Careers Development

After qualification you have a year or two to try out a few different organisations, roles and sectors.  It is worth being vigilant however about whether a corporate path or an SME path is the one that will suit you once your career is up and running. So here are a few suggestions on what to consider in each regard: Q Are you coming from a large or small training practice and is your client base large corporates or family based indigenous business? Q Do you enjoy the large scaled busy corporate enterprise culture and environment or, looking into the future, do you feel a family sized operation with a small finance division is more your style? In an SME you will enjoy a smaller working environment, flatter structure, closer contact with clients and more of a local feel Would you like to go beyond the confines of finance and have added commercial business responsibilities getting involved in operational decisions and strategic decision and perhaps directly impacting the growth of employees and revenue in the organization? An SME can be more greatly impacted by macroeconomic forces in the future but at the same time it can be very exciting to be part of an accelerated expansion in a small business When deciding to join an SME first assess if the sector is robust into the future.  Is it a future proof business? Many qualifying ACAs have strong communication skills and professional relationship building acumen and this lends itself well to a Corporate multinational culture If you display good EI and are savvy when it comes to internal politics these can assist your ambitions to move up through the corporate ladder to C-suite level Strong leadership attributes are often highly regarded in the corporate space Work-life balance often can be less of a feature with multinational life versus SME Multinationals tend to remunerate better than SMEs and have better benefit packages in general.  Speak to a few mentors who know you well and are commercially knowledgeable and ask them to judge which track might be best for you.  Compare a variety of job specs for ACA newly quals in both the corporate and SME sector and review what is being sought.  Take a look at the profiles of ACAs three, five or eight years into their career path in both MNCs and then SME businesses by comparison and get a sense of where you might fit best.  When planning for your career five or 10 years ahead there is no magic recipe or template. More often you will decide your direction on a gut feeling and impression but make sure that feeling is well researched. Dave Riordan ACA Career Coach and Recruitment Specialist Chartered Accountants Ireland

Mar 05, 2021
Professional Standards

Upcoming SARs webinar (UK) – 27 April (12-1.30) You are invited to a webinar on SARs for the accountancy sector, with presentations from MLROs from the larger UK firms and the UKFIU. The webinar is aimed at MLROs to help them understand their obligations. The webinar will cover the following topics: The key money laundering risks in the accountancy sector; The role and responsibilities of the MLRO and Nominated Officer; What constitutes suspicion, what is a Defence Against Money Laundering (DAML) and a practical explanation of the relevant legislation; Real-life examples and case studies; Top tips on filing a good SAR and a reminder on how to report one externally to the NCA; 30 minutes Q&A The webinar is free and firms can sign up at the link below (ICAEW offered to run the event and give behind-the-scenes support): Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) and the accountancy sector (icaew.com)

Mar 05, 2021
Thought leadership

Dr. Caroline McGroary, a Chartered Accountant and Lecturer with Dublin City University (DCU) was recently awarded the Chartered Star by Chartered Accountants Ireland, and will represent the profession at this year’s One Young World Conference in 2021. Here she hopes to contribute to discussions around the role of education in preparing for the fourth industrial revolution, with a particular focus on the challenges regarding accessibility, affordability and the need to keep gender equality at the forefront of the education agenda. Having trained with Deloitte, Caroline wanted to use her qualification to get into lecturing and was delighted to join DCU in 2010. In 2013, DCU signed a partnership with an all-female Saudi university and Caroline, along with three colleagues, travelled to Saudi Arabia to set up a division of DCU Business School. The original remit was acting as Programme Director teaching business, accounting and finance modules through English, as well as training Saudi lecturers, but it quickly became so much more. Caroline became involved in many impactful projects over her time here, one of which was centred around developing the financial literacy skills of her students and women in the wider community. Caroline is now based between Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and her home in Donegal.  Ahead of International Women’s Day, Caroline outlines her experiences of being a Chartered Accountant and her work in Saudi Arabia, and how she will #ChooseToChallenge for this year’s International Women’s Day.  What inspired you to make the move to Saudi Arabia?  I have always been very passionate about the role of education in transforming lives. Through my own experiences both as a Chartered Accountant and Lecturer, I have experienced first-hand the value of a good education. Mindful that education is not something afforded to everyone, which can lead to gross inequality and exclusion in many societies, this was a real driving force behind my decision to move to Saudi Arabia in 2013.  How do you feel being a Chartered Accountant has helped you in your journey?  The Chartered Accountancy qualification is often branded as a “passport” to one’s future career as it is globally recognised and is considered the “gold standard” in accountancy education and training. I completely endorse this view, as being a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland has not only provided me with a set of skills and values which I can apply in many settings, but it has also provided me with an international platform to pursue a very meaningful career. In particular, the global mobility of the qualification has opened many doors during my time in the Middle East, including providing opportunities to work with other Chartered Accountants, working alongside the Irish Ambassador to Saudi Arabia to establish the Irish Business Network, and working with other high-profile organisations including the Saudi government.  On a personal level, being a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland has allowed me the opportunity to meet many inspirational people and to be part of impactful community projects and groups, including the FinBiz2030 Taskforce. It also inspired me to pursue my passion for education and to complete a PhD in the area of professional accountancy education. These experiences have given me a different perspective on how I can use the qualification to achieve positive impact both from a personal and career perspective.  Is there a strong network of Chartered Accountants in Saudi and in other places you have been? I’m grateful to have met many Chartered Accountants while travelling abroad over the years. I’ve also had the opportunity to use the strength of this network in both my role as a lecturer and in the wider business community. A perfect example of the power of this network is demonstrated through a financial literacy initiative developed in 2019. This project helped develop the financial literacy levels of our students, as well as women in the local community, with an awareness campaign reaching over 1 million social media users. Some students described this initiative as “a life changing experience”, with others referring to the knowledge gained as “a life skill which I can apply in business and in my personal life”.  This initiative was borne out of an initial conversation with a former colleague in Deloitte, who then connected me with their fellow partner in Deloitte in Saudi Arabia. The Deloitte team worked with us over a few months to develop an educational experience for both staff and students.  Other Chartered Accountants also engaged with us, from both Ireland and the UK, and by the end of the semester the initiative had gained the support of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, along with other key partners including the Saudi Ambassador to the US. This example is a great reminder of the power of the Chartered Accountant network and, most importantly, what can be achieved when Chartered Accountants come together to work on meaningful and impactful projects. How have you seen Saudi Arabia change since you first arrived in 2013?  Over the last number of years Saudi Arabia has been undergoing an economic and social revolution. As a result there has been progress in many areas, particularly regarding the empowerment of women in Saudi society including changes to guardianship rules and allowing women to drive. However, the reforms that have been of most interest to me are those around the education of women, including the commitment of the Saudi government to increasing female economic participation. I believe these reforms will fundamentally change the future of the country and it has been a privilege to help my students in this way.  How have you seen your students develop over the course of the programmes you teach? It is always a source of pride to observe the development of our students over the course of their degree programmes and their achievements upon graduation. For example, the employment rate of our Saudi graduates stands at approximately 90%, with many of these graduates also going on to pursue further education. This is significant, as it demonstrates the appetite for change regarding the employment and empowerment of women. At an individual level, I also see marked increases in the confidence and social awareness of our students as they progress through their degrees. This is noteworthy, as many student projects were based on addressing global issues yet were applied in their local communities, including the financial literacy initiative outlined above. In your own words, why do you believe financial literacy is key? Financial literacy refers to knowledge, behaviours and attitudes regarding financial decisions and long-term financial well-being. In the absence of such skills, individuals may lack the ability to make sound financial decisions in their professional and personal life, risking their future financial security and that of their family. It is also an essential skill in addressing the gender divide, as in many countries women are considered to be at higher risk of financial exclusion than their male counterparts. Therefore, I believe that financial literacy is an essential life skill and should be taught at all levels of our education system. From your experiences, what would be your advice for anyone thinking of studying Chartered Accountancy? My advice would be that if you want a meaningful career, a globally recognised qualification that provides you with strong technical and business skills across a variety of roles and industries, then Chartered Accountancy is definitely for you.  I would also advise prospective members to talk to other Chartered Accountants, as well as engaging with the Chartered Accountants Ireland “Chartered Career Chat” series, to learn about members’ experiences and perspectives of the qualification.  Finally, as we celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, how will you embrace this year’s theme #ChooseToChallenge? Over the last number of years I have gained a deeper appreciation regarding the importance of education in reducing inequalities in society. Given that I have the opportunity to represent Chartered Accountants Ireland at the 2021 One Young World summit, I #ChooseToChallenge and contribute to the conversation regarding the role of education in preparing for the fourth industrial revolution, with a particular focus on the challenges regarding accessibility, affordability and the need to keep gender equality at the forefront of the education agenda. 

Mar 05, 2021
Tax

In Irish tax developments, corrections to MyEnquiries functions will take effect later this month in response to practitioner’s feedback and see the latest update on TWSS compliance checks. On the UK front, read the latest key matters discussed with HMRC at recent meetings. While in international tax, the OECD published a report aimed at tackling professionals enabling tax evasion and other financial crimes on behalf of clients.     Ireland In response to practitioner’s feedback, Revenue provided details of corrections to MyEnquiries functions to take effect later this month at a recent TALC meeting; See the latest update on TWSS compliance checks, as Revenue sets out the implication for employers having to repay TWSS under the compliance check programme; UK Read the latest key messages and discussion points from meetings with HMRC; The Institute made two recent submissions in the context of Brexit, which are now available for reading; and International The OECD published a new report outlining strategies and actions for tackling professionals enabling tax evasion and other financial crimes on behalf of clients. Keep up to date with all the latest Irish, UK and international tax developments through Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Tax Newsletter.

Mar 05, 2021

Welcome to this week’s Technical Roundup.   In developments this week, the FRC discusses why challenge of management and a challenge culture is critical to high quality audit; the UKEB has responded to the recent IASB consultation on the proposed amendment to IFRS 16 Leases; IFAC recently released the final instalment in its series Exploring the IESBA Code; the FRC encourages more transparency when reporting against the UK Corporate Governance Code; and Accountancy Europe have issued their March newsletter covering a range of topics. Read more on these and other developments that may be of interest to members below.  Financial Reporting   The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) has responded to the recent International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) consultation supporting the amendment to IFRS 16 extending Covid-Related-Rent concessions. In publishing the response, the UKEB secretariat note that they plan to issue a draft Endorsement Criteria Assessment for public consultation in the same week IASB publish the final amendment.  Read more here.   The IFRS Foundation held a live webinar on 24 February 2021 about the IASB's Exposure Draft Regulatory Assets and Regulatory Liabilities. The recording of the webinar and accompanying slide deck are now available.  The February 2021 monthly news, summarising news and events from the IASB and the IFRS Foundation over the past month, is now available. Audit In a recent podcast, the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC’s) Director of Stakeholder Engagement and Corporate Affairs discusses with members of the FRC’s new Supervision division why challenge of management and a challenge culture is critical to high quality audit.   Other areas of interest   The FRC has issued advice for companies on how to report transparently and effectively when departing from certain provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code. This new guidance builds on the findings of the FRC’s Review of Corporate Governance Reporting issued in November. These reports are part of the FRC’s ongoing drive to promote good practice and support companies to continually improve their reporting against the Code. The FRC is carrying out a post implementation review of the Technical Actuarial Standards (TASs) and has issued a call for feedback for the current Framework for TASs, Technical Actuarial Standard 100 (TAS 100), and potential actuarial standards in relation to IFRS 17. IFAC recently completed its inaugural series Exploring the IESBA Code, an educational resource developed in collaboration with the staff of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA).  The final installment released explains the “building blocks” structure of the Code and its interconnected nature. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has submitted its response to the European Commission’s targeted consultation on the European Single Access Point (ESAP).  The International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC) has published a perspectives paper to initiate discussion and debate on the topic of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in business valuation. "Credit union sustainability: the role of risk management, in sector restructuring and business model change", the Registrar of Credit Unions addresses the Credit Union Managers Association’s Spring Conference. Accountancy Europe have issued their March newsletter covering a range of topics, and it is available to read here.  For further technical information and updates please visit the Technical Hub and the Covid-19 Hub on the Institute website.

Mar 04, 2021
Brexit

This week’s Brexit Bites covers details of two important submissions made by the Institute in respect of EU exit issues. We also bring you updated information from Revenue on changes to PBN and Automated Import System (AIS) as well as guidance from the Trader Support Service on supplementary declarations and simplified frontier declarations for controlled goods.  Some answers from HMRC to frequently asked questions on the new trading rules are also examined. EU exit lobbying and submissions It was a busy week last week with two important submissions made in respect of EU exit issues. A letter was sent to HMRC on the importance of implementing and publishing a soft-landing policy for VAT compliance where genuine errors are made. The Institute’s NI Tax Committee also made a submission to the NI Affairs Committee’s Call for Evidence on Brexit and the NI Protocol. Soft-landing In 2020, the Institute and the NI Tax Committee lobbied HMRC and the UK Government extensively in the lead up to the end of the EU transition period on matters such as VAT and Northern Ireland. These discussions are continuing in 2021. As part of these discussions, the importance of ensuring businesses getting to grips with extensive changes to tax rules, including VAT, are afforded a soft landing where mistakes and genuine errors are made is critical. Last week the Institute wrote to HMRC on the importance of ensuring a soft-landing policy is formulated and announced to businesses as soon as possible. A copy of that letter was also sent to Minister for the Economy, Diane Dodds MLA. Call for evidence: The NI Protocol The NI Tax Committee also made a submission last week to the NI Affairs Committee’s Call for Evidence on Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol. The submission sets out the extensive work carried out in 2020, which continues in 2021, by the NI Tax Committee and the Institute on post EU exit with HMRC and the UK Government. Engagement is also being undertaken with officials from the Department for the Economy, the Northern Ireland Office, and the Cabinet Office.  In addition, the Institute is represented on the Secretary of State’s Business Engagement Forum. The response to the NI Affairs Committee stresses that although the Protocol does bring challenges to businesses as they adapt to new rules, particularly in the midst of the pandemic, our engagement with businesses over the past few weeks in particular has shown that some feel many of the “unknowns” are becoming “knowns” and things are beginning to settle down as supply chains are reworked and bedded down. The dual status of Northern Ireland in both the UK and EU Single Market for goods gives a unique opportunity to the region in terms of attracting foreign direct investment, particularly in the manufacturing and distribution sectors. In conclusion, the full consequences of the Protocol are unlikely to be felt until later this year, when the three- and six-month grace periods on customs checks are expected to be lifted on goods moving from GB to NI. The submission states that now is the time to create awareness and educate businesses about the customs compliance that is required when those grace periods end. Otherwise, the confusion seen in January 2021 will be repeated. Overall, the submission highlights that certain issues do remain which are as follows: - The lack of practical guidance available to businesses and delays in issuing guidance; The late implementation of the Trader Support Service; GB supply issues; Confusion and difficulty understanding the rules of origin; The application of the “at risk” rules particularly in the cases of wholesaler arrangements; The need for customs declarations to return goods from GB to NI; NI group with companies in NI and GB experiencing difficulties moving goods and work between sites; The shortage of experienced customs intermediaries; The challenges presented by SPS checks and Export Health Certificates on goods moving between GB and NI; and The importance of a soft-landing approach to compliance.  Changes to PBN functionality – Revenue Pre-Boarding notifications (PBN) applies to all consignments using ferry RoRo services. Revenue has examined further enhancement to improve the capabilities of the services and as a result has introduced additional functionality for users of the PBN services.  When inbound PBNs are being created up to two mobile phone numbers and/or an email address can be added.  These can be added up to the point that the PBN is checked in with the ferry operator.  When the vehicle channel becomes available at 30 minutes prior to arrival of the vessel into Ireland, Revenue will issue a text message with the channel to the mobile phone number(s) in the PBN; and issue an email with the channel to the email address in the PBN    Where the original channel is Call to Customs and is subsequently updated to Exit the Port, Revenue will notify this updating of the channel to:  • The mobile phone number(s) by text and  • The email address by email.   Read Revenue's eCustoms notification 25/2021.  Amendments, Invalidations and Refunds in AIS Revenue has advised that only a declarant or his or her representative can amend, invalidate a declaration, or apply for a refund. Revenue's eCustoms Notification 27/2021 provides further details on how to do each of these. Read the notice.   Importing vehicles from Northern Ireland If a vehicle is imported into Ireland from Great Britain, the importer is required to complete a customs declaration prior to import and pay customs duty, if applicable, and VAT at the standard rate.  Revenue's eCustoms Notification 26/2021 sets out more details and also provides information where used cars are imported from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.   Trader Support Service - Supplementary Declarations Since mid-February, the Trader Support Service (TSS) has provided a digital platform to submit supplementary declarations for standard goods. From 15 March you will also be able to use TSS to submit supplementary declarations for controlled goods.  For more information on Supplementary Declarations, click here. Simplified frontier declarations (SFDs) for controlled goods The changes to TSS processes affecting movements of controlled goods have moved to 8 March to give more time to prepare.   From then your SFDs for controlled goods will be rejected if your data isn’t correct. You will not then receive a movement reference number (MRN) and may be unable to move your goods into NI. To find out about controls that apply to goods you move, please check the NI Online Tariff and here for help on how to use the tool.   For more information on preparing and submitting SFDs, you can: read the guide on data requirements and a step-by-step guide on how to submit a declaration for controlled goods watch this video on how to create a declaration that contains controlled goods and this recording of a demonstration of how to complete a SFD for controlled goods read the guidance on common error codes to help you prepare accurate data submissions It is recommended you submit your declaration data at least 24-48 hours before your desired departure time in case there are any issues with this data.  New documents about the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and EU Three new supporting documents have been made available:  Letter from European Commission Vice-President Šefčovič proposing extension of provisional application of UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.  Letter from Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster agreeing to the extension of provisional application of UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.  Draft decision of the UK-EU Partnership Council extending provisional application of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.  To view these, click here.  Updated UK Guidance on Sending goods to the EU through roll on roll off ports or the Channel Tunnel Guidance on transporting goods to the EU from the UK via these channels has been updated with a new section on Assumed Departure. For more information, click here.   Updated UK guidance on Importing from the UK and Exporting to the UK Guidance for EU businesses has been updated with new information on: wood packaging material, importing animals, bringing food into the EU, and transporting goods. For more information on importing to the UK click here, and for more information on exporting to the UK, click here.   Updated UK guidance on taxes and tariffs for EU businesses trading with the UK Guidance about taxes and tariffs for EU businesses trading with the UK has been updated with new Information about paying VAT or claiming VAT refunds. For more information, click here.   HMRC answers to frequently asked questions on the new trading rules HMRC have set out answers to some frequently asked questions from businesses this week including. Question 1: What does the UK’s zero tariff deal with the EU mean for businesses? Answer: The UK has left the EU customs union so there are changes to the way that we do business with the EU. The deal that the UK has agreed with the EU means that UK businesses may be able to continue to: sell goods to the EU without their EU customer being charged Customs Duty. buy goods from the EU without being charged Customs Duty when their goods arrive in the UK. However, this isn't the same as being in a customs union. To benefit from the zero rate of duty, businesses will have to provide proof that their goods (or their parts/ingredients) originate in the EU or the UK (as the exporting country). Where the goods originate from means where they are manufactured or produced, not just where they are shipped or bought from. The answer to question 2 explains what proof you will need to claim the zero rate of duty. Businesses will still need to pay VAT on goods imported from the EU into Great Britain, where applicable. For more information on paying VAT on goods imported into the UK, please see the answer to question 3. Question 2: What proof do businesses need to claim the preferential zero rate of duty for goods they import from the EU into the UK? Answer: If you import goods from the EU into the UK, that originate in the EU, you need to prove to HMRC that you can claim the preferential zero rate of duty. First, you will need to classify your goods and check if they meet the rules of origin requirements included in the UK’s deal with the EU; the Trade and Co-Operation Agreement (TCA). Here’s more information about the rules of origin requirements under the UK’s deal with the EU. If your goods meet the rules of origin and product specific rules, you will be able to claim the preferential zero rate of duty. To claim, you will need to provide proof that your goods comply with the rules of origin. This can be either: a statement of origin – showing that the goods are originating, made out by the EU exporter. through evidence you’ve obtained (‘importer’s knowledge’) that the goods are originating in the EU. You can find more information about the proof you need to provide and how to claim the preferential rate of duty on GOV‌‌‌.UK. If you choose to delay making declarations for goods you import into the UK from the EU, you do not need to provide proof of origin until you make your supplementary declaration. Question 3: Do traders need to pay VAT for goods they import? Answer: VAT will be due on all goods: imported into Great Britain from overseas imported into Northern Ireland from outside the EU sold between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as movements of own goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. VAT on goods imported from outside the UK If you buy goods from outside the UK which don’t exceed £135 in value the seller, or online marketplace (OMP) if sold through one, must charge and account for VAT when the goods are sold. Business to business sales that do not exceed £135 in value are also covered by the new rules. Where the UK VAT registered business provides the OMP or direct seller with its VAT registration number, the responsibility to account for VAT is with the UK VAT registered business customer, who will account for it if the goods are supplied in: Great Britain using a 'reverse charge' procedure. Northern Ireland, using Postponed VAT Accounting. If a valid UK VAT number is not provided, the direct seller or OMP, must treat the transaction as though it were a business to consumer sale and charge VAT accordingly. You can find more information on GOV‌‌‌.UK about the VAT treatment of overseas goods sold to UK customers either directly or through an online marketplace. If you buy goods from outside the UK that exceed £135 in value, you will need to pay import VAT when your goods arrive in the UK. HMRC uses commodity codes (also known as tariff codes) to work out the amount of VAT and Customs Duty that you owe on goods you move in or out the UK. When you complete your import declarations, you must make sure you included the correct commodity code. Once you have the correct code, you can check if you need to pay VAT or duty, and how much. You can use the Trade Tariff tool on GOV‌‌‌.UK to find the correct commodity code for your goods. If you have hired a customs intermediary to deal with your import and export declarations, they will be able to help, but you will need to provide accurate information about your goods. VAT on goods sold or moved between Great Britain and Northern Ireland Import VAT will be due on goods sold between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as movements of own goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. However, it should be accounted for by the seller/sender of the goods on the VAT return. You can find more information regarding the VAT treatment of goods moving to and from Northern Ireland on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

Mar 04, 2021
Tax UK

Amidst the backdrop of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the UK’s departure from the EU, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s second Budget today was a balancing act premised on three foundations; supporting the economy and jobs, fixing finances and building the UK’s future economy. Key measures announced included an increase in the rate of corporation tax to 25 percent from April 2023, a new 130 percent “super deduction” for expenditure on plant and machinery by companies and the extension of key COVID-19 supports. More detail on the tax measures in today’s Budget will feature in Monday’s edition of Chartered Accountants Tax News. Read our Press Release reacting to the Budget. Further information on today’s announcements is also available on the HM Treasury and HMRC websites. COVID-19 supports Today's Budget gives many businesses the financial support and certainty needed as the Government begins to lift public health restrictions. The continuation of the coronavirus job retention scheme (“CJRS”) and the extensions to both the stamp duty land tax £500,000 zero rate threshold and the 5 percent reduced VAT rate for the hospitality sector will also give businesses a fighting chance of a viable comeback. The announcement that many of the newly self-employed in 2019/20 will also be eligible for the fourth and fifth self-employed income support scheme grants is also welcomed. Job retention scheme extension The CJRS is extended for a further five months from the end of April 2021 to the end of September 2021. There will be no employer contributions required beyond employers NIC and pensions in the months of April, May and June. This effectively means no change will be made to the current regime until July. From July, the Government will introduce an employer contribution towards the cost of unworked hours of 10 percent in July, 20 percent in August and 20 percent in September, as the economy reopens. Employees will continue to receive 80 percent of their current salary, capped at £2,500 per month, for hours not worked. The CJRS has protected more than 11 million jobs since its introduction last March and had been due to close at the end of April. Approximately 110,000 jobs in Northern Ireland are currently protected by the scheme. The budgeted cost of extending the scheme until September is £6.945 billion. Self-employed income support scheme As expected, details of the fourth self-employment income support scheme (“SEISS”) grant were announced. The fourth grant will be worth 80 percent of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. The grant will cover the period February to April, and can be claimed from late April. Self-employed individuals must have filed a 2019/20 self-assessment tax return which, according to the Chancellor’s speech must have been filed by midnight on Tuesday 2 March. This means the fourth grant can now also be claimed by the newly self-employed in 2019/20, subject to the relevant criteria being met. All other eligibility criteria will remain the same as the third grant. A fifth and final SEISS grant covering May to September will also be available. The value of the grant will be determined by a turnover test as follows:- anyone whose turnover has fallen by 30 percent or more will continue to receive the full grant worth 80 percent of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500; anyone whose turnover has fallen by less than 30 percent will receive a 30 percent grant, capped at £2,850. The final grant will open for claims from late July. Further details on both grants will be published in due course. Stamp duty land tax zero percent threshold The extension of the stamp duty land tax zero percent rate on residential properties in England and Northern Ireland costing less than £500,000 which was due to end on 31 March is now extended to 30 June 2021. From July the zero percent threshold will reduce to £250,000 until 30 September 2021 before returning to £125,000 on 1 October 2021. 5 percent VAT for the hospitality sector The temporary 5 percent rate of VAT for goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sector which was due to end on 31 March 2021 will remain at 5 percent until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard 20 percent rate, a 12.5 percent rate will apply for the subsequent six months until 31 March 2022. Corporation tax From April 2023, the rate of corporation tax will increase from 19 percent to 25 percent on profits over £250,000. The rate for small profits under £50,000 will remain at 19 percent. According to the Budget documents, there will be relief for businesses with profits under £250,000 so that they pay less than the main rate. This system of providing a small company rate of 19 percent with a tapering in the rate payable between this and the main rate of 25 percent bears some similarity to the pre-April 2015 corporation tax system, though the threshold at which the main rate of 25 percent will kick in is much lower than the £1,500,000 then in place. Details of how this will practically operate are awaited including if the number of related 51 percent group companies (or the old associated companies rules) will need to be taken into account in assessing if a company meets the relevant thresholds. Companies were expecting corporation tax to be reduced to 17 percent in April 2020 however that reduction was put on hold in last March’s Budget with the rate staying at 19 percent from April 2020.  Today’s announcement of an increase to 25 percent by April 2023 will mean larger companies will be paying 6 percent more in tax in the space of a few years while smaller companies will not see the promised rate reduction of 17 percent materialise and those falling in between will see their corporation tax bill increase the closer they get to profits of £300,000. Extended loss carry-back for businesses A recommendation of this Institute in its July 2020 The Next Financial Year position paper, the trading loss carry-back rule will be temporarily extended from the existing one year period to three years. This will allow for much earlier recognition and relief for losses and improved cash flow position with tax refunds. The extended carry-back will be available to both companies and unincorporated businesses as follows:- Unincorporated businesses and companies that are not members of a corporate group will be able to obtain relief for up to £2 million of losses in each of 2020/21 and 2021/22; Companies that are members of a corporate group will be able to obtain relief for up to £200,000 of losses in each of 2020/21 and 2021/22 without any group limitations; Companies that are members of a corporate group will be able to obtain relief for up to £2 million of losses in each of 2020/21 and 2021/22, but subject to a £2 million cap across the group as a whole (currently the cap for such groups is £5 million). “Super-deduction” for plant and machinery The Chancellor announced that from 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets will benefit from a 130 percent first-year capital allowance. More details of the measure together with draft legislation are available. Investing companies will also benefit from a 50 percent first-year allowance for qualifying special rate (including long life) assets which can include integral features (such as those integral to a building). This relief will not be available to unincorporated businesses; however such businesses can still take advantage of the extension of the £1 million annual investment allowance limit announced in November 2020 which will remain at this level until the end of 2021 (the limit was due to fall back to £200,000 from 1 January 2021). Freeports On a Northern Ireland specific note discussions will continue between the UK Government and the NI Executive to ensure the delivery of Freeports in Northern Ireland as soon as possible. As part of this the Government will legislate in future to create ‘tax sites’ in Freeports which will benefit from a number of tax reliefs as set out in the Budget documents. Deep freeze treatment for tax allowances and thresholds The income tax personal allowance (which applies across the UK) and the higher rate thresholds (“HRT”) are increasing as planned to £12,570 and £50,270 respectively from 6 April 2021. These will then be maintained at those levels until April 2026.  The HRT for savings and dividend income will also apply UK-wide. The HRT for non-savings and non-dividend income will apply to taxpayers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The current inheritance tax thresholds, pensions lifetime allowance and the capital gains tax annual exempt will remain at their existing levels until April 2026. As previously announced and legislated for in February 2021, in 2021/22 the national insurance contributions (“NICs”) thresholds will rise with inflation, bringing the primary threshold/lower profits limit to £9,568 and the upper earnings limit (UEL)/upper profits limit (UPL) to £50,270. The UEL/UPL will then remain aligned with the HRT at £50,270 until April 2026. All other NICs thresholds will be considered and set at future fiscal events.        

Mar 03, 2021
Press release

Setting of regional corporation tax rate by the NI Executive could put Northern Ireland in unique position to attract foreign direct investment Extension of stamp duty land tax a welcome practical measure Wednesday 3 March 2021 - The decision of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to increase corporation tax from its current rate of 19 percent to 25 percent in 2023 is disappointing for many companies impacted by the pandemic and the effects of the UK’s exit from the EU, according to Chartered Accountants Ireland, commenting in the wake of today’s Budget speech.    Companies were expecting corporation tax to be reduced to 17 percent in April 2020.  Today’s increase to 25 percent by April 2023 will mean large companies will be paying 6 percent more in tax in the space of a few years while smaller companies will not see the promised rate reduction of 17 percent materialise.    The Institute noted that the Northern Ireland Executive should  now consider leveraging its devolved power to set its own regional corporation tax rate, which was originally planned to be 12.5 percent. The Northern Ireland corporation tax rate legislation is now almost six years old but was put on the back burner whilst the region worked to get public finances on a sustainable footing.  Commenting Norah Collender, Professional Tax Leader with Chartered Accountants Ireland said “A lower rate of corporation tax in the region coupled with the dual benefit of having access to both the UK and the EU’s single market for goods could put Northern Ireland in a unique position to attract foreign direct investment into the region, particularly in the manufacturing and distribution sectors.”  Stamp duty land tax The Budget Day extension of the stamp duty land tax zero per cent rate on residential properties in Northern Ireland costing less than £500,000 to the end of June is a welcome practical measure. This will help clear the backlog of property conveyances currently in the pipeline which have been delayed due to the current lockdown. It also puts at least an extra £1,500 in the pocket of anyone buying a house costing £200,000 when they buy this by 30 June. 5 percent VAT for the hospitality sector There can be no doubting the severe impact the pandemic has had on the once thriving hospitality sector in NI. The sector really only benefited from the reduced 5 percent VAT rate for a very short period of time from July until early October 2020. Since then, a series of lockdowns and closures affecting the sector and full lockdown from Christmas has rendered the reduced rate to be of little benefit. The announcement that the 5 percent VAT rate for the hospitality sector will continue until 30 September 2021 means that businesses like restaurants, café and hotels will have a tangible means of enticing reluctant customers back through their doors as life begins to return to normal over the next few months. Taking a typical hotel room costing £150 per night, the reduced VAT rate saves £22.50 per night, meaning the hotel guest has an extra £22.50 to spend during their visit. Today's Budget gives many businesses the financial support and certainty needed as the Government begins to lift public health restrictions. The continuation of the coronavirus job retention scheme to September will give businesses a fighting chance of a viable comeback and will ultimately help protect jobs. Commenting on the coronavirus job retention scheme, Maeve Hunt, Chair of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society said “The job retention scheme has been a lifeline for many Northern Ireland businesses over the last year with almost 110,000 jobs in Northern Ireland currently protected by the scheme. Extending the scheme until 30 September 2021 and keeping the scheme flexible is vitally important and gives employers and employees certainty over the coming months as businesses begin the tentative steps of reopening and bringing employees back into the workplace.” ENDS

Mar 03, 2021
Brexit

If a vehicle is imported into Ireland from Great Britain, the importer is required to complete a customs declaration prior to import and pay customs duty, if applicable, and VAT at the standard rate.  Revenue's eCustoms Notification 26/2021 sets out more details and also provides information where used cars are imported from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.  

Mar 02, 2021
Brexit

Revenue has advised that only a declarant or his or her representative can amend, invalidate a declaration or apply for a refund. Revenue's eCustoms Notification 27/2021 provides further details on how to do each of these. Read the notice.  

Mar 02, 2021
Brexit

Pre-Boarding notifications (PBN) applies to all consignments using ferry RoRo services. Revenue has examined further enhancement to improve the capabilities of the services and as a result has introduced additional functionality for users of the PBN services.  When inbound PBNs are being created up to two mobile phone numbers and/or an email address can be added.  These can be added up to the point that the PBN is checked in with the ferry operator.  When the vehicle channel becomes available at 30 minutes prior to arrival of the vessel into Ireland,  Revenue will  • Issue a text message with the channel to the mobile phone number(s) in the PBN; and  • Issue an email with the channel to the email address in the PBN    Where the original channel is Call to Customs and is subsequently updated to Exit the Port, Revenue  will notify this updating of the channel to:  • The mobile phone number(s) by text and  • The email address by email.   Read Revenue's eCustoms notification 25/2021. 

Mar 01, 2021
Brexit

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine this week reminded food business operates who export products from Ireland to Great Britain to make preparations for the new health certification requirements that the UK government will introduce from 1 April 2021.  This means that in addition to the customs formalities, Irish exporters sending goods to Great Britain need to have their importer pre-notify the UK authorities of these goods, get an Export Health Certificate from Irish authorities and move the goods together with the Export Health Certificates. The new UK import controls will impact upon exporters of products of animal origin and regulated plants and plant products. From 1 July 2021, the UK government will remove the facility for exporters to delay the lodgement of UK customs import declarations for imports into Great Britain and to pay the applicable customs and VAT charges (if any). Information and other resources are available on the Government of Ireland website at: Preparing for new UK Import Controls (1 April, 1 July), and on gov.ie Exporting to the UK from Ireland

Mar 01, 2021
Tax

The next OECD Tax Talks webinar will take place this week on Thursday, 4 March. It will cover the latest developments on the international tax agenda including the work on taxing the digital economy. Registration for the webinar is available here.

Mar 01, 2021
Tax

The latest OECD report to the G20 finance ministers has been published. It covers an update on the work on the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy along with an update on the other G20 tax deliverables (tax transparency, implementation of the BEPS measures and capacity building to support developing countries).

Mar 01, 2021
Tax

The OECD has published a new report that outlines strategies and actions for tackling the professionals who enable tax evasion and other financial crimes on behalf of clients. The report outlines that white collar crimes like tax evasion, bribery and corruption are often concealed through complex legal structures and financial transactions and facilitated by a small sub-set of professional enables, such as lawyers, accountants and financial institutions. The report sets out guidance on the five areas that could be considered in developing national strategies for addressing these issues: Skills and awareness Effective legislation Disruption strategies Cooperation between revenue agencies Effective implementation For more information read the OECD’s update and the report.

Mar 01, 2021
Tax

Last week the EU Member States’ internal market and industry minsters exchanged views on the proposed public Country-by-Country (CbC) Reporting directive.  The outcome of that meeting indicates that there is broad political support to move forward with the directive which proposes to mandate the public disclosure of tax payments in the EU by multinational enterprises with consolidated revenue of more than €750 million.  The draft Directive, which was first proposed in 2016, has been subject to disagreement as to its legal basis. The disagreement centres on whether the proposal should be subject to the ordinary legislative procedure which requires qualified majority voting in the Council, or should it be treated as a tax matter subject to the special legislative procedure requiring unanimous approval at Council level.  The meeting last week of EU ministers made clear that certain countries have changed their previous position and will now support the proposal and there now may be broad political support to move forward with the proposal. For a qualified majority to be obtained, a minimum of 15 (55 percent) Member States, representing at least 65 percent of the EU’s population must agree with the proposal. The exchange of views during the February 25 meeting indicates that these conditions could be met. For more information read the update from the meeting and the proposal.

Mar 01, 2021
Tax UK

This Institute regularly engages with HMRC on matters of interest for our members. In recent months, the focus of meetings has been on the various COVID-19 supports, preparations for the end of the EU transition period and post EU exit and the 2019/20 self-assessment (“SA”) deadline. Set out below are key messages from recent meetings. Representative Body Steering Group This is the highest level forum meeting of the Professional Bodies with meetings taking place approximately five to six times annually. At the most recent in February, this Institute stressed to HMRC that the late announcement of the 2019/20 SA easement placed our members under extreme pressure and stress which could have been avoided if earlier submissions by Chartered Accountants Ireland and other representative bodies were heeded by HMRC. We also reiterated the importance of HMRC ensuring that their helplines were open on the weekend of 27 and 28 February as HMRC at that time had no plans to do so. According to HMRC, the SA easement wasn’t an easy decision and was being actively discussed and monitored within HMRC since before Christmas with Professional Body feedback also being taken into consideration. HMRC is also looking at being more visible in media in future as some media outlets were wrongly reporting that there was a deadline extension. The following key points are also worthy of note:- HMRC are seeking a better cost model going forward as Making Tax Digital continues. This is aimed at taking on board feedback such as the different taxpayer types for working out how MTD impacts from a cost perspective; Free software is not expected to be available as part of MTD for corporation tax; The Institute asked HMRC to consider extending the deadline to respond to the MTD for CT consultation due to the pandemic; The Agent Dedicated Line (“ADL”) is continuing to see reduced performance. HMRC responded by saying it is aiming to use more experienced advisors on the ADL. They are also looking at fully enabling the prompt which puts calls through to advisors which advises that the caller is an agent as this isn’t fully enabled at present. Agents are sometimes being told HMRC can only talk about one client per call – HMRC are seeking to resolve this also. HMRC are planning to hold a bespoke meeting onthe ADL in the next few months to help better understand the demand for and best use of this service by agents; HMRC would welcome your feedback on the ADL; Given the level of tax debt owed to HMRC as a result of deferrals and Time to Pay arrangements, HMRC’s approach to collecting this in future is critical - the head of debt management will be engaging with the Professional Bodies directly on this; and At the request of this Institute, post EU exit will continue to be discussed at future meetings. Wealthy External Stakeholder Forum Forum meetings are attended by Alan Gourley, Chair of the NI Tax Committee. The minutes of the most recent forum meeting are available. Virtual Communications Group These meetings take place monthly with recent meetings focusing on the various HMRC administered COVID-19 supports in addition to MTD. The following key points came out of the most recent meeting last month:- Changes are required to the calculation of some CJRS claims from 1 March 2021; HMRC will now accept requests from agents to prevent employer details of CJRS claims being published as a result of intimidation or violence. Claims not to publish as a result of data protection concerns are not being accepted by HMRC; SEISS grants are classified as relevant earnings for UK pension purposes; As the end of the soft landing for MTD for VAT digital links ends in April 2021, HMRC will be holding webinars to highlight this; Compliance letters are expected to be sent out this month to those businesses mandated to use MTD for VAT who are not currently doing so; and HMRC is developing its approach to charging VAT penalties where a business chooses to defer VAT due to COVID-19 but does not pay by the agreed payment date(s) – the Budget on Wednesday is expected to contain more details of this.

Mar 01, 2021
Tax

It was a busy week last week with two important submissions made in respect of EU exit issues. A letter was sent to HMRC on the importance of implementing and publishing a soft-landing policy for VAT compliance where genuine errors are made. The Institute’s NI Tax Committee also made a submission to the NI Affairs Committee’s Call for Evidence on Brexit and the NI Protocol. Soft-landing In 2020, the Institute and the NI Tax Committee lobbied HMRC and the UK Government extensively in the lead up to the end of the EU transition period on matters such as VAT and Northern Ireland. These discussions are continuing in 2021. As part of these discussions, the importance of ensuring businesses getting to grips with extensive changes to tax rules, including VAT, are afforded a soft landing where mistakes and genuine errors are made is critical. Last week the Institute wrote to HMRC on the importance of ensuring a soft-landing policy is formulated and announced to businesses as soon as possible. A copy of that letter was also sent to Minister for the Economy, Diane Dodds MLA. Call for evidence: The NI Protocol The NI Tax Committee also made a submission last week to the NI Affairs Committee’s Call for Evidence on Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol. The submission sets out the extensive work carried out in 2020, which continues in 2021, by the NI Tax Committee and the Institute on post EU exit with HMRC and the UK Government. Engagement is also being undertaken with officials from the Department for the Economy, the Northern Ireland Office, and the Cabinet Office.  In addition, the Institute is represented on the Secretary of State’s Business Engagement Forum. The response to the NI Affairs Committee stresses that although the Protocol does bring challenges to businesses as they adapt to new rules, particularly in the midst of the pandemic, our engagement with businesses over the past few weeks in particular has shown that some feel many of the “unknowns” are becoming “knowns” and things are beginning to settle down as supply chains are reworked and bedded down. The dual status of Northern Ireland in both the UK and EU Single Market for goods gives a unique opportunity to the region in terms of attracting foreign direct investment, particularly in the manufacturing and distribution sectors. In conclusion, the full consequences of the Protocol are unlikely to be felt until later this year, when the three and six month grace periods on customs checks are expected to be lifted on goods moving from GB to NI. The submission states that now is the time to create awareness and educate businesses about the customs compliance that is required when those grace periods end. Otherwise, the confusion seen in January 2021 will be repeated. Overall the submission highlights that certain issues do remain which are as follows:- The lack of practical guidance available to businesses and delays in issuing guidance; The late implementation of the Trader Support Service; GB supply issues; Confusion and difficulty understanding the rules of origin; The application of the “at risk” rules particularly in the cases of wholesaler arrangements; The need for customs declarations to return goods from GB to NI; NI group with companies in NI and GB experiencing difficulties moving goods and work between sites; The shortage of experienced customs intermediaries; The challenges presented by SPS checks and Export Health Certificates on goods moving between GB and NI; and The importance of a soft-landing approach to compliance.

Mar 01, 2021
Tax UK

Today, Monday 1 March 2021, is the deadline to amend CJRS claims for the month of  January 2021. February 2021 CJRS claims must be made by Monday 15 March 2021 unless reasonable excuse is available for late claims and we expect to hear details about the fourth SEISS grant in the Budget on Wednesday this week. The online portal for applying for further deferral of VAT opened last week as expected. Due to banking regulations, agents are not able to make applications on behalf of businesses. HMRC is encouraging businesses who are able to pay their deferred VAT to do so by 31 March 2021. However, businesses that deferred VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make can further defer this VAT by joining the VAT deferral new payment scheme online. This new scheme lets businesses pay their deferred VAT in equal instalments; interest free. If a business is on the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Scheme, they’ll be invited to join the new payment scheme later this month. If a business has a Time to Pay arrangement already in place for their deferred VAT, they will not be able to join the new payment scheme. Eligible businesses can spread their payments across 2 to 11 monthly instalments depending on when they join - the earlier they join, the more months they have to spread their payments across. Before joining, businesses must: create their own Government Gateway account (if they don’t already have one); submit any outstanding VAT returns from the last 4 years – otherwise they’ll not be able to join the scheme; correct errors on their VAT returns as soon as possible; and make sure they know how much they owe, including the amount they originally deferred and how much they may have already paid. The online service will close on 21 June 2021 therefore if businesses want to join the scheme and further defer VAT, they must do so before this date. Last week the following changes were made to the CJRS guidance pages on GOV.UK:- Page title Changes All Callout box amended Claims for furlough days in February January 2021 must be made by 15 February March 2021 Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Employee Page) To advise that more informationon training is available by searching Career Skillsand Training on GOV.UK. To update the section 'Details of your claim that will be publicly available' to highlight that employees can use their Personal Tax account to see if they were included in any December 2020 claims. Check if you can claim for your employee's wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme To advise that more informationon training is available by searching Career Skillsand Training on GOV.UK. To update the section 'Details of your claim that will be publicly available to highlight that employees can use their Personal Tax account to see if they were included in any December 2020 claims. Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme To remove some erroneous text showing only on this page in the link to Claim your employee's wages online. Employers who have claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme To upload employer's December claims in bandwidths.  

Mar 01, 2021
Tax UK

In what has become an eagerly awaited Budget and a true balancing act for the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the Budget takes place this week on Wednesday 3 March with the Chancellor expected to take the podium in the House of Commons at 12.30. Read our summary analysis of Budget 2021 in this Friday’s Chartered Accountants News with more detailed analysis in next Monday’s Chartered Accountants Tax News. A special Budget 2021 newsletter will also issue to members in NI and the UK on Wednesday afternoon. In a change to the usual timing, the Government has announced it will publish a number of tax-related consultations and calls for evidence at the end of March and not on Budget day. HM Treasury has announced their intention to lay a Command Paper, “Tax policies and consultations (Spring 2021)”, before the House of Commons on Tuesday 23 March which will contain further announcements relating to tax policy. Announcements which have fiscal implications, and measures to be legislated in the Finance Bill, will be made on Budget day in the normal way. However, according to the announcement, there is a case for announcing consultations separately from the Budget, where those consultations do not have to be published on Budget Day. The Command Paper will include a number of consultations, most of which will be published on the same day. Several of these consultations are an important part of the Government’s 10-year tax administration strategy, ‘Building a trusted, modern tax administration system’, which was published in the summer of last year. Some documents which are announced in the Budget and which the Government would usually have published alongside the Finance Bill, will also be published on this day.

Mar 01, 2021