Welcome from the editor, December 2017

So tell me what you want

As we approach the January deadline, getting things off our to-do list and passing them back to our clients as quickly as possible can be a tempting prospect. However, such haste can result in having to rework advice which is ultimately unsatisfying for all concerned. Elizabeth Lavercombe provides a few words of advice to advisers on what a client really wants. She notes that it may sound simple, but too many advisers miss that clear communication (in both directions) is fundamental to a successful client/adviser relationship.

MTD for VAT

VAT is now at the forefront of the Making Tax Digital proposals. In practice, this means for many businesses that the majority of the MTD requirements will still apply, even though mandation for income tax has been deferred. Richard Wild provides an update on what HMRC are currently advising they really want to be digitialised in respect of VAT. Although mandation may (at the moment) just be for VAT, for many businesses the practical impact will be much wider than this, requiring a significant change in behaviour, record keeping, and reporting – within a period of less than eighteen months. This is no mean feat and if not started already, planning should begin now – or perhaps in February!

Anti-Money Laundering

Advisers acting on behalf of trusts often have a number of questions relating to client due diligence and risk reviews. Anti-Money Laundering Guidance for the Accountancy Sector has been updated allowing the introduction of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and advisers need to ensure that if their clients meet certain criteria they are fulfilling their obligations under the new regulations. David Pett takes a look at the new regulations and the ‘Trust Registration Service’ they have spawned. Members wanted further guidance on the new regulations so the Professional Standards Team have also developed some FAQs (including one relating to trusts) based on current understanding of how the regulations operate.

Where and who?

Two simple questions, which will often form the basis of client due diligence, feature in two recent cases which are reviewed this month.

David Hughes examines the recent case of Development Securities v HMRC which involved the determination of the corporate residence position of three Jersey incorporated companies. The First-tier Tribunal set out a very detailed review of the facts and the key matters affecting central management and control. David considers what the decision means for corporate residence issues.

Keith Gordon considers a recent VAT case concerning the identity of the person to whom services were provided. The case is a good reminder of the need to check the contractual and invoicing arrangements where supplies are simultaneously made to more than one person.

Chris Mattos

Editor-in-Chief