9am Lowdown: HMRC, RBS and productivity

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Welcome to the start of the week everyone. Here’s the lowdown.

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HMRC wins £18m tax avoidance case

The tax authority has defeated Clavis Liberty Fund, a tax avoidance scheme used by the wealthy to reduce their tax bills, in the upper tribunal. (FT Adviser)

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Small business productivity ‘a postcode lottery’

A joint report from Sage and Nesta shows SMEs in some local authorities are up to 26 times more productive than others – with local initiatives, business death rates and education all playing a part. (Nesta SME index)

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Treasury to monitor RBS giveaway

The Treasury is assembling a top team of lawyers and accountants to supervise an intricate Royal Bank of Scotland scheme to give away £775m in cash to its rivals. (City AM)

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Stockton protest against HMRC closure plans

HMRC staff have held a protest against plans to close tax offices across the north east of England. (BBC news)

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Misco UK goes bust over unpaid VAT

Misco has become the latest computer reseller to be plunged into administration following a cashflow crisis and an application for a winding-up order from HMRC over unpaid VAT. (V3)

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New on AccountingWEB

John Stokdyk examines the stories behind the practice and software awards.

The AccountingWEB Making Tax Digital podcast discusses progress on the MTD legislation, spreadsheets, HMRC webinars and progress on the pilot scheme.

AccountingWEB regular blogger FirstTab believes that sometimes we’re our own worst enemies.

And on the industry insights page, Exact has published an accountant’s guide to robots, IoT and blockchain.

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