News in brief – 20 August

E-commerce too fast for UK

Most UK companies are not ready to take advantage of an upsurge in demand for electronic commerce, according to KPMG Management Consulting.

Speaking last week at a conference on e-commerce Daniel Koopman, a KPMG e-commerce consultant, said encryption technology now exists to maintain the confidentiality of credit card transactions.

End of road for PAYE-dodgers

The Inland Revenue laid down its final PAYE anti-avoidance measures before parliament last week. The regulations, which complete a package of measures in the Finance Act and came into force yesterday, aim to stop employers dodging PAYE by paying their staff in assets that can easily be converted into cash.

Revenue lifts lid on pensions

The Inland Revenue has announced details of tax pension schemes and self-assessment for 1997/1998 and 1998/1999. A tax return for 1997/1998 will be issued to around 20% of tax-approved occupational self-administered pension schemes in August and September of this year.

The completed tax return and tax payable must be returned by 31 January 1999.

Holland DH issue bond

Motown songwriting legends Holland Dozier Holland last week issued a $30m (#18.1m) bond, allowing them a tax-free advance on royalties. Tax is only charged when royalties have been earned. The composers, behind classic songs such as ‘Baby Love’, are the latest musicians to jump on the bond-issue bandwagon. Last autumn, David Bowie became the first rock star to persuade investors to buy into his future income with a #55m ‘Bowie Bond’.

New trainee qualification

A new accountancy qualification aimed at teenagers has been endorsed by the National Traineeship Advisory Group. Developed by the Local Government National Training Organisation, the National Traineeship in Accounting is aimed at 16 and 17-year-olds. The NVQ level 2 traineeship lasts two years and involves workplace and classroom training. Training and Enterprise Councils are responsible for local implementation of the schemes.

Andersens serves writ

Arthur Andersen, acting as the receiver for Landhurst Leasing, has issued a writ against former Tottenham Hotspur and Blue Arrow director Tony Berry and former Landhurst employee Charles Dyer. The writ seeks the repayment of money due from Berry’s company, Saxilby, and damages for breach of duty by Dyer for releasing Berry from guarantees made to Landhurst in 1991.

APB publishes practice note

The Auditing Practices Board has published a new practice note, ‘Bank Reports for Audit Purposes’. The guide differentiates between ‘standard’ and ‘supplementary’ information that auditors may need to seek which will simplify the process of obtaining confirmation letters from banks. Practice Note 16 will apply to requests submitted after 1 December 1998.

Receivers appointed

Ralph Preece and Nick Dargan of Deloitte & Touche have been appointed joint administrative receivers to Crawley-based power equipment manufacturer Allenwest Brentford, a subsidiary of the Allenwest Group. While the rest of the group continues to trade normally, Allenwest Brentford has been experiencing trading difficulties for some time, said Preece.

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