Financial Reporting

ISA (Ireland) 315 (Revised October 2020), Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement is available here. The effective date of the revised standard is effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after 15 December 2021; early adoption is permitted. In August 2020 IAASA published its consultation on the proposal to revise ISA (Ireland) 315, Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement in line with the revisions made by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). They noted that respondents were in agreement with the proposal to issue the revised standard and has published a Feedback Paper.

Oct 20, 2020
Press release

The concerns of hard-pressed businesses across the island of Ireland are being side-lined as Brexit negotiations approach their conclusion, Chartered Accountants Ireland has warned today.  The accounting body representing 28,500 members is urging negotiators to think of the detrimental effect a no-deal Brexit will have on the business community and is calling on both sides to reach a sensible agreement.   Commenting, Dr Brian Keegan, Director of Public Policy, Chartered Accountants Ireland said:  “Yet another Brexit deadline has passed with both sides remaining in disagreement. As each deadline passes, we are seeing increasing levels of discord, and the fear is that businesses right across the island of Ireland will ultimately become the collateral damage from this failure of diplomacy. “Businesses are doing their utmost to survive in an already difficult trading environment, but there is still only so much they can plan for, given the remaining uncertainty. A no-deal Brexit will bring hazardous trading conditions and supply chain disruption for businesses both North and South. We are calling on negotiators to explore every conceivable option to overcome differences and reach a deal. Livelihoods depend on it.” The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned the UK that it should get ready for an Australian-style exit from the EU meaning leaving the Union without a comprehensive deal at the end of the transition period.  Dr Keegan continued: “A so-called Australian-style exit is essentially a no-deal Brexit and it will simply not work for small businesses across the UK, Ireland and the wider EU. It would also severely damage elements of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol. Furthermore, we have to remember that the impact of a no-deal would not be limited to trade in goods, but would also affect financial services, data flows, fisheries and much more.”   ENDS

Oct 20, 2020
Tax

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, HMRC has now launched its new portal for claiming working from home relief. From 6 April 2020, employers have been able to pay employees up to £6 a week tax-free to cover additional costs if they have had to work from home. Employees who have not received the working from home expenses payment direct from their employer can apply to receive the tax relief from HMRC. HMRC has clarified for us a number of queries in respect of the new portal. Claims apply to the remainder of the year even if the person goes back to the office When taxpayers access the Microservice they are asked “When did you start working from home?” You can apply now for tax relief in this tax year even if you do not know how much longer you will be working from home. This is because HMRC will apply tax relief for the whole of this tax year, even if you go back to your workplace before 6 April 2021. Claims if dividing time between the home and office The guidance states that you may be able to claim tax relief for additional household costs if you have to work at home on a regular basis, either for all or part of the week. This includes if you have to work from home because of COVID-19. If you have a choice in where to work, you will be unable to claim. Generally, taxpayers would only have to claim once as they would be directed through the portal from 1 October which would apply the relief for the full year. Taxpayers are advised of this when they are in the system.  However, if they claimed prior to the new portal going live or over £6 limit and/or included an additional expense they would be directed to claim relief via the I-form where they could enter the specific amount they want to claim. This scenario could result in taxpayers having to claim again if they applied earlier and are still working from home now.

Oct 19, 2020
Tax International

The European Commission has extended the scope of the State aid Temporary Framework adopted on 19 March 2020 to support EU member economies in response to COVID-19. The extension is for six months, until 30 June 2021. The Temporary Framework was set to expire on 31 December 2020. According to the Commission the extension aims to enable Member States to support businesses in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, especially where the need or ability to use the Temporary Framework has not fully materialised so far, while protecting the level playing field. Before 30 June 2021, the Commission will review and examine the need to further prolong or adapt the Temporary Framework.

Oct 19, 2020
Tax UK

The NI Tax Committee’s response to the consultation on qualifying expenditure for R&D tax relief agrees that qualifying expenditure does require modernisation but this should not mean relief is curtailed in other areas. The Committee made four recommendations overall in its response:- There should not be a reverse “quid pro quo” effect whereby if additional qualifying cost categories are added to the UK R&D tax relief regimes, relief is restricted or limited in other areas as a result; Data analytics, cloud computing and related costs such as those incurred on artificial intelligence, emerging technologies, and cyber-security where the expenditure is directly and actively incurred on the qualifying R&D project should also be included as qualifying costs; Rent should be included in the expanded categories of qualifying R&D expenditure as this is would ensure companies obtain some form of tax relief for building costs irrespective of whether they rent or own the relevant property; and The UK Government should undertake a review of the Patent Box regime to identify potential barriers to its uptake and consider mechanisms to reduce these barriers

Oct 19, 2020
Tax International

The OECD also released Economic Impact Assessment on the digital project. The OECD will hold a live webinar tomorrow, Tuesday 20 October 2020, to discuss the Economic Impact Assessment. You can register for the webinar here.

Oct 19, 2020
Tax UK

Following on from the Chancellor’s announcements in the Winter Economy Plan, HMRC has updated its guidance on deferral of self-assessment payments on account if you or a client chose to defer the second payment on account for the 2019/2020 tax year. A further deferral mechanism for self-assessment payments on account was a lobbying matters for this Institute and a recommendation in its Next Financial Year paper. The option to defer the second 2019/20 payment on account due on 31 July 2020 was available if you were: registered in the UK for self-assessment; and finding it difficult to make that payment by 31 July 2020 due to the impact of coronavirus If you chose to defer your July 2020 payment on account If you receive a self-assessment statement before 31 January 2021 it may still show the deferred July 2020 payment on account as due and payable now. You can still pay your deferred July 2020 payment on account any time up to 31 January 2021. You’ll not have interest or a penalty as long as you pay in full by that date. However, it should be noted that a further deferral mechanism may be available further details of which are expected in the coming weeks. Some statements may also show interest accruing if you have any payments on account. This interest will only apply to those other payments, not your deferred July 2020 payment on account. If you’ve submitted your 2019/2020 return before you got your June 2020 statement Your June 2020 self-assessment statement will only show the revised due date for the July 2020 payment on account, plus any payments due in the next 45 days. If you submit your 2019/2020 return before the December 2020 statements are issued Your December statement will show all payments due on 31 January 2021, these could be: your deferred July 2020 payment on account (if it remains unpaid); any 2019/2020 balancing payment; and your first 2020/2021 payment on account. Once again, these payments may be subject to a new deferral mechanism further guidance on which is expected soon.

Oct 19, 2020
Tax International

The OECD recently published its latest proposals to address the tax challenges arising from digitalisation of the economy. This is part of the on-going work at OECD level to develop a consensus based global solution. The proposals, known as “Blueprints”, are open for public consultation until 14 December 2020. A public consultation meeting will take place in mid-January 2021. Under the auspices of CCAB-I, the Institute will be responding to the consultation. Members who wish to contribute to the CCAB-I's submission can email tax@charteredaccountants.ie. A consensus-based solution will not be reached by the end of 2020 as was originally planned. The OECD outlined that they plan to address the remaining issues with a view to bringing the process to a conclusion by mid-2021. The two Blueprints cover Pillar 1 and Pillar 2. Pillar 1 looks at the attribution of revenues to market jurisdictions. Pillar 2 deals with the imposition of a global minimum tax. The Blueprints indicate the degree of current consensus and outstanding issues.  Pillar One seeks to reform existing profit allocation and nexus rules to allocate more profits to market/user jurisdictions, in excess of those allocated under current transfer pricing rules, to reflect digital business models. The Inclusive Framework will now focus on resolving the remaining political and technical issues including, scope, quantum, safe harbour implementation, and tax certainty procedures in respect of Amount A. Pillar Two seeks to implement a global minimum effective tax rate for multinational groups. The Inclusive Framework acknowledge that jurisdictions are free to determine their own tax systems, including whether they have a corporate income tax and the level of their tax rates, but also consider the right of other jurisdictions to apply an internationally agreed Pillar Two regime where income is taxed below an agreed minimum rate. For more information on the project you can visit the following links. Press statement released by the OECD Blueprint for Pillar One Blueprint for Pillar Two OECD Tax Talks Webinar Public Consultation Document

Oct 19, 2020
Tax UK

A number of important deadlines are approaching in the context of the various COVID-19 support schemes. Today, 19 October 2020, is the deadline for making a claim for the second self-employed income support scheme (“SEISS”) grant; Tomorrow, 20 October 2020, is the deadline for many to report to HMRC if they have overclaimed a coronavirus job retention scheme (“CJRS”) or SEISS grant. This must be done within 90 days of Royal Assent to Finance Act 2020 or 90 days of receipt of the grant, whichever is the later. 90 days from Royal Assent to Finance Act 2020 is tomorrow Tuesday 20 October 2020. This means the deadline for notifying many overclaimed CJRS/SEISS grants falls on this date. For CJRS grants where the employer ceased to be entitled to retain the payment, the notification deadline is the later of 90 days after ceasing to be entitled to the grant or the two dates mentioned above. Failure to notify HMRC of an overpaid grant may result in the imposition of interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess grant. Amounts still due to HMRC will then be recovered through a special income tax charge on the employer. Employers can let HMRC know above overclaims for CJRS as part of their next online claim. If an employer claimed too much but does not plan to submit further claims, you can let HMRC know and make a repayment online through a new online card payment service. CJRS final deadline Employers are also advised that 30 November 2020 is the deadline for final claims under the CJRS. The CJRS ends on 31 October 2020 and is being replaced by a new scheme, the job support scheme on which more detailed guidance is expected soon.

Oct 19, 2020
Tax UK

HMRC have recently updated several toolkits for 2020/21. HMRC have 19 agent toolkits available to download and use. These have been designed to address the most common errors seen from previous years and include checklists of the key issues to consider and links to HMRC technical guidance and manuals. HMRC has recently refreshed the complete catalogue of toolkits to assist you with completion of: 2019/2020 Company Tax Returns; 2019/2020 Self-assessment Tax Returns; 2019/2020 National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments, employers’ end of year forms and 2020/2021 record keeping; 2019/2020 Property Rental Income; and VAT. By identifying the most common errors, this may prompt a conversation between you and your clients to ensure submissions are correct.

Oct 19, 2020
Tax UK

From 6 April 2020, gains on disposals of UK residential property by UK resident individuals must be reported within 30 days of completion. HMRC has now updated its online reporting system. The online portal now allows reporting of gains on second and subsequent disposals to be reported online. Previously this could only be used for the first disposal in any tax year and subsequent disposals had to be reported on paper.

Oct 19, 2020
Tax UK

Read our update on developments in this area.

Oct 19, 2020
Tax UK

HMRC’s latest schedule of webinars is now available for booking. These are designed to provide information, guidance and tips on tax issues. Spaces are limited, so take a look now and save your place. If you have any questions, please send them to team.agentengagement@hmrc.gov.uk prior to the webinar, including the title of the webinar in the ‘Subject’ line of your email. HMRC will answer as many as possible on the day. Off-payroll working rules from April 2021 - Choose a date and time This webinar gives an update to changes to the off-payroll working rules (IR35) from April 2021 for the public sector and medium and large sized organisations. Top slicing relief - Thursday 22 October 12.45pm to 1.45pm This webinar aims to raise awareness of the changes to the calculation of top slicing relief following announcements at Budget 2020. It will include guidance on the tax years impacted and examples. Off-payroll working rules from April 2021: Contractors - Thursday 29 October 12.45pm to 1.45pm This webinar gives an overview of the changes to the off-payroll working rules which come into effect on 6‌‌‌ April 2021. It is specifically 

Oct 19, 2020
News

While COVID-19 remains at the forefront of everyone’s minds, Budget 2021 was built on the assumption of a no-deal Brexit. Alma O’Brien reports. The key objectives of Budget 2021 were to provide supports to those affected by COVID-19 and Brexit. Taking into account recent political developments in the UK and the British Government’s stated intent to disregard parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, it is not surprising that the Irish Government prudently prepared this year’s budget on the basis that the EU and UK would fail to conclude a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA). We expected to see several targeted Brexit support measures announced on budget day. Instead, the budget provided for a flexible €3.4 billion recovery fund to be used by the Government to stimulate demand and mitigate the effect of Brexit and COVID-19 on the Irish economy. This demonstrates an acute awareness that the challenges we will face in the months ahead are not best served by rigid strategies but instead by diligent, dynamic and energetic Government responses. The recovery fund should provide the finances required to facilitate this approach. The Government has committed to access the €5 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve, announced by the European Council in July 2020. This reserve is designed to support the countries and sectors most impacted by Brexit. Some of the more specific Brexit expenditure items announced in Budget 2021 include €340 million to support the improvement of infrastructure at Irish ports and airports, customs compliance activities and the hiring of 500 additional frontier staff. In addition to this week’s budget announcement, the Government is due to bring forward the Brexit Omnibus Bill, which seeks to: preserve access to priority services, benefits and reliefs relating to trade between Ireland and the United Kingdom; satisfy several obligations and commitments Ireland has made to the United Kingdom outside of EU membership; and prevent a cliff-edge scenario for Irish people and businesses after 31 December 2020. It is understood that it will apply regardless of whether or not there is an FTA. Minister Paschal Donohoe’s Budget 2021 speech contained the word “COVID” 12 times, and the word “Brexit” only five. More thought-provoking, perhaps, is the fact that Minister Donohoe’s Budget 2020 speech contained the word Brexit 41 times. This reminds us that, while this year’s budget may not have included the expected number of targeted Brexit supports, the supports announced must be viewed in light of the extensive suite of measures contained in the July Jobs Stimulus Package, previous budgets, and those to be provided for in the Brexit Omnibus Bill. Alma O’Brien is Partner and Head of Tax at Baker Tilly.

Oct 16, 2020
News

With Brexit looming before us, how can asset managers ensure they are operationally ready for the end of the transition period? Trish Johnston outlines five key considerations that should help. The UK and EU remain at loggerheads when it comes to agreeing on the post-Brexit Trade Agreement. Many asset managers have been preparing for a no-deal Brexit and have successfully implemented a day-one action plan, ensuring they are operationally ready for the end of the transition period. Asset managers should now be implementing their day-two action plans, confirming that every detail has been examined in advance of 31 December 2020. For example, has the novation of all contracts to a newly established EU entity been completed? Have impacted investors been contacted to discuss and agree on actions and timings in relation to these points? For those firms that are a little less prepared than they would like, the five key considerations below can help determine the appropriate actions to be taken before the end of the year. 1. Equivalence The revised Political Declaration, which was issued after the finalisation of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, noted that the UK and EU should start assessing equivalence regulatory and supervisory regime frameworks with respect to each other. The aim was to conclude these assessments before the end of June 2020. However, this has not happened. It is worth noting that the third-country provisions of several EU regulations, which will apply after 31 December 2020, require an equivalence decision to have been taken. On a positive note, the EU has adopted a time-limited decision to give EU financial market participants 18 months to access three UK-based central counterparty (CCP) clearing houses under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). In the absence of such a decision, EU counterparties could not clear over-the-counter derivatives with these UK CCPs. This decision expires on 30 June 2022, and the EU is strongly encouraging EU financial market participants to reduce their reliance on UK CCPs during this period. 2. UK market access after 31 December 2020 As of 30 September, the UK Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR) reopened and will remain open until 31 December 2020. This regime will come into effect from 1 January 2021. Therefore, EU managers who wish to market, or continue to market, into the UK after 31 December 2020 will need to apply to the TPR to enable this activity to continue, if they haven’t already done so. Firms that have already notified the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) do not need to take further action. If, however, new funds have been added by a fund manager since earlier notifications were submitted, the new funds will not be included in the TPR unless the manager updates the TPR notification. It is also worth noting that if a new sub-fund of an Irish Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) umbrella is established after the transition period, but forms part of an umbrella that was registered under the TPR, the FCA will permit the new sub-fund to be added into the TPR so that they can market to UK retail investors. However, new Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) sub-funds established after the end of the transition period cannot access the TPR, even if the umbrella already had other AIF sub-funds registered under the TPR. Such AIFs can, however, be marketed using the National Private Placement Regime (NPPR) in order to gain access to professional investors in the UK (or via the Section 272 registration process if marketing to retail) without having to use the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) passporting process. The TPR currently enables access for EU managers to the UK market for a period of three years, at which point the new UK overseas funds regime is expected to be effective. The proposed UK overseas funds regime intends to establish a more appropriate basis for recognising overseas retail funds, including EU UCITS. A critical issue for this regime is whether additional requirements will be placed on EU funds marketed in the UK to align with those applicable to UK UCITS (i.e. value assessments). 3. Portfolio management or delegation to the UK There has been some recent market noise about delegation as a result of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) letter to the Commission concerning the AIFMD review. However, it is important to note that the necessary Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) are in place to enable delegation of portfolio management to the UK to continue after the end of the transition period. The FCA, ESMA, and national regulators have confirmed that the MoU put in place in February 2019 will come into effect at the end of the transition period. 4. Data In the case of a hard Brexit on 31 December 2020, data processing and data flows between the UK and the EU may require additional specific contractual requirements. The recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Schrems II case is also worth considering with respect to firms’ considerations concerning data transfers to third countries post-31 December 2020. The ruling has significant implications for all personal data transfers between EEA member states and third countries whose data protection regimes have not yet been assessed by the European Commission as equivalent. This will be particularly relevant for firms who transfer personal data to the UK. The Schrems II ruling means that businesses planning to rely on Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC) to continue to transfer personal data to the UK post-Brexit will have to conduct due diligence. They may also need to put additional safeguards in place to meet their obligations under GDPR. The Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland has produced guidance on the transfer of personal data from Ireland to the UK in the event of a hard Brexit. 5. Fund documentation It is essential to consider any changes that may be required to fund documents as a result of Brexit and to implement any necessary changes before the end of the transition period. In the run-up to previous Brexit deadlines, the Central Bank of Ireland issued reminders concerning updates to fund documentation and set deadlines for the receipt of same. It is therefore likely that they will issue a similar request in advance of the end of the transition period. Trish Johnston is Leader of PwC Ireland’s Asset & Wealth Management Practice.

Oct 16, 2020

There has been significant concern among our members about the unprecedented volume of deadlines facing businesses this October, and the Institute has been working to convey these concerns including those relating to the filing of annual returns. Therefore, we are pleased to see that the CRO have announced the extension of the filing deadline for companies with an Annual Return Date falling on 30 September 2020 or later, until 26 February 2021. They will be deemed to have filed on time if all elements of the annual return are completed and filed by that date. The CRO are however encouraging companies to file as normal if they are able to do so. It is important to note that companies with annual return dates before 30 September will still have to file by 31 October 2020. Please also note that if a company availed of section 6 of the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (COVID-19) Act 2020 (the “2020 Act”) in relation to the holding of AGMs, it may, in certain circumstances, be afforded additional time to file its annual return up to the 26th February 2021. Please email electronic.filing@dbei.gov.ie for further information or see the CRO website.      

Oct 16, 2020
News

With the end of the Brexit transition period is just weeks away, Colleen Flanagan shares her six top tips to help Irish businesses prepare for a new trading relationship with the UK.  The economic and social chaos caused by COVID-19 left few aspects of life unaffected, but one thing has not changed: the date on which the Brexit transition period will end. With 31 December 2020 just weeks away, businesses must prepare for the inevitable changes and disruption that lie ahead. Much like COVID-19, the economic impact of Brexit will not be felt evenly by all businesses, but almost no business will remain untouched.  Brexit Readiness Action Plan In September 2020, the Irish Government launched a Brexit Readiness Action Plan. Measures being taken to support business include: a Customs Roll-On Roll-Off Service, facilitating just-in-time business models; Authorised Economic Operator status, allowing traders to enjoy certain customs-related benefits throughout the EU; potential deferral of import duties until the month following import; and the proposed introduction of deferred VAT accounting. However, the plan also highlights the need for businesses to help themselves by finalising their contingency planning and taking preparatory action. Six key preparation steps for Irish businesses trading with the UK The following actions should be taken to prepare for the end of the transition period: 1. Register for an EORI number An EORI (Economic Operators Registration Identification) number is a tax reference number and is available from Revenue. It is essential for any Irish business intending to trade between Ireland and the UK after 31 December 2020. 2. Utilise available supports  Supports for businesses include: Enterprise Ireland’s Ready for Customs grant, which allows businesses to claim up to €9,000 for each eligible employee hired/redeployed to a dedicated Customs role. Enterprise Ireland also provides a range of financial planning supports, notably the Act On Initiative, Be Prepared Grant, Strategic Consultancy Grant, Market Discovery Fund, Agile Innovation Fund and Operational Excellence Offer. InterTradeIreland’s advisory services and Brexit Planning Voucher worth up to £2,000/€2,250 per business; one-to-one Brexit mentoring and training workshops organised by the Local Enterprise Offices; and the Brexit Loan Scheme for businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Budget 2021 also provided €100 million to enable departments to provide Brexit supports. These include: €8 million for new market surveillance and certification; €15 million to help businesses respond to changes to customs and tariffs; €7 million to help the food processing industry adapt; €11 million for Local Enterprise Offices to work with local businesses; and €675,000 for InterTradeIreland to provide practical help to businesses trading cross-border. As such, we will likely see further business supports announced in the months ahead. 3. Understand the impact on your supply chain The origin of goods will be key in determining the amount of duty payable on goods moving between the UK and Ireland. It is imperative that you understand from where goods originate, the value of the goods, and the relevant customs classification code. If any materials are likely to be significantly impacted or no longer authorised for sale in the European single market, you may need to identify alternative certified sources. If significant supply chain disruption is likely, you may need to consider alternative routes. 4. Communicate with suppliers, agents, clients, customers, and staff Hold discussions with your suppliers and Customs/logistics agents. The roles and responsibilities of each party must be clearly defined and understood. If using the UK landbridge, work with your bank to ensure you have the necessary financial guarantee in place. If increased costs must be passed on to your customers or clients, or if there is likely to be a significant impact on lead time, discuss these changes with customers in advance. Ensure designated personnel within your organisation are clear on their responsibilities and have sufficient knowledge and training to comply with the additional regulatory and certification requirements. 5. Determine the cash flow implications Prepare a cash flow forecast that incorporates potential tariffs, duties, and VAT. Expected exchange rate fluctuations should also be included. Consider whether your current banking facilities are sufficient to support any additional cash needs. Financial supports are available to facilitate cash flow planning. 6. Consider additional regulatory requirements From 1 January 2021, UK bodies will no longer be authorised to certify compliance with EU regulatory standards. If your business relies on certification from a UK notified body, it is vital that you now source an EU-based notified body. This may impact on the marketing and labelling of goods. There are also potential implications for the recognition of EU professional qualifications in the UK (and vice versa) and the transfer of personal data between Ireland and the UK. Engagement with regulators is key to ensuring continued regulatory compliance after 31 December 2020. Colleen Flanagan is a Manager at PKF-FPM Accountants Limited.

Oct 16, 2020
Brexit

Another deadline, another Brexit deal not agreed upon yet again. As UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s self-imposed 15 October EU Summit deadline passes by, the ball is in the UK’s court, as EU27 leaders have called for the EU chief negotiator to continue talks with the UK, with the onus on the UK to make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible. Read today’s Brexit Bulletin for the conclusive outcome of the EU Summit on Brexit. Also, take a look at our summary of Brexit measures made available in Ireland’s Budget 2021. Additionally, read about the EU’s adopted legislation to safeguard the Channel Tunnel – the main railway connection between UK and mainland Europe.   UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it time to prepare for a no-trade deal Brexit UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that the UK should get ready for an Australian-style exit from the EU for the end of the current transition period, meaning an exit without a comprehensive deal on future relations. "Unless there's a fundamental change of approach, we're going to go to the Australia solution, and we should do it with great confidence," Mr Johnson said. This announcement comes on the foot of no agreement being reached between the two blocs on their future trade and political relationship. However, i, EU27 leaders have called for EU chief negotiator to continue talks with the UK, with the onus on the UK to make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible. The statement also urges the EU and its member states to step up preparations to protect their interests in the event the UK leaves the single market without a deal. Taoiseach Micheál Martin has also said there had been strong support for Ireland from other EU leaders over the UK's decision to override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Speaking at the EU Summit, Michel Barnier has firmly stated, “we are absolutely determined to reach a fair deal with the UK. We will do everything we can, but not at any price”. He also further reiterated that the divergence on the three key issues of fisheries, level playing field, and governance framework continue to hold back the negotiations. In response to this, UK chief negotiator David Frost has responded saying that he is “disappointed” by the Summit’s conclusions on the EU-UK negotiations. With UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to made his approach to the future negotiations clear today, it still remains unclear yet again whether a deal can be agreed upon before the end of the 31 December 2020 transition period deadline. Budgeting for a disorderly Brexit An expectation of a no-deal Brexit is the backdrop against which Budget 2021 is set, with a range of supports announced to help the most vulnerable sectors of the economy to prepare for a “hard” Brexit. Measures covered include: 1. Supporting the most vulnerable sectors New funding of approximately €340 million has been set aside to get Ireland ready for the new trading environment that January 2021 will bring. These funds will be used to support Ireland’s economy over the coming year and will be allocated as the need arises to ensure Ireland remains competitive and resilient to the changes ahead. €100 million is already earmarked for the Revenue Commissioners, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Department of Agriculture to help prepare for Brexit. In addition, a €3.4 billion Recovery Fund has been established to address the dual challenges of Brexit and COVID-19. 2. European Funding In July, the European Council agreed to establish a €5 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve, a fund which will offer funds to countries and sectors that will be worst hit from Brexit. More details on this fund will be released in due course. 3. Shared Island Fund A new multiannual capital funding for the Shared Island Initiative (part of the Programme for Government) of €500 million is to be provided over five years to create new investment and development opportunities on a North/South basis and support delivery of key cross border initiatives. €50 million is to be made available in 2021. Read our full analysis in our special Budget 2021 newsletter here.   Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee to meet on 19 October 2020 The next meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee will take place in London on 19 October 2020, with delegations attending in person and by video conference. The meeting will be co-chaired by UK Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, and Vice President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič. The agenda will include some important item such as: Updates on Implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement Citizens’ rights Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland     European Council adopts “Chunnel” safety measures The European Council MEPs have adopted rules to safeguard the Channel Tunnel’s (“Chunnel”) safety and cooperation. The legislation was agreed upon on 14 October 2020, to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the railway connection between continental Europe and the United Kingdom after the end of the Brexit transition period. Agreement on the continued smooth operation is important, as the tunnel carries high-speed Eurostar passenger trains, the Eurotunnel Shuttle for road vehicles—the largest such transport in the world—and international freight trains used for moving goods from UK to mainland Europe. The main aim of this legislation would be to maintain the same set of rules governing the whole railway tunnel once the UK has the status of a third country.   Brexit Bites HMRC have released guidance on “Preparing your food and drink business for 1 January 2021” HMRC have released guidance on what UK goods vehicle operators need to do to carry out international road haulage from 1 January 2021   For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage.  

Oct 16, 2020

Now more than ever we are all having to pull together to help each other. The benefits of belonging to a member organisation such as yours means you can draw on the support of your own community of accountants wherever you are in the world. Our members work and live across the globe in five continents, and with strong connections back to Ireland, and your Institute, this community can sustain you during these tough times. The CA Support Team are here for you too.  Dee France and the team - Terri, Helen and Francesca -  provide a host of services which can now be delivered online so you can avail of them anywhere in the world.  When you hit a road bump, whether in your work or personal life, there are a variety of supports available to you. Recently, we have been helping members in Canada, Singapore, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom. They have used our services in the areas of emotional support, wellness coaching, professional counselling, and family emergencies. They’ve also been tuning in to our regular online wellbeing and mental health webinars, connecting with members in both Ireland and abroad.  Being able to share their unique experiences and ask important questions in real time, provides a great way to connect with a worldwide community of fellow accountants. So, wherever you are in the world, and whatever life stage you find yourself at, we are here to listen, to support and to guide you through any difficulty you may be facing.  You are not alone – there is a team of professionals ready to help, and a whole community of fellow accountants to connect with, wherever you are in the world.    Check out our website where you’ll find new content delivered regularly to support you at all stages of your career and personal life.  CA Support is here to support our students, members, and their families. Contact the CA Support team on mobile: (353) 86 024 3294 or email us We look forward to hearing from you Dee, Francesca, Helen and Terri

Oct 15, 2020

Developments of interest this week are outlined. Chartered Accountants Ireland Chartered Accountants Ireland has updated the Technical and business updates page on our COVID-19 Hub with updates on Financial Reporting implications of Coronavirus. UK The FRC Lab has published a set of tips intended to help companies consider what content to include in a Section 172 statement, how to present it and how to facilitate the process of preparing the statement. With COVID-19 continuing to impact us all, many companies are facing a challenging year-end. While the uncertainty creates risks for annual reporting it also presents opportunities. The FRC Lab has released two short guides which cover some critical areas of focus for 2020 year-ends. European The European Fed­er­a­tion of Ac­coun­tants and Auditors for SMEs (EFAA) has published the results of a survey that examined the extent of har­mon­i­sa­tion of the accounting for in­tan­gi­bles by SMEs across Europe. The EFRAG have issued an update to their Endorsement Status Report to reflect the endorsement by the EC of Amendments to IFRS 16 Leases Covid 19-Related Rent Concessions. International                                        A summary of recent sustainability reporting de­vel­op­ments at CDSB, TNFD, GRI/SASB, GRI, PRI, in New Zealand and Hong Kong, at Ac­count­Abil­ity, IAASB and CAQ has been issued. Accountancy Europe has welcomed the new EU sustainable corporate governance initiative. The September 2020 IFRIC Update has just been released.  

Oct 15, 2020