The Mail reports that HMRC is to be handed new powers to trawl bank accounts without holders being told. Under existing rules, financial institutions are permitted to notify their customers if tax officials demand access to their bank statements and other financial information. But in future the Revenue will be able to draw a “veil of secrecy” over its investigations. The proposals will also limit judicial oversight. Currently, if HMRC asks a taxpayer if they can access financial information and the taxpayer refuses, officials need permission from a tribunal to go ahead. In future, such probes will be signed off in house in cases which are not kept secret. However, a judge will have to sign off information orders used in secret.

Daily Mail, Page: 10

Posted 16/07/2018

 

A Nigerian engineer has been forbidden to work and ordered to leave the UK, despite the Home Office’s own lawyers advising that his case be dropped. Andrew Farotade’s lawyer, Adam Reid, says the Home Office made errors by comparing part of Mr Farotade’s gross earnings with his net earnings, then accused Mr Farotade of deceit when the different periods resulted in different incomes. The Home Office also claimed Mr Farotade had been dishonest by amending his tax records when he discovered an error, despite his accountant writing to the Home Office to admit liability. Mr Reid said: “We have been dealing with a lot of these types of cases. The Home Office seems to regard any discrepancy with an individual’s tax records to be dishonest behaviour worthy of refusal under 322(5).”

The Guardian, Page: 15

Posted 16/07/2018

 

HMRC is writing to 1,500 people who have sold a second home or buy-to-let property in the 2015-16 tax year but not declared a profit on which capital gains tax would potentially be liable. The letters, the wording of which is still being finalised, will ask recipients to explain why they have not paid the tax that HMRC’s computer models indicate they owe. Chas Roy-Chowdhury of the ACCA said the HMRC initiative should serve as a “wake-up call” to existing and former landlords or owners of second homes, some of whom may not realise they owe tax.

The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 11-12

Posted 15/07/2018

 

 

Germany’s constitutional court has ruled that Facebook must grant a grieving mother access to her late daughter’s profile and private messages on the social network. The ruling means parents could inherit the contract between their child and a social media platform in the same way they would inherit physical documents such as diaries and letters.

The Guardian, Page: 32

Posted 13/07/2018

 

French minister of state Delphine Gény-Stephann writes in City AM that Paris is creating an international commercial court that will apply common law and work in English. The court’s judgments will be enforceable throughout the EU.

City AM, Page: 17

Posted 12/07/2018

 

John Bache, chairman of the Magistrates Association, has warned that magistrates are facing a recruitment crisis, with the need to hire another 9,000 in the next ten years “just to stand still”. He told the Times that there were now 16,000 magistrates in England and Wales, half as many as 20 years ago, and that half would retire in the next decade. Mr Bache also said more magistrates were retiring than were being appointed, while 56% of magistrates were over 60 and so would have to retire within the next ten years. He predicted that the new judicial statistics released today would show a further fall to 15,000.

The Times, Page: 2 The Times, Page: 52-53

Posted 12/07/2018

Norfolk County Council is introducing a series of roadside sensors that can detect when a mobile phone is being used in a car and present drivers with a warning sign. The trial, developed by local company Westcotec, is designed to deter motorists from using phones at the wheel, and could ultimately be adapted as part of a system to catch and fine motorists.

The Times, Page: 19

Posted 10/07/2018

 

City AM looks at how much more complicated the UK tax system has become since the financial crisis. New research from UHY Hacker Young shows that since 2008/9 a total of eight new major new taxes have been levied, including the sugar tax, the diverted profits tax, the bank surcharge and the apprenticeship levy. It’s not just the costs of the taxes but the complexity of the system that should cause concern, the paper says. Darren Grimes of UHY Hacker Young explains: “Every new tax [following] the credit crunch sounds superficially attractive with admirable ends, but every new tax makes the UK a harder place to do business and helps put off inward investment.”

City AM, Page: 2

Members of the First Wives Club – divorcees who claim their husbands cheated them out of a fair divorce settlement by refusing to disclose their true wealth – are launching legal bids for justice. One divorcee is seeking perjury charges against three associates of her ex-husband, claiming they lied in court about his assets. Separately, another divorcee is demanding that the CPS bring charges against her former husband whom she has accused of aggressively refusing to fully disclose his assets. The women claim family court judges are overlooking the lies to drive through cases quickly.

The Sunday Telegraph, Page: 7

Posted 08/07/2018

Changes to tax rules for short-term lettings will mean that, from April 2019, the annual £7,500 tax break property owners enjoy when renting a room to a lodger, or their whole home for short stays, will be dependent on the owner being present for at least some of the guest’s stay. Homeowners will not be eligible for the tax break if they let out their whole home; instead a new £1,000 trading and property allowance will apply to earnings from the whole property. The changes will see higher taxes for people who use Airbnb and other short-term lettings websites to let out their properties when they are on holiday.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 29 The Times, Page: 17

Posted 07/07/2018