JANUARY  2018

For those of you involved in self assessment tax returns, if you are reading this, we trust you have survived 31 January. With a week to the deadline HMRC announced that a third of returns (over 3 million) were outstanding, some of you may have been burning the midnight oil. 

Our tax team is eagerly anticipating the Spring Statement. It will be interesting to see if Chancellor Philip Hammond takes the opportunity to make any last minute changes to tax policy. Keep your clients updated with our Spring Statement summary. Wales (see tax news section below) is also about to launch devolved taxes from April, so there is lots to update clients on leading into the new tax year.

Our A&A team is busy gearing up for the forthcoming lecturing season and has this month prepared an update on the application of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017. With further guidance emerging on firm-wide risk assessments you’ll find the update in the A&A section below, along with a free download checklist that will help guide you through areas of change.

Nicola Hurley Managing Director
Mercia Free download

Complying with the new Money Laundering Regulations

A free checklist which includes key actions required to ensure compliance with the new Money Laundering Regulations

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Spring Statement

Communicate the Spring Statement and upcoming tax rates for the year 2018/19 to your clients

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AUDIT & ACCOUNTING

Money laundering update

We continue to await publication of the final HM Treasury approved CCAB anti-money laundering guidance for the accountancy sector, which currently remains in draft form and awaiting the expected appendices for tax and insolvency practitioners. However, there have been some recent developments.

Firm-wide risk assessments

The 2017 Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) require supervisory bodies, such as the ICAEW, ACCA, ICAS and CAI, to make information available that is relevant to their members own firm-wide risk assessments. You may recall that under the new MLR, there is a need for a firm to document such a risk assessment and make this available to its supervisor on request.

ICAEW and other professional bodies have now started to publish this information and the ICAEW has also published further guidance on conducting firm-wide risk assessments, both which can be accessed here.

As this guidance has begun to become available, we have published an updated version of our Money Laundering Compliance Manual based on the draft CCAB guidance. Subscribers will automatically be updated as required once the CCAB guidance has been approved and is in its final form.

We have also produced a free download, which includes a short checklist of the key actions required to help you stay compliant under the new Money Laundering Regulations.

Anti-money laundering professional body regulator launched

This month also saw the launch of the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) within the FCA. The OPBAS Regulations 2018, which came into effect on 18 January 2018, gives OPBAS duties and powers to ensure professional body AML supervisors meet the standards required by the Money Laundering Regulations 2017. OPBAS will not, however, directly monitor the businesses that the professional bodies supervise. Click here for more.

Technical manuals news

This month, we have issued an update to our Money Laundering Compliance Manual for the application of the new Money Laundering Regulations 2017, based on draft guidance for the accountancy sector from the CCAB. We will update this as required once the CCAB guidance has been finalised.

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

TAXATION

Tax-Free Childcare opens to children under 9

The Tax-Free Childcare scheme now available to parents of under 9s. More information from HMRC available here.

HMRC reveal rejected Self Assessment expenses and excuses this year

HMRC have released the latest list of imaginative excuses for made by individuals who failed to submit their self assessment return by 31 January deadline. Excuses include alien sightings and being too busy touring with a one-man plays.

HMRC have also released details of some of the weirdest expense claims which include:

  1. A three-piece suite for my partner to sit on when I’m doing my accounts.
  2. Birthday drinks at a Glasgow nightclub.
  3. Vet fees for a rabbit.
  4. Hotel room service – for candles and prosecco.
  5. £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days.

Read more outrageous claims here.

UK and Welsh Governments confirm next steps in Welsh tax devolution

The first Welsh taxes for almost 800 years are ready to be switched on, the UK and Welsh governments confirmed. Read more here.

OUR LATEST BLOG POSTS

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By Mark Morton

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Incorporation and the reduction in the Dividend Allowance

By Norman Allison

Mercia Audit blog

Audit file issues Group audits and component auditors

By Ian Pickering

OFFICE GOSSIP & IDLE CHAT

Movers and shakers

Last month, we said goodbye to Diane McCullock who has retired. Di has been a valued member of our Marketing Support team for 12 years and that includes 14 Budgets! While we are sad to see her go, we'd like to say a big thank you to Di for her contribution to Mercia and wish her a very happy retirement.

We also bid farewell to Rajvinder Virk who was part of our Marketing team as a Marketing Executive. We would like to wish Raj best of luck for the future. 

Whilst we're sad to see them go, we are pleased to welcome on board Anisha Mistry who has joined our vibrant Marketing team as a Marketing Executive. Anisha will be looking after our Practice Track brand whilst Alex Looker-Jones is on adoption leave following the adoption of a beautiful baby boy.

Get in touch

0116 258 1200

enquiries@mercia-group.co.uk

www.mercia-group.co.uk

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