News Roundup Saturday 3rd March 2018

NEWS ROUNDUP

TAX NEWS

Taxing revenues is a poor fix for tech’s avoidance

The FT’s Madison Marriage and Aliya Ram examine whether a tax on revenues is the best means of securing more tax from large US technology companies. Separately, the FT’s Rana Foroohar notes the UK is not alone in its suggestion that corporate taxation should be fundamentally changed, with several EU finance ministers also backing a tax on revenue versus profits. Meanwhile, the paper’s leader says the biggest challenge with a revenue tax is ensuring that it hits only its intended target.

Financial Times, Page: 3   Financial Times, Page: 3   Financial Times, Page: 10  

How to beat the dividend allowance cut

Ahead of the tax-free dividend allowance being cut from £5,000 to £2,000 in April, Your Money highlights some of the ways in which employees and directors of small businesses can shield their portfolios from tax.

Your Money

REPORTING NEWS

Internal audit has failed to look at the bigger picture

Ian Peters, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, argues that a Code of Practice is needed for the corporate sector to ensure that internal audit focuses on the risks that matter most.

Financial Times, Page: 10

CORPORATE NEWS

Carillion’s top executives ‘living in fantasy world’

MPs examining the collapse of Carillion have said top executives were “fantasists” who expected the firm to receive fees it might not be owed. Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions committee, commented: “The likes of non-executive directors and auditors are there to guide the company – and its books – back down to Earth. In the case of Carillion it was, unfortunately, a crash landing.”

The Guardian, Page: 31   The Independent, Page: 20   The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 8

Tougher corporate governance rules required, IoD says

Executive pay faces tougher new rules under the Financial Reporting Council’s proposed revisions to the corporate governance code. Rules should include greater transparency over the effect of share buybacks, the FRC said. The government has recently appointed PwC to probe the practice, which can be used to boost executives’ pay.

City AM   The Independent   The Sun, Page: 45

INDUSTRY NEWS

Iris could sell for more than £1bn

Payroll and accountancy software business Iris is being put up for sale by its private equity owners in an auction which could rake in more than £1bn.

City AM

SMEs NEWS

SMEs key to hitting export target

The government will miss its target of doubling British exports by 2020 unless it gets behind SMEs, according to a study by Growth Street. The business lender’s research found 81% of small businesses are in the dark over how to tap into foreign markets. Some 70% of the 1,100 businesses surveyed were also unaware of the funding help available to exporters.

The Sun, Page: 45

Over-50s are the new business start-up generation

The FT notes that growth in self-employment since 2000 has been fuelled by over-50s who have the time and the financial firepower to start up their own businesses.

Financial Times

PENSIONS NEWS

New rules for annuities

The Financial Conduct Authority will launch a new “annuity comparator” tomorrow that will force companies to show how their quote stands up against rivals. It follows warnings that around half of all pensioners still buy the annuity offered by their pension company, rather than shopping around.

Daily Express, Page: 27   Daily Mirror, Page: 34-35

PROPERTY NEWS

Stamp duty changes slowing first-time buyer market

Estate agents have warned that stamp duty changes are slowing down the first-time buyer property market. Mark Hayward, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said many people are now choosing to wait and save for a larger property in order to reduce their tax bill and maximize on the new stamp duty exemption.

The Daily Telegraph, Page; 6

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Flat-rate tax attracts super-rich to Italy

Millionaires from Russia, Norway and the US have flocked to Italy after the country announced a flat-rate tax of €100,000 a year for top-tier earners. The measure lets wealthy individuals taking up residency pay a flat tax regardless of their income, and appears to have worked with around 150 people so far.

Daily Mail

Tax savings unleash flurry of buybacks

Share buybacks have hit record levels following President Trump’s tax cut. Companies have announced more than $178bn in planned buybacks – the largest amount unveiled in a single quarter, according to Birinyi Associates.

International New York Times, Page: 7

ECONOMY NEWS

Care homes closing

The Guardian examines the financial pressures facing Britain’s care homes. According to Moore Stephens, one in six UK care homes is at risk of failure, while a recent study by healthcare analysts LangBuisson found that 929 care homes have closed in a decade.

The Guardian, Page: 34-35

Shop prices fall further

The British Retail Consortium said shop prices fell by 0.8% in February compared with last year, driven by another sharp fall in non-food prices. It extends the run of falling shop prices to 58 months.

The Times

OTHER NEWS

Shakira settles £18m tax bill

Shakira is said to have paid nearly £18m to escape prosecution for tax fraud. The Colombian pop star reportedly paid Spanish tax authorities the sum to settle a tax debt from 2011.

Daily Express, Page: 16-17   Daily Mail

Contact Paul Southward if you have any queries.

Paul Southward