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Public Accounts Committee issues report on tackling online VAT fraud

The Public Account Committee have issued an update report on progress in tackling online VAT fraud. In October 2017 the Public Accounts Committee reported that UK businesses were being hit hard by overseas competitors selling through online platforms that did not register for VAT.

Since then HMRC have taken steps to improve the position – including working with online marketplaces. It is believe that 27,000 traders have become VAT registered in this period because of this new approach but compliance with UK VAT rules remains inconsistent. HMRC rules on sales through online marketplaces mean that overseas traders should register for UK VAT if their turnover exceeds £70,000 per year.

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Happy Independence Day from all at Burgess Hodgson

Did you know….

We provide advice and compliance services for U.S. Tax Returns to cover:

  • Preparation and submission of Federal and State Tax Returns
  • Foreign Bank Account Reports (FinCEN 114) and Foreign Asset Reporting 
  • Foreign reporting for ownership of non-U.S. corporations or partnership interests 
  • Filing under the IRS streamlined procedure
  • Advice regarding Double Taxation Relief

For more information or any enquiries please contact us at USTax@burgesshodgson.co.uk

 

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HMRC forms alliance with international tax enforcement bodies to tackle tax crime

HMRC have announced an alliance with the tax authorities in Canada, United States, Netherlands and Australia to tackle international tax crime and money laundering. The alliance, known as the J5, will share intelligence and expertise to target those involved in international tax crime. All 5 countries are considered to face similar threats such as organised crime groups and wealthy offshore tax evaders who are well resourced and have access to professional enablers to hide income and assets using the global financial system.

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HMRC statistics show total tax on Benefits in Kind increased to £3.3 billion

HMRC have published analysis of tax collection from Benefits in Kind which show that for the 2016/17 year the total tax raised has increased by 18% to £3.3 billion.

The main drivers of the increase is higher rates of tax on company cars, the increasing cost of private medical insurance and a tougher approach to the taxation of company vans. Company cars in particular have seen a significant increase with total tax collection increasing from £1.5 billion to £1.85 billion.

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BEWARE! HMRC-related Phishing Emails

Please be aware that HMRC will never send notifications by email for tax rebates, refunds, or personal or payment information.

Burgess Hodgson would like to make you aware that a large amount of HMRC related phishing or bogus emails are being sent at the moment. These are increasingly sophisticated/realistic and are obviously timed to coincide with the paper statements HMRC are currently sending out in the post.

If you receive one of these fraudulent emails DO NOT open any attachments or links within the email, as they may contain malicious software or direct you to a bogus website, and do not respond. You can notify HMRC by forwarding the message to: phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk. We recommend you delete the email once forwarded.

If you have any queries about your tax payments, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

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Supreme Court dismisses appeal against removal of CIS Gross Payment Status

A recent Supreme Court case (JP Whitter (Water Well Engineers) Ltd v HMRC) has upheld the right of HMRC to remove Gross Payment Status from sub-contractors under the CIS scheme.

Gross Payment Status allows sub-contractors to be paid without the deduction of tax – which can give a significant cash flow benefit. The rules regarding mean that Gross Payment Status is only available to sub-contractors with good tax compliance records – and can be withdrawn if compliance failures arise in future.

The recent case involved Gross Payment Status being withdrawn due to late payments of PAYE. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court where the judgement supported the right of HMRC to withdraw Gross Payment Status.

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HMRC update guidance for Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CSAC’s)

HMRC have re-issued guidance on Community Amateur Sports Clubs. The status has been available since 2002 but the HMRC guidance has been re-issued to clarify some issues around travel costs paid to players.

To qualify clubs have to meet various conditions – particularly in respect of the club being open for all to join. If clubs do qualify then the clubs can obtain tax reliefs broadly similar to those offered to registered charities – including the ability to receive donations under the Gift Aid scheme.

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Financial Reporting Council issues critical report on audit quality of ‘Big 4’ firms

The accountancy regulator has issued a critical report on the quality of audits conducted by the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms. The FRS found audit quality had declined across the 2016/17 period. The fall in quality is attributed due to a number of factors, including a failure to challenge management and show appropriate scepticism across their audits, poorer results for audits of banks.

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HMRC publish Fraud & Error Statistics for Tax Credits

HMRC have published statistics relating to the level of fraud and error in the Tax Credit system for 2016/17. Figures suggest that 4.9% of total entitlement is lost to fraud and error in favour of the claimants – estimated to equate to £1.32 bn. This is reduced from around 9% of the total in 2007/2008.

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HMRC Consultation on self-funded training costs closes

HMRC is considering relaxing rules regarding the tax relief on self-funded training. The current tax rules are very restrictive as to when tax relief is available for self-funded training. For the employed tax relief is only generally available where the training is a contractual requirement. For the self employed tax relief is available for enhancing additional skills but not developing new ones.

The early stage plan is for new legislation to be introduced to broaden and equalise the tax relief available for self-funded training costs.

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