CCH Daily

Tax / When is a trust not a trust?

With the furore over the release of the Paradise Papers highlighting the widespread use of aggressive tax avoidance, Susan Rosser, partner and Gemma Rochelle, senior associate, litigation dispute resolution at Mayer Brown International LLP examine the risks of discretionary trusts in light of the long-running Pugachev litigation

Tax / Littlewoods: end of the road for compound interest claims

Robert Marchant, partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill, considers how the outcome of the Littlewoods case will affect outstanding compound interest VAT reclaims, which are estimated to total as much as £17bn

Tax / Taxpayers warned to check HMRC repayment arrangements

In the run up to January’s online self assessment tax return deadline, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is warning of the risk that HMRC will issue any repayments due to last used debit or credit card, rather than the bank payment instructions entered on the forms

Audit / Monitoring Group consults on major overhaul of global audit standard setting process

The Monitoring Group is consulting on a major overhaul of the global audit standard setting process to enhance governance, accountability and oversight which could see a change to the role of IFAC and creation of a single audit and ethical standards setting body to replace the current split structure

Insight / Mercer & Hole launches expert witness service

Mercer & Hole Chartered Accountants has set up an expert witness service, to provide support giving evidence and opinion on business valuation, professional negligence and divorce cases

Accounting / EU approves use of IFRS 16 Leases accounting standard

​The European Commission has endorsed the use of IFRS 16 Leases in EU member states following release of the latest IFRS Standards and amendments update

Audit / FRC issues revised practice note on auditing occupational pension schemes

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has issued a revision of Practice Note 15: the audit of occupational pension schemes in the UK, to reflect a number of developments in this area including changes to UK accounting standards and the revision of the pension statement of recommended practice (SORP)

Insight / Call to support ‘speak up’ business culture

The Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) has launched a guide on how businesses can encourage a ‘speak up’ culture giving employees the confidence to raise concerns about anything they find unsafe, unethical or unlawful, without fear of retaliation

Accounting / FRC publishes thematic report best practice

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published three thematic reports, covering judgements and estimates, pension disclosures and the use of alternative performance measures (APMs), in order to help companies improve the quality of their corporate reporting in acknowledged areas of difficulty

Tax / HMRC extends online registration deadline for trusts

HMRC has bowed to pressure from agents and stakeholders and has announced a further extension to the deadline for new trusts to register on its online trust registration service (TRS), designed to replace the 41G paper form which was withdrawn at the end of April 2017

Insight / Government pushes for greater top level boardroom diversity

The government is calling for FTSE 350 companies to make more of an effort to encourage senior level diversity, after research showed the percentage of women reaching top board positions remains low

Accounting / IPSASB issues revised cash basis accounting IPSAS

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has published a revised IPSAS, Financial Reporting under the Cash Basis of Accounting (the Cash Basis IPSAS) in a bid to simplify and encourage wider adoption

Technical Alerts

8 Nov 2017

Tax / Jimenez case: HMRC powers stop at the border

The landmark Jimenez ruling, handed down on 20 October 2017, has clarified once-and-for-all that the degree to which HMRC can investigate the tax affairs of overseas individuals is much reduced, says Steve Thomas, solicitor at Excello law and representative of the appellant

Tax / Film scheme investors fail in £1.3m Vanguard share loss relief claim

Two investors in a film production company have lost their claims for some £1.3m of share loss relief after lengthy analysis at a First Tier Tribunal (FTT), in a further success for HMRC against tax avoidance schemes where there is no clear evidence of a trade being carried out

Tax / Paradise Papers give HMRC more ammunition to curb offshore tax evasion

The Paradise Papers information leak will provide HMRC and other global jurisdictions with further ammunition in the ongoing war against offshore tax evasion, warns Blick Rothenberg

Tax / Grunberg & Co to offer probate service to clients

Accountancy firm Grunberg & Co has been authorised to provide probate services to its clients to support its inheritance tax planning offer

Tax / Moore Stephens to ramp up US tax expertise in UK

The Moore Stephens accountancy network is planning to tap into what it sees as a under-developed market for offering US tax services from London, with a new hire from Deloitte US at the helm, who has joined as the US tax season starts

Tax / EU looking to scrutinise Apple’s tax arrangements

Tech giant Apple’s tax arrangements are in the spotlight once more, as leaked documents from the Paradise Papers outline how the company sought to locate a new low tax jurisdiction after the EU brought pressure on Ireland to end a so-called ‘sweetheart deal’, while the EU is set to re-examine the Irish arrangements

Insight / Dorset VAT evader to repay £128K or face more jail

A Dorset builder, who evaded more than £128,000 in tax, has been ordered to repay criminal profits of £141,453 within three months, or remain in prison for a further 18 months and still owe the money

Audit / PwC digs in with retained audit at FTSE 250 engineers Meggitt

FTSE 250 engineering company Meggitt has decided to retain PwC as its auditor, a position the firm has held since 2003, following a competitive tender process which was conducted in advance of the mandatory rotation requirement

Tax / Settlement guidance for disguised remuneration schemes

HMRC has published guidance on recognising disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes and explaining how individuals can settle their tax affairs with HMRC, ahead of the introduction of a new loan charge

Technical Alerts

7 Nov 2017

Insight / Preparing for Brexit: reviewing cross-border contracts

The lack of detail on Brexit is putting pressure on business across the board, but it is still important to review cross-border EU transaction contracts to make sure there are no hidden territorial provisions to trip up parties, warns Gabriel Buigas, senior vice president, UnitedLex

Audit / Does the FRC have more bark than bite?

A spate of multimillion pound fines for misconduct at audit firms following dubious audits at listed companies has put the audit regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), under greater pressure, but is it fulfilling its role and displaying real powers, ask partner Hannah Laming and associate Nicholas Querée of law firm Peters & Peters 

Tax / HMRC reviewing priorities in Making Tax Digital programme

HMRC is currently reviewing its priorities on what has been described as ‘the biggest organisational change programme in Europe’, which could see the department delaying or deferring work on some projects after Brexit added 40% to its workload

Tax / Case: clarifying shares with no dividend rights

An Upper Tribunal overturned a previous First Tier Tribunal (FTT) decision that shares that do not have a right to a dividend cannot be said to have a right to a dividend at a fixed rate 

Tax / OECD updates transfer pricing country profiles

The OECD has published updated versions of transfer pricing country profiles (TPCP), reflecting the current transfer pricing legislation and tax practices in 31 countries

Tax / Consultation on tax changes to overseas pension scheme payments

The government is consulting on changes to the overseas pension scheme rules relating to the tax charges on payments from non UK pension schemes

Insight / 79% of businesses increase accountants' salaries in 2017

Over three quarters (79%) of businesses gave their accountants a pay rise over the last 12 months, with 6% increasing salaries by 5% or more, but salary growth for accountants still continues to fall below the average increase across all industries, according to Hays’ latest salary survey

Tax / HMRC fails to publicise DB pension scheme VAT guidance

HMRC has been criticised for failing to make public updated guidance on the recovery of VAT incurred on defined benefit (DB) pension scheme costs to employers, trustees and pensions providers who have been waiting for news of any change for some months

Insight / FTSE 350 challenged to improve remuneration reporting clarity

Ahead of the next AGM season, FTSE 350 companies are being urged to take more action to address top executive pay transparency, including providing details on relocation payments and annual bonus targets

Insight / Brexit trade and customs bills in Parliament

The government is introducing a new trade bill, to be followed by a customs bill, as the next stage in implementing a legislative framework following Brexit

Tax / Paradise Papers shine spotlight on celebs' tax

Further revelations from the so-called Paradise Papers leaked from law firm Appleby have raised questions about tax strategies used by some celebrities, including Formula One racing star Lewis Hamilton and members of the cast of hit BBC sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys

Insight / Tax adviser’s jail sentence bumped up for £150k fraud

A self-appointed tax adviser has been jailed for a further four and a half years after committing a £150,000 tax fraud while living in Spain, despite being handed a six year sentence in February 2017 for failing to repay £1.3m to HMRC

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