Tax / Apprenticeship starters fall 59% since levy introduced

The number of people starting new apprenticeships has fallen sharply since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy on 6 April 2017

Insight / Commission to investigate books charity over financial concerns

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Grove Mountain, and has frozen its bank accounts, over financial concerns at the charity, which provides books to the Caribbean for educational purposes

Insight / Eight-year bankruptcy restriction on Lincoln accountant

The Insolvency Service has published details of an eight-year restriction on Lincoln accountant Russell Payne for failing to disclose to the Official Receiver that he had disposed of assets in the lead up to his bankruptcy over £4.5m of debt

Tax / Budget 2017: employment tax at a glance

Julie Clift CTA reviews the key changes to employment tax in the autumn Budget from company car tax changes to plans to widen the reach of IR35 legislation to the private sector and measures to tackle disguised remuneration

Tax / Budget 2017: Gift Aid donor benefit thresholds simplified

After a review of the Gift Aid donor benefit rules, the government announced plans in the Budget to simplify the rules for charities using donor tax relief and realign existing thresholds to a simpler two-tier system

Tax / Budget 2017: insolvency regime overhaul to curb tax debt

The Budget proposals include a measure designed to tackle the use of insolvency to escape tax debt by expanding the current security deposits legislation, in a bid to recoup some £150m of tax annually, as well as a planned review of airline insolvency

Tax / Ex-forces pensioners urged to check tax code

Former members of the military who receive an armed forces pension are being advised to check how much tax they are paying amid concerns HMRC may have issued an incorrect code

Insight / IFAC seeks volunteers for key board roles

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is calling for nominations for two key roles on its volunteer board and positions on three of its committees, saying it is seeking diverse candidates that reflect the depth and breadth of the global accountancy profession

Audit / Charity auditors urged to adopt proactive reporting

UK charity regulators are urging auditors and independent examiners to adopt a more proactive approach to reporting any concerns they come across in charity finances or governance, beyond the legal minimum, in response to claims from MPs that auditors have been slow to flag up potential problems

Audit / Multimillion pound fines could reduce competition in audit market

Accountancy firms and institutes have raised concerns that if the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) continues to impose growing fines for audit misconduct it could result in a lack of competition, as firms may leave or avoid the listed markets due to a higher level of risk, reports Amy Austin

Tax / Government publishes Bill for post-Brexit customs regime

The government has published the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill to allow it to establish a standalone customs regime, and ensure that VAT and excise legislation operates effectively, following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU

Insight / 20-year ban for payday loan directors over lost pension monies

Three directors of a payday loan company who used over £1m from a pension liberation scheme to pay off company debts have banned for a total of 20 years following an investigation by the Insolvency Service

Tax / HMRC updates VAT rules on pension fund management

HMRC has published a brief covering a change in policy concerning the VAT treatment of pension fund management services provided by regulated insurance companies, which means it is delaying implementation of the new rules until 1 April 2019

Accounting / IFRS Foundation to remain in London

The IFRS Foundation, the governance and oversight body of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is to move office, but remain in London following when the lease expires on its current location at Cannon Street in the City

Insight / Taxi firm director runs up £300K HMRC bill

A former Olympic boxer who moved to the UK from Romania and set up a private transport hire firm has been disqualified as a director for seven years, after an Insolvency Service investigation found it owed HMRC over £300,000 in taxes and had not maintained adequate accounting records