Good morning and welcome to Wednesday’s Lowdown.
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Farron says HMRC’s New Year honours is “a farce”
“Giving gongs to the HMRC and others like this in the Honours List is a Reward for Failure,” Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said.
Six HMRC members of staff were honoured in the 2017 New Year honours list – including Sarah Pearson, HMRC’s head of customer services for personal tax, who received an MBE. According to The Sun, Farron said: “HMRC have had the worst year, not only billions of pounds has not been collected from the biggest tax dodgers, but the average punter has been made to wait for hours on the phone on hold. It’s a farce.”
However, an HMRC spokesperson defended Pearson’s recognition, saying she had “driven through” considerable improvements at her site in Cardiff.
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AirBNB lowers price gap due to tax advantage
One third of the savings AirBNB offers customers when they book a room in London comes from tax advantages.
According to The Guardian, AirBNB only charges VAT on its service fees, unlike traditional hotels, which have to pay business rates on its property and charge VAT on the entire cost of the stay.
In a statement given to the FT, Airbnb said “The overwhelming amount of money generated by the Airbnb platform stays with hosts and their communities.
“The Airbnb model is unique and empowers regular people, boosts local communities and is subject to local tax. It also makes Airbnb fundamentally different to hotel groups and companies that take large sums of money out of the places they do business.”
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HMRC launches SA talking points
HMRC is running self assessment dedicated Talking Points throughout January and added a selection of videos to its YouTube channel to assist with common queries, according to HMRC’s latest Agent Update.
The first Talking Points meeting starts tomorrow and covers trade losses; the second meeting on 12 January looks at self assessment filing and paying; the third meeting on the 18 January explores capital allowance and vehicles; and the final meeting in January covers basis periods.
The Talking Point meetings in February will explore a variety of topics: Domicile, tax avoidance for insolvency practitioners, apprenticeship levy, Intellectual Property Office, and 2 step verification will all feature in meetings throughout the month.
You can register for any of the above sessions here.
About Richard Hattersley
Richard is AccountingWEB's Practice Editor. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.