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Review of serious offence sentences

On 12 August 2019, the prime minister announced a review on sentences for the most serious offences. It is part of a package of measures that include: consideration of not letting out prisoners part-way through their sentence a review of how to break the cycle of re-offending additional £85 million to Crown Prosecution Service 10,000 additional prison places starting with HMP Full...
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Chartered accountants offered mental health support

Chartered accountants are offered mental health support, it was announced in August 2019. This will be provided by the Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association (CABA) which already provides help in other areas to chartered accountants and their families. Research indicated that accountants and students aged between 18 and 24 are particularly vulnerable. One in four think about quitting t...
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No-deal Brexit and mergers

On 9 August, the government issued guidance on the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the law regarding mergers or allegations of anti-competitive conduct. From a no-deal Brexit, the European Commission will not be responsible for these matters. Instead responsibility will pass to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA will also take over cases the Commission was investigating befor...
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RPI miscalculated in 2019

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) has been miscalculated in 2019, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has admitted. The error relates to the Living Costs and Food Survey (LFS) in 2017 and 2018. If correct figures had been used the changes would be: inflation to March 2019 would be 2.5% rather than 2.4% June 2019 would be 2.8% rather than 2.9%. No other months are affected. The cha...
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Pre-registration litigation expenses allowed for VAT

A company was able to claim pre-registration VAT input tax for legal fees incurred in defending the right to use intellectual property. HMRC argued that the expenses were incurred for the director personally, and so were not company expenditure. The tribunal found that it had always been the intention that the intellectual property would be used by the company. There was no basis to refuse t...
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Salary sacrifice charges not subject to VAT

Changes made by an employer to facilitate a salary sacrifice scheme are not a supply within the scope of VAT. The employment agency Pertemps gave its temporary workers a choice between being paid: a salary inclusive of travel and subsistence expenses, or participating in what it called the Mobile Advantage Plan (MAP). Under this they received a salary reduced by the actual travel and su...
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Penalties and wrong address

A taxpayer had reasonable excuse against late filing penalties when HMRC had sent the notices to the address notified by the employer and not to the correct address notified by the employee. The employer notified HMRC of the wrong address after the employee notified them of his correct address. The taxpayer also believed that he no longer needed to file a return. As the taxpayer had no re...
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Rollover relief on land already owned

Rollover relief from chargeable gains corporation tax could not be claimed for construction costs on land already owned as this was not "acquiring other land". However, in this case, the company won its case because the discovery by HMRC was stale. The discovery assessment was issued on 23 May 2018 in respect of an accounting period ending on 31 August 2010. There were three issues in disput...
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Compensation does not reduce IPT

Compensation for mis-sold insurance is not a refund of insurance premiums. Therefore there is no basis for refunding the insurance premium tax (IPT) on those premiums. The company sold insurance against identity theft. Following an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority and its predecessor body, it was held that the insurance had been mis-sold. Customers should be compensated. The ...
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Lawn repair kits and VAT

A lawn repair kit called Aftercut Patch Fix could not be zero-rated as animal feed even though it contained grass seed. Generic grass seed is zero-rated when sold on its own because grass can be used as animal feed within the scope of zero-rating. This includes seed sold at garden centres for use on domestic lawns. The product was intended to treat patches where grass has gone from pet urine...
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