This month Derek Mackay presented the Scottish Draft Budget 2018/19 and announced five income tax rates and bands which will apply to Scottish taxpayers on their non-savings and non-dividend income. For more details on the Scottish Budget see our free download. With additional tax raising powers being devolved the rules are getting more complicated across the UK.  

The majority of the figures and bands across the tax system are now available, the Spring Statement and the outcome of consultations and changes by the devolved nations could of course change these. Our tax rates products are available to order now and will be delivered after the Spring Statement.

On A&A side of things, not that it will have been on everyone's Christmas list, but the FRC provided an early present this month with the publication of amendments to its suite of accounting standards in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Needless to say, the detailed implications might take some unwrapping, but we have an overview of the phased implementation of changes in the A&A section below.

Thank you for all your support in 2017. We wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and look forward to seeing you again in 2018. Happy holidays!

Nicola Hurley Managing Director
Mercia Free download

Scotland gets ready for five income tax rates

The key announcement in the Scottish Draft Budget was the introduction of new income tax rates for Scottish taxpayers


Tax Rates 2018/19

Available in various formats and personalised for your firm

Order Deadline Wednesday 16 February 2018


Spring Specialist CPD Programme

Courses covering specialist topics and niche areas - Spring programme available

Starts March 2018


UK and ROI Accounting Standards revised

The FRC has published amendments to its suite of UK and ROI accounting standards following its triennial review exercise.  These amendments, in summary, apply as follows:

  • Periods commencing on/after 1 January 2017 - revision of UK micro-entity notes disclosure requirements under FRS 105 and incorporation of Irish legislative changes, predominantly affecting Irish small entities under Section 1A of FRS 102 and Irish micro-entities reporting under FRS 105.
  • Periods commencing on/after 1 January 2019 - revisions made to all accounting standards, predominantly to simplify and clarify requirements for entities reporting under FRS 102.

There are also a number of provisions relating to early adoption that will be of particular interest where entities are affected by areas subject to simplification.  For more detail on these changes, see our blog post Amendments to UK and Irish Accounting Standards - Need to Know.

Revised ISA (UK) 250A Laws and Regulations

The FRC has published a revised ISA (UK) 250A Consideration of Laws and Regulations in an Audit of Financial Statements.  The revised standard is effective for audits of financial statements for periods commencing on or after 15 December 2017 and includes a new appendix providing updated guidance on money laundering, terrorist financing and proceeds of crime legislation in the UK.

The new appendix in ISA (UK) 250A supersedes guidance in Practice Note 12 (Revised) Money Laundering - Guidance for Auditors on UK Legislation, which is withdrawn.

A&A technical round-up

Other publications you may find of interest include:

Technical manuals news

We have issued an update to our Pension Schemes Specialist Assignment Manual.  The update reflects changes to auditor standards effective for audits of financial statements with periods commencing on or after 17 June 2016 and the November 2017 revisions to Practice Note 15 The Audit of Occupational Pension Schemes in the United Kingdom.

If you are a subscriber and have any administrative questions about this update, please email Karina Johnston or call us on 0116 258 1200.


Spring Statement date confirmed

Philip Hammond has announced the Spring Statement date as Tuesday 13 March 2018. 

To help you communicate the Spring Statement and upcoming tax rates for the year 2018/19, we're offering a range of statement summaries and tax rates products. For more information, visit our website.

Scottish Draft Budget

Derek Mackay presented the Scottish Draft Budget 2018/19 on 14 December 2017. The Budget announced new income tax rates and changes to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) for first time buyers. Read more here.

The new Budget timetable and the tax policy making process

The Government has published the new Budget timetable and the tax policy making process after the move to Autumn Budgets. Read more here.

Withdrawal and grandfathering of ESC BIM 66301: Sub-postmasters

HMRC will allow the ‘grandfathering’ provision for current users until 5 April 2019. No new use of the concession is possible. More information is available here.

Tax is changing in Wales

The Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales will become responsible for some of the taxes paid in Wales in April 2018. Three taxes in Wales will be affected: Stamp Duty Land Tax (replaced by Land Transaction Tax), Landfill tax and income tax. More information available here.

First time buyers

Following the introduction of SDLT First Time Buyer Relief both the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments have announced that they will make changes to the rules for their respective devolved land taxes. Confirmation of the detail of changes is expected in the new year for both Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, following consultation, and to Welsh Land Transaction Tax which is to be introduced in Wales from 1 April 2018.

More information on LTT available here.

Changes to the advisory fuel rates from 1 December 2017

These advisory fuel rates apply for all journeys undertaken on or after 1 December 2017. You can use the previous rates for up to one month from the date the new rates apply.

Engine size Petrol* Diesel* LPG*
1400cc or less 11p (11p)   7p (7p)
1401cc - 2000cc 14p (13p)   9p (8p)
Over 2000cc 21p (21p)   14p (13p)
1600cc or less   9p (9p)  
1601cc - 2000cc   11p (11p)  
Over 2000cc   13p (12p)  

* Amount per mile

Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for this purpose. More information available here.



Talking to your clients

Transferable allowance for (some) married couples

By Mark Morton

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Why is social media important?

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Mercial Blog Audit File Issues Loan Covenants

Audit file issues - Loan covenants

By Ian Pickering


Office closed for holiday season

A gentle reminder that our office will be closed from midday on Friday 22 December 2017 to 8.45am on Tuesday 2 January 2018.   

HomeStart Horizons


This year, we supported local charity Home-Start Horizons.

Everyone generously donated with an assortment of gifts for local groups in Leicester and Loughborough. Each staff member selected one or more gift tags with gift requests from children of all ages in families who need support.

totalsolution e-cards - your donations to charity

We are very proud to share that our totalsolution website subscribers pledged £10,415 to various charities in return for Christmas eCards. We provide this service free of charge to totalsolution subscribers and in return many make donations to charity.

This year, charities who benefitted include Macmillan Cancer Support, Great Ormond Street Hospital and British Red Cross. Thank you to all clients who made a pledge and to our website team who made it all happen.

Making the world better with a sweater!


On Friday 15 December, festive jumpers were out in full force at our office for Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day.

We had a great turnout at this year, with everyone kitted out in colourful, festive knits. We raised £63 for Save the Children. I'm sure many of you took part in Christmas Jumper Day and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Get in touch

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