In summary the treatment of VAT relating to this change is:
any work completed before 1 January 2010 will be subject to VAT at 15%
any work spanning 1 January 2010 can either be subject to VAT at 17.5% on completion or split between that portion up to 31 December 2009 at 15% and 17.5% thereafter
any work invoiced or paid for before 31 December relating to services after 31 December 2009 will be subject to VAT at 15%
The rate change is the last point which HMRC has sought to limit in scope. Apart from obvious transactions arranged between connected parties, any prepayment for services over £100,000 where this practice is not the norm will be subject to an additional 2.5% supplementary charge. However there is still some room for manoeuvre for orgainsations in the UK who cannot recover their VAT in full e.g. charities.
If you are unsure about any VAT matters, seek professional advice.
The Association has an annual continuing education programme, the high points of which are the Peter Taylor Annual Memorial Address, an open lecture delivered by a senior member of the judiciary in memory of our first President, the later Lord Chief Justice, Lord Taylor of Gosforth, a weekend Residential Clinical Negligence seminar in the second or third week of September which alternates between colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, and the annual Saturday seminar on Solicitors’ Negligence in October. The PNBA also promotes basic education for juniors and returners to practice in its annual Back to Basics Course over three weekday evenings in November. In addition the Association holds lectures and seminars throughout the year, principally at the benchers rooms of Inner Temple and occasionally in Manchester and Leeds.
The PNBA has an extensive provincial membership and our lectures are transcribed and occasionally videotaped for library use. Since 1997 the Back to Basics Course has been transmitted by video link live to chambers in Bristol, Nottingham, Leeds, Cardiff, Newcastle and Liverpool.
Following a robust assessment, the PRP Board has decided that IMPRESS meets all its criteria, including independence from the print and online publishers it regulates, and appropriate funding, making it the UK’s first independent press regulator. Recognition was granted at a meeting in London on 25th October.
IMPRESS meets all twenty-nine criteria of the Charter which – in England and Wales – sits alongside the Crime and Courts Act 2013. Since 3rd November 2015, under the Act, publishers who are not a member of an approved regulator could face the threat of exemplary damages in egregious privacy cases – a regime previously unknown in the English or Welsh systems of press litigation. Publishers who are members of an approved regulator would be protected from this.
As part of the assessment process, the PRP provided three opportunities for the public and third parties to review IMPRESS’ application and provide feedback to the PRP. Several people and organisations took up the opportunity, and the PRP received further submissions in the lead up to the meeting. All the relevant information was considered by the PRP Board when making its decision. All the information received during the calls for information will be published on the PRP’s website within 30 days, alongside the IMPRESS application, the PRP’s assessment report and the Board’s final decision.
Following the announcement, David Wolfe, Chair of the PRP Board, said: “The Royal Charter plays a role in ensuring the freedom of the press while protecting the interests of the public.”
Commenting, Walter Merricks CBE, chair of IMPRESS said, “The PRP decision is good news for the press and good news for the public. This is the next important step in building a new era of trust between journalists and the public and a significant moment in the history of press regulation in this country. For the first time news publishers, both large and small, have the choice to join an independent press regulator which is not controlled by major publishers….We believe that independent press regulation meets a real public need. As a truly independent regulator, that is not part of the newspaper industry, we can put decent standards and accuracy at the heart of news publishing, dealing with complaints fairly and with impartiality.”
Sir Harold Evans, variously editor of The Northern Echo, The Sunday Times and The Times has said, “The democratic ideal and necessity of a free, cultivated and honest press requires monitoring by a body – independent of ownership – to hold journalism to the highest standards of truth and integrity and respect for the rights of individuals. Without that independent monitoring, gross abuses, of the kind we have endured and continue to experience, will continue. I support IMPRESS and the publishers that have committed to its standards.”
Recordings of the meeting is available online https://www.periscope.tv/PRPanel. The meeting was divided into several parts, so there are a number of videos. The first video is here: https://www.periscope.tv/PRPanel/1ypJdAjEwwdxW?