News Roundup Wednesday 8th May 2019



PSA could see PPI tax reclaimed

Martin Lewis, founder of, looks at tax issues related to PPI refunds. Writing in the Express, he says that while money paid back can consist of three elements – the PPI paid; any interest on a loan used to pay for the PPI; and statutory interest on the total of both those sums – only the latter is taxed. Mr Lewis also explores why some tax can be reclaimed, noting that for those who have not earned more than their personal savings allowance, the 20% deducted from PPI payouts can be claimed back.

Daily Express

School leader: Tax social media firms over online harms

Candida Reece, the leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, has suggested that social media firms should be taxed to cover the cost of dealing with the fallout when youngsters are exposed to “shocking imagery” of sex, violence and abuse online, suggesting a charge would ensure companies get tough on age verification checks. Ms Reece said schools are “dealing with the outcome of these multimillion-pound corporations’ failure to police online content,” adding that these businesses “should be paying a levy to support the admirable work in schools clearing up their mess.”

Daily Star, Page: 12

Business rates may have met their match in rise of CVA

Kate Burgess in the FT looks at CVAs, saying that more companies could use them to lower business rates and suggesting the Government could act if CVAs “eat into” the tax take.

Financial Times, Page: 13


SMEs: Brexit uncertainty favours large companies

A poll from Menzies shows that many small business owners believe large corporate firms and multinational players have “too much say” over the future viability of their business. Half of the 1,000 SME entrepreneurs polled said ongoing uncertainty over Brexit has favoured larger businesses, which have been better able to prepare for the UK’s exit from the EU. James Hadfield of Menzies said that while small and medium-sized businesses “realise that being smaller and more agile is a bonus”, there remains a concern “that corporates will be more cash-ready to take advantage of any upturn that might come once the Brexit stalemate is resolved.”

Daily Express, Page: 47 I, Page: 42


Experts concerned over crown preference plan

Insolvency experts have voiced concern over the Government’s plans to partially revive “crown preference”, saying that giving money owed to HMRC priority over debts owed to suppliers, consumers, pension schemes and employees when a firm goes bust could restrict lending to smaller companies. Matthew Davies, director of invoice finance and asset-based lending at UK Finance, said: “We are most concerned about the impact on asset-based and alternative lenders” He added that while the banking trade group supports the objective of protecting taxpayers’ money, it must be noted that an unintended consequence could be that “a certain cohort” of SMEs may find it harder and more expensive to borrow. Stuart Frith, president of R3, called the proposals “frustrating and misguided” and a “short-sighted plan for a quick cash grab for the Treasury.”

The Times, Page: 43

Revenge fear over tip-off fee

The Daily Star’s Paul Donnelley looks at the payouts given to whistleblowers who provide HMRC investigators with tip-offs about tax dodgers, pointing to concern that paying for such information could see people treat the matter as a money making endeavour, or see tip-offs due to revenge or personal vendettas. The issue came to light when Sir Amyas Morse, the head of the National Audit Office, revealed details of payouts which totalled £604,800 in 2014/2015. HMRC says it only gives the tax-free fee if the details given are “exceptionally helpful”, adding that most informants did not get any fee.

Daily Star


US wealth management becomes hotbed of M&A

The FT examines how private equity managers are driving rapid change across the US wealth management industry by turning numerous small providers into a few multibillion-dollar operators.

Financial Times, FT Fm, Page: 10


Chancellor plans significant rise in minimum wage

Chancellor Philip Hammond is understood to be giving serious consideration to raising the minimum wage to as high as 66% of median earnings, meeting the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s definition of low pay. The main minimum wage rate is due to rise to 60% of median income next year, or about £8.60 an hour. Mr Hammond has held meetings with union officials over his ambitions to secure a legacy of ending low pay.

The Guardian The Times, Page: 14


Mobiles lead to impulse purchases

A study carried out at Fairfield University, Connecticut, suggests shoppers who use their mobile phones while browsing are more likely to make unplanned purchases. Analysis by Deloitte says 93% of consumers use their phones while shopping.

I, Page: 19

Contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward