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9am Lowdown: Film scheme dismissed, NHS tax & Receipt Bank

17th Mar 2017

Happy Friday! Let’s end the week by taking a look at what’s happening in the world of accountancy.

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HMRC wants digital user researchers

HMRC is looking for 16 digital user researchers to understand the needs  and wants of the users for digital projects such as Making Tax Digital.

Chris Moffit, a user researcher based in Newcastle, is currently doing research on Making Tax Digital. In the blog Moffit said his main goal is to be the “voice of the user”.

“The services I work on can be heavily relied upon by thousands of people to help them manage their tax affairs, so it’s really important we design something that provides a positive experience and allows users to succeed first time.

“Going out and speaking to people who will actually use the service, either in their home environment or in one of our usability labs, helps me build a more detailed picture of users and understand their different needs. After all, if we don’t know enough about the people we’re designing for, how can we know what they want or need?”

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Film partnership scheme appeal dismissed

HMRC has claimed victory over a film partnership tax avoidance scheme promoted by Proteus Film Partnership and Samarkand Film Partnership.

The Court of Appeals dismissed the film partnership schemes that acquired the rights to The Queen and the Roman Polanski remake of Oliver Twist. HMRC said that the partnerships were not trading and there were never any losses available to investors to reduce their tax bills.

Jennie Granger, HMRC director general of customer compliance, said: “This scheme deliberately sought to exploit the tax reliefs put in place to help boost the British film industry, but it didn’t pay off. We’re delighted with the win which means we’ve protected £26m of taxpayers’ money.”

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Health service tax explored

With the NHS under financial pressure the BBC has explored the mounting calls for a dedicated the health service tax.

The idea behind the levy has found support from a panel of health experts including the former NHS England head Sur David Nicholson, and also proposals commissioned by the Liberal Democrats.

The panel argues that more money is needed for the NHS and while raising national insurance and income tax remains an option, a dedicated ‘health tax’ would "improve understanding of what health and care cost, and enhance transparency about how our taxes our used".

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Receipt Bank partners with BDO

BDO clients will soon be using Receipt Bank data submission and extraction tools and processes, Receipt Bank has announced on its industry update page.  

The partnership has also seen Receipt Bank act in a consultancy role through workshops and onboarding advice. Rebecca McClure, BDO’s director of operations, said the implementation of Receipt Bank and Practice Platform dashboard  means the firm has more time to engage with their our clients’ business issues and “fully support them in achieving their ambitions”.

Alexis Prenn, Receipt Bank’s co-founder and CEO, said: “We are proud to be playing an integral role in helping BDO get the most out cloud technology for the businesses they work with.”

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