Here is a quick round up on news that should be of interest to accountants, auditors and finance directors.

UK GAAP

Accountancy Age Insight allows you to keep up to date with the most recently added briefings to its online service. Now they have added a video from Sage on UK GAAP.

Whilst the new UK GAAP is not effective until 2015, early adoption is possible and now is the time to start preparing for the changes. This video provides a quick summary of how you can start preparing for the transition to FRS 102 now. Check out of short video for a summary of the changes including:

  • What is new UK GAAP?
  • Why are the changes taking place?
  • Key milestones to look out for.
  • Preparing for the transition.

Details are here.


IPSASB issues governance consultation paper

IAS Plus has reported that the Governance Review Group of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has issued a public consultation paper on the future governance and oversight of the IPSASB and IPSASs. The consultation paper focuses on governance and oversight processes in the setting of accounting standards for the public sector and proposes changes to strengthen the position of the IPSASB and IPSASs.

The consultation paper includes:

  • Background of the IPSASB.
  • Existing standard setting models.
  • The oversight and governance of the IPSASB.
  • Proposal for strengthening the IPSASB’s governance.
  • Specific questions to consider.

Details are here.


Time-to-Pay rules for settling tax debts: HMRC clarification

HMRC has issued a briefing explaining the process for individuals and businesses if they have problems paying outstanding tax bills, some of whom may be eligible to restructure tax debt under the ‘Time to Pay’ scheme. The taxman says that those facing financial difficulties, which could be a result of business setbacks or a life event that temporarily affects their ability to meet their financial commitments, should inform HMRC immediately as they may be eligible for a ‘Time to Pay’ arrangement.

Time-to-Pay is an agreement between HMRC and a taxpayer that allows fixed repayments of a tax debt to be made over an agreed period and can be considered for all types of tax debt. To ensure that it can recover all payments due in full, HMRC will consider certain criteria, including the taxpayer’s previous payment history and their plan for repayment, before agreeing to this arrangement. However, HMRC stresses that Time to Pay is not an automatic right and should ideally be sought before a debt becomes due, although a possible arrangement can still be considered after a due date. Penalties can be avoided if a Time-to-Pay arrangement is agreed before the due date.

Read the full story here.


Tax avoidance

There were a couple of announcements from HMRC last week on the subject of tax avoidance and their promotion. Here are the links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/raising-the-stakes-on-tax-avoidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/tackling-marketed-tax-avoidance


Signing the wrong will

A Supreme Court ruling that a couple’s intended heir should not be disinherited by a mix-up in the signing of mirror wills could lead to a flood of litigation, probate experts said this week. They were commenting following the judgment in Marley v Rawlings and another, in which Lord Neuberger, president of the Supreme Court, said that the wills of Maureen and Alfred Rawlings should be treated in the same way as a commercial contract in that an obvious oversight should not be allowed to invalidate the testators’ wishes.

The case concerned mirror wills which Maureen and Alfred Rawlings drafted in 1999 intending to leave their entire estate to Terry Michael Marley, who was not a blood relation. However, due to an alleged oversight by a solicitor, the two accidentally signed each other’s will. You can read the full story here.

Martin Pollins

Managing Director at One Smart Place
Martin Pollins is a Chartered Accountant and MBA with wide experience in corporate finance and business management. He has served on the boards of several companies, including those listed on the London Stock Exchange, AIM and OFEX. He is Chairman and Founder of OneSmartPlace and was a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales from 1988 to 1996. He was managing partner of PRB Martin Pollins, based in Sussex, the first Accountancy firm to advertise on British television.He went on to create and launch the CharterGroup Partnership (the UK’s first Accountancy network) and then LawGroup UK (at the time, one of the largest networks of lawyers in the UK). In recent years, he helped to raise several £millions to fund British films such as The Da Vinci Code, Bridge of San Luis Rey, Head in the Clouds and Merchant of Venice with actors such as Charlize Theron, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, F. Murray Abraham. Kathy Bates, Gabriel Byrne, Geraldine Chaplin, Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen, Audrey Tautou, Penélope Cruz, Steven Berkoff, Lynn Collins, Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes and many more.

He has written over 700 business publications (see Glossaries at http://onesmartplace.com/resources/glossaries/) and is editor of Better Business Focus (see http://onesmartplace.com/resources/better-business-focus-magazine). His Blog, on a wide range of subjects can be found at: http://onesmartplace.com/blog/
Martin Pollins

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