Overseas income or assets?

From 2016, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is getting an unprecedented amount of information about people’s overseas accounts, structures, trusts, and investments from more than 100 jurisdictions worldwide, thanks to agreements to increase global tax transparency. This gives HMRC unprecedented levels of information to check that, as in most cases, the right tax has been paid.

If you have already declared all of your past and present income or gains to HMRC, including from overseas, you do not need to worry. But if you are in any doubt, HMRC recommends that you read the factsheet below to help you decide now what to do next.

 

SPORTING TESTIMONIALS

A friend of mine is a football player who has played for a club for many years.  The club wishes to show appreciation for their efforts for the club as a player as well as their efforts in promoting the club. It has been suggested that a Testimonial match or a series of benefit events are held with the aim of raising funds for the sportsperson and a testimonial committee will be set up to oversee this.  What are the tax consequences?

The first point to mention is that the activities undertaken by the committee if organised on commercial lines amount to trading.  Examples of this might include entrance fees to a cricket match or dinner event and any receipts from the sale of any merchandise for the event.

Having stated this, a genuinely voluntary collection for the sportsperson as a measure of person esteem would not constitute a trade receipt.

The committee would be accountable to tax on trade receipts. The net proceeds would then be available for payment to this football player.  The net payment would not be a deductible expense for the committee.  Where the committee is an unincorporated association it will be within the charge to Corporation Tax.

If the sportsperson has a contractual right, whether written or verbal, to a testimonial then the money raised would be earnings in their hands.  It would need to be established that the testimonial was organised to demonstrate affection and regard for personal qualities of the player for the proceeds not to be earnings. Each case would be examined on its own merits with this regard.

From 6 April 2017 where no right or expectation to a testimonial exists a ‘one’off’ once in a lifetime income tax exemption is allowed for the first £100,000 received provided conditions are met.

BLACKBERRY MAKES A COMEBACK WITH THE KEYONE

BlackBerry has recently launched its new KeyOne smartphone. It combines a physical keyboard with an Android operating system, BlackBerry secure email and a 4.5inch touchscreen.

Many smartphone users find typing on physical keys more accurate than tapping out emails using a touchscreen and this is the audience that BlackBerry is targeting with the new KeyOne.

The keyboard can be set up to enable shortcuts. For example, set it to press “L” to open LinkedIn, or “P” for your photos.  Keys can also be assigned as shortcuts for specific contacts, to switch Bluetooth on and off and so on. Each of the 26 keys can be used for two different shortcuts – a long and a short press. You can also swipe vertically or horizontally on the keyboard as you would on a touchscreen, letting you flick through menus or scroll down pages, while the phone’s fingerprint scanner is built into the space bar.

The design of the KeyOne is smart and professional. It looks high end and the touchscreen is bright and clear with a resolution of 1620 x 1080 pixels. The KeyOne uses the latest version of Android (Android 7.1.1 Nougat) and is geared towards business users who value productivity above all else. Users have access to all of the apps on the Google Play Store as well as a number of enterprise-focused BlackBerry programmes

Aside from the keyboard, the BlackBerry Hub software is the highlight of the KeyOne. It combines notifications, messages, calls, LinkedIn, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and calendar notifications into one streamlined location.
The BlackBerry KeyOne is available on contract from various providers or SIM free from £499. It includes 32GB of storage, expandable with optional microSD cards if you need more storage space.

 

Mortgages and SA302 Requests

HMRC are aware that a number of agents are still phoning HMRC for a paper copy of their client’s tax calculation and/or their Tax Year Overview.

We as agents are telling HMRC we need this because our client’s lender will not accept the self-serve copy printed from their HMRC online account or the commercial software used to file the Self Assessment (SA) return, or our commercial software does not print.

HMRC have been working with the:

• Council of Mortgage Lenders and their members to understand their requirements and make the necessary changes so that they will accept self-served copies of the tax calculation from the HMRC online account or the commercial software used to file the SA return. All the lenders who will accept self-serve copies have also agreed to be added to a list of lenders which has now been published on GOV.UK

• commercial software companies to ensure their software offers a print facility

This means that all agents who have filed a SA return online will be able to print a copy of the tax calculation and/or the Tax Year Overview when it suits them rather than calling HMRC and waiting up to 2 weeks to receive a copy.

Now that HMRC have made all the changes required to allow agents to self-serve online HMRC will no longer be issuing paper copies of the tax calculations directly to agents from the 4 September 2017.

CREATING A LEARNING CULTURE IN YOUR FIRM

Creating a learning culture in your business involves a lot more than finding the right mix of training courses and seminars.

It’s about creating a mindset among your team. Leading businesses such as Apple, Google, SAP, American Express have embraced learning cultures and tend to outperform their competitors in their respective market sectors. So how do you create a learning culture in your firm?

Establish a link between learning and performance appraisals.

Your employees need to understand that ongoing learning and development is highly valued and that a capacity to engage in learning is an essential part of their role. Each team member should be set a learning and development objective at the beginning of the year and their performance against that objective should be measured as part of their mid year and end of year appraisals.

Integrate learning into day-to-day operations.

Team members should be encouraged to apply new learning to their jobs. Once links between learning, performance and outcomes are established, managers can support the learning by following up regularly on what employees are doing differently, what improvements they have made to processes, etc.

Make learning a strategic initiative rather than an administrative task.

Learning and development can be used to increase employee engagement and productivity. The best businesses create a robust, ongoing performance management process that fosters collaboration between employees and managers and makes learning from feedback part of everyday life. Give team members the tools to identify skills gaps themselves and empower them to find new learning opportunities.

Identify subject-matter experts.

Another way to deliver learning opportunities is to harness the skills and knowledge of subject matter experts within your business and implement knowledge-sharing programs. With this approach, you can link learning activities with core objectives and measure the impact it has on your business, the productivity of your team, etc.

Encourage accountability.

Employees may see their relationship with employers as reciprocal (even more so with younger generations such as Millennials). They expect access to learning opportunities as a partner in the relationship, but a partnership is a two-way street. As such, businesses can hold employees accountable for their own learning and development objectives. Managers need to be clear about who owns what and give their teams responsibility for their own development – and the tools they need to advance.

WHAT DO FUTURE LEADERS LOOK LIKE?

True leadership skills must be learned and practiced before they become second nature. So what do future leaders look like and how can you help them to develop their skills?
Some members of your team will be high performers but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be natural leaders. An individual’s past performance is a measure of their ability and expertise, but you need to look beyond performance to understand an employee’s appetite to grow, to develop others, to articulate a vision and communicate a strategy.

Potential future leaders will display a high degree of interest in the firm’s objectives, and engage in its future plans and strategy. Consider whether they proactively contribute good ideas and take ownership for delivering those ideas.

The best business leaders seek out challenges, enjoy learning and tend to explore new approaches to their work in order to find better ways of doing things.

Potential leaders have to be able to build a team and influence colleagues at various levels across a business. People tend to gravitate to leaders who will coach them to success. So look for coaching and mentoring competencies, and listen for coaching stories by other employees, to evaluate the future leadership potential of your key team members.

Where possible, it is better to grow your own talent in-house. The cost of retaining and developing your existing team is lower than hiring from the outside. Creating an in-house leadership development program is a good way to evaluate your high-potential team members.