NEWS – MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020

NEWS ROUNDUP

LONDON MARATHON 2020 NEWS

Marathon Man keeps on running

SUNDAY 26TH APRIL 2020

Chris Beard, Tax Manager at KSK Luton has run more than 100 marathons, and there is no sign of him stopping.

Having successfully winning entrees to both London & Chicago 2020 Marathons, he was not going to stop the current emergency measures slow him down.

The London Marathon was due to place yesterday, Sunday 26th April, but for obvious reasons had been postponed.

This did not stop Chris who is raising money for Medical Detection Dogs “because these dogs are life savers”!

With the help and encouragement of neighbours , Chris set off yesterday morning to run 26.2 miles locally whilst maintain safe distancing measures, and 4 hours 4 minutes later successfully added another marathon to his tally, a fantastic achievement.  Read more here:

Marathon Man Keeps on Running

TAX NEWS – MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020

Lords: Wholesale reform of IR35 is required

A report published by a House of Lords committee slams the government’s IR35 rules and demands they be delayed indefinitely until the policy’s “inherent flaws and unfairnesses” have been addressed. The report describes how some firms have made “blanket status determinations”, with some deciding “not to use freelance contractors at all”. Some workers have been left with none of the rights of an employee or the tax benefits of being self-employed, the report adds. However, a Treasury spokesman defended the current plans, saying: “It is right to ensure that two individuals sitting side-by-side and doing the same work for the same employer pay the same tax and national insurance contributions.”

Financial Times The Times, Page: 36 The Press and Journal, Page: 27

Church leaders say tax dodgers should be refused bailouts

Senior clergy including Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, have said companies registered in offshore tax havens should be refused government bailouts. A letter organised by the Church Action for Tax Justice campaign group states: “During this crisis many of the most vulnerable people in our society are paying the price for a health and welfare system woefully unprepared for an epidemic. Meanwhile, some large corporations continue to avoid responsibility, making huge profits yet hiding their wealth in tax havens.”

The Times, Page: 6 The Times, Page: 26

INDUSTRY NEWS – MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020

Insolvency profession facing chaotic times ahead

The insolvency profession in the UK is braced for an overwhelming flood of business failures as the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic starts to materialise, the Times reports. Mark Phillips, QC, a senior insolvency lawyer, said the country cannot expect a relatively small profession to be able to “manage the thousands of businesses that are going to be faced with debt accumulated during the lockdown” by using a conventional approach. Mr Phillips helped develop a new “consent protocol” that helps practitioners to give company directors licence to continue to manage the day-to-day affairs of a firm. But Duncan Swift, president of R3, warned that the approach was not without risk. “There has to be a huge amount of trust in management teams to do the right thing,” he said. “This is not to denigrate management teams, but most do not have the experience to deal with the acute stress and cashflow pressures of the sort that these demand and supply shocks are causing.”

The Times, Page: 39

Pandemic takes toll on audit Big Four challengers

The UK’s challenger audit firms could face a wave of consolidation with their viability knocked by the coronavirus crisis; subsequently undermining the government’s push to overhaul the audit market.

Financial Times, Page: 8

SMEs NEWS – MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020

Half of SMEs in UK will run out of cash in 12 weeks, finds survey

A survey by the Association of Practising Accountants has found that some 60% of owner-managed businesses had less than 12 weeks’ cash in the bank and 40% had less than eight weeks’. A separate study by Tax Assist Accountants reveals 61% of the 3,000 businesses and self-employed professionals polled expect to lose at least three quarters of their income by July. Some 80% expect to suffer cashflow problems, with a third of those braced for an immediate hit and the rest anticipating trouble within three to six months. Finally, the Manufacturing Barometer, which surveyed more than 600 SME manufacturers in England, shows that 55% expect to cut jobs between now and October, despite the business grants on offer and the furloughing scheme for staff.

Financial Times, Page: 11 The Times, Page: 40

Banks create additional barriers for coronavirus loans

Lloyds Bank has been accused of putting unnecessary barriers in front of businesses applying for emergency loans. The bank reportedly requests nine pages of information from a firm before it considers permitting the formal request. Such “pre-application applications” have caused alarm for industry leaders such as Craig Beaumont, the director of external affairs and advocacy at the Federation of Small Businesses. He said companies in need of loans should be fast-tracked through the process: “This underlines the need for a new approach for smaller loans that does warrant all this bureaucracy.”

The Times, Page: 34

BUSINESS RATES NEWS – MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020

Retailers say future rates bills should be tied to the post COVID-19 economy

Retailers are calling for new rateable values to be linked with economic circumstances post-COVID-19 rather than the revaluation that took place in April 2019 arguing that bills will be dramatically out of date. Andrew Goodacre, chief executive at the British Independent Retailers Association, said: “We must have the reference point for determining future rates bills at a time post-coronavirus, so they are an accurate assessment taking into account the full impact once this crisis has passed.”

Daily Mail Daily Express, Page: 49

PROPERTY NEWS – MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020

Deloitte warns over property valuations

Deloitte has warned that property valuations are an easy target for fraudsters as a shortage of transactions renders valuations “subjective”. The auditor identified property valuations as the area having the “greatest potential for fraud” in its audit of the financial accounts of shopping centre owner Capital & Regional. In the report, Deloitte noted the “significant assumptions” used in calculating valuations and said there was a risk that they could be “subject to undue influence by management”. There is already much scepticism about values ascribed to retail property, reflected partly by the gulf between the claimed value of assets owned by real estate investment trusts and the price at which their shares trade. The Royal Institution of Chartered surveyors, the regulator, announced a review of valuation rules in February.

The Times, Page: 33

PENSIONS NEWS – MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020

Suspended UK pension contributions could total £1bn

The FT has estimated that up to £1bn in pension contributions could be suspended this year as businesses strike deals with retirement scheme trustees to survive during the coronavirus pandemic.

Financial Times, Page: 11

EMPLOYMENT NEWS – MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020

New jobs fall two-thirds despite higher demand for health workers

New analysis shows the number of new jobs in the UK has dropped by almost two-thirds compared with last year, with a rise in health sector work failing to offset steep falls elsewhere.

Financial Times

ECONOMY NEWS – MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020

Advisers help construct protocols to get Britain back to work

The Times reports that the government is already putting protocols in place for each business sector as pressure to get the economy going again grows. The paper says that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has brought in EY to work with companies and trade associations on the protocols. A government spokeswoman said that it was “engaging with key stakeholder and industry groups, as well as unions, on safe working once lockdown measures have been relaxed”.

The Times, Page: 1, 2

Britain facing lengthy recession

A survey by Retail Economics reveals that Britain could face a lengthy recession once the lockdown is over because very few people are willing to go back to their pre-coronavirus habits. The survey found just one in 10 consumers is planning to resume spending and travelling as they did before, if restrictions ease off early next month. Over 25% of people surveyed also said the disease will lead to permanent changes in the way they shop, which is likely to accelerate long-term trends away from the high street and towards online shopping.

The Daily Telegraph

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