Audit / Fewer charities report modified audit opinion

Fewer charities overall are filing accounts with a modified audit opinion, meaning that their accounts are, or may be, materially misstated, but it is a ‘particular concern’ that 40% of those that do have done so for two consecutive years, the Charity Commission has found

Technical Alerts

15 Mar 2018

Tax / HMRC launches Making Tax Digital income tax pilot

HMRC has signalled it is extending its flagship Making Tax Digital initiative to include income tax reporting, by offering self employed individuals and their agents the opportunity to join a pilot for using software to keep business record digitally and send income tax updates to HMRC, instead of filing a self assessment tax return

Tax / Khurana: will the Taylor Review change the tax status of employment?

Vaneeta Khurana, head of employment tax at Mazars, examines the government's plans to review employment status in response to the Taylor Review in a bid to address the challenges of the changing world of work, but warns of potential for further complexity over tax rules, particularly for off payroll working

Accounting / Further challenge to Carillion accounting approach

The collapse of UK construction and services group Carillion has exposed shortcomings in the accounting for reverse factoring arrangements, a form of supply-chain finance, according to a report from Moody's Investors Service

Tax / Nunn: review of VAT threshold needs to be sensible

Among the slew of consultations announced in the Spring Statement this week, the decision to review the VAT threshold is perhaps one of the most important. Yvette Nunn (Fellow) ATT (Fellow) MAAT, director of Berkeley Associates, considers the complexities of overhauling the threshold 

Tax / First review of charity tax treatment for 20 years

The Charity Tax Commission is seeking views on whether and how the tax treatment of charities, estimated to be worth around £3.7bn a year, needs to be reformed

Insight / Toys R Us shuts all UK stores

Toys R Us is to close all 100 of its UK stores beginning this week, with the loss of 3,000 jobs, after administrators failed to find a buyer for the retailer

Tax / Surprise extension of childcare voucher scheme

Political pressure has seen the government backtrack on plans to abolish the salary sacrifice employer childcare voucher (CCV) scheme following the introduction of its new tax-free childcare option, and the vouchers will now be available for an additional six months, which some commentators suggest will cause confusion

Tax / HMRC publishes directions on digital service consent

HMRC has published a policy paper setting out how users of either its current self assessment online service or the proposed new Making Tax Digital for business service can either provide or withdraw their consent to receive electronic communications from HMRC

Insight / Silicon Valley billionaire charged in $700m investor fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged the founder of tech start-up Theranos with raising more than $700m (£500m) from investors through what the US regulator called ‘an elaborate, years-long fraud’ in which they made false statements about the company’s technology, business, and financial performance

Technical Alerts

14 Mar 2018

Tax / Spring Statement 2018: corporate tax and the digital economy

The Spring Statement saw the release of an updated Treasury policy paper on options for reforming the corporate tax regime to address the challenges of the digital economy, with government considering going it alone if there are delays in reaching international agreement on ways to address the way digital businesses are taxed

Accounting / Companies Act 2006 Part 18: audited accounts

This article, the eighteenth in our series on the Companies Act 2006, will focus on audited accounts, including exemptions for various companies, and the implications surrounding the appointment of an auditor

Tax / US taxman set to close offshore voluntary disclosure programme

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plans to close the offshore voluntary disclosure program (OVDP) which allows US taxpayers to declare non-compliant offshore assets from 28 September

Audit / SEC penalises KPMG, Deloitte and BDO over unregistered auditors

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged foreign affiliates of KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, and BDO for their involvement in audit work that circumvented the full oversight of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), by using unregistered auditors

Tax / Conviviality finds unwelcome £30m tax bill

PwC has been brought in to advise Conviviality, the wholesaler and distributor of alcohol and impulse products, after the company discovered it had a £30m tax bill which had not been included in its short term cashflow projections

Tax / Spring Statement: impact of tax on tourism in Northern Ireland

As part of the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, the Treasury is calling for evidence on what impact VAT and Air Passenger Duty (APD) has on tourism in Northern Ireland and how these taxes can be used to encourage people to travel

Insight / Deloitte administrators to failed remediation engineering firm

Richard Hawes and Matt Cowlishaw, partners at Deloitte, have been appointed as joint administrators to QDS Contracting Ltd, a Guildford-based specialist engineering contractor which has collapsed putting almost 100 jobs at risk

Insight / PwC last of Big Four to report partner gender pay gap

PwC is the last of the Big Four to publish its revised pay gap data by gender and ethnicity to include partners, with the results showing a mean gender pay gap of 43.8%

Tax / Spring Statement: extending the securities regime to corporation tax

From April 2019, corporation tax and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) deductions will be covered by security deposit legislation and the government is now consulting on how to best implement these changes

Insight / Accountants must watch out for cryptocurrencies

ACCA is warning accountants of the importance of maintaining an up-to-date understanding of developments in the fast-moving space of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, in light of the risks of money laundering and consumer exploitation

Tax / US tax reforms’ ‘unintended consequences’ for CFCs

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is calling for regulatory relief for certain controlled foreign corporation (CFC) taxpayers affected by what it describes as ‘unintended consequences’ from President Trump’s recent tax reforms

Technical Alerts