Business and Other Briefings

HMRC2 new toolkits to help agents avoid common errors when filing clients’ returns have been launched by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The free toolkits cover the following taxes:
* Capital Gains Tax (land and buildings)
* Personal & private expenditure
 
3 other toolkits are already available to help agents navigate capital gains tax for Trust & Estates, marginal small company relief and capital allowances for plant machinery.  More toolkits will follow next year.  This work forms part of HMRC’s Pre-Return Support pilot for agents.  To view the toolkits, agents must join the pilot by going to the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/prereturnpilot ~ Press release ~ News, updates and events for agents and advisers
 
HMTHM Treasury has issued a statement on Money Laundering controls in Overseas Jurisdictions. The notice constitutes advice issued by HM Treasury about risks posed by unsatisfactory money laundering controls in a number of jurisdictions.  The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 require firms to put in place policies, procedures or systems in order to prevent money laundering or terrorist financing. 

Regulated businesses are also required to apply enhanced customer due diligence & enhanced ongoing monitoring on a risk-sensitive basis in certain defined situations and in “any other situation which by its nature can present a higher risk of money laundering or terrorist financing”.
 
On 16th October 2009 the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issued a further statement drawing attention to deficiencies in several jurisdictions of concern.  The UK fully supports the work of the FATF on these matters and HM Treasury agrees with the FATF assessments.
 
The UK additionally draws attention to & supports, the public statements of MONEYVAL (a FATF style regional body under the auspices of the Council of Europe) in respect of Azerbaijan in December 2008, March 2009 and September 2009. This advice is effective immediately.
Press release ~ Financial crime: policy and publications ~ Money Laundering Regulations 2007 ~ HMRC: Money Laundering Regulations ~ Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ~ MONEYVAL
 
OFT: The Office of Fair Trading has launched a market study into corporate insolvency. The study will look at the structure of the market, the appointment process for insolvency practitioners and any features in the market which could result in harm, such as higher fees or lower recovery rates for certain groups of creditors.
 
It follows concerns raised within Government, including the Insolvency Service which is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the industry itself. A recent World Bank report showed the costs of closing a business in the UK are higher than other countries with similar or even better recovery rates.  A report by R3, the trade body for insolvency practitioners, also highlighted the cost of insolvency as a relative weakness of the UK's regime.
Press release ~ OFT Corporate Insolvency market study ~ Insolvency Service ~ World Bank report:  'Doing Business 2010' ~ R3 report: The Value of the Insolvency Industry
 
HMRC: A new Charter setting out what individuals, businesses and other groups dealing with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can expect from the department, as well as what it expects from them, has been launched. The Charter also provides pointers to further information on your rights, where you can get help and support, and HMRC’s role.
Press release ~ HMRC – Your Charter ~ Listen to the Charter podcast
Reshaping Council Services for the COVID Era