Business and Other Briefings

FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has set out how its rules apply to activist shareholders who wish to work together to promote effective corporate governance in companies in which they have invested.  The FSA said in a letter sent to trade associations that its requirements do not prevent legitimate activity of this nature.
 
The FSA strongly supports Sir David Walker's proposals to strengthen shareholder engagement with the boards of investee companies aimed at promoting good corporate governance.  The letter makes clear that its rules do not stand in the way of Sir David's proposals. 
Press release ~ Letter sent out to trade associations
 
BIS: The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has announced further changes to the Government’s Trade Credit Insurance Top-up Scheme.  Since 1 May 2009, companies that have had their credit insurance cover reduced have been able to purchase 6 months top-up cover under the Government Scheme.  After feedback from business, the following 3 changes have been made to the scheme’s rules:
* The price of the top-up cover will be reduced from 2% to 1%
* The £20,000 lower limit on top-up cover will be removed
* The upper limit on top-up cover will be increased from £1m to £2m
 
The scheme, which runs until 31 December 2009, is a short-term intervention that allows suppliers to purchase Government-backed insurance to either restore cover to the original level or double the amount they are able to obtain from the private sector up to the value of £2m (whichever is the lower).
Press release ~ Trade Credit Insurance Top-up Scheme
 
HMRC:  A common approach to filing company accounts online has been announced in a joint statement by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and Companies House. In order to reduce potential administrative burdens on business, Companies House has announced that it will accept company accounts in a data format known as Inline XBRL (iXBRL).
 
This is the same format in which all Company Tax Returns (CTRs) – including the return form, company accounts and tax computations – must be submitted online to HMRC from April 2011 (for accounting periods ending after 31 March 2010).
 
Companies House will introduce their iXBRL service for unaudited full accounts by the summer of 2010, and then continue to develop their iXBRL capability for all the main types of accounts they receive.  HMRC’s new iXBRL service for CTRs will be available from November 2009.  Commercial software that is iXBRL-enabled will be widely available in Spring 2010.
Press release ~ Companies House
 
OFT: The OFT has published proposed changes to its guidance on director disqualification orders in competition law cases. A company director can be disqualified from acting as a director for up to 15 years if his or her company is involved in a breach of competition law and the court considers he/ she is unfit to be involved in the management of a company as a result – See ‘Consultation’ section for more information.
 
HMRCRevenue & Customs Brief 57/09
This Revenue and Customs Brief confirms HMRC policy on the VAT partial exemption 'payback' rules following the High Court decision in the case of Community Housing Association.
 
HMRCRevenue & Customs Brief 56/09
Further to HMRC Brief 11/07, the aim of this Brief is to clarify HMRC's view of the VAT treatment applying to the purchase and use (eg leasing and chartering) of pleasure craft and sets out HMRC's approach to artificial structures.
 
HMRCRevenue & Customs Brief 55/09
The brief sets out HMRC's policy on bingo duty as a result of the Rank ruling, and it also reminds operators of their legal obligations for accounting for duty.
 
HMRCRevenue & Customs Brief 54/09
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published new regulations about whether information it has requested can be withheld due to legal professional privilege.
 
HMRCRevenue & Customs Brief 53/09
This brief explains our revised policy on VAT recovery by local authorities on expenditure relating to capital works at voluntary aided schools.
 
HMRCRevenue & Customs Brief 52/09
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published technical guidance on the new VAT and Excise Wrongdoing penalties which will be implemented on 1 April 2010. This Business Brief gives an overview of how the new system will work.
Giving the elderly a voice in Parliament: An interview with Rachael Maskell MP