Business bodies have voiced concern about the UK’s slump in growth. Read more
In an official statement published by the Association of Tax Technicians (ATT), HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recently announced a dramatic shake-up of its online services for tax agents. Read more
The top one per cent of earners will pay almost a third of income tax by 2020, and now nearly half of all working adults don’t pay it at all, new figures reveal. Read more
A report released this week by Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) revealed that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) reeled in roughly £87 million in ‘late filing’ penalties for the 2015/16 tax year. Read more
Life insurance bonds have long been criticised for their overcomplicated tax structure. But now, following the launch of a HMRC consultation into how the bonds should be treated, life insurance bonds could be subject to significant tax simplification in coming years. Read more
A new report prepared by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) aims to shed light on the specific issues facing enterprises set up by women. Read more
The UK Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has urged owners of small and medium sized businesses to act fast to ensure that they are not overpaying VAT. Read more
UK unemployment rose by 21,000 to 1.7 million between December and February, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says. This is the first rise since the May-July period of last year. Read more
George Osborne’s recent introduction of a second home tax has hit buy to let investors hard – but providers of peer-to-peer (P2P) property companies are urging would-be landlords that, with the right approach, they can still make lucrative investments without being zapped by the new charge. Read more
In the wake of the so-called Panama Papers scandal, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched a consultation into tax laws for corporate businesses, in a bid to crack down on tax evasion. Read more
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been critical in the past of European Union intervention in UK matters, has warned that there could be a “bonfire of workers’ rights’ if the UK votes to leave the EU in the coming referendum. Read more
A recent survey has revealed that only 8 per cent of Britons are aware that ISA savings form part of a person’s ‘taxable estate’ under inheritance tax laws. Read more
Investment banks should do more to encourage competition and fairer treatment of customers, Britain’s financial watchdog said, proposing changes to help firms to make informed choices about the banks they use.
According to an interim market study published on Wednesday, investment banks routinely misbehave when floating companies on the stock market or selling bonds, in ways which benefit the bank and a select group of favoured clients but not necessarily the company which has hired the bank for the deal or the new investors buying the shares.
The Financial Conduct Authority said that overall, investment banks’ customers are happy with the service on offer and that the institutions’ ability to raise funds for companies makes them “a cornerstone of the real economy.”
But regulators also found some examples of behaviour they want to stamp out.
The FCA also wants to put an end the use of contractual clauses that tie clients to using the same bank for a range of services. The watchdog found that cross-subsidies between corporate and investment banking lead to this bundling of services, where customers can end up using the same bank for several products.
“These markets are a cornerstone of the real economy, helping companies raise capital for investment and expansion,” Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said in the statement.
“Our study shows that many investment and corporate banking clients are getting a service they want, but we have also identified some areas where improvements could be made.”
In a separate paper put out to public consultation, the watchdog proposed “changing the sequence” of how companies are floated so that investors get the “right information at the right time.”
The FCA also questioned the use of investment banking league tables that are often used by banks to market their abilities to clients. Often these tables are misleading as they include loss-making deals the banks undertake to boost their rankings. The FCA wants the tables to be more reliable. One idea is to make banks declare which deals lost them money.
Banks claim the market is already highly competitive. Investment bank services generated $17 billion in fees in 2014 alone. A final report is expected this summer.
An internal survey has revealed that only 25 per cent of tax collectors believe that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is “managed well”, while only 34 per cent deem their senior managers’ behaviour to be “consistent with the organisation’s values”. Read more
The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is ‘extremely concerned’ by the Government’s latest changes to tax credit overpayments – which will see families who have overpaid tax credits forced to repay the money at an accelerated rate. Read more