Tax

HMRC has sent the below message in respect of VAT which reminds taxpayers of the potential for VAT default.“We understand the challenges businesses have faced recently as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.We have supported businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, alongside a wide range of measures including the VAT payments deferral scheme which was introduced on 20 March 2020. This allowed all VAT businesses to defer payments that would ordinarily be due between 20 March and 30 June to be paid by 31 March 2021. We prevented late payment penalties for all customers during the VAT deferral period, including MTD customers. Customers were required to file on time throughout the deferral period but penalties for late filing were also suspended. As we gradually return to normal life, HMRC has begun to slowly reduce some of the measures that were put in place to support businesses through this difficult time. The VAT payments deferral scheme ended on 30 June and all VAT customers, including MTD customers, are required to file and pay on time. We want to ensure customers understand the situation, and are clear that they will be at ‘default’ if they fail to meet their VAT obligations and may face a penalty as well as being charged interest on any tax that is due. It is important now more than ever to ensure that you stay on track. More information on surcharges and penalties can be found at www.gov.uk/vat-returns/surcharges-and-penalties. If a business needs more help to pay their VAT, they may be eligible to get support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay (TTP) service. More information can found at https://www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc. Further help and guidance on complying with MTD for VAT is available at www.gov.uk/government/collections/making-tax-digital-for-vat”

Sep 21, 2020
Tax

HMRC has updated its guidance on how to perform “usual hours” calculations where employees come off furlough/flexible furlough during a claim period. The guidance stresses that this change only affects claims from 14 September.Readers are also reminded that legislation requires businesses to voluntarily disclose and make good any CJRS overclaims before the notification deadline of 20 October, for claims made on or before 22 July. Failure to do so can result in penalties of up to 100%. If a penalty for deliberate behaviour is also charged this could result in publication of the company name under the deliberate defaulters legislation.Details of forthcoming changes to the scheme have also been sent by HMRC“From 1‌‌ October, HMRC will pay 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.  What you or your clients need to do from 1‌‌ OctoberContinue to pay furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant themselves.The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if an employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in October, employers are entitled to claim 60% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to £937.50 (half of £1,875 cap). Employers must still pay their employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they don’t work, so for someone only working half their usual hours they’d need to pay them up to £1,250 (half of £2,500 cap), funding the remaining portion themselves. For help with calculations, search 'Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌.UK.You or your clients will also continue to pay furloughed employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds. Make sure your data is rightIt’s important that you or your clients provide all the data we need to process your claims. Payment of employers’ grants may be at risk or delayed if they submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect and we want to help them get this right. We’ll get in touch if we see any employee data missing from previous claims.Claiming for 100 or more employees – use our new template The easiest way for your or your clients to provide us with the data we need is to use our updated template – to find it, search 'download a template if you're claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌.UK. To help prevent mistakes, the XLS and XLMS versions of the template now highlight any missing information needed to make a claim before you submit it. Where information is missing, fields will be red and once the missing information is filled in, the data fields will turn green. Employers can also now flag if an employee has recently returned from statutory leave, to ensure claims with any new employees are processed correctly.Claimed too much in error?It’s important that you or your clients continue to check each claim is accurate before submitting it, and we would also recommend checking previous claims to avoid any penalties for claiming too much.If you or your client have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not repaid it, you must notify us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:90 days from receiving the CJRS money you or your client are not entitled to90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you or your client were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant20‌‌ October 2020, if on or before 22 July you or your client received CJRS money you’re not entitled to, or if circumstances changed. If you or your client do not do this, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. For more information on interest, search 'Interest rates for late and early payments' on GOV‌.UK.How to let us know if you have claimed too muchYou or your client can let us know as part of your next online claim without needing to call us – the system will prompt you to add details if you have received too much. If you or your client have claimed too much and do not plan to submit further claims, you can let us know and find out how to make a repayment online. Go to 'Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back' on GOV‌.UK.We are supporting our customers while tackling serious fraud and criminal attacks. We understand mistakes happen, particularly in these challenging times, and will not seek out innocent errors and small mistakes for compliance action.Further supportGuidance and live webinars offering you more support on changes to the scheme and how they impact you or your clients are available to book online – go to GOV‌.UK and search 'help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus'. Our phone lines and webchat are still very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you may need is on GOV‌.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.  Protect yourself from scams   Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search 'scams' on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599. ” 

Sep 21, 2020
Tax

HMRC has asked us to publish the below article on the corporate criminal offences legislation which is approaching three years old.“Corporate Criminal Offences – more than just a legislative tool, and why you should care This article has been written to provide you with material to share with your membership / readership in relation to the Corporate Criminal Offences (CCO). For further details and background regarding the CCO please see the notes at the end of this document. Back in September 2017, legislation was introduced which can hold a corporate liable if it fails to prevent any associated person from facilitating tax fraud. This is known as the Corporate Criminal Offences (CCO).It is easy to see how some industry sectors may feel the CCO is more relevant to them than others, based on the services they provide and how that might link to instances of tax fraud. However, in reality, the relevance and impact of CCO is further reaching than you may realise.No matter the size of your business, or the type of service you provide, if there is a chance someone associated with your business could facilitate fraud through their actions then CCO is something you should know about. HMRC’s list of CCO cases demonstrates that. As at 31 July 2020:-          HMRC has 10 live CCO investigations with a further 22 opportunities under review across 10 different business sectors, including financial services, oils, construction, labour provision and software development.-          These investigations and opportunities sit across all HMRC customer groups from small business through to some of the UK’s largest organisations.-          COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of society in many different ways, and HMRC and its development of CCO investigations and opportunities is no exception. However, HMRC continues to progress CCO investigations and opportunities wherever it is safe for HMRC and its customers to do so.HMRC has spoken about the way in which the CCO can change the landscape in the fight against the facilitation of tax crime. But the CCO is not all about investigations and prosecutions, it’s about changing industry practices and attitudes towards risk to try to prevent facilitation happening in the first place.CCO introduced the concept of Reasonable Preventative Procedures (RPPs) – processes which help a corporate to prevent its associated persons from facilitating tax fraud and can be used as a defense against a CCO prosecution.RPPs are in themselves not a new idea, and many corporates will already have RPPs in place. By embedding, regularly reviewing and adapting RPPs to address tax fraud facilitation risks, a corporate will reduce the chances of its associates facilitating tax fraud and will ultimately support compliance across their industry sector.Have you considered how CCO may affect your business? And what do your RPPs look like? These are questions which HMRC is keen you consider, as your approach to CCO and RPPs has the potential to help design out tax evasion risks and reduce fraudulent behaviours. HMRC will continue to pursue those who try to evade paying the tax they owe, as well as those who help them, to ensure businesses and individuals contribute their fair share to our public services, and create a level playing field for those who abide by the rules. For more information, you can read the government guidance ‘Tackling tax evasion: Government guidance for the corporate offences of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion’ for more detailed information about the legislation. Background  The Corporate Criminal Offences (CCOs) for the failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion were introduced by Part 3 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017. It has been based on its associated legislation, the Bribery Act 2010These offences are committed where a relevant body fails to prevent an associated person criminally facilitating the evasion of tax.  An offence can be committed regardless of whether the tax evaded is payable in the UK or in a foreign country. The CCOs form part of HMRC’s Enablers and Facilitators of Criminality Programme which, in alignment with HMRC’s Serious Fraud Strategy, is designed to tackle the enablers and facilitators of tax evasion.The offences could impact any group or sector; therefore, they are relevant to all sectors.The OffencesFor the CCO to be committed:there must first be a criminal offence at the taxpayer level (stage one);the evasion must have been criminal facilitated by an associated person of a corporation (stage 2);and the corporation must have failed to prevent the associated person from committing the stage 2 offence.An “Associated person” of a corporation means more than someone with a formal contractual relationship.   An “associated person” means employees and agents of a corporation AND anyone else providing services for or on behalf of the corporation. A corporation cannot sub-contract out of its liability.A criminal conviction could result in:An unlimited penaltyPossible director disqualificationPossible exclusion from bidding for public contractsPublic record of the conviction (and reputational damage)Severe regulatory impactsReasonable Preventative ProceduresReasonable procedures will differ for all relevant bodies as they must be risk-based and appropriateGovernment guidance lays out a principled-based approach:HMRC cannot and will not give ‘sign-off’ that procedures are reasonableThere is a dedicated route for corporates to self-reporting wrongdoing under the offences to HMRC through the corporate self-reporting portal. Self-reporting will be taken into account and viewed favourably when HMRC decides how to deal with any disclosed offence.”

Sep 21, 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.

Sep 21, 2020
Tax

Check out the latest items on the Agent Forum. Remember, in order to view each item you must be signed up and be 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 updates on the agent forum are also available. “Agent Forum (AF) As at the end of June 2020 the Forum had over 991 registered Agent 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 over 150 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) and Job Retention Scheme (JRS). 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 10000k views, 1900 posted messages on over 120 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.”“Agent Forum (AF)As at the end of July 2020 the Forum had 963 registered Agent 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 171 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 13000k views, over 1900 posted messages on over 120 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.”

Sep 21, 2020
Tax

This month tidbits cover recent HMRC performance and the latest Agent Update.

Sep 21, 2020
Tax

Cian O’Sullivan is a Chartered Accountant and tax expert, and Tax Director with Purcell McQuillan. Cian advises Irish companies on corporate tax planning and compliance, as well as advising business owners on personal tax matters. Cian’s tax career started in PwC where he worked for seven years before joining Purcell McQuillan. While developing a successful tax career, Cian has also won seven All-Ireland titles and was awarded three All-Stars playing for the Dublin Senior Football team. Can you tell us a bit about the impact the coronavirus has had on your life, from both a work and personal perspective?We had plans to implement a paperless office which were helpfully accelerated. Many of us have upskilled and embraced technology more and this is proving to be a great success. However, we do miss getting out and meeting clients and while Zoom/Teams is a great option, it’s hard to replace face to face interactions and being in the same room. From a personal perspective, I’m a new Dad and more time at home was timely for me with the arrival of our first in April. What challenges are you facing as a tax practitioner at the moment?There are so many unknowns as to what the next three months to three years will bring. Cash is king and while some sectors are managing cash to simply stay afloat, others at the opposite end are preserving cash, allowing the dust to settle and seeing what opportunities might be on the horizon. I can see what economists mean by a K shaped recovery. However, activity is down and while the past few months have presented a good opportunity for personal tax planning, levels of activity for some of our clients on the business side have been quiet. Also, as most businesses have been focused on COVID-19, some are not as prepared as they normally would be for the forthcoming corporation tax and income tax deadlines. Remote working and limited access to files also presents challenges in meeting these deadlines. What do you feel are the most significant tax challenges for businesses at the moment? For many it is simply paying their taxes and accessing Government supports such as the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme to enable them navigate the next 7 months. The measures introduced by the Government have been timely and swift. It is essential that businesses are fully appraised of the complete range of these supports. What are your expectations for the Budget and is there anything, in particular, you are hoping to see included in it?These are unusual times and with mounting Government debt you might expect some austerity measures. However, given the nature of this economic crisis I expect the spotlight to be on measures to help stimulate the economy. We’ve already heard there will be no changes to income tax rates which is welcome given our marginal rates are already 52 percent/55 percent. Year after year, much has been made about supports and incentives for SMEs and this is consistently reflected in the pre-Budget submissions from bodies such as Chartered Accountants Ireland and IBEC but in many cases the measures introduced have fallen short of expectations. Many larger organisations will be better placed to withstand the medium-long term impacts of the crisis. For SMEs, reliefs such as KEEP, Entrepreneur Relief and EII will play a more crucial role in helping them find their feet again and, now more than ever, it is critical these measures are fit for purpose. It is time for Government to trust the business community.With the added strain of the coronavirus pandemic, do you think the Irish business community is Brexit ready?The spotlight has certainly shifted and pre COVID-19 there was a sense of ‘Brexit fatigue’ setting in. Developments in the last few weeks are sure to ring some alarm bells with the prospect of a No-Deal Brexit looking more possible. A recent survey from Chartered Accountants revealing that only one in ten companies believe they are Brexit ready is certainly a worrying trend. You’re Tax Director at Purcell McQuillan, a Dublin Senior Footballer and a new dad – how do you balance it all?In some ways, the timing of the lockdown was a blessing for me - I had far more time at home than I otherwise normally would. It’s less about balance and more about knowing your priorities. With 168 hours in the week, after your working week and a couple of hours training in the evenings, there’s still plenty of time for everything!

Sep 21, 2020
Brexit

HMRC has ramped up Brexit preparedness as they issue letters to VAT-registered businesses in Great Britain trading with the EU. In today’s bulletin, read about the essential measures to adopt now if you are a Great Britain based trader, conducting business with the EU. Additionally, you can read about the new ESRI paper that compares the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on different sector of the Irish economy. HMRC issues letters to VAT-registered businesses in Great BritainHMRC has sent out letters VAT-registered businesses in Great Britain trading with the EU. These letters highlight the steps to take to prepare for new post-Brexit trading requirements, coming into effect starting 1 January 2021. A copy of the letter can be found here.The letters explain what businesses need to do to prepare for new processes for moving goods between Great Britain and the EU, and highlight practical steps to prepare including: Registering for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numberDeciding how to make customs declarationsCheck if import VAT is due at the borderCheck the government’s tariff tables and consider how your trade will be affectedChecking eligibility of imported goods for staged import controlsSign up for the Trader Support Service , if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UKThese requirements will be necessary irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations between the EU and the UK. Businesses can find more information on HMRC’s website or in the letter linked to above.  “COVID-19 and Brexit impact different parts of the economy”, states latest ESRI researchWith the Irish economy struggling to cope with the adverse impact of COVID-19, latest research says that a no-deal Brexit on top of the pandemic will be catastrophic for businesses. The latest research released by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Department of Finance also shows that there is limited overlap between the sectors at risk from a hard Brexit and those currently being most impacted by COVID-19. The paper examines sectoral impacts from COVID-19 and Brexit individually, and then analyses the overlap in sectoral impact from both. No sector was found to be in a category of severely exposed to both the Brexit and COVID-19 shocks. However, there are a few sectors that could be severely impacted by one but moderately impacted by the other. Sectors impacted by COVID-19 Sectors impacted by Brexit Wholesale and Retail TradeAccommodationFood ServicesConstructionIndustry Financial ServicesAgricultureFoodTraditional manufacturing  The research also notes that the ranking of risk exposure is at a sector level and that impacts on individual firms may differ from this.   Brexit BitesRead the ESRI’s latest research on Northern Ireland inputs to Republic of Ireland EU FTA (free trade agreement) exports commissioned by the Northern Ireland Department of the EconomyUK clinches historic trade deal with Japan. Worth £15.2 billion, the agreement is UK’s first major post-Brexit trade dealThe UK government have published their latest Customs, VAT and Excise UK transition legislation coming into effect from 1 January 2021  For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Sep 21, 2020
News

In a world that is getting more complex, how can leaders navigate the constant changes? Managing our responses and developing our thinking and learning is integral to overcoming these challenges, says Patrick Gallen.We live in a time when change and disruption are constant and being able to navigate change is an indispensable leadership trait.There is a fundamental difference between seeing the challenges posed by change as one of navigating the complicated versus navigating the complex.Complicated challenges may be demanding but, with enough information, we can leverage experience and expertise, observe patterns of cause and effect, apply rules and processes and then solve them. This approach is probably no different from the many challenges you face as an accountant in business or practice. As one of my old bosses used to say, we often over-complicate business problems and then must simplify things to solve them.Complexity, on the other hand, should be navigated differently, because complex systems and environments are made up of a mosaic of diverse yet interdependent elements that interact in unexpected ways. When we look at mechanics and engineering, we find highly complicated systems, like a jet engine.  When we look at nature, we can see highly complex systems, like a coral reef or a natural woodland.Some of our work may be complicated, but we do that work in a complex environment.Complex systems do not always follow patterns, and so past behaviour of a complex system may not predict its future behaviour. In a complex system, there is no centre or top from which to direct.  Empowered and self-directed teams ideally can resolve challenges in different parts of a complex system, almost akin to what the various university and pharma teams are doing around the world in the search for a vaccine for COVID-19. When you look at the biggest change challenges you are facing in business or practice, do they resemble the complicated or the complex?  We know that we cannot exercise complete control in a complex world – the environment is always changing, and we cannot lead people back to the way things were before. We can, however, manage our own response, develop our own thinking, and learn. Under stress, it can be tempting to fall back on our experience and expertise – to get consumed with the details and to narrow our focus.  Leading in a complex system requires us to take a wider view of our firms, our roles, our service lines and our teams, and to see them as part of a much bigger system.  This then has implications for the way we lead as a profession and as accountants, in whatever field we operate.Patrick Gallen is a Partner in People and Change Consulting in Grant Thornton.

Sep 18, 2020
News

2020 has been difficult for everyone. Business and personal plans have gone awry and we're constantly readjusting to accommodate everything. Moira Dunne offers some tips to reset and refocus for the end of the year.September is a great time to reset and refocus after the summer months. With schools reopening, it is a chance to draw breath and set priorities for the last four months of the year. This year, we need to reset more than ever. 2020 has been a time of huge change and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Business plans created in January were suddenly paused in March. Day-to-day operations stopped for many businesses. And, as companies pivoted to survive, plans from January may be irrelevant in Q4. Here are some tips to reset and refocus for the end of the year.Even though we are still living with COVID-19, this September brings hope as we see the reopening of schools around the world. The virus is still here, but we are all getting on with our lives and our business. How great would it feel to achieve some important goals and finish your year on a high?1. Reset your prioritiesStart by looking at the goals you set in January and assess what has been completed and what needs to be added. Identify the most important things you want to achieve by the end of 2020. Then ask the following questions:What are the goals?What work needs to be done to achieve those goals?Is help or input required from anyone else?2. Make a planHaving a plan helps you achieve more as it provides structure, focus and motivation. To figure out the work to be done, it helps to break large goals into smaller sub-goals. Then brainstorm each sub-goal to identify the tasks or actions required.Using a flipchart or whiteboard really helps the brainstorming process as space frees up your mind. If you work with others, you can arrange an online session over Zoom or Teams and use the whiteboarding feature to help spark ideas.Once you have a list of tasks, start looking at the following:What needs to be done when?Do some tasks depend on the completion of others?What are the milestones to be achieved along the way?Then transfer all the tasks into a planner. 3. Be realisticYou are probably already busy, so be realistic about how much time you have. It is better to under-plan than over-plan. Start small, complete some tasks to achieve a sub-goal. This will motivate you to keep going.Build in some contingency time, some “slippage” for the unexpected. Because if 2020 has taught us anything, we know that we need to expect the unexpected!4. Track your progressAs you work through your tasks, track your progress by capturing the date each one is completed. If you miss a target date, readjust any remaining dates that may be affected.Rework the plan if you find you are not getting enough time to work on your goals. Extend your timeline if necessary.5. CelebrateIf you achieve your goal, then you will want to celebrate. If you reach the end of Q4 without completing all the work, you still have a plan and you know exactly what needs to be done in 2021.And by following this process, you have also gained some valuable project management skills. What an achievement in these uncertain times!Moira Dunne is Founder of beproductive.ie.

Sep 18, 2020
News

What is the best way to handle post-COVID recovery? Leaders should see the recovery process as a spectrum of options, argues Valerie Daunt, and adapt accordingly.As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 2.7 billion people, or more than four out of five workers in the global workforce, have been affected by lockdowns and stay-at-home measures. Business and government leaders have been challenged to both respond to the crisis quickly and rethink their workforce strategies in real-time.It is important to realise that recovery won’t be static. It will not occur on a specific date. COVID-19 is unlikely to end suddenly given the lack of available therapeutics and the uncertain prospects and timing of a vaccine.Most organisations’ priority has been crisis response and emphasising health, safety, essential services, and the virtualisation of work and education. Now, as organisations begin to emerge from this response phase, leaders are focusing on the next set of challenges as they plan for recovery. There are three phases that leaders will likely face:Respond: How an organisation deals with the present situation and manages continuity Recover: How an organisation learns and emerges stronger Thrive: How an organisation prepares for and shapes the “new normal”Many organisations are planning for multiple scenarios and time horizons as they shift from crisis response to recovery. Many are also planning for the possibility of multiple waves of the pandemic and its continuing global and uneven footprint. As a result, we expect it will be a gradual transition from the respond phase to a new reality. Organisations must prepare for different outcomes of the pandemic – mild, harsh, or severe – and recognise that the recovery should be adaptable to different situations within different countries and industries worldwide.To do this, it helps to think of this recovery process as a spectrum of options. Some organisations are hiring or expanding and others contracting. Some may bring more employees back to the workplace, while others are still working remotely, perhaps permanently. Other organisations, especially those that expanded during the crisis, may reduce their workforce or adapt to new environments. Leaders should ask how they will integrate additional workers in the future, what services might be added or changed as a result, and what other operations may be maintained in a remote capacity. The answers to these types of questions will help organisations redefine their workforces and set the direction to thrive in the aftermath of the pandemic. It is not essential that leaders have a detailed blueprint of the new working landscape at this stage, but they should start to actively envision it and work toward it. In sharing our insights on how to approach workforce recovery strategies, business leaders should begin with a sense of priorities and direction for their future. The future of any organisation’s DNA, and critical guideposts for workforce recovery, should include its direction on organisational:Purpose: integrating the well-being and contributions of individuals in the organisation’s mission and work; Potential: for what can be achieved by individuals and teams; and Perspective: with a focus on moving boldly into the future.It’s not simply a return to old ways of doing business. The pandemic has created an imperative and an opportunity for organisations to reengage with the workforce and reinvent their workplaces. The biggest challenge organisations will likely face in recovery is the tension between preparing for a return to previous activities and routines – getting back to work – while also embracing a new reality – rethinking work. While many workforces have demonstrated resiliency in the face of crisis, it is important to remember that transformative change can be difficult and unsettling for many workers. While some may prefer working from home, others may be uncomfortable or unproductive outside of traditional work settings. How leaders accommodate and balance these divergent expectations will help define the future of trust in their organisation. Despite the uncertainty, one thing remains clear: customers, workers, suppliers, and other partners are watching. How organisations handle the recovery may define their brands with both their workforce and their customers, establish their reputations for years to come, determine their future competitiveness, and ultimately define whether they are truly operating as a social enterprise.Valarie Daunt is a Partner in Consulting in Deloitte.

Sep 18, 2020
Tax

In our top Irish stories this week, Revenue initiates an intensified programme of engagement on Brexit readiness and reduced operating hours for Revenue telephone helplines are expected to continue over the Autumn deadlines. In the UK, the latest HMRC job retention scheme update includes an updated template to claim for 100 or more furloughed employees and details on fraudulent claims. While in international tax, the European Commission published a new VAT gap report.     IrelandRevenue announced plans to send letters to 90,000 businesses, as part of an intensified programme on Brexit readiness;Revenue telephone helplines are expected to continue operating with reduced opening hours over the Autumn deadlines, as staff continue to work from home inline with public health advice;UK The latest HMRC job retention scheme update includes an updated template to claim for 100 or more furloughed employees and details on fraudulent claims; COVID-19 tidbits – keep up to date as HMRC and the UK Government continue to publish updates on COVID-19 tax and related issues; andInternationalThe European Commission published a new VAT gap report, which estimates that EU countries lost an estimated €140 billion in VAT revenues in 2018. 

Sep 17, 2020
Brexit

“Get Brexit Ready Now” is the message that comes across loud and clear in recent guidance issued by Revenue and HMRC. In today’s bulletin, take a look at Revenue’s new Brexit readiness programme and the launch of their new customs declarations system set to kick in November 2020. HMRC have also issued Brexit preparedness letters to VAT-registered businesses in Great Britain trading with the EU. Additionally, you can read about the new ESRI paper that compares the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on different sector of the Irish economy.  Revenue writes to 90,000 businesses to Get Brexit Ready NowRevenue confirmed that it is in the process of sending letters to 90,000 businesses, as part of an intensified programme of engagement on Brexit readiness. The letters emphasise the importance of being Brexit ready come 1 January 2021 and outlines steps to follow to do so. Revenue are encouraging businesses to get ready now, as the reality of Brexit looms. Revenue’s latest press statement says that starting this week, Revenue have been sending the letters to businesses that are expected to be adversely impacted by Brexit in the Republic of Ireland. The letters set out the critical Brexit preparation steps businesses need to take now. Revenue have made available the checklist and readiness article for our members to access as well.  Revenue have also published updated guidance and key information on their dedicated Brexit section, where readers can find information on popular topics such as, registering for An Economic Operators Registration And Identification (EORI) number, payment of import duty, VRT Implications of trade with the UK post-Brexit. Lynda Slattery, Head of Revenue’s Brexit Policy Unit has commented saying “Revenue is urging all businesses that will be impacted by Brexit to get ready now. Business that have any Brexit Customs queries that are not answered by the material available on the Revenue website can email enquiries to brexitqueries@revenue.ie or contact 01-7383632 to discuss Brexit preparations.” Readers can also register for Revenue’s upcoming series of live streamed Brexit information sessions taking place on 5 and 6 October 2020.   Revenue launches new customs declarations system for imports from outside the EUFrom November 2020, Revenue will implement a new import system, called the “Automated Import System (AIS)”. This new system will be introduced to comply with the provisions of the Union Customs Code (UCC), and will ensure that businesses can import goods legally from outside the EU (including the UK) using the most efficient process possible.What will change?This system will replace the existing Automated Entry Processing (AEP) system, and eManifest systems for imports. One of the most major changes under this will be the change in the format of customs import declarations. The import Single Administrative Document (SAD), currently processed within the AEP system, will be replaced by new AIS declaration types. What will not change?Securing an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number continues to be of the utmost importance for traders if they wish to import goods into the EU. Exports will continue to be managed through the AEP system until 2023. However, from November 2020 onwards, if you import and export goods from and to the EU, you must use:AIS for your import declarations, andAEP for your export declarations.Businesses are urged to prepare for this change by making sure their customs software is up to date. Further information on preparing for this change can be found on Revenue’s website.  HMRC issues letters to VAT-registered businesses in Great BritainHMRC has sent out letters VAT-registered businesses in Great Britain trading with the EU. These letters highlight the steps to take to prepare for new post-Brexit trading requirements, coming into effect starting 1 January 2021. A copy of the letter can be found here.The letters explain what businesses need to do to prepare for new processes for moving goods between Great Britain and the EU, and highlight practical steps to prepare including: Registering for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numberDeciding how to make customs declarationsCheck if import VAT is due at the borderCheck the government’s tariff tables and consider how your trade will be affectedChecking eligibility of imported goods for staged import controlsSign up for the Trader Support Service , if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UKThese requirements will be necessary irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations between the EU and the UK. Businesses can find more information on HMRC’s website or in the letter linked to above.  “COVID-19 and Brexit impact different parts of the economy”, states latest ESRI researchWith the Irish economy struggling to cope with the adverse impact of COVID-19, latest research says that a no-deal Brexit on top of the pandemic will be catastrophic for businesses. The latest research released by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Department of Finance also shows that there is limited overlap between the sectors at risk from a hard Brexit and those currently being most impacted by COVID-19. The paper examines sectoral impacts from COVID-19 and Brexit individually, and then analyses the overlap in sectoral impact from both. No sector was found to be in a category of severely exposed to both the Brexit and COVID-19 shocks. However, there are a few sectors that could be severely impacted by one but moderately impacted by the other. Sectors impacted by COVID-19 Sectors impacted by Brexit Wholesale and Retail TradeAccommodationFood ServicesConstructionIndustry Financial ServicesAgricultureFoodTraditional manufacturing  The research also notes that the ranking of risk exposure is at a sector level and that impacts on individual firms may differ from this.   Brexit Bites Read the ESRI’s latest research on Northern Ireland inputs to Republic of Ireland EU FTA (free trade agreement) exports commissioned by the Northern Ireland Department of the EconomyUK clinches historic trade deal with Japan. Worth £15.2 billion, the agreement is UK’s first major post-Brexit trade dealThe UK government have published their latest Customs, VAT and Excise UK transition legislation coming into effect from 1 January 2021  For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Sep 17, 2020

Developments of interest this week are outlined. ROIIAASA hosted an Audit Committee Breakfast on 10 September which included a a presentation by their Head of Operations, Lisa Campbell, on the regulatory framework in Ireland.UKThe new UK Stewardship Code took effect in January 2020 - to support prospective signatories in meeting the higher expectations set by the Code, the FRC will publish a Review of Early Reporting and is hosting a webinar to coincide with the launch of the Review on the morning of 30th September. EuropeanThe European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has published a ques­tion­naire and an in­vi­ta­tion for in­ter­views for preparers with active mergers and ac­qui­si­tions agendas or material goodwill amounts in their financial state­ments.The European Single Electronic Format requirements are coming into force. Accountancy Europe are hosting a webinar on 12th October to bring key stakeholders together for a lively debate to cover the issues around the preparation of ESEF files and providing assurance on their compliance. InternationalThe International Fed­er­a­tion of Ac­coun­tants (IFAC) has released 'Enhancing Corporate Reporting: The Way Forward' calling for the creation of a new sus­tain­abil­ity standards board that would exist alongside the IASB under the IFRS Foun­da­tion. 

Sep 17, 2020

 Our lives have changed a lot since March. The constant newsfeed draws our focus back to restrictions or bad news, making it difficult to see any positive outcomes, but there are many new behaviours we have developed that we don’t want to give up.   What are the lockdown habits you developed in the last few months? Maybe you tried and kept some of these: Enjoying an early morning walkHaving breakfast with your kidsExploring, and appreciating, your local areaGetting out in nature every dayEmbracing online learningTackling that big DIY project and much-avoided clear-outDeveloping new gardening skillsLearning to cook or bakeStarting to play an instrumentBinged on box setsCaught up with friends on ZoomAs new agile and flexible working arrangements will be key benefits for most people, but what smaller changes made to your day-to-day life are now non-negotiable? Are there any healthy habits you would like to keep?Family mealsThere was nowhere to rush off to, so families got to enjoy meals together again. This was certainly a novelty for anyone with teenagers at home or if a parent had a long commute. Sitting together as a family to enjoy a meal became the norm, so holding onto this habit would be beneficial for everyone.CommunityAs movements were restricted initially people explored their local community a bit more. No commute meant we saw neighbours we had not seen in a long time. There are many heart-warming stories of people helping each other within a community setting. This sense of community had been lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life and has found a welcome return and hopefully, we will keep and cherish it.Activity/HealthSome people binge-watched box sets, and some binge walked and did daily workouts online. Daily walks became very popular and we enjoyed nature again. Being active and having a healthy heart is always good, so hopefully, we will be able to carry these activities into the future.Self-careThe last few months have been a time of anxiety and stress, particularly if you have a vulnerable person in the family. To manage stress and anxiety many people took us meditation or yoga. Both are healthy skills with many benefits, so are always good to have and maintain.AppreciationAbove all else, the crisis has taught us appreciation. To take time to consider our surroundings, our family, friends, and appreciate all that is good in our lives. It has allowed us to reflect and consider changing things which were not so good for us.   By showing appreciation and reflecting we are more aware and conscious that others may need help or support, and this is the best habit we could take forward and keep.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:  casupport@charteredaccountants.ie

Sep 16, 2020
Brexit

“Get Brexit Ready Now” is the message that comes across loud and clear in recent guidance issued by the Irish Government. In today’s bulletin, read the Institute’s practical steps to help businesses across the island to get ready, read more about the launch of Revenue’s new customs declarations system, set to kick in November 2020. You can also read about the Irish Government’s new Brexit Readiness Action Plan. Prepare for no-deal Brexit immediately, say Chartered Accountants Ireland With all the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations, one thing businesses can be sure of; come 1 January 2021, the trading environment will be vastly different than the simplicity offered by the current EU Single Market. In a press statement released by the Institute, businesses on the island of Ireland are being warned that given the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations, they have no option but to assume the EU and the UK will fail to reach agreement by the end of the year and to prepare accordingly.  We have outlined eight practical measures that businesses on the island of Ireland should adopt now:Register online with HMRC or Revenue for an EORI number – you cannot trade without one.Contact your suppliers and logistics providers about the continuity of goods and services you need for trade.Check if your non-UK suppliers use the UK as a land-bridge and ascertain whether this will cost and cause delaysClassify the goods that you import or export for customs duties and know their originSeek out a customs agent or enhance in house customs knowledgeEnsure that you have a line of credit to deal with the customs duties that will arise on imports from the UK or Ireland.Check whether your current certifications, licences or authorisations will be valid post-Brexit.Use the Government supports available. You can read more about the press coverage of this statement in our “In the Media” section of the newsletter.Revenue launches new customs declarations system for imports from outside the EUFrom November 2020, Revenue will implement a new import system, called the “Automated Import System (AIS)”. This new system will be introduced to comply with the provisions of the Union Customs Code (UCC), and will ensure that businesses can import goods legally from outside the EU (including the UK) using the most efficient process possible.What will change?This system will replace the existing Automated Entry Processing (AEP) system, and eManifest systems for imports. One of the most major changes under this will be the change in the format of customs import declarations. The import Single Administrative Document (SAD), currently processed within the AEP system, will be replaced by new AIS declaration types. What will not change?Securing an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number continues to be of the utmost importance for traders if they wish to import goods into the EU. Exports will continue to be managed through the AEP system until 2023. However, from November 2020 onwards, if you import and export goods from and to the EU, you must use:AIS for your import declarationsandAEP for your export declarations. Businesses are urged to prepare for this change by making sure their customs software is up to date. Further information on preparing for this change can be found on Revenue’s website. Irish Government launches Brexit Readiness Action PlanThe Irish Government has launched the Brexit Readiness Action Plan, that sets out the steps that businesses and individuals need to take now to be ready for the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020. The Bill covers readiness measures at Governmental Level, and in key areas such as trade in goods, trade in services, connectivity, transport and north-south & east-west relations.The Government has also published the General Scheme of the 2020 Brexit Omnibus Bill which is intended to address a wide range of complex issues that arise post transition period. The Bill will be considered by the Houses of the Oireachtas later this term and the tax sections of the Bill are discussed in the Irish Tax News section of this bulletin.What is the Internal Market Bill, and why is it important?As reported first by the Financial Times, the UK government has released their widely discussed Internal Market Bill, which has gained quite a bit of traction lately as the legislation that will “eliminate the legal force of parts of the Withdrawal Agreement" in areas such as State aid and the new customs arrangements for Northern Ireland. The UK Internal Market Bill (explanatory notes) is draft legislation on how the UK wants to manage trade within its borders and territories after Brexit. This Bill has caused major frenzy last week as it essentially “rewrites” parts of the Withdrawal Agreement signed between the EU and the UK. The Bill covers key negotiation areas such as State aid, unfettered access to goods, spending power and devolution. However, two aspects of the Bill that affect Northern Ireland have caused much debate and commentary – State aid and customs. The Bill seeks to eliminate customs arrangements in Northern Ireland which could compromise the ability to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. The Bill would also give unilateral power to the UK government to change or disapply export rules for goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.  If implemented, this Bill would suggest that the EU would have little ability to influence State aid rules in the UK.  The UK government want to change rules to set aside EU law and ECJ law on State aid. Article 10 of the NI protocol sets out that EU State aid rules will apply in certain cases where relevant to trade in goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU.  The UK government is seeking to override this and instead ensure a uniform approach across the UK to the application of EU State aid law under the Protocol. The Internal Market Bill is undergoing its second reading in the House of Commons today. It’s implementation will be subject to debate and approval by both chambers of the UK parliament before it becomes law. The UK is however aiming to pass this Bill before the transition period deadline expires on 31 December 2020. What about the Withdrawal Agreement? The Withdrawal Agreement as it is currently written says that the UK must notify the EU of any State aid decisions that would affect Northern Ireland’s goods market. It also says that special customs arrangements apply in Northern Ireland to protect the EU market. If implemented, the draft Bill would be in clear breach of several provisions contained within the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland not least the good faith provisions. The EU have stated that the Bill is in defiance of the stated aim of the Bill, which is ultimately to protect the Good Friday (Belfast) AgreementInternational reactionsIn a statement following the “extraordinary” meeting of the EU – UK Joint Committee, Maros Sefcovic, the EU Vice President in charge of overseeing the implementation of the divorce deal released a hard-hitting statement which calls on the UK government to withdraw the conflicting measures from the draft Bill in by the end of the month at the latest. They have also concluded the statement by indirectly warning the UK government of the possibility of legal action as per the mechanisms and legal remedies in place in the Withdrawal Agreement to address violations of legal actions. US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has also released a statement on Brexit & a potential US – UK trade agreement, stating that “if the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US – UK trade agreement passing the (US) Congress”. For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Sep 14, 2020
Tax RoI

Amendments to income tax, capital tax, corporation tax and stamp duty legislation are reflected in Part 8 of the new Brexit Omnibus Bill.  These measures aim to ensure continuity of reliefs and allowances, as well as the retention of anti-avoidance provisions, in the aftermath of the transition period. The Bill also provides for the introduction of postponed accounting for VAT to alleviate cash flow impacts for business, and anti-avoidance amendments to Section 56 VAT relief authorisations. This new Brexit Omnibus Bill provides legislation to underpin the Government’s readiness measures at the end of the transition period. The Bill is intended to be consistent with and complementary to the steps underway at EU level to prepare for the UK’s withdrawal. The Bill may be updated or adjusted further in light of ongoing developments, including developments in Future Partnership Negotiations, any EU legislative measures which may be agreed, and any additional measures taken collectively by the EU27 Member States, including Ireland.

Sep 14, 2020
Tax

Set out is a selection of the key updates, announcements, developments, and guidance issued by HMRC in recent weeks to help businesses and individuals prepare for the post EU transition period. Note that some of the guidance still refers to a no-deal Brexit scenario. See our Brexit section also and HMRC’s most recent Brexit transition update.

Sep 14, 2020
Tax RoI

In November 2020, Revenue will implement a new national import system, called the “Automated Import System (AIS)”. This new system will comply with the provisions of the EU’s Union Customs Code (UCC), and will ensure that businesses can import goods legally from outside the EU (including the UK) using the most efficient process possible.  Read today’s Brexit Bulletin to find out more. 

Sep 14, 2020
Tax RoI

Revenue confirmed that it is in the process of sending letters to 90,000 businesses, as part of an intensified programme of engagement on Brexit readiness. The letters emphasise the importance of being Brexit ready come 1 January 2021 and outlines steps to follow to do so. Revenue are encouraging businesses to get ready now, as the reality of Brexit looms. Revenue’s latest press statement says that starting this week, Revenue have been sending the letters to businesses that are expected to be adversely impacted by Brexit in the Republic of Ireland. The letters set out the critical Brexit preparation steps businesses need to take now. Revenue have made available the checklist and readiness article for our members to access as well.   Revenue have also published updated guidance and key information on their dedicated Brexit section, where readers can find information on popular topics such as, registering for An Economic Operators Registration And Identification (EORI) number, payment of import duty, VRT Implications of trade with the UK post-Brexit. Lynda Slattery, Head of Revenue’s Brexit Policy Unit has commented saying “Revenue is urging all businesses that will be impacted by Brexit to get ready now. Business that have any Brexit Customs queries that are not answered by the material available on the Revenue website can email enquiries to brexitqueries@revenue.ie or contact 01-7383632 to discuss Brexit preparations.” Readers can also register for Revenue’s upcoming series of live streamed Brexit information sessions taking place on 5 and 6 October 2020. 

Sep 14, 2020