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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...

Winners and losers

By Alex Henderson George Osborne has walked a tight rope in his latest Budget with all of the winners being counter balanced by losers. In choosing his losers he's followed some familiar themes. For large corporates the news is definitely mixed, An extra 1% off the rate of Corporation Tax,...

Supporting the oil and gas industry

By Alan McCrae The Chancellor’s announcement of a reduction in tax rates and effective abolition of Petroleum Revenue Tax is a welcome boost for our oil and gas industry, which has been facing exceptionally challenging times over the last 12 – 18 months. Across the North Sea, this will reduce...

Insurance Premium Tax rate rise

By Ben Flockton Whilst arguably modest if viewed in isolation, this latest rate rise of 0.5% (to 10%) will mean Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will have increased by two thirds in less than a year. Overall, this equates to an additional IPT cost of over £17 on the average motor...

Small business rates reaction

By Phil Vernon Increasing the small business rates multiplier to capture properties with a rateable value of up to £50,000 is a good headline grabber, but will only save business between £160 at the bottom of the scale and £600 per year at the top. However, the decision to permanently...

Restrictions to tax relief for interest payments

By Stella Amiss The Chancellor has set out his stall for how the UK will implement the OECD's recommendations on imposing restrictions to tax relief for interest payments. All UK businesses with borrowings will have to re-evaluate their tax position on the back of today's announcement. The move will likely...

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

25 November 2016

Consultation outcome: Business rates revaluation 2017

A summary of responses and the government's response on the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consultation seeking views on the proposed transitional arrangements to phase in changes in business rate bill as a result of the 2017 business rates revaluation. Summary of responses and government’s response

HMRC guidance on the Income Tax treatment of Employee Shareholder shares

Employee Shareholder Status (ESS) is an employment status, introduced on 1 September 2013. As of 1 December 2016, the tax benefits of ESS will not be available to new entrants. The government will legislate to close the status itself to new entrants at the next legislative opportunity. This guide from...

Countries adopt multilateral convention to close tax treaty loopholes and improve functioning of international tax system

More than 100 jurisdictions have concluded negotiations on a multilateral instrument that will swiftly implement a series of tax treaty measures to update international tax rules and lessen the opportunity for tax avoidance by multinational enterprises. The new instrument will transpose results from the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting...

22 November 2016

PM announces major research boost to make Britain the go-to place for innovators and investors

Prime Minister Theresa May has outlined the first steps in a modern, ambitious Industrial Strategy which will build on the UK’s strengths. The Prime Minister's speech to business leaders announced plans to secure the UK’s long-term commitment to research and innovation, including: substantial real terms increases in government investment; a...

17 November 2016

Future life expectancy to be considered in first State Pension age review

The Government Actuary’s Department has been commissioned to look at projected life expectancy in future years. Department for Work and Pensions press release

7 ways financial advice is being made more accessible

HMRC are helping people get affordable and accessible financial advice at all stages of their lives. The government and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) remain committed to implementing the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) recommendations. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/7-ways-financial-advice-is-being-made-more-accessible

Financial Institutions now required to deliver HMRC message on new disclosure facility.

The Client Notification Regulations, came into force on 30 September 2016. As part of HMRC’s efforts to tackle offshore evasion, and coinciding with the new flow of information that the Common Reporting Standard will generate, a new worldwide disclosure facility has been created that will allow UK tax residents to...

14 November 2016

Office of Tax Simplification publishes further report on the closer alignment of income tax and national insurance

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published its findings of further work looking at the impacts of closer alignment of income tax and national insurance. They should be brought closer together to create a simpler and fairer system for business and taxpayers. OTS press release

IHT residence nil rate band - guidance

HMRC has issued guidance on the additional IHT nil-rate band available for a deceased individual's residence inherited by direct descendants on or after 6 April 2017, where the estate is worth not more than £2m. An estate will also be entitled to the additional nil-rate band where an individual has...

HMRC consultation: Rules on ensuring the effective functioning of the financial market infrastructure special administration regime

This consultation is seeking views on the rules needed to ensure that the financial market infrastructure special administration regime can function effectively. The deadline for comments is 15 January 2017. Link to consultation

10 November 2016

EC Consultation on disincentives for advisors and intermediaries for potentially aggressive tax planning scheme

This consultation aims to gather views on whether there is a need for EU action aimed at introducing more effective disincentives for intermediaries engaged in operations that facilitate tax evasion and tax avoidance and in case there is, how it should be designed. This consultation wants to gather views in...

Digital tax should not be a burden to businesses, says HMRC

In a letter to the FT published on 10 November 2016, HMRC's Jim Harra claims that the Revenue’s digital transformation project will result in “a simpler, more efficient tax system that frees business people from red tape and form-filling.” https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/digital-tax-should-not-be-a-burden-to-businesses

09 November 2016

Almost 100 financial services firms step up to tackle workplace inequality

The government has appointed Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money, to drive further change as the official Women in Finance Champion. The Women in Finance Charter sees 22 new firms pledge to improve gender diversity at senior levels by signing up. HM Treasury news story

Employment Allowance: restricting the allowance from employers of ‘illegal workers’ - technical consultation

This technical consultation seeks comment on the draft regulations to restrict the Employment Allowance from employers of ‘illegal workers’. The deadline for response is 3 January 2017. Employment Allowance: restricting the allowance from employers of ‘illegal workers’

08 November 2016

High Net Worth Individuals and HMRC inquiry - Public Accounts Committee

The Public Accounts Committee session on High Net Worth Individuals and HMRC will be on Wednesday 7 December 2016. The deadline to submit written evidence to this inquiry, is midday on Tuesday 29 November 2016. See: High Net Worth Individuals & HMRC inquiry