The BBC’s screening of Panorama’s investigation into Bright Tribe Trust has again caused many to question the academies regime and the lack of scrutiny. For those that missed it, the programme accused the Trust of making false claims for government grants intended for various capital projects and either not completing the projects or starting them.
However once we look past the emotional side of the concerns raised by the investigation there are some key lessons that many Academy Trusts and Boards of Trustees can learn from.
Whether you have already embarked on an ambitious venture and are growing quickly, or are about to set sail, VAT needs to be given a high priority. There are many pitfalls that can be encountered and these need to be managed.
Here are our top 10 VAT issues that need to be understood and managed.
With the increasing financial pressures placed on academies the financial strains are never far from the forefront of our minds, so now that one school year has ended and another is beginning academies should all take a second to ask themselves some key questions.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)’s recent evaluation of phases one and two of its accounts rules reforms has been an interesting read, detailing the positive effects of the changes following their implementation from November 2014 onwards. Phase three of the changes is still subject to formal approval from the Legal Services Board and no implementation date has been announced as yet, although we do know that it will not be before 2019 as opposed to the Autumn 2018 date which was previously anticipated. The changes have been on the agenda for some time now so it is worth having a recap on each phase:
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is currently payable 30 days after the ‘effective date’ of the land transaction; a land transaction return is required within the same timeframe. The ‘effective date’ for these purposes is normally completion.
Whether or not to charge VAT on disbursements, both going forward and historically, has become a key area in the last couple of years, largely as a result of a case against Brabners LLP, a firm of solicitors specialising in conveyancing.