Business News – 5th May 2017

Retail Acquisitions heading for liquidation

The former owner of collapsed BHS, Retail Acquisitions, is to be liquidated, with a judgment expected to be formally handed down in the next few days. The collapse of BHS is still being investigated by the Insolvency Service, which could recommend that former directors of BHS are banned from being company directors in Britain. Duff & Phelps, acting on behalf of companies in the BHS group, said it was “satisfied that [Retail Acquisitions] has been put into liquidation”.

Financial Times, Page: 19 The Times, Page: 48 The Guardian, Page: 22 Independent i, Page: 49 The Sun, Page: 47 Daily Mirror, Page: 12 Daily Mail, Page: 71

Former tech unicorn sold for £2m

Ve Interactive, the advertising technology company once valued at £1.5bn, has been sold for just £2m after being bought out of administration last week. Documents from Ve’s administrators Smith & Williamson showed that the company needed at least £2m of funds to key suppliers such as Microsoft to keep operating. Unsecured creditors, to whom Ve owed £50.6m, may receive just 7.7p in the pound in return.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1

Former Jaeger owner offers to step in

The former owner of Jaeger, fashion entrepreneur Harold Tillman, claims he “could rebuild” the business again if creditors share the cost. Administrators AlixPartners told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours that buyers are interested in the firm’s assets and Mr Tillman is credited with reviving Jaeger’s fortunes before it was sold to Better Capital in 2012.

BBC News

Labour’s tax plans backed

The Guardian’s Paul Mason backs Labour’s plans to increase taxes to fund schools and the NHS. He suggests the party should restore the 50p tax rate for high earners, and says taxing the top 1% “should be a defining principle for a radical social democracy.”

The Guardian, Page: 29

‘Brexit effect’ on top earners could hit UK tax take

A study by the IFS on the economic consequences of Brexit suggests slowing income growth among the richest 10% of earners could disproportionately affect the UK tax take.

Financial Times

CIOT suggests Scottish tax committee

The CIOT has recommended that the Scottish Parliament should consider establishing a committee focused exclusively on scrutinising the country’s devolved tax powers.

Staff Reporter

Care home insolvencies increasing

Government figures reveal that 75 care home businesses were declared insolvent in 2016, up from 74 the previous year. It means a total of 421 care home businesses have collapsed since 2010. FRP Advisory said that care homes is the only industry in Britain to have suffered from rising insolvencies over the last seven years.

The Guardian, Page: 23

SME orders up

A survey of SME manufacturers reveals orders hit a three-year high at the start of 2017, although fears of inflation dampened optimism. The research, by the CBI, shows growth in domestic and export demand during Q1 drove new orders to their highest level since 2014. However, the weak pound led to the strongest rises in unit costs and prices in six years, while investment intentions for the year ahead deteriorated after improving for two quarters.

The Times, Page: 52 The Independent, Page: 53

SMEs advised to hire an accountant

The Telegraph offers ten tips for new business owners. The first step it advises entrepreneurs to take is to hire an accountant. Employers are also reminded that they must provide a workplace pensions scheme for employees. The benefits of R&D tax credits and write-down allowances are also highlighted.

The Daily Telegraph

Google agrees €306m Italian tax settlement

Google has agreed to pay €306m to the Italian authorities to settle a tax dispute in Italy, for the years between 2002 and 2015. The agreement comes a year after Italian tax authorities launched an investigation into Google’s taxes, amid accusations relating to income booked through a unit based in lower-tax Ireland.

Financial Times, Page: 14 The Times, Page: 25 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 7 The Sun, Page: 12

Murky waters

Thames Water has been criticised for paying out huge dividends to investors during a period when the company often paid no corporation tax and doubled its debt.

Financial Times, Page: 9

Conservatives consider CGT change

According to the Times’ Anne Ashworth, the Conservatives’ election manifesto could contain plans to impose CGT on the sale of principal private residences worth £5m-plus. She also notes that the 3% stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let homes, introduced during David Cameron’s government, accounted for £454m of the £1.9bn stamp duty revenue raised during the first quarter of this year.

The Times, Bricks and Mortar, Page: 7

House prices vs IHT

Following Labour’s pledge to lower the IHT allowance, the Telegraph’s Richard Dyson examines how the threshold for the levy has risen in comparison with house prices.

The Daily Telegraph

Sunny outlook for UK services

The UK’s services sector grew last month at its fastest pace so far this year, outpacing much of the growth seen in 2016. The services sector PMI from IHS Markit rose to 55.8 in April, up from 55 in March. Services firms are also hiring more workers, with the employment index rising to 52.7.

The Times, Page: 44 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Guardian, Page: 21 Evening Standard, Page: 49

Cruel April for retailers

BDO’s latest high street tracker reveals that UK retailers’ like-for-like trading rose by only 1.9% in April.

The Times, Page: 47

Over-55s look to protect legacy

A study by Prudential has found millions of over-55s are attaching conditions to their legacy to protect it if their children divorce. A quarter want to stop family money being lost if their children get divorced, while 13% have already sought, or intend to seek, financial and legal advice to help ensure their inheritance is spent wisely. But although more than a third of over-55s are concerned about incurring IHT on their estate, only 19% have taken advice to reduce the bill.

Daily Mail, Page: 30