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04 August 2017

Tax transparency – are companies disclosing more about their tax affairs?

By Janet Kerr Ten years ago, the words ‘tax’ and ‘transparency’ were rarely found in the same sentence, but in the current environment, tax transparency is an increasing focus for tax departments. One question I am often asked is ‘what are the trends in tax transparency – are companies disclosing...

Can you amend your historic R&D claims for a recent change in HMRC policy for reimbursed expenses?

By Angela Browning Qualifying costs for Research & Development (R&D) claims include employee salaries, NICs etc. for personnel undertaking R&D. The inclusion of reimbursed expenses for travel, mileage etc. has historically been uncertain, but HMRC has now confirmed that such costs can qualify, changing its position. There is a limited...

07 July 2017

Transfer taxes and exchange traded funds

By Suzi Edwards The exchange traded fund (or ETF) industry is growing; more markets are being reached, strategies are becoming more complex and new products are being launched. With more investors and regulators scrutinising transaction costs, ensuring complete compliance is becoming more important than ever before. Understanding these specific issues...

19 June 2017

Confront the challenges to seize the opportunity – final insights from PwC’s Asset Management Tax Conference

Delegates to PwC’s Asset Management Tax conference in May understand all too well the challenges they face, from tougher regulation to more demanding tax authorities, and from the difficulties of dealing with data to mounting cost pressures in a market where margins are harder than ever to protect. The good...

09 June 2017

A vision of the future: five essential skills tomorrow’s asset management tax function will need

By Elizabeth Stone and Lachlan Roos PwC’s Asset Management Tax conference, held in London on 9 May saw delegates discuss the increasing pressures on asset managers in response to tax and regulatory requirements and the consequent evolution of the tax function in a modern asset management firm. Their conclusion? The...

02 June 2017

Suits you sir: tax moves centre-stage for asset managers

By Diya Wilson and Hazell Hallam PwC’s Asset Management Tax conference, held in London on 9 May, saw delegates focus on product choice and suitability in an industry that has become increasingly polarised. As PwC’s Asset Management 2020 series has charted, the asset management sector is polarising: on one side...

15 May 2017

Are you up to date with innovation incentives?

By Angela Browning There is quite a period of change abreast in the UK, the world of tax and indeed for innovation incentives. For that reason, here is a timely reminder of a few recent changes and how they could impact your business. Aligning R&D and new Nexus claims -...

27 April 2017

Trump tax reforms - what they mean for the UK

By Stella Amiss It's no surprise Donald Trump's tax plans are generating international interest. The focal point is the cut in the rate of tax on business' profits from 35% to 15%. The repercussions will undoubtedly be felt in the UK. Tax changes by a leading economy often have a...

26 April 2017

The acceleration of the Finance Bill - more uncertainty for Business, not less

By Stella Amiss The Finance Bill often passes with relatively little fanfare. It's when new tax measures often announced in a Budget become law. The legislation has usually been in draft form for a good few months, and niggles hopefully ironed out. But while the Bill is typically passed in...

15 March 2017

Are you Talking TaxTech?

By Mark Schofield There is a growing buzz around tax technology. But the challenge for many groups is understanding what technology is currently available, how that ties into data availability and quality, and how that technology can be used to enhance processes and risk management. As the tax compliance and...

14 March 2017

Business rates - Spring Budget 2017

By Phil Vernon The Chancellor's announcement to introduce new business rates transitional arrangements for businesses losing Small Business Rates Relief will benefit the worst hit small and medium sized business. However, at some point over the next five years many businesses many will bear the full brunt of the large...

08 March 2017

Emotional impact on self starters

By Alex Henderson This proposal marks a significant shift in UK tax policy. A key feature of the tax system over the last 40 years has been to incentivise entrepreneurship, recognising the risks that come with self-employment. By helping businesses to grow and employ people, governments reap greater tax revenues...

No sweet spot on Stamp Duty

By Robert Walker Future generations and fairness were a key theme of today's Budget speech, but the Chancellor did not directly mention the government's plans to tackle the housing crisis. There will be disappointment that no announcement was made to address the huge transactional costs stopping people getting on the...

Deferred Digitisation

By Stella Amiss Increasing digitalisation is undoubtedly a move in the right direction and one which - in the end - should improve taxpayers’ interaction with HMRC and the collection of taxes. It is encouraging to see that a deferral means those at the sharp end of the new proposals...

A treading water Budget but the NI change opens up a big potential money spinner

By Kevin Nicholson This was a comfortably treading water Budget - keeping things ticking along as we move to a single Autumn Budget. A number of reviews and consultations were announced, suggesting bigger news will come in the Autumn. The increase in National Insurance was smaller than many expected, but...

07 March 2017

Spring Budget 2017 – Is the Chancellor building for the future?

By Stella Amiss The forthcoming Budget should give more flavour of the Government’s vision for post Brexit Britain. The recent industrial strategy paper, emphasised a broad approach - creating conditions for businesses of all sizes and across all sectors to thrive. But the language gave clues as to priorities -...

01 March 2017

Taxing times: opportunities and challenges in wealth management

By Robert Mellor A PwC seminar on opportunities in wealth management, held in London in February, discussed the role of tax at the heart of the shifting regulatory environment and product landscape – in particular, the extent to which wealth managers need to engage with the tax profile of their...

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...

12 July 2017

Welsh Revenue Authority to consult on powers to tackle tax crime

Welsh Revenue Authority consult on the impact of being provided with specific criminal powers to tackle tax crime and invite views on: - 1) the need to tackle devolved tax offences through the use of criminal powers; - 2) the organisations which may be involved in criminal investigation and prosecution;...

06 July 2017

PSC register: Scottish Partnerships (Register of People with Significant Control) Regulations 2017

On 26 June 2017, the Scottish Partnerships (Register of People with Significant Control) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/694) (save for regulations 4 and 81) came into force. The regulations extend a modified form of the PSC regime to eligible Scottish partnerships from that date. Eligible Scottish partnerships include: 1) Limited partnerships...

Welsh government invites new tax ideas

The Welsh government has issued a call for ideas which could be developed into new Welsh taxes under powers in the Wales Act 2014. The Bevan Foundation has already suggested taxes to increase recycling of takeaway packaging and a form of tourism tax. Other ideas include a tax to fund...

04 July 2017

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) launches online appeal service

HM Courts and Tribunals service has launched an online appeal service that allows taxpayers and their agents to submit certain appeals online. An appeal is still required to be made to HMRC in the first instance in respect of Direct Tax appeals. In order to make an online appeal, a...

23 June 2017

Scottish Parliament passes air departure tax

The Scottish Parliament has passed the Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Bill, which sets out the structure of the devolved air departure tax and how it will be administered by Revenue Scotland when the new tax replaces air passenger duty in Scotland from April 2018.

16 June 2017

Draft MLI positions show range of BEPS implementation views

On 7 June 2017, 68 territories including the UK signed the multilateral instrument (MLI) to effect tax treaty-related recommendations from the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project in existing agreements. Once ratified, businesses and individuals may no longer qualify for double tax relief on a range of cross border...

24 May 2017

Managing complex mobility through Global Employment Structures

Mobility is evolving, driven by changing technology, new and more flexible ways of working and a fundamental shift in the regulatory environment due to the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) regulations. More people are moving internationally and in more fluid ways, bringing new complexities and risk. Many organisations are...

12 May 2017

European Commission launches public consultation on the modernisation of EU company law

This public consultation seeks to collect views from a broad range of stakeholders, as well as from the public on three points: on the use of digital tools and processes throughout a company's lifecycle, on the cross-border mobility of companies (mergers, divisions, conversions) and on the conflict-of-law rules for companies....

03 May 2017

Finance Act 2017 is available here.

Due to the General Election and the dissolution of Parliament the progress of the Finance Bill 2017 was accelerated. All House of Commons stages of the Finance Bill took place on Tuesday 25 April, House of Lords stages on Wednesday 26 April, and Royal Assent was received on Thursday 27...

12 April 2017

Consultation on Contracted-out pensions: enabling transfers to schemes that have never been contracted-out

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is seeking views on draft regulations to introduce changes to enable transfers, in limited circumstances, of pensioner members, with their consent, to schemes that have never been contracted-out. The DWP is aware that a number of schemes would like to perform these transfers...

05 April 2017

Corporate Interest Restriction draft guidance

Link to guidance HMRC is seeking comments on this draft guidance covering the new Corporate Interest Restriction rules. This is an initial tranche of guidance, focusing on the core rules and other aspects where guidance has been specifically requested. Further draft guidance will be issued by 31 May 2017. HMRC...

Twelve new enterprise zones go live

See press release: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/twelve-new-enterprise-zones-go-live Announced in the Autumn Statement 2015, these new zones support businesses, helping budding entrepreneurs to start and established companies to grow. They offer business rates discounts and additional tax breaks, backed by a simplified local planning process. In addition, 2 Enterprise Zones – the west of...

Lords examines Criminal Finances Bill

The Criminal Finances Bill finished its committee stage, the first chance for line by line scrutiny, in the Lords on Monday 3 April. Report stage, a further chance to examine the bill and make changes, is scheduled for 25 April. This bill will aim to: amend the Proceeds of Crime...

03 April 2017

HMRC publishes amended draft guidance on hybrids and other mismatches

HMRC has published revised draft guidance in relation to the Hybrid and Other Mismatch rules, together with the outcome of the consultation which has informed their amendments. HMRC has stated that engagement with the respondents is ongoing to provide additional material before the guidance is finalised. HMRC Hybrid and Other...

31 March 2017

Landmark day in devolution as powers pass to Welsh Assembly

Today (31 March 2017) marks an important milestone in implementing the Wales Act 2017 with powers coming into force that pave the way for the introduction of Welsh Rates of Income Tax, enable the Welsh Government to invest more in infrastructure and allow the National Assembly to decide what to...

30 March 2017

The Great Repeal Bill: White Paper

The Great Repeal Bill White Paper sets out the government’s proposals for ensuring a functioning statute book once the UK has left the European Union. It provides the detail about: the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 how EU law will be converted into UK law how corrections will...

27 March 2017

Reports released into the future State Pension age

John Cridland CBE and the Government Actuary’s Department recently released two reports that will help inform the government’s review of the State Pension age which is due in May 2017. The John Cridland report looked at the key issues that drive State Pension age changes including, but not limited to:...

24 March 2017

PPF consults on levy rules for next three years from 2018

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has recently launched a consultation outlining how it intends to develop the Pension Protection Levy for the next three year period, or triennium, starting in 2018/19. The consultation involves a detailed set of proposals together with supporting roadshows and webinars. There will be a second...

21 March 2017

Consultation on non-resident companies chargeable to income tax and non-resident capital gains tax

The consultation concerns certain non-resident companies liable to UK income tax and/or capital gains tax, focusing on UK property business. Documents Non-resident companies chargeable to Income Tax and non-resident CGT PDF, 189KB, 15 pages Consultation description The government is exploring the case and options for bringing within the scope of...

Two consultations published on VAT: 1) Tackling fraud on goods sold online - update on split payment; 2) VAT fraud in labour provision in construction sector

1) Tackling fraud on goods sold online: this call for evidence A call for evidence seeking contributions on an alternative method to collect VAT known as split payment. Alternative method of VAT collection - Call for evidence This call for evidence is focused on how payment technology could be harnessed...

20 March 2017

Taxation of employee expenses call for evidence

Seeking views on the current tax rules for employee expenses. Taxation of employee expenses call for evidence At Spring Budget 2017, the government confirmed the Autumn Statement announcement that a call for evidence would be published to better understand the use of the income tax relief for employees’ business expenses,...

Finance Bill 2017 published

See Finance Bill: https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2016-2017/0156/17156.pdf See Explanatory notes: https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2016-2017/0156/en/17156en.pdf

17 March 2017

Put the brakes on Making Tax Digital for businesses, urges Committee

The Finance Bill Sub-Committee has today (17 March 2017) published its report on the Draft Finance Bill 2017: Making Tax Digital for Business. It concludes that the Government should delay the digitisation of tax for businesses. The Sub-Committee examined in detail clauses in the draft Finance Bill that make tax...

28 February 2017

OTS publishes a progress report on its VAT review and makes a call for further evidence. Deadline for all submissions and requests for meetings should be made by 30 June 2017.

OTS VAT interim report Following the announcement at Autumn Statement that the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) had been asked to carry out a review on the simplification of VAT, today we have published our interim report and call for evidence following the completion of the first phase of work....

23 February 2017

Automatic enrolment: technical changes (2017) - consultation from DWP

This is a consultation on proposed technical changes intended to simplify the automatic enrolment process and reduce burdens on employers. Deadline for comments is 3 March 2017. Technical changes to automatic enrolment: consultation on draft regulations (Feb 2017) This consultation is seeking views on regulations to make 2 changes to...

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...