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Audit

Chartered Accountants Ireland have published Technical Alert (TA) 03/2020 to provide a brief outline of the significant changes to this standard and to direct members to additional sources of information and guidance on the implementation of the revised ISA 570.  This TA covers both UK and Ireland versions of the revised standard.  The revised standards strengthen the work effort required by auditors in their evaluation of management’s going concern assessment and there are enhanced reporting requirements for the audit report. These revised standards are effective for audits of financial statements of entities, for periods commencing on or after 15 December 2019 and will have widespread impact on our members.  For many audits that makes December 2020 year ends the first application  

Nov 25, 2020
Audit

Chartered Accountants Ireland have published Technical Alert (TA) 02/2020 to provide a brief outline of the significant changes to this standard and to direct members to additional sources of information and guidance on the implementation of the revised ISA 540.  This includes discussion on the need for preparers of financial statements to engage with their auditors to discuss the accounting estimates included in the financial statements.  This TA covers both UK and Ireland versions of the revised standard.

Nov 25, 2020

Each year at our Charity Lunch, members generously donate thousands of pounds worth of toys to the Salvation Army and SVP's Family Appeal. This year, unfortunately our Charity Lunch cannot go ahead, but we are pleased to say that the Family Appeal is up and running. We hope you will still be able to support the appeal this year. Established in 1980 by The Salvation Army, the Family Appeal with St Vincent de Paul is the largest cross community Christmas appeal in Northern Ireland. As we all face a different kind of Christmas in 2020, your generosity will help families faced with making impossible choices. Whether you wish to donate £5 for a stocking filler, £10 towards a book so that a mum can read her child a bedtime story on Christmas Eve or £15 for a cosy Christmas coat, we are grateful for your donation and it will be split jointly between both charities. The Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul are committed to ensuring that no child in Northern Ireland wakes up without a gift under the tree on Christmas morning and your support is crucial in helping us achieve this. Please donate HERE Thank-you and Merry Christmas! Maeve Hunt Chair, Chartered Accountants Ulster Society    

Nov 25, 2020
Careers Development

What is mentoring? The concept of mentoring is not a new one. The term mentoring comes from Greek mythology and Homer’s Odyssey. When Odysseus went travelling, he asked his trusted friend, Mentor, to care for and guide his son into adulthood. Today the definition of mentoring on Wikipedia ‘is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.’ Essentially mentoring is an open dialogue which facilitates the transfer of knowledge and wisdom. It is typically a voluntary arrangement and the mentor is usually, but not always more senior. Reverse mentoring is now being increasingly recognised in terms of the benefits of having a younger person mentor a more senior professional, for example in the area of technology. In most cases mentoring takes the form of face-to-face conversations between two people and the discussions are shaped by the development needs of the mentee. The meetings allow not only the transfer of knowledge and experience but also of ideas, options and opportunities. Great possibilities can emerge from mentoring. The levels of interest in mentoring have been growing internationally. Companies and individuals alike have identified that they can benefit from the valuable learning and insights of those who have life and career experiences behind them. The benefits to be gained from mentoring have been experienced and recognised not just in the world of business but also in academia and education, sport, politics, medicine and many other areas. In the world of film and literature mentoring is often a key theme. ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ and ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ are just two films that come to mind. What’s in it for you? Mentoring is a two way learning process and there are immense benefits to be gained for both the mentee and the mentor. ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’ - Isaac Newton. Mentee perspective A mentor is someone whose hindsight can become your foresight. Mentoring will help you see things that you may not have recognised in yourself. This will enable you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and generally improve self-awareness. The quickest way to succeed is to learn from people who have been successful. Various studies have shown that being mentored is linked with achievement. The mentor can provide the mentee with valuable insights that they may otherwise not obtain. Mentees can gain an unbiased opinion and overview. This can be enlightening and help them to see themselves and their careers from a completely new perspective and enable them to unveil new possibilities. Mentoring provides the mentee with a forum in which to relax and open up whilst dealing with the real issues that are on their mind. These issues may not be addressed otherwise and major career ‘roadblocks’ can be removed. Mentoring is a powerful intervention. Many mentees report a boost in their confidence levels following a meeting with a mentor. This can in turn lead to an improvement in motivation and performance levels. If sustained, these new levels of drive may result in career progression or promotion. Mentees often gain an increased understanding of an area, sector or discipline. This new information allows them to consider new areas and explore other options, broadening their horizons and providing them with more possibilities. Mentor perspective There is a huge amount of satisfaction to be gained from the mentoring process and from being able to ‘give something back’. This can prove motivational and can reinvigorate the mentor’s own enthusiasm, recognising the difference they can make and the value they can add. The mentor too will learn from the process and it can often provide them with a new perspective on different areas, other generations or developments. It affords the mentor the opportunity to build on their experience and to enhance their communication and leadership qualities. The relationship often allows the mentor time to reflect on broader issues and to gain some perspective themselves. Choosing a mentor Choosing the right mentor is pivotal to the process. One option is to consider, ‘Who are the people in your life that could potentially act as your mentor? Ask yourself the following questions: Who has managed to get the very best out of me? Who has inspired and motivated me in my life? Who do I look up to, respect and trust? The other option is to consider using the structured Career Mentor Programme provided by Chartered Accountants Ireland. The Chartered Accountants Ireland Career Mentoring Programme The Career Mentor Programme was established by Chartered Accountants Ireland to provide members with access to a panel of carefully selected members. These members are a valuable resource due the experience, leadership skills and intellectual capital they have acquired throughout their varying careers. The role of the Career Mentor is to provide advice and guidance to other members in relation to their career development. The mentor has no obligation to assist mentees in job searches. The Career Mentoring Programme is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to career or professional development. It is an unofficial, voluntary, mutually-agreeable, and self-selected interaction between Chartered Accountants. It takes place when the mentee needs advice, guidance and support. The mentors are willing to freely share their own experiences and skills with the mentee. "It was a fantastic experience to speak to somebody with such knowledge, insight and passion for their role. He was extremely helpful and very generous with his time, giving me close to two hours. It really was very beneficial and something that I personally found very enlightening." - John Farrell Qualities to look for in a mentor The mentor you choose has to be right for you. Your choice of mentor can have a huge influence on how successful the relationship and process is for you and what benefit you obtain from it. Critical mentoring competencies include: Being a good listener and knowing how to give effective feedback. High levels of self-awareness Knowing how to help with goal setting and planning. Helping you to test the reality of your goals Knowing when to give and conversely when not to give advice. Providing constructive feedback and insights The ability to build trust, instil confidence and motivate people. Strategic questioning abilities. The ability to communicate professional experiences effectively. An effective mentor will: Offer challenging ideas and wise counsel Help build your self-confidence Offer inspiration Listen to career problems and offer encouragement Confront negative behaviours and attitudes Trigger self-awareness Provide knowledge of the career area sought Mutual Reward The most productive mentor/mentee relationships are those that result in a reciprocal exchange of knowledge. The mutual benefit results in a more equal and open relationship and this in turn can lead to a higher quality discussion, ideas and knowledge exchange. Conclusion Mentoring is a very positive and empowering process and experience which benefits not only the mentees but also the mentors and organisations. Mentoring is generally provided on a pro bono basis and provides the opportunity to give something back and create a legacy. Having a good mentor can significantly boost your career prospects and growth potential. So what are you waiting for? Find that mentor now!  

Nov 23, 2020

In his regular column in the Business Post, Dr Brian Keegan highlighted how VAT is going to be a significant cost for Northern Irish businesses and this cost will not be resolved by any trade deal between Britain and the EU. In his Irish Examiner column, Dr Keegan sets out why the transfer pricing provisions included in the Finance Bill are a misstep which will cause difficulties for Irish group companies, in what was an otherwise pro-business Bill.

Nov 23, 2020
Tax RoI

The Finance Bill 2020 Committee Stage debates commenced last Tuesday. Some amendments were agreed to in respect of the transfer pricing provisions in the Finance Bill. Further amendments to the Bill are expected to be tabled at Report Stage, which is scheduled to commence on Wednesday 2 December.  Further information is available on the Oireachtas website.

Nov 23, 2020
Tax RoI

Revenue updated its Information Booklet on the warehousing of COVID-19 tax debts and the reduced interest rate on other tax debts to include additional sections on income tax and TWSS warehousing information, as well as the extension date for phased payment arrangements (PPAs) for 2019 income tax. Debt warehousing - TWSS Section 3.3 of the Information Booklet provides details on the general terms of the scheme for TWSS debts. Amounts that an employer is obligated to refund to Revenue, be they overpayments, amounts not passed on to employees or amounts that the employer was not entitled to receive, can be warehoused. Employers will be notified of any TWSS overpayments through their ROS inbox in a Statement of Account for PAYE (EMP). Employers whose tax affairs are dealt with in Revenue’s Personal Division or Business Division can have their excess TWSS debts warehoused automatically. LCD and MED cases can apply to have their TWSS overpayments warehoused. Current taxes must be maintained for the duration of the warehouse period and for any subsequent arrangement period. Failure to meet current taxes will result in the warehousing facility being withdrawn. Tax clearance will not be affected where a warehousing arrangement is in place. Refunds and repayments of tax arising in ‘warehoused’ COVID-19 periods will not be offset against the warehoused debts, unless the employer chooses to offset such repayments. Debt warehousing – income tax Section 3.2 of the Information Booklet provides details on the general terms of the scheme for income tax debts. A self-assessed taxpayer can warehouse their 2019 income tax balancing payment and 2020 preliminary tax debts on filing the 2019 income tax return. A declaration must be made to Revenue by the taxpayer that their total income for 2020 is expected to be at least 25 percent less than total income for 2019. Where the filing of the 2020 income tax return shows the taxpayer did not meet the requirement for a 25 percent reduction in income, the debt will be removed from warehousing, and the due date will revert to 31 October 2020 for both the 2019 and 2020 income tax returns and full statutory interest will apply. Current taxes must be maintained for the duration of the warehouse period and for any subsequent arrangement period. Failure to meet current taxes will result in the warehouse 10 facility being withdrawn. Tax clearance will not be affected where a warehousing arrangement is in place. Refunds and repayments of tax arising in ‘warehoused’ COVID-19 periods will not be offset against the warehoused debts, unless the taxpayer chooses to offset such repayments. PPAs for 2019 income tax Taxpayers who are unable to warehouse 2019 Income Tax liabilities as they did not meet 2019 preliminary tax rules, may apply for a phased payment arrangement to discharge this liability and will be afforded the concessional rate of 3 percent on projected interest over the lifetime of the PPA. To avail of this measure, taxpayers must agree the phased payment arrangement with Revenue by 10 December 2020. Taxpayers should apply online via ROS for a PPA. Further information is included in the Information Booklet.

Nov 23, 2020
Tax RoI

Revenue updated the CRSS guidelines last Thursday.  CRSS guidelines Section 3.2 Step2: Making a claim for CRSS There are 4 steps to making a claim; Step 1 – Details of the claim. The following information will be required; - Business Premises (in which a relevant business activity is carried) in respect of which a claim is made, CRSS Guidelines – 19 November 2020 10 - Claim period start week, - Claim period end week. Step 2 – Provide bank details. Step 3 – Summary and declaration. A person making a claim will be required to make the relevant declarations. Step 4 – Sign and submit. Section 4.1.1 What is a business premises? Boats have been included in the examples on a business premises that would not meet the definition of a business premises for the purposes of the CRSS. Section 4.3.4 Seasonal businesses The information on a relevant business activity which is “seasonal” in nature qualifying under the CRSS has been expanded upon. Section 5 How to determine a claim period The new section 5 provides details on: the significance of a claim period; what a claim period is; claim periods commencing between 13 October and 16 November 2020; claim period commencing from 17 November 202l; and an overview of Regulations in operation since CRSS announced on 13 October. Section 7.3.2 Individual clawback – Case IV of Schedule D The unauthorised amount will not be subject to PRSI or USC. Section 7.4 Has the taxpayer a right to appeal? Where a Revenue officer determines that a person is not a qualifying person for the purposes of the scheme, the Revenue officer will notify that person in writing. The person can appeal the determination made by Revenue within 30 days of receiving the notice. Where an Appeals Commissioner determines that a person is a qualifying person for the purposes of the scheme, the eight week time period (See Section 3) for making a claim will start from the day the determination is issued by the Appeal Commissioners. New Appendix II eClaim Screens This new appendix provides screen shots of ROS screens when moving through the various steps for making a claim. New Appendix III Public Health Restrictions This new appendix provides details on the Regulations in operation since the scheme commenced and includes an indicative list of the businesses and sectors which are subject to Government restrictions under levels 1 – 5 of the framework for restrictive measures, which can be used as a general guide.

Nov 23, 2020
Tax RoI

Revenue confirmed that Business Relief will not be clawed back where, because of COVID-19 restrictions, a business ceases to trade temporarily during the relevant 6-year period. To avoid a clawback of Business Relief, a gifted or inherited business must continue to trade for the period of 6 years after the valuation date of the gift or inheritance. Revenue now confirm a concessional treatment for businesses affected by COVID-19. The normal practice of not imposing a clawback where a business ceases to trade because of bankruptcy or bona fide winding up on grounds of insolvency will continue to apply.  This concession is detailed on section 6 of Revenue’s webpage – COVID-19 information and advice for taxpayers and agents.

Nov 23, 2020
Tax RoI

Revenue updated the TDM – VAT Treatment of the Hiring of Means of Transport - to include additional information on the short-term hire of passenger vehicles. Updates have also been made to the TDM – AEP System Payment Methods. A new TDM has also been published to give an overview of the new VAT eCommerce rules effective on 1 July 2021. VAT treatment of the Hiring of Means of Transport The guidance in the TDM on the VAT Treatment of the Hiring of Means of Transport has been updated to improve readability and to include additional information on the short term hire of passenger vehicles (paragraph 7.2.1). Paragraph 7.2.1 Passenger vehicles, now reads: “Passenger vehicle means a vehicle designed and constructed, or adapted, for the conveyance of persons by road. It is important to note that vehicles designed and constructed, or adapted, for the carriage of goods by road, with or without passenger capacity, are not considered to be a passenger vehicle for the purposes of the application of the reduced rate of VAT to a short-term hire. The hire of a goods vehicle is subject to the standard rate of VAT.” For more information see Revenue eBrief No.206/20. Import Duties Payment Methods The Tax and Duty Manual AEP System Payment Methods has been renamed to Import Duties Payment Methods. Details in relation to making VRT payments using ROS or myAccount have been included. Links to the amended/updated eCustoms accounts forms have also been included.  For more information see Revenue eBrief No.207/20. VAT eCommerce Rules - 1 July 2021 The Tax and Duty Manual VAT eCommerce Rules - 1 July 2021 has been created to give an overview of the new VAT eCommerce rules that will come into effect on 1 July 2021. Revenue intend to provide more detailed guidance on the new VAT eCommerce rules in due course. For more information see Revenue eBrief No.208/20.

Nov 23, 2020
Tax RoI

Revenue updated the TDM -  Part 47-06-01 - Return Filing Dates – Forms 11 and CT1: Surcharge for Late Filing; Surcharge where there is a delay in uploading iXBRL financial statements through ROS. The manual now reflects the extended date of 10 December 2020 for the electronic filing of Form 11 for 2019. Information has also been added on the suspension of the surcharge for the late filing of CT1 returns and iXBRL financial statements due from 23 March 2020 onwards, which applies until further notice.  The CCAB-I asked Revenue to provide clarification on the iXBRL surcharge suspension at a recent TALC meeting.  In relation to late filing of CT1 returns the manual reads: The application of a surcharge for the late filing of CT1 returns for accounting periods ending 30 June 2019 onwards – that is, CT1 returns due from 23 March 2020 onwards – is suspended until further notice. In relation to late filing for iXBRL financial statements the manual reads: NB - The application of a surcharge for late iXBRL financial statements for accounting periods ending 31 March 2019 onwards – that is, CT1 returns due from 23 March 2020 onwards – is suspended till further notice. However, taxpayers and agents should still follow the procedure below to advise Revenue of any delay in uploading an iXBRL file. The procedures to follow in relation to late filings of iXBRL financial statements are sent out on page 4 of the manual.

Nov 23, 2020
Tax RoI

Revenue issued letters to 100,000 taxpayers last week confirming their tax debts, totalling €2.2 billion, are eligible for warehousing. As noted in Tax News last week, these letters take two formats. One detailing that all is in order, another detailing outstanding information which needs to be provided to Revenue within 28 days. We understand that outstanding information includes statistical returns such as the Form 46G and the Return of Trading Details, which Revenue are now requesting to be filed by taxpayers seeking to access the Debt Warehousing Scheme. Businesses who have not received a letter and who wish to avail of the Debt Warehousing Scheme are advised to contact the Collector-General’s office to apply for the scheme. Revenue is reminding businesses and self-assessed taxpayers it is possible to warehouse VAT, PAYE, TWSS and income tax debts where the relevant eligibility criteria is met. Further information is available in the Revenue press release.

Nov 23, 2020