Accounting / Young: scale of Carillion insolvency masks fundamental problems

As is often the case with high profile business failures, Carillion’s insolvency has a number of unusual features, not least its political dimension. In other ways, it is simply a familiar story on a larger scale, says Nathanael Young, senior associate in the commercial litigation and dispute resolution team at SA Law

Tax / Bull: robots could increase UK corporation tax rate to 25%

If the threat of robots taking people’s jobs in the future proves true then corporation tax must increase to offset the impact of reduced tax revenues from income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs), explains George Bull, tax partner at RSM

Tax / HMRC challenged to investigate Ryanair’s ‘opaque’ crew payments

MPs have asked HMRC to investigate Ryanair and the agencies it uses to supply cabin crew, to ensure that they are paying at least the national minimum wage/national living wage (NMW/NLW) to all their staff, after the airline failed to supply answers about its payment practices to two select committees

Insight / ACCA members authorised to handle probate

ACCA has been approved to authorise individuals and firms to carry out probate work, having successfully applied to the Legal Services Board to authorise practitioners to undertake probate work across England and Wales

Insight / CIOT hosts memorial for past president Chris Jones

CIOT, along with LexisNexis and the Jones family, is hosting a memorial on 30 January to celebrate the life and achievements of past president Chris Jones, who died suddenly in November last year

Tax / Government launches Carillion support taskforce

The government’s newly formed taskforce set up to monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation on construction firms has had its first meeting

Insight / People in the news: Mazars, Crowe Clark Whitehill, Catax

Career news this week includes an insurance audit partner at Mazars, two partners in assurance and advisory and global mobility services join Crowe Clark Whitehill, specialist tax firm Catax appoints an operations director

Tax / EU to increase VAT rate flexibility and exemptions

The European Commission is proposing to give member states more flexibility to set VAT rates, and is to extend the VAT exemptions that exist for domestic companies to SMEs trading cross-border, in a bid to encourage business growth and compliance

Accounting / Overseas companies buying UK property face clampdown

The government plans to publish a public register of the ultimate owners of overseas companies that own or buy property in the UK in a bid to improve transparency and crack down on criminal gangs laundering dirty money through the property market

Tax / Making Tax Digital software delays risk accounting period swap

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) is warning that delays in releasing specifications for the software needed to file VAT returns digitally under HMRC’s Making Tax Digital initiative risk leaving some business facing a troublesome mid-accounting period change

Technical Alerts

18 Jan 2018

Accounting / Charity accounts: what trustees need to look out for

Many trustees will be expert in accounting, but will still find charity accounts a bit of a mystery. Other trustees will not have much financial training but they are equally responsible for the financial governance of the charity. Judith Miller, partner at Sayer Vincent explains how to make sense of charity accounts

Insight / Guidance on disqualification rules for charity execs

The Charity Commission has published guidance on changes to the automatic disqualification rules which mean there are tougher restrictions on who can run a charity or hold senior management roles, plus details of how individuals can apply for a waiver from the new regulations, which come into effect from 1 August

Tax / Withdrawal of VAT concession on sports club affiliation fees

HMRC is reminding taxpayers and sporting organisations that the concession enabling sports clubs to treat affiliation fees as exempt from VAT will be withdrawn with effect from 1 April 2018

Insight / Government makes splash over seafarer minimum wage laws

The government has launched a campaign to ensure that all seafarers working in UK waters are paid at least minimum wage rates, following reports that some ships registered abroad were underpaying their workers in UK waters, undercutting UK crews and introducing unfair competition

Tax / Apple to pay $38bn Trump tax bill

Apple, already the largest US taxpayer, has said it anticipates making a one-off $38bn (£27.5bn) repatriation tax payment on profits currently held overseas as a result of President Trump’s recent changes to the tax regime, which it says would likely be the biggest of its kind ever made

Tax / HMRC simplifies claims for group relief for carried-forward losses

HMRC has released a policy note on changes to the rules for relief for carried-forward losses changed which are backdated to 1 April 2017 and are designed to simplify the arrangements for claims for group relief

Tax / HMRC offers support for businesses affected by Carillion liquidation

HMRC is providing practical advice and guidance to businesses affected by the Carillion liquidation through its Business Payment Support Service (BPSS), which can suspend any debt collection proceedings and review penalties for missing deadlines

Audit / CIPFA revoked as an audit qualifying body

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has revoked the recognition of CIPFA as an audit qualifying body, now that it no longer has any members who hold a CIPFA awarded audit qualification

Accounting / NAO slams lack of analysis of private finance initiative deals

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a scathing report on the rationale, costs and benefits of the government’s private finance initiative (PFI) which says there is still a lack of data available on the benefits of this approach to procurement, and warns it is difficult to establish whether it offers value for money

Technical Alerts

17 Jan 2018

Accounting / Companies Act 2006 Part 10: director disqualification

This article, the tenth in our series on the Companies Act 2006, will focus on what powers directors have outlining the rules around borrowing money from the company and how directors can be disqualified

Tax / Whiscombe: what's the chance of reforming VAT post-Brexit

VAT is a European construct so post-Brexit any government could have the freedom to reform this hugely complex and irrational VAT rating system, argues David Whiscombe CTA, partner at BKL

Insight / Regulators urged to fast track Carillion investigations

Carillion’s creditors may receive less than 1p in the pound, as the collapsed outsourcing company revealed it had just £29m in the bank when it went into liquidation earlier this week, and has a £16m HMRC tax bill due at the end of the month

Tax / HMRC urged to plug the gap on electric car charging

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) is urging HMRC to issue guidance to employers and employees about a planned tax exemption for employer-provided electric car charging, including details of any exclusions or exceptions, which has not been included in the current finance bill

Tax / HMRC brushes off claims for aliens, chips and rabbits

Marital difficulties with visitors from outer space and an acute attack of vertigo were among the more outlandish excuses given to HMRC for not completing a tax return on time, while among the more optimistic expense claims made was one for birthday drinks in a Glasgow night club

Insight / Half a million UK businesses in ‘significant’ financial distress

Nearly half a million businesses across the country ended 2017 in a state of 'significant' financial distress, a third more than at the same point in 2016, according to research from Begbies Traynor

Insight / Begbies Traynor knits up deal for failed German yarn supplier

Administrators from Begbies Traynor have been appointed to the German subsidiary of a Keighley-based distributor of knitting yarns and patterns that ceased trading at the end of 2017, in a rare example of English administrators being appointed over a foreign company

Technical Alerts