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200,000 sign petition calling for banks’ tax transparency

Accountancy Age

BANKS SHOULD declare their taxes on a country-by-country basis, according to more than 200,000 EU citizens who have signed a petition to the European Union. Avaaz, the lobby group conducting the campaign, said on its website that bankers are “using complex accounting tricks to avoid paying tax like the rest of us, and they’re not even required to tell us where their money is”. It added “big banks are hiding billions…
Read more here: Accountancy Age

Reduced VAT rate not permitted for energy-saving materials

The European Commission (EC) has referred the UK to the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) over the country’s reduced VAT rate on the supply and installation of energy-saving materials – which the EC believes goes beyond what is allowed under the VAT directive.
Member states are permitted to apply reduced rates to the supply of goods and services used in the housing sector, as long as it is part of a social policy.
Energy-saving materials can be covered by the provision if they meet certain conditions, such as being are used for social policy purposes in the construction, renovation and alteration of housing. A reduced rate may not be applied to energy-saving materials specifically.
Read more here: Taxation

Reduced VAT rate not permitted for energy-saving materials

The European Commission (EC) has referred the UK to the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) over the country’s reduced VAT rate on the supply and installation of energy-saving materials – which the EC believes goes beyond what is allowed under the VAT directive.
Member states are permitted to apply reduced rates to the supply of goods and services used in the housing sector, as long as it is part of a social policy.
Energy-saving materials can be covered by the provision if they meet certain conditions, such as being are used for social policy purposes in the construction, renovation and alteration of housing. A reduced rate may not be applied to energy-saving materials specifically.
Read more here: Taxation

Institutes amend RTI guidance

Accountancy Age

A JOINT BODY of accounting institutes has released updated guidance on real-time PAYE for tax practitioners. Representatives of the ACCA, ATT, CIoT, ICAEW and ICAS have drawn up changes to letters of engagement and payroll services advice in order to help practitioners prepare for the shift to the new system. In particular, guidance pertaining to the cancellation of contracts and consumer protection was also amended. Real-time information, to be rolled…
Read more here: Accountancy Age

Tribunal shuts down £156m avoidance scheme

Accountancy Age

A TAX AVOIDANCE SCHEME ring-fencing some £156m from the public purse has been shut down after a first-tier tribunal ruling. The scheme, devised by NT [No Tax] Advisors and sold by Dominion Fiduciary Serves Group, had 305 users. It was challenged by HM Revenue & Customs investigators after they identified a series of financial transactions involving loan notes worth £6 million which were intended to exploit the tax rules on stock lending. …
Read more here: Accountancy Age

PAC not giving taxman enough credit – ICAEW

Accountancy Age

THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE’s assessment of the role played by HM Revenue & Customs and other areas of government in the fight against tax avoidance is “both unfair and somewhat unrealistic”, according to the ICAEW. The publication of the committee’s Tax avoidance: tackling marketed avoidance schemes report saw chair and Labour MP Margaret Hodge claim the taxman is “losing the game of cat and mouse” to clients and promoters of tax avoidance schemes…
Read more here: Accountancy Age

Typical caller left hanging by HMRC for two-and-a-half mins

The average waiting time for taxpayers calling the Revenue in January was almost two-and-a-half minutes, according to the Exchequer secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke.
The MP told the Commons that two minutes and 23 seconds was the typical duration in which a caller had to hang on the line before speaking to an adviser, having selected an option from the interactive voice recognition (IVR) message menu. It did not include the time spent listening to the automated messages.
“HMRC are planning to introduce a target of answering 80% of calls within five minutes from April 2013. This will include the time spent by customers [sic] waiting to talk to an adviser and the time spent listening to IVR messages,” said Gauke.

Read more here: Taxation

In brief: charities online, PAYE tools…

Charities online
HMRC are in the process of writing to 110,000 charities and community amateur sports clubs to tell them that from 22 April they will be able to make repayment claims electronically through the department’s website. The new service, called charities online, is to be introduced in response to feedback from charities.

PAYE tools
The latest updates to the traditional basic PAYE tools, which will allow employers to submit their employer annual return forms P14 and P35, are now available.
Read more here: Taxation

Defaulters’ details revealed online for first time

Tax evaders are being named by HMRC for the first time online. The Revenue has published a first batch of information about “deliberate defaulters” on its website, as officials make use of powers granted by Finance Act 2009, s 94 to warn taxpayers against neglecting their obligations.
The move is also intended to encourage non-compliant individuals and businesses to be cooperative at the beginning of an investigation: a full disclose will ensure personal details will not be made public.
Read more here: Taxation