Category Archives: Probate

News Roundup Monday 18th March 2019

News Roundup Monday 18th March 2019



MTD plans for small businesses will go ahead

The Government has said plans for small businesses with a turnover above the £85,000 VAT threshold to be required to submit quarterly returns online will go ahead from April 1st. The Chancellor reaffirmed the plans for Making Tax Digital (MTD) during his Spring Statement but promised firms they would not face fines if they do their best to adapt. However, similar reporting standards for income tax, expected to be introduced in April 2020, have been pushed back by at least a year.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3 Daily Mail, Page: 85

HMRC worker claims six suicides are linked to UK tax charge

HMRC is aware of six individuals believed to have committed suicide due to the so-called loan charge, an employee at the Revenue has revealed to MPs probing the crackdown on “disguised remuneration” schemes.

Financial Times


Stephanie Bruce joins SLA as FD

Standard Life Aberdeen have said that finance director Bill Rattray will step down at the end of May after almost three decades and will be replaced by Stephanie Bruce of PwC. The move comes as SLA announced Keith Skeoch will become the sole chief executive, leaving Aberdeen’s Martin Gilbert as vice-chairman.

Financial Times The Times The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 9 Daily Mail, Page: 87


Hammond cracks down on late payment

Philip Hammond is to force big companies to reveal how long they take to pay small suppliers as part of a crackdown on late payments. The Chancellor said audit committees will be required to review payment practices and report on them in their annual accounts, with a non-executive director given responsibility for reporting on how quickly suppliers were being paid. The Financial Reporting Council has been asked to look at whether it can change existing rules or if the Government needs to pass legislation. Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, welcomed the move, saying: “The end of late payments could be in sight. It can’t come soon enough, to bolster small businesses at a time when they are in great need of support and a lift in confidence.”

Daily Mail, Page: 85 Financial Times, Page: 4 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 5


ONS to define probate fee as tax, but only for accounting purposes

The Chancellor’s Spring Statement yesterday revealed that the rise in probate charges will now be classed as a tax, but the Ministry of Justice said this would only be for accounting purposes. The Government has faced criticism for trying to avoid Parliamentary debate on the issue by classifying the price rises as a fee. Bereaved relatives currently pay a flat £215 fee for probate but the cost increases coming in next month will see families hit with bills of up to £6,000 and hand the Ministry of Justice an extra £155m each year. Emily Deane, of the inheritance professionals trade body Step, said: “This is a tax on bereaved families rather than a payment for a service, and its introduction should be subject to full parliamentary scrutiny, not brought in through the back door.”

Daily Mail, Page: 8


Accounting rules can’t be blamed for volatility

Peter Malmqvist disputes a claim in the FT that increased volatility in company accounts can be blamed on accounting rules.

Financial Times, Page: 14


Hammond pledges smooth Brexit spending boon

The Chancellor has pledged to spend a £26.6bn Brexit war chest to boost the economy, if MPs vote to leave the EU with a deal. Philip Hammond said his “deal dividend” would be dependent on a smooth Brexit and warned that a disorderly exit would deal a “significant” blow to economic activity in the short term. Mr Hammond used his Spring Statement to make the pledge as the latest figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast growth of 1.2% for 2019, down from the 1.6% predicted last October. The OBR left the forecast for GDP growth in 2020 at 1.4% and now expects the UK economy to expand by 1.6% a year in the following three years. Mr Hammond said the economy had “defied expectations” as wages were expected to keep growing at rates of above 3% over the next five years. The OBR also revealed that debt as a percentage of GDP is set to decline to 73% by 2023/24.

BBC News The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Sun, Page: 2 The Guardian, Page: 34 Daily Express, Page: 6 Daily Mail, Page: 8


Hammond faces £12bn student loan black hole

A change in the way student loans are accounted for will hurt the Chancellor’s financial war chest to the tune of £11.6bn. The Office for Budget Responsibility has decided that assuming student loans will eventually be repaid in full is flawed and that the Government will have to accept liability for unpaid loans.

Daily Mail, Page: 83

Contact Paul Southward if you have any queries.

Paul Southward

ICAEW approves KSK for probate work

1st February 2016

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has licensed Keens Shay Keens Ltd Chartered Accountants to carry out probate work.

As one of the regions leading independent practices we are proud to be one of the first accountancy firms in Bedfordshire to become licensed by the ICAEW as an alternative business structure to carry out probate work.

We have been providing advice and guidance in connection with estate planning work for many years and for some clients spanning generations.  The latest addition of probate work to the services we can offer enhances the overall package of estate planning services we provide.

Our probate services are provided by our Managing Partner Paul Howkins through our office in Luton, although the service is available to clients from all our offices across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
Paul says:

“We have been providing inheritance tax and succession planning advice for a long time now and the firm has a reputation of trust and understanding of providing for our clients needs.  The addition of probate services allows us to offer a more straightforward ‘whole’ service without the need to rely on third parties.  This strengthens our position as one of the leading providers of professional services in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.”

Estate Planning, Probate Administration & Will Services

We have for many years provided estate planning and advice on inheritance tax and succession planning; we have also assisted with the preparation of the required inheritance tax forms and computation.  However, until recently we have not been able to apply for a grant of probate, because this a was a reserved legal service, which could only be provided by a solicitor.

This changed in December 2014 when the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) became an approved regulator for probate services.  This meant that once licenced, an approved Chartered Accountant and ICAEW member can now provide clients with a full probate service.

As a leading local independent firm of Chartered Accountants we are pleased to be licensed to provide Probate Services by the ICAEW.

We offer these services on a standalone basis or part of our overall Estate Planning services.

About our Probate Services

* Our fees are based on time spent (and not the value of the estate); this means that you will only be charged for the professional time incurred in dealing with the probate and any advice required.

* The service we deliver will be clear and concise and is designed for you to fully understand the process without jargon.

* Our Probate Services are headed up by our Managing Director Paul Howkins who has passed the necessary exams required by the ICAEW in order that the firm can be licensed.

The benefits of using Keens Shay Keens Ltd Chartered Accountants Probate Service

* Accessible and structured fee costs.

* Professional and experienced advice given by an expert who has a wide range of expertise in all aspects of estate planning.

* Established professional firm with a long history of providing expert business and financial advice and guidance.

* Peace of mind at a time that may be stressful and unfamiliar to those charged with administering the estate that everything will be taken care of by expert and caring professionals.

* For existing clients, an in depth knowledge of your business, personal and family affairs allowing us to tailor the service directly to your needs.