Tax

In a recent Court of Appeal case (Payne, Garbett and Coca-Cola European Partners Great Britain Ltd v The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs  [2020] EWCA Civ 889), the classification for benefit in kind tax purposes of three types of modified crew-cab vehicles (the Vauxhall Vivaro and the first and second generations of the VW Transporter T5 Kombi van) were under appeal. The case first began in 2017. The case is the latest episode in a long running series seeking to establish the difference between cars and vans. The classification is important because the cash equivalent of the benefit in kind of a van and a car, both of which are defined statutory terms, are calculated differently. Although the calculation is based on several factors, including the vehicle’s emissions, in general, if a vehicle falls within the definition of a car the benefit and, as a result, the tax levied, is greater than if it were a van. The Court held that the vehicles in question are cars rather than vans. As many thousands of these vehicles are provided to employees in the UK and many other vehicles share their attributes, the case has potentially significant, costly, and far reaching consequences for both employers and employees. As a Court of Appeal decision, the outcome is binding. However, it is not clear if a further appeal to the Supreme Court can be made by the taxpayers involved. You can read our full analysis of this case in the September 2020 edition of tax.point which you can subscribe for at:- https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/knowledge-centre/Tax/taxpoint if you don’t already have a subscription.

Oct 12, 2020
Tax

HMRC and the various Governments and Government bodies of the UK continue to publish updates on COVID-19 related issues. When using a form or publication going forward or contacting HMRC, check you are using the most recent version or up to date way of contact which may have changed due to the pandemic. The draft scheme rules and explanatory Notes for the Film & TV Production Restart Scheme have been published;A further Treasury Direction in relation to the job retention scheme and job retention bonus has been published;Businesses may be able to apply for a Digital Selling Capability Grant being administered by Invest NI; The Government has extended support to stop business evictions this year;The Kickstart Scheme, an initiative to support 16-24 year olds into work is now available for employers to apply – note that it does not currently apply in Northern Ireland;The National Audit Office is calling on the Treasury to launch a coordinated effort to safeguard access to cash during and post the pandemic;The UK Government’s Treasury Committee has been discussing tax reforms post COVID;A statutory instrument, The Finance Act 2008, Section 135 (Coronavirus) Order 2020, has now been enacted which confirms in law that no interest or penalties should be charged in respect of the Government’s permitted deferrals of tax payments in response to the pandemic;The Insolvency Act 1986 (HMRC Debts: Priority on Insolvency) Regulations 2020 has now been finalised and come into force on 1 December 2020;HMRC have updated their guidance on Land Remediation Relief to confirm that staffing costs reimbursed under the job retention scheme will not qualify for relief;The Government has set out more measures designed to provide support for tenants; andInnovative transport start-ups with a focus on decarbonisation or COVID-19 recovery can bid for a share of over £1 million in Department for Transport funding.

Oct 12, 2020
Tax

HMRC recognises that agents provide a valuable service, supporting their clients in managing their tax obligations. Some clients manage certain business taxes by themselves and to do that, would benefit from having a Business Tax Account.The HMRC Business Tax Account is an online account which brings together all a taxpayer’s business taxes in one place. HMRC has published a new guidance page which gives more detail on who can use the Business Tax Account, what it can be used for and how to sign up.This page is a useful guide that you can also share with your clients for awareness. Even if you manage all tax affairs for your clients, they can still use the Business Tax Account to monitor what’s happening in their account.

Oct 12, 2020
Professional Standards

The UK Government has announced its intention to use the power in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 to require independent scrutiny of pre-pack sales in administration to connected parties. The Pre-Pack Sales in Administration Report sets out the findings and recommendations of a review of pre-packs carried out by Government primarily focussing on whether or not to regulate or ban sales in administrations to connected persons. Published with this report are the draft regulations , which Government intends to lay before Parliament. A summary of the proposed regulatory framework is set out below: The regulations will apply where there is a disposal in administration of all or a substantial part of a company’s assets. An administrator will be unable to dispose of property of a company to a person connected with the company within the first eight weeks of the administration without either the approval of creditors or an independent written opinion. The connected party purchaser will be required to obtain the written opinion. The provider of the opinion must be independent of the connected party purchaser, the company and the administrator and must meet certain eligibility requirements. The administrator must have no reason to believe that the opinion provider is not independent of the connected party or does not meet the eligibility requirements. The opinion provider will provide a written report to state that either the case is made for the disposal or that the case is not made. A connected party purchaser may obtain more than one report. An administrator must consider a report from an opinion provider. Where a report states that the case is not made for the disposal, an administrator can still proceed with the disposal but will be required to provide a statement setting out the reasons for doing so. An administrator will be required to send a copy of the report(s) to creditors of the company and to Companies House.

Oct 12, 2020
News

The future of working practises has been significantly accelerated by COVID-19. How do we cope? Joe Davis says we must be ready to take action and be prepared for as many economic outcomes as possible.The American mathematician, Claude Shannon famously established a lower bound for the number of possible moves in a typical chess match: around 10120. That’s 10 with 119 zeroes after it. Reflecting on when the COVID-19 crisis began to unfold across the globe, I think the Shannon number adequately captures the breadth of possible economic outcomes at the time.The future acceleratedAs the crisis has evolved, however, two things have become clear: the pandemic has accelerated some trends already in place, and COVID-19 has implications that are opaque now but will become undeniably clear and meaningful over time.Before the pandemic sent office staff flocking to home workstations, employers were taking an incremental approach to remote work. Recent improvements in office technologies let them untether workforces on a timetable of their choosing. The pandemic took the decision out of employers’ hands.No longer could work-from-home arrangements serve as controlled experiments in productivity; they became indispensable. Ready or not, employers – for the most part – have successfully enabled secure and efficient work from home environments and redefined team dynamics. The office will never be the same. Meanwhile, significantly reduced demand for office square footage, which had grown on a per capita basis for 50 years, stands to redefine our cityscapes and suburban makeups.Similarly, the pandemic has ground business travel to a halt. Historically the most profitable business for airlines and hotels, such travel has been replaced by video conferences and virtual collaboration tools. Such a development tests airline and hotel business models that rely on less price-sensitive business travellers to help keep leisure traveller costs low.COVID-19 has also accelerated the challenges facing restaurants and shops. Online retail and food delivery, already growing in popularity before the pandemic, have become essential to consumers worried about face-to-face interaction. As with office work and air travel, restaurants and retail may not overcome heightened consumer reluctance until an effective vaccine or treatment is developed – something we’re not expecting before 2021. In some cases, the damage could be permanent.Interestingly, changes to commercial real estate, or at least how we invest in it, had already been occurring in plain sight. Over the last decade, office and retail property assets have fallen to 19% from 39% of all assets held by US-listed real estate investment trusts. In contrast, according to FTSE Nareit All REITs Index, residential, infrastructure, and data centres – sectors that are likely to benefit from the pandemic – now make up 45%.Post-pandemic questionsAlthough some implications of the post-pandemic world are evident, others, for now, are more opaque:Will massive stimulus, supply-chain disruptions, and pent-up demand give rise to inflation that has eluded developed economies for a decade?Is the globalisation trend that has defined the post-World War II era ending, and what would that mean for trade and economic growth?With interest rates pinned at historic lows and deficits and balance sheets expanding, what can central banks do to support employment and price stability?And what becomes of inequality, a statistically significant detractor from a nation’s economic health that, according to the OECD, increased after the 2008 global financial crisis? Our current crises (both health and economic) are disproportionately affecting people of certain races and socio-economic groups. Though I’m encouraged by emerging conversations that are both thoughtful and action-oriented, it’s not yet clear whether the pandemic will accelerate or reverse the inequality trend.These questions will demand our attention in the months and years ahead. It is likely that answers to some of these questions will materially affect the trajectory of others. In that sense, the number of possible moves left in our chess match still includes a whole lot of zeroes.Joe Davis is Global Chief Economist at Vanguard.

Oct 09, 2020
News

Maximising the productivity and value a finance function provides can be a constant challenge for today’s CFO. Here are five examples of pitfalls that can be successfully navigated to optimise productivity. Increasing regulatory obligations, technological change and the ongoing challenge of attracting and retaining skilled staff have led to finance teams often playing catch up when it comes to adding strategic value to stakeholders within the business.  To compete and thrive in this environment, businesses should ‘rethink’ and optimise their finance and accounting function. That means identifying and addressing some of the productivity roadblocks that exist in almost all businesses – from ambitious, entrepreneurial right through to large corporate, multinational groups.We have outlined the top five productivity pitfalls experienced by many finance and accounting departments – and how you can unblock them.Failure to delegateBuilding a high-performance team and leveraging technologyA report by London Business School found that only 30% of managers think they can delegate well. The reason most managers have trouble delegating isn’t that they doubt the value of focusing more of their time on strategic tasks; it’s that managers don’t trust that their team members can successfully execute some of the non-core tasks that should be delegated.Delegation becomes easier once a strong team with experience and skills has been built. Similarly, many non-core tasks that prevent finance functions performing at a high level can be automated by technology, so a review and adoption of new tools may be necessary to unlock those sought-after productivity gains.Viewing financial data through a reactive lensFocus on extracting and analysing the real-time dataThe finance function of the future won’t be one that places a priority on looking backwards at quarterly or yearly financial reports. The adoption of real-time connectivity and cloud-powered tools have made it possible to monitor and analyse activities in nearly all parts of the business both on the move and as soon as they happen.Having access to real-time data that gives a full view of relationships with suppliers and customers will allow CFOs to have more productive conversations and make informed decisions more efficiently.Not leveraging data analytics and the cloudThe status quo can hold businesses back – look to leverage and embrace the ‘new normal’Many businesses still rely on legacy accounting and financial systems and processes. A reluctance to invest the time and energy needed to adopt new tools can be a significant blocker – but what impact will that have on business’ competitiveness? In an era of disruption, can they afford to stand still?  It’s important to recognise that investments made in learning and implementing a new system or process that helps finance functions operate more efficiently will pay dividends in terms of streamlining operations and decision-making.Failing to maximise existing capabilitiesTake time to fully utilise the functionality of existing toolsFinance functions of today most often have access to tools that can streamline or automate financial processes. These may already be embedded in existing technology tools, but often businesses haven’t the time or the resources to properly explore the full functionality available. Software vendors will continually add valuable features, new integrations and plugins that can further automate processes and eliminate unnecessary manual entries – but is it expected for finance teams to keep up with the updates?Not formally documenting the use of systems and processesTest, test and re-test to improve the ways a finance function performsThe old adage goes “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. In addition, if businesses fail to document finance and accounting processes, that knowledge could be lost with the individuals in the team should they decide to move on. Taking the time to detail end-to-end processes will allow businesses to spot gaps and identify ways to make workflows more efficient through automation and other technology-driven tools.  This article has been developed by BDO as part of their Rethink framework.

Oct 09, 2020
News

With working remotely becoming commonplace, how can we effectively onboard new members of a team in a virtual environment? Judith Kelly gives three tips on how to handle the onboarding process while working from home.  Onboarding has suddenly become an everyday word in the vocabulary of recruitment and now plays an even bigger part of the recruitment process.One of the major cultural shifts has been the move to remote work, as social distancing rules have forced people into working from home. Before the COVID-19 crisis, virtual or remote onboarding was largely reserved for employees with remote contracts or those living in a different country. With remote interviewing and working, this has become a crucial element of our new normal. How, then, do we ensure we successfully onboard new members of a team while working remotely?Finding the right fit is always challenging, but the next hurdle is onboarding a new hire and integrating them into a company. Unfortunately, without the benefits of the water-cooler chats and the coffee machine moments, this can be difficult to achieve. Companies will have to update training and orientation procedures for all new employees now working remotely for the foreseeable future. The basics, however, remain the same. 1. Infrastructure and trainingIt is imperative to provide a new employee with all the tools needed on their first day. Hardware delivered and installed on time, software and access to the right platforms and information required for IT (passwords, anti-virus, etc.) is essential in preparing and welcoming them, showing them you are committed to helping them succeed and you want them onboard. Use interactive training where possible and ensure follow-ups and feedback are made regularly. 2. Communication and connectingCommunicating and connecting people is crucial to successful onboarding. For example, introducing and integrating new employees into the team with one-on-ones, video conference calls to assist in training and introducing company procedures. Assigning a ‘buddy’ will also help integrate them into the community of the business, even if remotely. A buddy will lead by example on communication procedures within the network and what is and what is not deemed appropriate. Great companies have always provided a platform for employees to build collaborative relationships and, even though this is not face-to-face, we still need to build these relationships.3. EmpowermentNew employees will be enthusiastic as they begin their journey. It is critical to get them involved in contributing and collaborating from the outset. People typically want to prove themselves and demonstrate that you’ve made a good decision hiring them. It may be tough to give them an independent project but assigning tasks with the opportunity to engage actively in reasoning, decision-making, and problem-solving shows them a positive early experience to achieving long-term success.Judith Kelly is a Director at FK International.

Oct 09, 2020
Brexit

There have been some signals this week that the UK and EU might be moving closer to reaching a deal, with reported progress on the key sticking point of State Aid. In other developments, the UK has confirmed that passports will be required for entry by EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens into the UK from October 2021. In Ireland, the Central Bank is warning of the effect of a no deal Brexit on Ireland’s economic recovery next year, while the Tánaiste is writing to all registered businesses to get ready for Brexit. “Good Friday Agreement is not only an Irish issue, but a European one”, says Charles MichelAt a joint press conference with Taoiseach Michael Martin, European Council President Charles Michel has stated that the EU stands in full solidarity with Ireland, especially when it comes to the full implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. Addressing his recent conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr. Michel has stressed upon cooperation from the UK, and also highlighted the intensive and continuous negotiations on the Brexit front as both parties look to reach some agreement on issues of divergence. Speaking in front of the House of Lords European Committee on Wednesday 7 October, UK chief Brexit negotiator David Frost has reportedly said that the UK could potentially agree to write State aid principles into a trade deal with the EU. With State aid being one of the most hard line issues for the UK, this statement shows that both sides were figuring out if it was “possible to go further than you normally do in an FTA and agree some provisions that shape and condition the subsidy policy on both sides.” It has also been reported that Mr Frost’s EU counterpart, Michel Barnier has signalled that he believed that a deal is possible, however it is expected that the negotiations will continue on beyond 15 October 2020. With 15 October pencilled in as the date to finalise an agreement between the two blocs, the European Council President also signalled towards the upcoming European Council summit on 15-16 October, as an important occasion to discuss, not only Brexit but, important issues such as the Single Market, climate action, and the EU’s digital agenda. EU Citizens will need passports to enter the UK post-Brexit In their updated post-Brexit Border Operating Model, the UK government have said that from 1 October 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss Identity cards will not be recognised as a valid travel document to gain entry to the UK. The plan also confirms that the UK government intends to make it mandatory for all truck drivers to obtain an access permit to drive into Kent and on to the Channel crossing at Dover after the Brexit transition period ends. The model also maps out up to 10 intended locations for border customs checkpoints. These sites will be used to carry out customs checks and ensure that drivers have the correct documentation. The document provides guidance for traders on a number of other readiness issues. The government also announced that it will use an exemption within EU state aid rules to increase support for customs intermediaries companies through the Customs Grant Scheme.  HMRC updates guidance on importing and exporting excise goods post-BrexitFollowing the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, there will be changes to how Great Britain based traders will import/export and declare excise goods like alcohol, tobacco and certain oils. From 1 January 2021 onwards,imports of excise goods from the EU to Great Britain will be treated the same as imports from the rest of the world.exports of excise goods from Great Britain to the EU will be treated the same as exports to the rest of the world.The guidance details guidance under a variety of scenarios such as, how to become a registered consignor, steps to take as a registered excise business, and what to do if goods are dispatched on or before 31 December 2020 but received from 1 January 2021.HMRC have also specified that there may be different rules in respect of Northern Ireland movements after transition, and that these will be made available on a later date.  Brexit BitesHMRC have made available sector webinars, to support businesses in preparing for the end of the transition period: Join a sector focused webinar to check the new rules and understand the actions to take. See the full schedule and sign up here.The Central Bank of Ireland has revised downwards its outlook for the coming years, on the basis of the impact of a no-deal BrexitResearch from the Economic and Social Research Institute  says that in the event of a no deal Brexit, Ireland’s economic recovery next year will be impeded. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar will, in the coming days,  write to all 225, 000 registered businesses in the country to urge them to get ready for Brexit.  The letter will contain practical things businesses can do now to prepare for the next business environment next year.  For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage.  

Oct 09, 2020
Professional Standards

UK Financial Intelligence Unit invites you to a Webinar on the use of Glossary Codes when submitting a SAR, on Wednesday 14 October 2020 at 2pm. We strongly recommend that you join this webinar.   On Wednesday 14th October at 2pm the UKFIU will be hosting a SAR Glossary Codes Webinar – the benefits to the SAR Regime. Topics to be covered: Key benefits of using glossary codes Overview of the main glossary codes used How SARs are fast tracked - Denise Napper, Head of SARs Enquiry Action Team Reporter view of good use of glossary codes Q&A Session While the event is aimed at UK SAR reporters/supervisors, it is open to anyone with an interest in the topic. Please email UK Financial Intelligence Unit to request an invite before close of play 13/10/2020.

Oct 08, 2020

Developments of interest this week are outlined. UKThe FRC became a signatory to Women in Finance Charter in 2018 and last month they provided an annual update to the Treasury on the commitments and progress made. EuropeanThe EFRAG, along with the IASB, will be hosting an outreach event on 16 October 2020 to discuss how to improve dis­clo­sures regarding ac­qui­si­tions, enhancing im­pair­ment testing and accounting for goodwill. International                                        At a recent meeting of the International Forum of Accounting Standard Setters (IFASS), the standard setters of New Zealand and Australia presented on going concern dis­clo­sures and on the basis of prepa­ra­tion where an entity is no longer a going concern.The Staff of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) this week jointly released the publication Using Specialists in the COVID-19 Environment: Including Considerations for Involving Specialists in Audits of Financial Statements.    

Oct 08, 2020
Sustainability

 The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has issued a Staff Audit Practice Alert, The Consideration of Climate-Related Risks in an Audit of Financial Statement.Climate change is growing in relevance to investors and other stakeholders of the IAASB.  There is growing demand by investors for climate-related information for their economic decision-making. The effects of climate change are increasingly visible, global and local policy actions are evolving to take account of it, and it has the potential to impact most - if not all entities - directly or indirectly. The phrase 'climate change' does not feature in the International Standards on Auditing (ISA). This Staff Audit Practice Alert is to assist auditors in understanding what already exists in ISA and how it relates to auditors’ considerations of climate-related risks in an audit of financial statements. According to IAASB Technical Director Willie Botha "the auditor’s responsibilities under the ISAs encapsulate the consideration of events or conditions relevant to the susceptibility to misstatement of amounts and disclosures in an entity’s financial statements, which would include climate-change risk."About the IAASBThe IAASB develops auditing and assurance standards and guidance for use by all professional accountants under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAASB, and the IAASB Consultative Advisory Group, which provides public interest input into the development of the standards and guidance. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IAASB are facilitated by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). 

Oct 06, 2020
Tax RoI

Based on recent contacts with businesses, Revenue expressed concern about the level of Brexit readiness. Revenue issued a press release to dispel a mistaken belief among some businesses that Brexit will not actually happen and encourages those businesses to get Brexit ready. Revenue provided several important steps for businesses to take in order to avoid serious disruption. In the press release, Revenue detailed “… customs procedures will apply from 1 January to trade with and through Great Britain, regardless of the outcome of the current EU/UK talks.” A customs registration will provide businesses with an EORI (Economic Operators Registration Identification) number, which is an essential requirement to be able to complete customs formalities for trade with Great Britain from 1 January 2021. Revenue is now asking each business to urgently take the following steps:Get fully and accurately informed on what Brexit means for the businessUndertake an immediate Brexit impact assessmentAct on that assessment by taking all the actions needed to be ready on 1 January 2021.Businesses who are preparing or need to start preparing for Brexit are encouraged to register for Revenue’s Brexit seminars running today and tomorrow. 

Oct 05, 2020
Tax

A few weeks ago we advised that the Trader Support Service (“TSS”) was expected to be launched in late September. The free to use digital service went live last week and the UK Government is now encouraging businesses to sign up to the service with just 90 days until the end of EU transition period. The service can be used by any business moving goods between GB and NI (and vice versa) or bringing goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK. This Institute continues to engage with both Government and HMRC as 1 January 2021 approaches.HMRC is also in the process of writing to VAT-registered businesses in Northern Ireland highlighting actions they need to take to prepare for new processes for moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol from 1 January 2021.According to HMRC, the benefits of the TSS are two-fold:- Traders who sign up to the Trader Support Service will be guided through the new processes under the Northern Ireland Protocol and can also use it to complete digital declarations to manage import and safety and security declarations on their behalf; and/orThe service will educate businesses on what the protocol means for them, and the steps they need to take to comply with it. This will include online training sessions and webinars, with information being continually updated as we move closer to 1 January 2021.This means a business can choose to use the TSS in a way that suits it; either by using it to complete the relevant digital declarations and/or skill up on what the protocol means for their business. 

Oct 05, 2020
Tax

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) closes later this month on 31 October 2020. HMRC has now announced that employers must make any final claims under the CJRS on or before 30 November 2020. Employers will not be able to submit or add to any claims after this date. The CJRS will be followed by the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (“CJSS”) initial details of which were contained in the Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan.In a Press Release last week, the Government has also published further guidance on the Job Retention Bonus (“JRB”) including how employers can check if their employees are eligible, when they can claim (from 15 February 2021) and what they need to do now. As more details of both the CJSS and the JRB are published in the coming weeks and months we’ll be updating our COVID-19 hub. 

Oct 05, 2020
Tax

Employers who have a PAYE Settlement Agreement (“PSA”) in place may not have received a payslip from HMRC confirming the amount owed under their PSA arrangement for the 2019-20 tax year. If your client has not received their payslip confirmation letter, they should pay the tax and National Insurance amount they calculated and submitted for their PSA to HMRC by the deadline of 22 October 2020. Taxpayers should not wait until they receive their payslip confirmation from HMRC. Any electronic payments relating to the PSA must clear into the HMRC bank account by no later than 22‌‌ October 2020.When making payment, your clients should ensure they quote their PSA reference number, which is shown on their PSA confirmation letter. They should not use their PAYE Accounts Office reference to make their PSA payment. This is because payments received with the PAYE Accounts Office reference are allocated to their normal PAYE account and they will continue to receive reminders for the PSA payment even though they have paid.If your client does not have their PSA reference number or is unsure about the action to take, they should contact the PSA team on 0300‌‌ 322 7077. Employers may be fined or charged interest or a late payment penalty if they do not pay or their payment is late.

Oct 05, 2020
Tax

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. Profit Diversion Compliance Facility (PDCF)This webinar will provide an update on HMRC’s PDCF and will include HMRC’s approach to tackling Transfer Pricing and Diverted Profits Tax risks, key aspects of the PDCF process, benefits of the facility and a general overview of how the facility has been operating so far.Book here: Tuesday 6 October – 3.45pm to 4.45pmHow you can help savers avoid scamsThis webinar provides information on pension scams, how they work, who is at risk and what the warning signs are.Book here: Monday 12 October 11.15am to 12.15pmOff-payroll working rules from April 2021This 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.Book here: Choose a date and timeExpenses and benefits for employers – company cars, vans, and fuelIf your employees or directors have private use of a company vehicle, this webinar covers the records you need to keep. It will also demonstrate how to use the online calculator to work out the amount to report for payrolling or on the P11D.Book here: Choose a date and timeExpenses and benefits for employers – if your employees have more than one workplaceThis webinar looks at the various workplaces, including permanent and temporary, depots, business journeys, the 24-month rule and applying the 40 per cent test. You can also find more information in the Expenses and benefits from employment toolkit.Book here: Choose a date and timeCoronavirus Job Retention Scheme This will provide an overview of the scheme, including flexible furloughing, examples of how to work out the amount you can claim and the changes for October. It will also share information on the Job Retention Bonus, including how to check if you’re eligible.          Book here: Choose a date and timeCoronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate SchemeGet the latest information on:who can claim;who you can claim for;how to make a claim; andwhat you may be entitled to, and more.Book here: Choose a date and time

Oct 05, 2020
Tax

Check out the latest items on the Agent Forum. Remember, in order to view each item you must be signed up and logged in. All agents, who are a member of a professional body, are invited to join HMRC’s Agent Forum. This dedicated Agent Forum is hosted in a private area within the HMRC’s Online Taxpayer Forum. You can interact with other agents and HMRC experts to discuss topical issues and processes. HMRC’s latest update on the agent forum is also available.  “Agent Forum (AF) As at the end of August 2020 the Forum had 1069 registered subscribers including Professional Bodies, of 1229 users signed up to its predecessor forum. We are separately inviting various customer groups with Capital Gains payment liabilities or Trust registration responsibilities to HMRC; the Law Society and Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEPS) amongst them. Even though registrations have not reached the levels of its former platform, participation and issues traffic are increasing. We are also stepping up our recruitment of internal HMRC users. Thus far during 20/21 we have dealt with 221 widespread issues, across all Heads of Duty. The new ‘Knowledge Base’ feature is also increasingly popular and carries announcements and real time taxes information. We continue to support agents and their clients through the COVID-19 crisis and have a live dedicated panel to deal with related issues and publish guidance for all associated schemes including the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), Job Retention Scheme (JRS) and Eat Out to Help Out scheme. We have in conjunction with our Issues Overview Group (IOG) stakeholder colleagues, put in place procedures to identify high priority widespread issues to be taken forward for resolution with our internal technical specialist and communications partners.  This is being monitored by the Agent Forum team and others. We continue building our internal HMRC Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) capability, formalising recruitment from across HMRC to improve the quality and timeliness of issue resolution responses and to focus on Agent Forum operations. Performance metrics thus far for 20/21 include over 16000k views, over 3000 posted messages on over 220 current and resolved topics since January 2020, which are all moderated daily with appropriate responses given, as determined by subject matter, related traffic generated, and referrals provided by line of business. We have reviewed our performance metrics to more effectively manage our live ‘aged cases’ portfolio, given we better understand new functionality provided by the MS Dynamics platform.   The Digital Customer Support Services (DCSS) Agent Team is staffed by a Service Manager and 2.5 FTE Moderators, who moderate and run the forum.”

Oct 05, 2020
Tax

Do you use HMRC online services? Don’t be caught out by the planned downtime to some services. HMRC are warning about the non-availability of specific services on the HMRC website, a range of services are impacted. Check the relevant page for information on planned downtime.

Oct 05, 2020
Tax

This month’s tidbits cover the latest newsletters in several areas.

Oct 05, 2020
Brexit

In a serious turn of events, the European Commission has officially issued its first notice of legal action to the UK. With the UK’s failure to amend the Internal Market Bill after the EU’s request to do so, the UK authorities now have until the end of the month to respond to this legal action. Read today’s bulletin to find out more details. We also bring updates on the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority’s new Brexit transition rules for the finance sector. Also, read about the EU’s new Customs Action Plan to combat fraud. European Commission takes legal action against UK over Internal Market BillIn response to the UK’s inaction to overturn conflicting aspects of the controversial Internal Market Bill, the European Commission has issued a letter notifying the UK of the start of formal legal action. Why has the EU taken legal action?As stated by Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, the timely and full implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland is a legal obligation. The UK were given until the end of September to amend the contentious aspects of the Bill, however due to failure to do so, the UK has breached its obligation to act in good faith, as set out in Article 5 of the Withdrawal Agreement. What’s next?The UK has one month to reply to the EU’s letter. The issue of this letter marks the beginning of the EU’s formal infringement process against the UK. Additionally, the UK’s controversial Internal Market Bill easily cleared its final hurdle in the House of Commons last week, where it passed by 340 votes to 256. The Bill is now at its second reading at the UK’s House of Lords, which has the power to block the legislation by amending it and sending it back to the Commons.UK’s Financial Conduct Authority sets out rules for the end of Brexit transition periodThe Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) based in the UK has outlined  some Brexit transition rules for the financial sector. Firms that are not already in line with the changes will need to show that they have made efforts to comply by 31 December to avoid penalties, as stated by the FCA. The FCA have also released details on how they intend to apply Temporary Transitional Power (TTP) rules following the end of the transition period, allowing firms to transition to the new regime. Where applicable, these rules will mean that firms and other regulated persons can continue to comply with their existing requirements for a limited period of time. After the end of the transition period, onshored* legislation will apply. The FCA expects firms to use the duration of the TTP to prepare for full compliance with changes to UK regulatory obligations by 31 March 2022. Key changes are foreseen in areas such as These include transaction reporting, securitisation, some uses of credit ratings and security aspects of payment services.*Onshoring is the process of amending legislation and regulatory requirements so that they work in a UK-only context, including EU legislation that will form part of UK law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.New Customs Action Plan set to make customs union smarter, says European CommissionIn the latest developments on the customs front, the European Commission has launched its new Customs Union Action Plan, set out with 17 actions to make  EU customs smarter, more innovative and more efficient. The Commission says that this action is in response to reported fraud linked to customs duties and VAT as well as the smuggling of illicit goods into the EU. The Commission is set to implement some of the first steps under this initiative as early as October 2020. The revamp actions in the Customs Action Plan comprise of four key areas: Risk managementManaging e-commercePromotion of complianceCustoms authorities acting as oneSome key initiatives under these headings include setting up a new analytics hub, new customs reporting requirements for platforms, a single window environment for customs, modernised customs equipment, Union Customs Code evaluation, and international customs cooperation.Brexit chief negotiators to work “intensively” to reach agreement as significant gaps remainThe ninth round of Brexit trade talks between the EU and the UK took place last week in Brussels. Some of the main points of discussion were focussed on trade in goods, services and investment, data protection, and social security coordination.In a statement by EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, the EU has once reiterated their position that in order to reach a successful trade deal, the two blocs must come to some agreement in the three main areas of divergence: open and fair competition, fisheries, and a governance framework.In a joint statement released by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson following inconclusive ninth round of trade negotiations in Brussels, the two leaders have agreed on the importance of finding an agreement to ensure continued cooperation between the EU and the UK. The leaders have also instructed their respective chief negotiators to work “intensively” as significant gaps remain, most importantly, in the areas of fisheries, the level playing field, and governance.Brexit BitesThe UK government has made available a £200 million Port Infrastructure Fund to support ports in building new facilities.Readers can still register for Revenue’s upcoming series of live streamed Brexit information sessions on customs and movement of goods taking place on 5 and 6 October 2020. Sign up for LEO Workshops: Prepare Your Business for Brexit Customs  For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Oct 05, 2020