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NEWS - ACCOUNTANCY & FINANCE

Pension auto enrolment could catch out 500,000 employers

January 08 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

Pension auto enrolment could catch out 500,000 employers

Up to half a million small and micro employers will need to take action to meet new workplace pensions regulations this year.

Any that do not comply with new rules governing auto enrolment pension provision for all employees will risk a fine, warns a new campaign from The Pensions Regulator.

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Travel tax relief reforms warning from ATT

January 07 ,2016 | by Erin O’Neill

Travel tax relief reforms warning from ATT

The Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) has issued a warning about the impact of changes to the tax rules governing travel expenses, saying that those that work from home could be hardest hit.

Tax News reported that the ATT said the new proposals would deny homeworkers the opportunity to choose their home as their main base of operations if they also have a base elsewhere, for instance at their employer's head office. 

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HMRC writes letter regarding Scottish income tax

January 06 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

HMRC writes letter regarding Scottish income tax

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has written to individuals it believes to be Scottish residents for the purposes of the new taxation system that is due to be applied in the UK north of the border.

The Scottish rate of income tax is the biggest change to hit the taxation of individuals in the UK for many years, and now HMRC is sending letters to individual taxpayers who are on their database as holding an address in Scotland.

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Self-assessment tax submission saw record numbers on NYE, reveals HMRC

January 06 ,2016 | by Erin O’Neill

Self-assessment tax submission saw record numbers on NYE, reveals HMRC

New figures have revealed that a record number of taxpayers submitted their self-assessment tax returns while the rest of the world was celebrating New Year's Eve.

The latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show that 24,546 people submitted their returns online on NYE, representing a 2.8% rise on last year.

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Firms change rewards due to UK pension tax changes

January 04 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

Firms change rewards due to UK pension tax changes

A third of companies in the UK are changing the way they reward higher earners due to changes in pension taxation, according to new research from PwC.

New restrictions on the amount UK taxpayers can pay into their pension tax free over a year will take effect from April 2016, significantly altering annual and lifetime allowances for higher earners.

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New Year's honour for HMRC chief executive

January 03 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

New Year's honour for HMRC chief executive

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Chief Executive Linda Homer has been named on the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.

Homer has been granted one of the highest accolades in the annual list - Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath (DCB).

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HMRC trials maps to help navigate British tax laws

December 31 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

HMRC trials maps to help navigate British tax laws

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is running a trial of 'maps' to help people work their way around the complicated world of British laws and regulations.

Mainly aimed at government officials, HMRC described the initiative as a British tax law version of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. It runs up to 6,102 pages, or four times the complete works of Shakespeare.

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HMRC opens applications for international tax training programmes

December 30 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

HMRC opens applications for international tax training programmes

Two international training and development programmes are being run by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) after the success of previous similar initiatives.

The new programmes are aimed at senior managers and tax auditors already working in the accountancy sector.

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Petition launched to scrap digital tax plans

December 22 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Petition launched to scrap digital tax plans

A petition has been launched to scrap plans to transform the tax system. The new system will see self-employed individuals and small businesses having to update their tax accounts digitally four times a year instead of filing just one return.

The changes were outlined by the HMRC and MP David Gauke last week in an online report, titled “Making Tax Digital”, and described an outline of how the “bold vision” of the transformation of the tax system will be achieved by 2020. 

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KPMG now ranks as the Big Four's smallest firm

December 19 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

KPMG now ranks as the Big Four's smallest firm

A drop in profits has seen KPMG fall to fourth place in the 'Big 4' grouping of the accountancy sector's most famous firms.

Its UK profit falling 7% for its last financial year means that the company is now behind rivals EY when it comes to revenues, making KPMG the smallest operator out of its peer group.

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US Fed interest rate rise welcomed by international stock markets

December 18 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

US Fed interest rate rise welcomed by international stock markets

In the wake of the US central bank increasing interest rates for the first time since 2006, stock markets around the world have rallied and welcomed the news.

The FTSE 100 index in the UK rose by 1.5%, and the main share indexes in Germany and France increased even more, with Frankfurt's Dax going up by more than 3%, while the Cac 40 in Paris saw a 2.4% boost.

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Bonus pot doubles for UK accountants

December 18 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Bonus pot doubles for UK accountants

Accountants in the UK are likely to share a bonus pot of up to £4 billion this year, according to research from recruiter Marks Sattin.

This would be double the figure that was paid out a year ago. In addition, 81% of the accountants who took part in the poll said they expected to get a bonus - an increase from 55% last year.

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ICAEW warns pensioners about risks of secondary annuity market

December 17 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

ICAEW warns pensioners about risks of secondary annuity market

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has issued a warning to anyone thinking of selling their retirement income stream under the new changes to the laws governing the annuity market.

The government's newly-unveiled secondary annuity market might end up only being of benefit to a handful of people and could leave many more out of pocket, according to the accountants group.

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Materiality and governance should be focus of 2015 annual reports, says FRC

December 16 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Materiality and governance should be focus of 2015 annual reports, says FRC

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has written a letter to audit committee chairs in larger listed companies to highlight areas they want directors to focus on in annual reports.

The move, which comes ahead of the reporting season, puts an emphasis on corporate governance and reporting risks that a company may be exposed to as part of a process of disclosure.

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HMRC launches personal tax accounts

December 15 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

HMRC launches personal tax accounts

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has officially launched the new system of personal tax accounts that will lead to the end for annual tax returns.

The new accounts will offer greater flexibility to taxpayers and be similar to online banking, says the authority.

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Invoice malware warning for finance departments

December 14 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Invoice malware warning for finance departments

Unsolicited email attachments in the form of unpaid invoices could pose a danger to finance departments, cybersecurity analyst Graham Cluley has warned.

The threat is part of a malware campaign being waged by hackers and online criminals who are targeting businesses computer accounting systems.

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Wear and tear allowance for landlords reformed in Finance Bill 2016

December 13 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Wear and tear allowance for landlords reformed in Finance Bill 2016

The draft legislation announced in clauses of the Finance Bill 2016 confirms that new rules will operate in regard to the wear and tear allowance for let property.

Clause 40 of the Bill and its accompanying schedule shows that the allowance will be replaced by a deduction for the replacement of furniture for both corporate landlords and for individual landlords who let residential property that is not a qualifying furnished holiday letting business.

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Bank of England votes to hold rates at 0.5%

December 11 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Bank of England votes to hold rates at 0.5%

The nine member Bank of England panel that decides the interest rate have voted to leave it unchanged at 0.5%.

The members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 8-1 to keep things as they were and also predicted that inflation in the UK would remain below 1% until the second half of 2016.

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Scottish tax authority praised by Audit Scotland

December 11 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Scottish tax authority praised by Audit Scotland

The introduction of the new Scottish land and property tax regime has been handled well by The Scottish tax authority, says Audit Scotland.

According to a report, which considered how Revenue Scotland performed in delivering the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and the Scottish Landfill Tax, Revenue Scotland had successfully managed the process and dealt with all the problems that occurred.

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Rise in new companies due to landlord tax changes

December 10 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Rise in new companies due to landlord tax changes

According to research from Kent Reliance, there has been a surge in the number of people incorporating a new company, with the main reason being the changes to the tax treatment of buy to let landlords.

The third 'Buy To Let Britain' report from the lender claims that changes in the Budget earlier in the year had already caused more landlords to incorporate. It cites an immediate increase in applications from limited companies following the July Budget.

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Revenues leap in China for global accountancy services network BDO

December 10 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Revenues leap in China for global accountancy services network BDO

BDO, the global accountancy and advisory services network with a firm of more than 8,500 employees in China, has seen its revenues in the country grow by 28% in the year to 30 September.

The company also reported growth across the rest of Asia Pacific, especially in India where revenue was up 50% over the year.

 

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Tax transparency in listed companies' annual reports encouraged by FRC

December 10 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Tax transparency in listed companies' annual reports encouraged by FRC

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has said that UK listed companies should be clearer about their tax reporting to ensure that it is done as transparently as possible.

They recommended that the link between accounting profit and tax paid should be a part of a company’s annual reporting process. This should be presented in a way that helps others understand how the relationship between the two could change.

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New Scotland tax rates may be bad for employers, say advisors

December 08 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

New Scotland tax rates may be bad for employers, say advisors

The new rates of income tax for those living in Scotland will apply from 6 April 2016, and their introduction will cause headaches for businesses, say financial advisors.

Corporate clients need to adapt their payroll procedures to deal with the changes, and many are still unsure of exactly what is in store.

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FRC consults on changes to the Audit Firm Governance

December 08 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

FRC consults on changes to the Audit Firm Governance

The Audit Firm Governance Code, which oversees transparency and quality, is undergoing a consultation by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

This new consultation reflects feedback from investors and other respondents who took part in the first consultation review earlier in the year.

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Fax phased out by HMRC for SA302 tax calculations

December 07 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Fax phased out by HMRC for SA302 tax calculations

Agents who still use faxed copies of SA302 tax calculations from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as evidence of a client’s income for mortgage purposes will soon need another method.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has been working with HMRC to define what documentation is acceptable as evidence for mortgage and loan applicants to prove their income. This will mean an end for copies sent by fax.

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