Tax Faculty activity report at 3 July 2017: What we have been working on and what we are doing now

This report highlights some of the Tax Faculty’s activities since the last report to 30 May 2017, and what we are working on at the moment.

  1. Highlights

The result of the general election has meant that the civil service has remained in quasi-purdah while political negotiations are underway and the new Treasury team is established. The expected Finance Bill has still not been published although we do know (from the Queen’s Speech) that one is on its way. Meetings with HMRC have continued to be somewhat curtailed, particularly on politically sensitive subjects, such as MTD.

We wrote to the new Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride MP, to set out what we believe should be the priorities for the new Government. In addition to the need for certainty for taxpayers about legislation dropped from the Finance Bill, we urged that no major changes should be made to the tax system while Making Tax Digital (MTD) is implemented.

 

  1. Significant meetings and other activity

Caroline Miskin spoke to members in East Anglia and South Essex on MTD on 22 June 2017. On 15 June 2017 Caroline Miskin spoke at a conference on ‘Different Ways of Working’ arranged by the University of Oxford SAID Business School.

Members of the Tax Faculty met with both the HMRC MTDB and MTDI teams but discussions were restricted due to political uncertainty. We also participated in a discussion with HMRC about proposals to change the rules for basis periods and in a teach-in on the tax gap.

The MTD Software Advisory Group also met this month. Those involved in the HMRC software pilots reported that they too were finding progress had been slow during this period, and although some trial MTD submissions to HMRC had been possible by businesses themselves, they were not expecting agent involvement until later in the summer and autumn. 

Ian Young and other ICAEW colleagues met with a delegation from the Finance Committee of the German Parliament to discuss current developments in Europe and key policy issues.

Ian Young gave an international tax update at the ICAEW Financial Controllers’ conference at Chartered Accountants’ Hall on 21 June.

  1. News from the technical committees

Practitioner tax

The Practitioner Tax Committee met on 14 June for its regular quarterly discussion of practitioner issues. Two specific issues have been causing particular concern and are the subject of ongoing discussions with HMRC: HMRC ceasing to provide pay and tax details over the phone to agents and the new exclusions from online filing for 2016/17 which have arisen due to the Personal Savings and Dividend Allowances. Work is also being undertaken on the new HMRC online forum for tax agents which is to be launched at the final digital Working Together meeting on 26 July 2017.

Private Client

Following the withdrawal of the clauses relating to non-doms from the Finance Bill the private client committee wrote to HMRC and HMT regarding the difficulties now being faced by non doms some of whom may have taken action based on what the law was going to be from 6 April 2017.

Making Tax Digital

The IT Faculty ran the fourth in our series of MTD webinars on 5 June 2017 with an introduction by Anita Monteith. Caroline Miskin spoke to members on MTD as highlighted above. The Finance Bill clauses on MTD have not been reintroduced at the time of writing and there is continuing uncertainty over the timing and contents of the Finance Bill expected this summer. HMRC has not yet been able to fully launch the pilot or the planned communication plan.

  1. Publications

TAXline

In May TAXline Caroline Miskin explained how the criteria for self assessment filing are changing; the Office of Tax Simplification's Nigel Mellor asked for your thoughts on VAT; Ian Young reported on tax issues in Australia; and Peter Bickley provided an overview of important changes relating to disguised remuneration and off-payroll working.

In June TAXline there were articles on the Finance Act 2017, the big tax developments of 2017 and the Scottish income tax rules, plus reports on the Tax Faculty's AGM and conference.

July TAXline covered the tax implications of Brexit; the resources created by the faculty to support members with MTD; the work of the tax charities; and how to offer new services such as probate work to existing clients.

TAXguides

The following TAXguides have been published since the last report:

TAXguide 12/17: Common reporting standard: requirement to notify clients

  1. Events

Tax Faculty webinars and TAXtalk

We delivered the following webinars. The recordings are available to view for all Tax Faculty members and anyone who signed up for the webinar.

Making Tax Digital 4 Progress update (5 June)

In the fourth webinar in the Demystifying MTD series, Anita Monteith was joined by Mark Taylor from the ICAEW IT Faculty.

Employment tax roundup (6 June)

If you don’t know about the impact of Refresh for clients and agents and the myriad of other changes in place for 2017/18 then join Kate Upcraft, payroll consultant and ICAEW’s Sarah Ghaffari for a whistlestop tour of a very busy year for employment tax.

CIS – what could possibly go wrong? (8 June)

Howard Royse updated viewers on the situation regarding online CIS deduction records and delved into some of the grey areas of the scheme. He also suggested practical ways in which practitioners can help their clients to keep on top of their obligations

Relief for SMEs (20 June)

Sarah Ghaffari and Andrew Constable, Kingston Smith, explored various tax reliefs available to SMEs, including those relating to research and development, employee share acquisitions, intangible fixed assets, and various types of chargeable gains.

Journey into the cloud (26 June)

As cloud technology continues to disrupt the accountancy profession and with MTD on the horizon, it has become even more critical for practices to develop and implement their cloud conversion strategy. Archna Tharani shared her practical experience in moving her practice to the cloud and the six key steps to successfully implement your cloud conversion strategy.

Compliance update (4 July)

As HMRC continues to tackle tax evasion and avoidance, it has an ever-expanding range of powers and procedures at its disposal. Tax investigations expert John Cassidy explained the latest compliance developments, both in the UK and the international arena, with practical tips and guidance to help you advise your clients.

In the June edition of TAXtalk the Tax Faculty team – Sarah Ghaffari, Frank Haskew and Jane Moore – considered the latest post-election information on tax matters, although there were more questions than answers! What tax measures can we expect in the new parliament? What might be in the second Finance Bill of 2017? And can we expect some new consultations? We also looked at who’s in the new ministerial team at the Treasury and discussed other topical issues including recent consultation responses, HMRC compliance and Making Tax Digital.

Tax Club

The Younger Member’s Tax Club met on 19 June at The Globe, Moorgate where Caroline Fleet (Gabelle) gave a talk on the recent changes to property taxation. Tax Club resumes on 11 September, after the summer.

  1. Representations and Consultations

Tax representations submitted

The following formal representations were submitted in June 2017:

ICAEW REP 71/17

Tax policy for the new government

ICAEW REP 69/17

Fraud on provision of labour in construction sector - consultation on VAT and other policy options

ICAEW REP 68/17

Making Tax Digital: sanctions for late submission and late payment

ICAEW REP 67/17

Non-resident companies chargeable to income tax and non-resident capital gains tax

Open consultations

Consultations on which responses are being developed by committee volunteers and faculty technical managers are as listed below. We would welcome your comments well before the issuing body’s deadline so we have time to consider them:

Subject matter

External deadline

Contact

VAT simplification

20 July 2017

Neil Gaskell

BEPS 7: attribution of profits to PEs 

15 September 2017

Ian Young

BEPS 10: profit split

15 September 2017

Ian Young

Anonymous