Good morning and welcome to the 9am Lowdown. Today’s headlines include the financial secretary on Making Tax Digital, a fine for Moore Stephens and a tax fraud couple sentenced.
Landlord tax fraud couple sentenced
An Uxbridge couple who kept their £1.2m property profit a secret from HMRC have been found guilty and sentenced for tax fraud.
Savita Seth, who worked for HMRC while committing the offences, with her husband failed to declare more than £1.2m earned from their property portfolio and falsely claimed tax credits.
According to Get West London, the wife avoided jail with a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years, while husband Naveen was handed a three year and eight months prison sentence.
Both were found guilty after a trial at Isleworth Crown Court on 14 January.
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Financial secretary on Making Tax Digital
The Treasury Committee has publishing correspondence between Andrew Tyrie MP, chairman of the Treasury Committee, and David Gauke MP, financial secretary to the Treasury, on Making Tax Digital.
Commenting on the correspondence, Tyrie said: “For the vast majority of businesses and many individuals, Making Tax Digital may be a sensible direction of travel. But there are some – for example, those who do not currently use computers or for whom quarterly reporting would be a substantial burden - who understandably remain very concerned about these proposals.
“The government should consult widely before reaching any decisions on this. The requirement for all businesses to maintain a digital tax account needs to be tempered by provisions for those for whom this would be an unreasonable burden. Nor should an ambitious timetable be imposed at the expense of greater clarity for the millions of businesses these changes will affect,” he said.
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Presbyterian Mutual Society auditor fined £140,000
Moore Stephens, the firm which audited the Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS), has been fined £140,000.
The PMS had to be bailed out by the government in 2010 after savers rushed to withdraw money.
According to the BBC the FRC found Moore Stephens failed to obtain an adequate understanding of the legal and regulatory environment in which the PMS operated.
David McClean, an audit partner at the firm, was also fined £20,000, after failing to adequately test PMS board and management assumptions that it was complying with its own rules and with legislation and regulation.