Blog

SRA set to cut red tape on private equity

Martin Hales

It was dubbed the “big bang for lawyers” and was supposed to herald a new era for law firms, allowing private equity and other external investors to invest their money into the legal sector for the first time.  But since the deregulation of the UK legal services market (in 2012), which was labeled ‘Tesco Law’, there has been limited deal activity.

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How do HMRC target their enquiries? Introducing ‘Connect’

Michael Morter

In his recent blog my colleague Peter Glading talked about HMRC enquiries and gave some top tips on how to avoid one. As he rightly says, HMRC target specific individuals and tax returns, as well as picking a few random ones to sample.

HMRC have a very modern, powerful and intriguing trick up their sleeve to help them decide if a tax return looks wrong, or if they think someone is not paying enough tax.

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The East Anglian transitional offer – a choice for PMS practices

Carl Boardman

In February 2014, NHS England confirmed that each area team would be required to undertake a review of all local Personal Medical Services (PMS) contracts, to be completed by March 2016 at the latest.

In East Anglia, 149 out of 283 practices hold a PMS contract, many of which appear to be delivering core services at a higher cost than General Medical Services (GMS) practices.

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To disburse or not to disburse (that is the question)

admin

When costs incurred on behalf of a client are recharged, there is often an opportunity to treat them as disbursements.  A disbursement is outside of the scope of VAT, meaning that as long as VAT has not been reclaimed, none has to be charged.  The obvious advantage of the disbursement treatment is when VAT is not incurred on an expense the price of passing on to a client is not subject to a 20% VAT uplift.

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HMRC enquiry under self assessment

Peter Glading

I was reading a magazine recently which talked about tax enquiry protection and it reminded me about the pitfalls of an HMRC inspection!  You have no control over these, as HMRC can pick and choose when and where they investigate.  So what are these inspections, I hear you cry!  For HMRC, personal tax returns are the method for collecting taxes from individuals and the self-employed, and work on a process now, check later regime.

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Tax avoidance: HMRC focusses on the bigger picture with a new cast of thousands!

Michael Morter

Recent tax blog posts have highlighted attempts by HMRC to tackle tax avoidance and stories of celebrities “inadvertently” investing in schemes designed to avoid tax … cue loud complaints and finger pointing from politicians … but what is this we hear? Perhaps a tumbleweed moment …

We now understand that former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell (better known perhaps for the infamous ‘Plebgate’ affair) may have invested in a high-profile film financing company now considered to be a tax avoidance scheme by HMRC!  Other senior establishment figures to invest in the scheme include Lord Waldegrave, the former chief secretary to the Treasury, and Lord Grade, the former chairman of the BBC.

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Grants and subsidies – the impact on VAT recovery

Today I am going to consider one of the more complex questions in the world of VAT.  That is whether, and if so how, the receipt of a grant or subsidy should affect the right of a VAT-registered entity to reclaim input tax on expenditure that is met, or partly met, by that grant or subsidy.  The question largely impacts on the not-for profit sector which can have a mixture of business and non-business activities; but could also affect any business that is partially exempt and receives a subsidy.

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Alice in Wonderland taxation – claiming VAT on postal costs

admin

The case of Zipfit was released last week and is an extraordinary tale on an issue that has been rumbling on now for the last five years.  Whilst the facts are disarmingly simple, the issues are not and at stake is over a billion pounds in potential VAT claims by suppliers like Zipfit.

This issue started in 2009 when the well known courier company TNT argued they should be allowed to treat certain mail services as exempt from VAT, just like Royal Mail, who were able to deliver most letters and parcels free of VAT.

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