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Archive for August, 2016

What Brexit means for accounting, employment and taxation law

Friday, August 19th, 2016

eu flag  brexit

WITH new UK prime minister Theresa May apparently determined to fulfill the wishes of the Brexit referendum result backing Britain leaving the European Union, what EU accounting and taxation laws will ultimately remain on the British statute? The PM has made it clear she recognises that a key force behind the ‘leave’ vote was a dislike of unrestricted EU immigration into Britain, and should she satisfy that demand, the prospect of the UK becoming a non-EU member of the European Economic Area (EEA) will become most unlikely.

Non-EU EEA states such as Norway and Iceland have to accept EU immigration (with some recourse to emergency controls in cases of social unrest) in return for admission to the EU single market for industrial goods and services, which of course includes accountancy. No such admission to the EU single market for services exists for Switzerland, which retains strong links with the EU, but which is also mulling EU immigration controls. So single market laws laying down rules on accounting, bookkeeping and company formation may not apply in Britain, assuming it will quit the EU, which could well happen within 2019 under the EU’s article 50 schedule for departing member states.


Jane Ellison takes over from Gauke as ‘tax minister’

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

HMRC banknotes

A new ‘minister for tax’ has been appointed following the government reshuffle by new prime minister Theresa May. Jane Ellison, Conservative  MP for Battersea, has been named financial secretary to the Treasury – under which tax policy is likely to come under her remit. Ellison has served as public health minister for the past three years. She takes on the Treasury-based remit from David Gauke, following a successful term in which he has been well-received by the tax profession for his efforts. He steps up to chief secretary to the Treasury, a role that will see him support new chancellor Philip Hammond.


Calls to end inheritance tax grow as it snatches £4.7bn

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

HMRC letter / couple going through documents

PRESSURE for inheritance tax to be abolished have been increased after new figures revealed that the tax man took an extra 20 per cent in profits from death last year.

According to HMRC £4.7 billion was collected in 2015/16 up from £3.8 the year before, the biggest rise in the last five years.  According to the figures the amount collected has risen almost £2 billion since 2011 the first full years the Tories were in power despite modest reforms to the collection regime.  And with early signs that the decision to leave the EU is going to create an economic and property boom, concerns have been raised that more people will be dragged into paying the iniquitous tax despite Government changes to the threshold. The Daily Express has been running a crusade to end inheritance tax and allow people to pass on their hard earned savings to their children.  According to investment specialists Hargreaves Lansdown the booming housing market is likely to have increased the percentage of property as an overall proportion of each estate, particularly in London and the south east but also in large parts of the north of England and Midlands.  The company -which provides advice on legally avoiding inheritance tax – has pointed out that in 2012/13 17,917 estates paid an average £175,000 of inheritance tax while 3.1 per cent of all deaths pay ended up being dragged into the levy.


U.K. economy grows 0.4% in Q1, business investment falls

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

© Reuters. U.K. GDP unrevised as expected – As expected, growth in the U.K. economy in the first three months of the 2016 went unrevised, although business investment suffered a downward revision in the final estimate released on Thursday. In a report, the Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in the first quarter, unchanged in this final estimate and in line with expectations. The U.K.’s economy grew by 0.6% in the preceding quarter. Year-over-year, U.K. economic growth grew 2.0% in the three months ended March 31, also in line with forecasts and unchanged from the prior estimate. The U.K. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2015. Meanwhile, business investment fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in the first quarter, below forecasts for the prior drop of 0.5% to be revised upwards to a 0.4% decline. That followed a decline of 2.0% in the preceding quarter.


Cut stamp duty in half, axe buy-to-let hike, and relax rules so developers can build ‘taller and denser’, campaign group urges

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Time for cuts: Stamp duty should be immediately cut in half and eventually abolished, The Taxpayers' Alliance Claims

Stamp duty rates should be cut by 50% now and later abolished, group say

April’s 3% stamp duty hike will hurt tenants facing rent rises, group claim

Declassify green belt land and build ‘taller, denser’ homes, report suggests 

Stamp duty on homes should be slashed in half and eventually abolished, a campaign group is urging. Blasting stamp duty as a ‘badly-designed tax which gums up property markets’, The Taxpayers’ Alliance suggested that it should gradually be phased out. It added that the extra three per cent stamp duty surcharge for buy-to-let and additional homes in particular should be abolished, warning that it will drive up rents for tenants as investors pass on costs. Declassifying some green belt land, while allowing ‘taller, denser construction’ in urban areas will also be necessary to resolve Britain’s housing shortage, a report by the campaign group claims. Describing stamp duty as a ‘disastrous, unfair and unnecessary tax’, the report suggests the additional stamp duty hike will exacerbate supply shortages and drive up rents for tenants. Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘For decades politicians have failed to tackle the root causes of the housing crisis: a chronic lack of supply.  ‘What’s more, stamp duty is still punitively high and gimmicky tweaks to the tax system will ultimately end up penalising tenants and increasing rents.


Owen Smith would slap wealth tax on top earners and scrap cuts to inheritance and capital gains levies if he became PM

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Owen Smith

Jeremy Corbyn’s rival tried to seize some of the leader’s socialist ground with the idea, which would also end cuts to inheritance levies

Labour leadership hopeful Owen Smith would slap a wealth tax on top earners and scrap cuts to inheritance and capital gains levies if he became Prime Minister, he revealed. Jeremy Corbyn ’s rival for the top job vowed to raid the biggest wallets as he tried to seize the socialist mantle from the current party boss. Mr Smith also pledged to axe the Department for Work and Pensions and replace it with a Ministry for Labour and a Department for Social Security. But he faced sexism claims after using his speech to say Labour should take on Theresa May and “smash her back on her heels”. Questioned over his language, the former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary insisted: “We should be smashing the Tories back on their heels. “Their ideals, their values – let’s smash them, let’s get Labour in. It’s rhetoric, I don’t literally want to smash Theresa May back on her heels. “I’m not advocating violence in any shape or form.”


‘Abolish IMMEDIATELY’ Calls for inheritance tax to be SCRAPPED intensify

Thursday, August 18th, 2016


CAMPAIGNERS last night renewed calls for inheritance tax to be scrapped after it emerged nearly 30,000 families face huge bills because of simple “bad luck”.

The “unlucky generation” of families are among those paying inheritance tax in the two years from April 2015 who will miss out on new legal changes because tax inspectors are taking too long to implement them. While some campaigners called for the 28,000 families affected to be compensated by the Government, others claimed the situation showed it was time for the duty to be scrapped altogether. Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Inheritance Tax is a pernicious tax which hits families at the worst possible time.


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