Helping you thrive in a changing world

From Monday 9 September 2019, global accounting and consultancy network Moore Stephens relaunches our brand to become ‘Moore’. The unveiling of a new logo, visual identity and brand positioning marks the continued evolution of a network of more than 260 independent firms in 112 countries and a client-focused professional community of more than 30,000 people.

Brexit risk assessment

It looks increasingly likely that we are heading for a no-deal Brexit. Taken literally, this means that our present relaxed trading relationship with customers and suppliers in the EU will cease at the end of October this year.

Do you own a holiday let property?

There is a number of tax incentives that you can take advantage of if you own and let a Furnished Holiday Lets property (FHL). They include:
  • You can claim Capital Gains Tax reliefs for traders (Business Asset Rollover Relief, Entrepreneurs’ Relief, relief for gifts of business assets and relief for loans to traders),

Personal service company changes from April 2020

In the Autumn Budget the Chancellor announced that the “off payroll” workers rules that currently apply in the public sector would be rolled out to the private sector in 2020. The government have now issued a consultation paper that sets out proposed tax and national insurance changes that will impact on those supplying their services through personal service companies.

Moore attends Ellen MacArthur Annual Charity Gala Dinner

Moore (South) LLP were delighted to attend Dame Ellen MacArthur’s Annual Gala Charity Dinner at the BT Tower last Thursday 28th March. 

In attendance from Moore (South) LLP were Sue Lucas, Andrew Coldwell, Ann Mathias, Esme Shakeshaft, Kevin Cooper and Vicky Drayton. 

They were accompanied by their special guests for the evening, Richard and Lucy Moore of Moore Global and Nicholas and Joanna Hilton of Moore UK.

VAT chargeable on all non-refundable deposits

HMRC has confirmed a new policy that VAT will remain due on a deposit, even if the customer does not use the goods or services for which it was paid – this comes into effect from March 1 2019. This change will affect the hospitality industry significantly (but it will also apply to other businesses), which will soon be unable to recover VAT charged on cancelations or ‘no show’ charges.

Loans to employees

A reminder that if your business makes a loan to your employees or their relatives this can create tax problems for both employees and employers.

And please don’t forget that the term “employee” includes directors, and also that loans to family members may be caught. 
 

How long does it take to sell a small business?

The agreed sale price of a small business for sale, is influenced by a number of factors including revenues, business category, the business location, cash flow multiples and of course, the asking price. Although these factors are important in monitoring small business sales another overlooked factor speaks to fundamental market conditions, in particular the amount of time the business spends on the market. It is possible to study the health of the market by looking at the factor of time as it can determine the demand among buyers and expectations of sellers.

Making Tax Digital - Bridging software

Can we still use spreadsheets after MTD comes into force?
One of the most commonly asked questions concerning the Making Tax Digital changes coming in from April 2019 concerns whether spreadsheets count as “functional compatible software”.  The answer to this is both yes and no.

Probate fees on the increase

Probate fees are to increase according to a new government consultation, which will see the end of the current flat fee approach and the introduction of a new banded approach based on the value of an estate. 

Pension contributions set to rise

From 6th April 2019, the total minimum amount being paid into the workplace pension both by the employer and the employee will increase from 5% to 8 % of qualifying earnings due to a change in workplace pension regulations.  (This is based on a qualifying earnings scheme.) 

Pensions Costs

The recently announced proposed increase in Teachers’ Pensions Scheme (TPS) employer contributions from 1 September 2019, has shocked the academy sector. Treasury indications predict a rise to 23.6% - an increase of over 40%. Most schools were expecting a 2% to 3%. 

New Academies Financial Handbook 2018

The new handbook came into effect on 1 September 2018.  Although similar to the 2017 handbook, certain key items have been headlined at the front of the 2018 handbook as the “top ten musts” for chairs and trustees. These “musts” focus on three core functions of governance:

Top 100 UK hotel groups see profitability rise as tourist numbers grow

Profitability at the UK’s Top 100 hotel groups has risen 13% in the last year*, with pre-tax profits of £689 million, up from £609 million in the previous year.

Hotels are benefiting from the continued drop in the value of sterling that has led to rising numbers of overseas tourists coming to the UK. 2017 set a record for inbound tourism to the UK, with 39.2 million visits, up 4.3% in a year.

UK Department Stores – reasons to be cheerful

Recent news of profit warnings, redundancies and store closures for the UK’s major department store chains provides clear evidence that times have changed. Is the end of the department store as we know it? Will any of the major chains survive? And what makes one chain more likely to survive than another?

Stop monkeying around!

In the world of investment management there is an idea that blindfolded monkeys throwing darts at pages of sharelistings can select portfolios that will do just as well, if not better, than both the market and the average portfolio constructed by professional asset managers. If this is true, why might it be the case?

Draft Finance Bill measures

The Government has today issued for consultation draft legislation intended for inclusion in the Finance Bill to be introduced later this year, after the Autumn Budget. This extends to 226 pages of legislation and 143 pages of explanatory notes.

Major shake-up in the UK Grocery market

The UK grocery market has also been changing in recent years. Seeing issues on the horizon, it is no surprise that Sainsbury’s and Asda are undertaking strategic investment for the future. The key questions are why do they feel the need to do this now, what will it mean for the UK supermarket scene and what effect will it have on consumers?

PRIIPS and MiFID II: Cost and charges considerations

Two key pieces of regulation that impact how firms demonstrate transparency to clients when interacting with them throughout the lifecycle of a relationship, went live this week: Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs) Regulation and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II).
 

Investigation into the London Stadium complete

Today, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today published Moore' independent review into the true scale of the mismanagement of the London Stadium by the former Mayor, revealing a catalogue of errors that led to transformation costs soaring and a bungled decision that has left the taxpayer to foot an annual loss of around £20 million.

What does the Autumn Budget Update mean for the film and TV industry?

As with all budgets, there is a mixture of good news and bad news – increases to some reliefs that can benefit the sector, some tightening up of existing rules for Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) relief which will have an adverse effect in some situations, and some consultations and position papers on international issues whose impact will have to be considered carefully and where the industry may wish to respond.
 

STEP launches ‘The Informed Trustee’

During Trustees’ Week, the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) – the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning – launched an innovative new online course for charity trustees, as part of its commitment to providing education in the field of trusts and trusteeship.

MiFID II - the final furlong

With just 36 working days remaining of 2017 and until the implementation of MiFID II, we are seeing mixed progress towards compliance, with some firms just completing the first hurdle as they progress through the gap analysis stage. While others have demonstrated strong progress towards implementing solutions and now have the finish line in sight, as we enter the final furlong.

Restructuring could radically reduce your capital requirements

For some insurers, acquisition activity has created legal entity structures with a number of different underwriting platforms and locally regulated subsidiaries across jurisdictions. This can result in the cost and inefficiency of multiple regulatory rules, relationships and returns and, when the solvency requirements of all the various subsidiaries are added together, an aggregate capital requirement that can be much higher than that of a single consolidated business.

Regulator’s spotlight now firmly on COREP returns accuracy

Last year, the PRA issued a ‘Dear CEO letter’ setting out its intention to review the accuracy of COREP returns. Now, the Regulator has started to press ahead with their review, and has issued a wave of S166 reviews to investigate individual business’ COREP processes and procedures. We now believe that the next step will be for the FCA to take the same approach for those firms that fall under its regulation.

Another Finance Bill!

With the publication of three Finance Bills planned for 2017 it has been increasing difficult to follow what has been included in each Bill and what each of the Bills are called. Our update highlights the recent changes.

SAO rotation in the Lloyd's market

The provision of Statements of Actuarial Opinion (SAOs) is an important aspect of the control system that Lloyd’s applies to the society as a whole in order to ensure the robustness of technical provisions and the general maintenance of high technical standards.

Regulatory intervention: what next for the CFD industry?

An article discussing the concerns raised over the risks posed to retail investors from the provision of speculative products such as CFDs. It has been widely publicised, that the regulators are considering intervention, including possible measures such as leverage limits, guaranteed limits on client losses or restrictions on the marketing and distribution of these products.

MiFID II countdown – five months to go

On 3 July, the FCA published policy statement PS17/14 detailing their final rules on conduct of business and client assets as part of the implementation of MiFID II in the UK. In this article we focus on the new conduct requirements and provide a brief outline on the main changes being introduced on best execution, investment research and inducements. 

Extending the Senior Managers & Certification Regime to all FCA firms – summary of Consultation Paper 17/25 on Individual Accountability

On Wednesday, the FCA issued a consultation paper (CP17/25)  on the extension of the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (‘SM&CR’) to those FSMA authorised firms that are not currently in scope of the regime.
The key drivers of this reform are still the same as the original SM&CR that is currently applicable to the banking sector; Improving culture and governance in financial services firms, holding senior managers to high standards through individual accountability and increasing consumer protection remain amongst the highest priorities for the FCA.

MiFID II : governance and organisational requirements

In addition to changes to market structure, conduct of business and transparency, MiFID II will introduce extensive requirements in respect of internal management, organisational arrangements, individual responsibilities and governance. The reform takes provisions derived from the Capital Requirement Directive (CRD IV) that were originally intended for banks and large institutions, and extends these to all MiFID firms.

The future of regulation in the shadow of Brexit

With the Prime Minister Theresa May indicating that there is insufficient time to replace European bodies with a new British regulatory regime, the implications of Brexit look to have limited short term impact on Financial Services regulation. However, beyond March 2019, what would a hard or soft Brexit look like in terms of future regulation?

Should you expect more from your CASS Auditors?

With increased regulatory focus, further complexity for CASS rules, and recording-breaking fines for CASS failings, it is paramount that you have an advisor who combines technical CASS expertise with an in-depth understanding of the industry. However, last year’s introduction by the Financial Reporting Council of rigorous new CASS audit led most fees to increase considerably. But are you getting value for money?

Protect yourself from phishing scams

The recent cyber attacks around the world have highlighted the need to ensure individuals are aware of the risks posed by phishing scams and are not tricked into either downloading harmful material online or providing personal or financial information to fraudsters.

MiFID II: common misconceptions

With only seven months to go until its implementation date, MiFID II is one of the most talked-about topics in the financial industry. However, we are still finding that a number of firms fall victim to some misinterpretations and common misconceptions about the changes brought about by MiFID II.

VAT blow for cultural charities and public bodies

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has finally crushed hopes that more public bodies and charities engaged in cultural activities could claim VAT exemption on their admission charges. Its recent judgment in the VAT case of the British Film Institute (BFI), released in February, draws a line under an argument that has been running for the last four years.

Time to tighten your anti-money laundering defences

By 26 June 2017, all European Union member states are required to have enacted the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) into national law. 4MLD aims to give effect to the updated Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) standards. With this in mind Firms need to make sure their policies, procedures, systems and controls are up to scratch.

The art of delegation: delegated authorities in the insurance sector

The regulators generally look at insurers and brokers who outsource via delegated authority with greater scrutiny, mainly because of the increased risk of weak oversight and control by the principal over the performance of products and delivery of services outsourced in this way. It is therefore crucial to have the right systems and controls in place, together with clear allocation of responsibilities.
 

How ready are you for MiFID II?

With an implementation date of 3 January 2018, the deadline for readying your firm for the required changes is rapidly approaching. However, in a recent Moore survey, it was found that only 7% of firms had started their implementation plans and more than half did not even have a plan in place yet to achieve timely compliance.
 
To aid firms in scope of MiFID II, this article highlights the key milestones you need to work towards over the coming nine months.

What will be in the 2017 Spring Budget?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, will present his first and last Spring Budget on Wednesday 8 March.

The reason that this is a ‘one-off’ occasion is not because Mr Hammond is contemplating an exit from the role of Chancellor, but because on 23 November 2016, in his first and last Autumn Statement, he announced that in future the Budget would take place in the Autumn, and the Autumn Statement (which deals primarily with spending rather than tax decisions) would be abolished.
 

MiFID II authorisations gateway

The FCA announced the opening of the MIFID II authorisations gateway on 30 January. It is thought that around 600 applications will be submitted over the coming months including new applications for authorisation of organised trading facilities, commodities dealers and data reporting service providers. Similarly, variations of permissions and notifications from existing firms that require a change of permission or passporting rights are expected.

VAT exemptions for eligible bodies

The Upper Tribunal decision in the case of St Andrew’s College Bradfield (the college) could have ramifications for any not for profit entity which treats its supplies as exempt from VAT on the basis that it does not distribute profits or it only passes profits to an associated non profit making body. 
 

Clive Barton awarded an MBE

Congratulations to Clive Barton, senior partner at Moore Jersey, who was recently awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list. This is in recognition of Clive's parochial and charitable community work over many years.