9am Lowdown: Beckham, MTD beta & Scottish tax bands

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Good morning. In this morning’s lowdown, we have news of how businesses can take part in the MTD beta test and HMRC jumps the gun by publishing the Scottish tax bands before they’ve been confirmed.

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HMRC blocked Beckham's knighthood 

David Beckham’s tax avoidance investments caused HMRC to ‘red flag’ a knighthood nomination in 2014.

The former England captain invested in the Ingenious media investment scheme. A committee source told the Mirror: "For anybody who is being considered for an honour, we got advice on the reputational risk on relation to their tax affairs. It is ranked red, amber and green. And if it is red, the general rule is you do not give them an honour."

Lib Dem MP John Pugh said footballers should pay their fair share. “No one should be above the law and everyone should pay everything they owe, but we shouldn’t create a new ‘bend it for Beckham rule’ for certain people.”

News of Beckham’s clocked knighthood emerged after hackers obtained a series of emails as part of a blackmail plot. 

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HMRC seeks MTD volunteers

HMRC is seeking businesses and landlord volunteers to test its Making Tax Digital private beta.

As the Tax Faculty reports, HMRC wants those who have a “low level of digital capability” and are willing to test the record keeping software. Potential volunteers are being asked to complete a survey, answering questions like how they currently maintain their business records, how comfortable they are using IT, bookkeeping, and whether they currently use software to run their business (that includes spreadsheets).

Volunteers interested in testing the private beta need to complete the survey by 22 February. HMRC has already gathered a collection of willing agent volunteers to trial the beta.

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HMRC makes Scottish tax band blunder

HMRC published a P9X with incorrect and unconfirmed Scottish tax bands, despite Budget talks still ongoing.

AccountingWEB contributor and Payroll expert Kate Upcraft exposed HMRC’s “embarrassing” blunder on Twitter.

HMRC listed the Scottish tax bands as:    

Rate %                              Scottish Bandwidth      UK Bandwidth

Basic Rate 20%                  £1 to £31,930                  £1 to £33,500

Higher Rate 40%               £31,931 to £150,000         £33,501 to £150,000

Additional Rate 45%        £150,001 and above           £150,001 and above

Donald Drysdale reported yesterday on AccountingWEB about the Scottish income tax proposals for 2017/18.

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About Richard Hattersley

Richard Hattersley

Richard is AccountingWEB's Practice Editor. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.

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07th Feb 2017 10:22

Anyone want to volunteer?? Hello??? Hello??? anyone there??

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07th Feb 2017 13:01

But this cannot be right, as HMRC cannot discuss taxpayer's tax affairs with anyone whatsoever (apart from crime agencies etc.), which was rather ironically confirmed in the SC Ingenious case involving Patrick McKenna:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/real-reason-david-beckham-has...

That aside, how on earth can that Beckham decision be justified when people far less deserving get knighthoods/damehoods and when many Sirs, Lords and what have yous have participated in these Ingenious schemes with no batted eyelids to speak of?

Perhaps they are eliding it with the Jimmy Carr scheme controversy which was arguably a less palatable scheme.

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