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16 February 2017

Could blockchain be what the tax world is waiting for?

By Mark Schofield There’s a buzz around blockchain technology - a distributed ledger that allows anything of value to be traded securely, transparently and without the risk of tampering. It’s being used in all sorts of ways, such as tracking diamonds through the supply chain, and timestamping clinical trials to...

13 February 2017

Government announces £15m backing investment in science, research and innovation. Are you accessing funding for your R&D activities?

By Rachel Moore and Samantha Cunnell How do businesses fund their investment in emerging technologies? The Business Secretary last week announced £15 million government backing for 125 innovative research and development projects across the UK. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is going to be established as a strategic body which...

10 February 2017

The UK Government's Brexit White Paper - What does it mean for international trade?

By Matthew Clark, Head of UK Customs, Excise & International Trade Team The UK Government has released a Brexit White Paper - its official policy document setting out its Brexit policy plans. This paper follows on from the Prime Minister, Theresa May's Lancaster House Brexit speech on the 17 January...

25 January 2017

Over 33% of board rooms are internationally diverse – but do organisations understand the tax compliance obligations for their boards?

By Charlene Wong Min In today’s globalised world, it's not surprising, more than 1 in 3 UK boardrooms are internationally diverse and this trend is on the up. The appointment of board directors who are non-resident in the UK can create complex reporting and compliance requirements for both the company...

23 January 2017

The UK to become a tax haven? What the new political era really means for tax rates

By Stella Amiss It’s unsurprising that tax is seen as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations. Governments around the world have long used tax as a lever to attract business and investment. Some level of tax competition arguably gives people and businesses choice, and incentivises governments not to tax or...

13 January 2017

PwC/GE tax deal - a game changer for the way businesses use consultants

By Mark Schofield Should we manage our tax affairs in-house or use consultants? For big businesses, it’s usually a bit of both, with large in-house teams supplemented by advisers who can give an external perspective and specialist expertise. But the deal we signed this week with General Electric marks a...

22 December 2016

The contribution made by big businesses to the UK public finances – in taxes and more

By John Kagiri For several years now, the amount of tax paid by big companies has come under enhanced public scrutiny and debate with some companies’ tax affairs being the subject of media and Government attention. In March this year, I joined PwC UK on secondment from the Uganda office...

15 December 2016

Explaining tax

By Janet Kerr My children were in primary school when I first started working on the Total Tax Contribution (TTC) project for the 100 Group of Finance Directors. That was twelve years ago and they’ve left home now. But each year that we work on the TTC project, I’m fascinated...

12 December 2016

Beyond paying taxes: corporates have the potential to play an important role in tax system reform

By Amal Larhlid The joint PwC and World Bank Paying Taxes study encourages governments around the world to reform and improve their tax systems. This year we included an article in the Paying Taxes publication entitled: A Role for Corporates in Tax System Reform. We interviewed a number of representatives...

07 December 2016

Technology easing the burden of indirect tax compliance

The global tax landscape is in a period of continuous change and indirect tax has seen a rise in complexity. The changes in reporting frequency and compliance requirements mean it can be difficult to maintain control and ensure you have complete visibility over your indirect tax position. Along with these...

02 December 2016

Building Public Trust Awards - Rewarding good practice in tax reporting

By Tiffany Outred, PwC apprentice In July this year I joined the firm on the Higher Apprenticeship scheme as part of the Total Tax Contribution (TTC) & Tax Transparency team. I had been aware that in recent years, tax has gained more and more interest from a range of stakeholders...

28 November 2016

Tax Transparency: to whom and for what purpose?

By Janet Kerr Corporate reporting in the UK is moving towards greater transparency (the Gender Pay Gap, the Modern Slavery Act) and the march towards greater tax transparency has not slowed this year. In the 10 or so years that I’ve been working in the area of tax transparency, the...

22 November 2016

How tax can fuel Yorkshire growth

What role can the tax system play in re-balancing growth from south to north? That is a key question we recently put to our 'employee jury' of some 70 staff across Yorkshire, who heard from public and private sector leaders at an event held in our Leeds office. The event...

Enough tinkering, now is the time for a more radical approach to tax and social policy

By Stella Amiss If you are the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the task of making the economy more resilient, if not watertight, then what do you do with tax policy right now? Do you use this unique opportunity to reset policy, or do you focus on uncertainty and...

17 November 2016

UK now number 10 in the Paying Taxes ranking

By Neville Howlett Having worked with the World Bank on the Paying Taxes study (part of the Bank’s Doing Business project) since its inception over ten years ago, it has been interesting to see the UK do relatively well and to improve its position from 2012 when its ranking was...

07 November 2016

VAT and pensions - Are you on the road to a VAT-efficient destination?

By Dan Evans For most people reading this article, considering our personal pension position is something which is complex and can be very stressful. Knowing how much to put away, how to invest the amounts, whether we will have sufficient amounts to provide for us after retirement and trying to...

10 October 2016

Funding Blocksell.com: Making the most of R&D

By Rachel Moore Blockchain technology is developing at lightning speed – so fast that many believe that within five years it will have transformed business, financial services and many other areas of our lives. But this stage of blockchain’s evolution is an expensive, competitive one. Many companies and entrepreneurs are...

04 October 2016

How Blockchain will disrupt Tax - the experts decide

By Mark Schofield Blockchain is being hailed as the biggest digital development since the Internet. Much has been written about how the technology - which allows anything of value to be traded securely through a tamperproof log of events - will transform business. Less has been said about how it...

30 September 2016

PwC comments on the first detail of the business rates revaluation 

By Phil Vernon The Valuation Office Agency releases draft Rateable Values for 1.94 million commercial properties today. This is the first revaluation for seven years and will include changes to the rating system, including a new appeals system.   Phil Vernon, Head of Rating at PwC said:  “Businesses now have...

26 September 2016

Is Patent Box achieving its ambitions?

By Angela Browning Patent Box was introduced in April 2013 to incentivise and reward the active exploitation of patented technology in the UK. This is essentially to promote economic activity and employment. It effectively provides a 10% tax rate for UK companies that are exploiting patented IP rights.   HMRC...

20 September 2016

Are you missing out on R&D tax credits?

By Rachel Moore The latest statistics from HMRC show companies are increasingly turning to Research & Development (R&D) tax credits to help fund R&D activities. Just as a reminder of what this is all about, companies that are engaged in qualifying R&D activities can claim tax reliefs or credits on...

13 September 2016

Employee Benefit Trusts loans and HMRC – taking stock

By Jonathan Preshaw Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) arrangements have been widely used for many years as a way to motivate employees. HMRC letters HMRC have recently issued further guidance on settlement of tax liabilities associated with EBT’s, including a deadline by which settlement is to be agreed. Additionally, many businesses...

05 September 2016

Tech breakthroughs drive business success - but how are you funding your tech investment?

Technology is transforming the worlds of work and leisure – and even transforming itself - and PwC recently released a Tech breakthrough report revealing the top eight essential emerging technologies. While these key emerging technologies, such as Blockchain, artificial intelligence and 3D printing, may not be a surprise to many...

09 August 2016

What are the UK CEOs’ thoughts on tax for the year ahead?

By Andrew Packman In a recent blog on our 19th CEO survey, PwC’s Global Head of Tax, Rick Stamm, looked at the role that tax can play in meeting the ever-increasing expectations that stakeholders have for business around a broad range of issues. PwC’s CEO survey shows that for many...

21 July 2016

HMRC and legacy remuneration tax arrangements – the changing landscape

By Jessica McLellan Recent years have meant a sea change in terms of HMRC’s approach to remuneration tax arrangements such as Employee Benefit Trusts and contractor loan schemes, resulting in new legislation, settlement opportunities as well as HMRC’s preparation of key test cases for Tribunal. The last 6 years have...

15 July 2016

Brexit: Is Cutting Corporation Tax the Right Way to Go?

By Kevin Nicholson Now we have a new Chancellor, it's unclear whether recently announced plans to cut corporation tax further will continue. Does this matter? Certainly the headline rate of tax sends a powerful message internationally. Businesses tell us that tax is an important consideration as they weigh up where...

Why governments are excited about blockchain?

By Justin Blackburn John Steveni and Paul Smith blogged recently about the impact that blockchain will have on the way we do business, and in particular on the global tax system. It’s likely that blockchain will impact on many areas of our lives but one area that’s being watched with...

05 July 2016

Indirect tax implications of a Brexit vote on VAT

By Martin Blanche and Johnathan C Davies As we briefly mentioned in our last post on the indirect tax implications of Brexit, the wider outcomes of the referendum vote to leave the EU are yet to be revealed it is likely that VAT will be impacted. As a tax driven...

01 July 2016

Blockchain – will it revolutionise tax?

Posted by John Steveni and Paul Smith A few weeks ago, construction workers in London unearthed hundreds of Roman writing tablets, including some of the earliest known examples of receipts and IOUs. The find reminded us that, essentially, the way in which we record transactions has barely changed in 2,000...

29 June 2016

What could Brexit mean for UK innovation incentives?

By Angela Browning Many companies have asked me over the past week what Brexit could mean for UK innovation incentives like R&D credits, patent box, EU and national grant funding. Whilst the easy, obvious answer is that it is too early to say, I could go further and say that,...

22 June 2016

Tax risk: Why tax and risk need to speak the same language

By Giovanni Bracco and Robert Gooding You only have to glance at the newspapers in recent months to realise that tax has become a high profile issue. The tax paid by corporates in particular has become a topic of interest, and not just to HM Revenue & Customes (HMRC). The...

13 June 2016

Money for nothing: why pension funds are paying too much tax

By Hazell Hallam Too few pension funds are giving sufficient priority to operational tax risk management, new research from PwC reveals. As a result, many are missing out on enhanced investment returns In theory, the majority of pension funds do not pay tax; in practice, many funds’ investment returns may...

03 June 2016

Cross border trade online: how Brussels plans to change the rules

Should online retailers be able to stop someone from overseas buying from their site? On 25 May 2016 the European Commission set out proposals to ensure people and businesses can seamlessly transact online with fair competition and protection, wherever they're based. The vision is for a Digital Single Market. But...

31 May 2016

Tax Transparency - To whom and for what purpose?

The UK’s biggest companies remain under pressure to respond to the various stakeholders who are interested in their tax affairs. This increased attention on tax is influenced by a number of factors, including media headlines, changes in regulation and reviews into public disclosure by the Financial Reporting Council. All of...

17 May 2016

Nobody puts operational tax in the corner

PwC’s annual asset management tax conference, held in London in May, discussed the future for asset management in a challenging period of regulatory change and market development – and, in particular, what the role of the asset management tax function will look like in that future. It is four years...

16 March 2016

Allowance for micro entrepreneurs

By John Steveni The new £1,000 allowance for micro entrepreneurs is aimed partly to clear up the confusion around what tax must be declared on peer-to-peer income. The allowance isn't restricted to the so called sharing economy, and will apply to all manner of enterprise, whether using your car to...

New measures on tax administration

By Simon Wilks Although the Budget was wide ranging and contained a lot of measures, there were few entirely new measures in the area of tax administration. However, there is renewed focus on avoidance and evasion with combined measures due to produce £12bn yield by 2020. Much of this relates...

Support for small businesses and entrepreneurs

By Natalie Langley The Chancellor announced his intention to put “rocket boosters on the back of enterprise”. It's fantastic to see support for small businesses and entrepreneurs. They account for a significant amount of employment and innovation in the UK and haven't received much attention in recent Budgets. The potential...

Significant change to stamp duty

By Paul Emery Today’s budget represents the most significant change to stamp duty on commercial property for a decade. While changing from a slab to progressive structure will be welcomed, reducing distortion around the bands, the top rate rising to 5% could cause headaches for the higher end of the...

Personal tax measures overview

By Iain McCluskey and Richard Harryman The Chancellor walked a steady line over a fiscal and political tightrope today as he delivered his 2016 Budget. Bound by a commitment to a surplus by 2020, and tethered to his manifesto promise not to increase headline tax rates, his moves could be...

21 February 2017

PPF opens consultation on levy rule for new arrangements with no substantive sponsor

The Pension Protection Fund has today (20 February 2017) published its consultation document on its proposed levy rule for schemes without a substantive sponsor, for inclusion in the 2017/18 Levy Determination. Deadline for comments is 6 March 2017.

20 February 2017

Consultation on defined benefit pension schemes: security and sustainability

The Department for Work and Pensions are seeking views on a number of suggested measures to help ensure security and sustainability in defined benefit (DB) pension schemes. It covers a number of areas across: funding and investment; employer contributions and affordability; member protection; and consolidation of DB schemes. The deadline...

Financial Reporting Council to review the UK Corporate Governance Code

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has recently announced plans for a fundamental review of the UK Corporate Governance Code. This will take account of work done by the FRC on corporate culture and succession planning, and the issues raised in the Government’s Green Paper and the BEIS Select Committee inquiry....

EU Parliament toughens stance on public country-by-country reporting

The European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has published a draft report putting forward a more stringent version of the Commission's proposal to introduce mandatory public country-by-country reporting for multinational groups. The report recommends a turnover threshold of €40 million for applying the reporting requirements, rather than the...

HMRC consults on proposed new sanctions to tackle tobacco duty evasion and other excise duty evasion

HMRC is consulting until 10 May 2017 on a group of new sanctions, including: a 100% penalty multiplier for lost revenue from repeat offences; a new civil penalty for fiscal-mark wrongdoings; reducing the threshold for publishing details of deliberate defaulters to £15,000 in overall lost revenue where the excise wrongdoing...

Simplifying the administration of Alcohol Duty - consultation

A consultation on proposed changes to the administration procedures for those who produce, process or store alcohol subject to excise duty. The consultation closes on 26 April 2017.

QROPS Online Service closing in April 2017

The online service for managing qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS) will close on 5 April 2017. Managers and administrators of pension schemes must report information to HM Revenue and Customs about overseas pension schemes, including transfers to and payments from QROPS. From 6 April 2017, you’ll need to use...

14 February 2017

QROPS Online Service closing in April 2017

The online service for managing qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS) will close on 5 April 2017. Managers and administrators of pension schemes must report information to HM Revenue and Customs about overseas pension schemes, including transfers to and payments from QROPS. From 6 April 2017, you’ll need to use...

13 February 2017

EU Parliament toughens stance on public country-by-country reporting

The European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has published a draft report putting forward a more stringent version of the Commission's proposal to introduce mandatory public country-by-country reporting for multinational groups. The report recommends a turnover threshold of €40 million for applying the reporting requirements, rather than the...

02 February 2017

Scottish Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee call for evidence on the gender pay gap

Scotland's Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee is holding an inquiry into the gender pay gap. The inquiry will focus on the following areas: 1) how they define and measure the gender pay gap; 2) the gender pay gap in Scotland's sectors; and 3) Scottish Government action that is being...

31 January 2017

HMRC draft legislation: relief for carried-forward losses

HMRC has published a revised version of draft Finance Bill legislation introducing changes to the treatment of companies' carried-forward losses from April 2017. The legislation allows losses to be set against trading and non-trading profits of a later period, or used as group relief, but the relief will be restricted...

HMRC Draft legislation: Income Tax relief for social investments

HMRC has published draft legislation for Finance Bill 2017 to enlarge the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) scheme with effect from 6 April 2017. The changes will include: an overall lifetime investment limit of £1.5m available to new businesses for seven years after their first commercial sale; reduce to 250...

HMRC Draft legislation: deemed domicile - Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax

HMRC has published a revised version of the draft Finance Bill legislation introducing deemed UK domicile rules for income tax, CGT and IHT purposes from April 2017. The revised draft amends the schedule to contain an exception for protected foreign-source income of overseas trusts and additional conditions for transfers from...

HMRC Draft legislation: corporate interest restriction

HMRC has published a revised version of draft Finance Bill legislation containing the rules to restrict the amount of interest expense that companies can deduct with effect from 1 April 2017. The core rules around the 30% fixed-ratio rule and the group-ratio rule were set out in the draft published...

25 January 2017

Inquiry launched into the draft Finance Bill 2017

The Economic Affairs Committee has set up a Sub-Committee to inquire into the draft Finance Bill 2017. The Sub-Committee will examine the proposals to Make Tax Digital that will apply to small businesses and residential landlords and is inviting written evidence on the policy and the draft clauses. Written evidence...

18 January 2017

Corporate liability for economic crime: call for evidence by Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Justice call for evidence on corporate liability for economic crime. Deadline for comments is 24 March 2017. The government is examining the case for reform of the law on corporate liability for economic crime by commencing an open call for evidence. The call for evidence is concerned with...

Legislative Reform Order to change partnership legislation for private equity investments

This draft Legislative Reform Order has been laid before Parliament and sets out amendments to partnership legislation as it applies to private funds. On 16 January 2017, the government laid before Parliament a draft Legislative Reform Order to amend limited partnerships legislation as it applies to private funds such as...

16 January 2017

Review of limited partnership law: call for evidence

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is seeking views and evidence on the limited partnerships framework. The deadline for responses is 17 March 2017. Link to consultation

11 January 2017

Rebuilding trust in business requires better governance practices - FRC release report

The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) annual report, Developments in Corporate Governance and Stewardship 2016, is published today (11 January 2017) against a backdrop of falling public trust in business. High standards of governance are a direct driver of investment into UK companies and play an important part in our economic...

10 January 2017

Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes (Wales) Bill

Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes (Wales) Bill - stage one will be laid on 10 January 2017. It is expected that the bill will receive Royal Assent by spring 2017. From April 2018, Land Transaction Tax (LTT) will replace UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in Wales....

Scottish Government Consultation on the Draft Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill

The Scottish Government is seeking views on the practical application of the draft Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill provisions. Deadline for comments is 17 March 2017. Please click on this link to read the consultation details. Deadline The consultation was published on 5 January 2017 and closes at...

05 January 2017

The UK implements new limitation on tax deductions for interest

The UK’s draft Finance Bill 2017 was published in early December 2016. It contains detailed draft legislation to introduce a new limitation on the deductibility of interest costs from corporate profits. The rules will take effect for amounts accruing after 1 April 2017. They limit a UK group’s ability to...

21 December 2016

Work and Pensions Committee report on defined benefit pension schemes

The Work and Pensions Committee report calls for Government to consult on new enforcement powers for The Pension Regulator (TPR) to impose punitive fines that could treble the amount payable. It is expected that such a fine would never need to be levied in practice, as it would act as...

Budget representations: guidance

Guidance from HM Treasury on how to submit a Budget representation, which is a written representation from an interest group, individual or representative body to HM Treasury with the aim of commenting on government policy and/or suggesting new policy for inclusion in the upcoming Budget. Guidance for submitting your Budget...

20 December 2016

Bulk transfers of defined contribution pensions without member consent - consultation

A call for evidence on how the current provisions on defined contribution (DC) bulk transfers without member consent could be improved. The deadline for comments is 21 February 2017. Bulk transfers of defined contribution pensions without member consent: Call for evidence

Public Accounts Committee says Government must address concerns as devolution laws move forward

The Public Accounts Committee report says that the Government must specify what it is trying to achieve through devolution and communicate this clearly to citizens and service users. Read the report

Office of Tax Simplification responds to correspondence from the FST and Chancellor

The OTS has published its letters to Jane Ellison MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and to Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer in response to their respective Autumn Statement correspondence. Office of Tax Simplification correspondence

13 December 2016

Poor value workplace pension schemes: joint review by DWP and FCA

This report summarises the findings of a joint review of industry progress in remedying poor value workplace pension schemes by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Joint review

12 December 2016

Distributable profits of long-term (life) insurers - consultation outcome

Given the overwhelming feedback stating an updated framework for distributions of insurance companies should be in place before the end of 2016, the statutory instrument effecting the changes has been made and was laid before Parliament on 8 December. Link to the statutory instrument

Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting - consultation outcome

Summary: This document summarises the responses received for the consultation ‘Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting’. It outlines: 1) the background to the consultation; 2) a summary of the responses received; and 3) the government’s plans following the consultation. Download the full outcome : Government response to the consultation on draft...

09 December 2016

Draft legislation: the Data-gathering Powers (Relevant Data) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

This draft legislation amends HMRC’s data-gathering powers to Money Service Businesses which provide money transfer, cheque cashing and currency exchange services. Link to documents

Hybrid and other mismatches - HMRC draft guidance for consultation

HMRC are seeking comments on this draft guidance on the hybrids mismatch legislation. The closing date for comments is 10 March 2017. Hybrid and Other Mismatches - draft guidance for consultation

06 December 2016

Reforming the Employment Tribunal system - consultation

The government is seeking views on issues to be considered in implementing wider justice system reform principles in the Employment Tribunal system. The deadline for comment is 27 January 2016. Consultation documents

HMRC have published outcomes of a number of consultations

Consultation from DWP and HMT seeking views on a package of measures to tackle three different areas of pensions scams, including a ban on cold calling in relation to pensions. The deadline for comments is 13 February 2017. Pensions scams: consultation

Finance Bill 2017: draft clauses for publication in January

In January 2017, the government will publish further draft clauses for Finance Bill 2017 in relation to: making tax digital; social investment tax relief; partnerships; corporate interest expense; and loss relief reform. Written ministerial statement

29 November 2016

Welsh government introduces Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill

The Welsh government has published the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill, which will introduce the devolved landfill disposals tax in Wales from April 2018. Landfill disposals tax to be introduced in Wales

Company cars - advisory fuel rates from 1 December 2016

HMRC has published revised advisory fuel rates for company cars, applying from 1 December 2016. The rates are to be used only where employers either reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars, or require employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advisory-fuel-rates

Indexation and equalisation of GMP in public service pension schemes - HMT consults

HM Treasury is seeking views on how to address the implications of State Pension reforms for guaranteed minimum pensions of public servants below State Pension age. The deadline is 20 February 2017. Consultation on indexation and equalisation of GMP in public service pension schemes

Occupational pensions: draft regulations, legislative review and Guaranteed Minimum Pensions equalisation methodology - DWP consults

A consultation by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on draft regulations, occupational pensions legislation reviews and a proposed methodology for ensuring equal pensions. The deadline for response is 15 January 2017. Consultation documents

28 November 2016

Stamp Duty: Review of remaining paper duty on shares etc

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has begun a simplification review of how to reform Stamp Duty on paper transactions. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/stamp-duty-review-of-remaining-paper-duty-on-shares-etc