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Issue:- 17 March 2010

Businesses face scrutiny by HMRC

BUSINESSES are facing greater scrutiny by the taxman as it launches a new programme aimed at monitoring tax evaders. The ‘Managing Deliberate Defaulters’ (‘MDD’) programme will allow HMRC to monitor the tax affairs of those it deems to have deliberately evaded tax. The new rules apply to businesses and individual taxpayers. A taxpayer will come out of the programme when HMRC is satisfied they are no longer a high risk but can remain in the programme for up to five years. If deliberate evasion continues then criminal proceedings may result. 900 MDDs, have already been identified and will receive a letter from HMRC informing them they will be under close personal scrutiny.

Rachel Murphy, head of tax at accountancy firm HURST, said:- “This is another way HMRC and the Treasury are seeking to boost their coffers in a difficult economic climate. It is crucial all taxpayers keep their tax affairs in order as poor financial records will not be an excuse. There is no right of appeal against inclusion in the MDD, but a formal complaint could be made. Given that HMRC refers to defaulters as ‘tax cheats’, inclusion in the programme could be extremely detrimental.”

According to HMRC, the scheme will involve “continued, close scrutiny” of a business, company or individual who is guilty of intentional under declaration.

Once in the MDD programme, a business can expect:-

►   Potentially unannounced visits by HMRC to inspect books and records before returns are submitted.

►   In-depth compliance checks.

►  Requirement to send additional information with the tax returns.

Email your views on this new system to our newsroom via:-

St Patrick’s Day celebrations at JLA

STAFF at Liverpool John Lennon Airport (JLA) will be helping to put passengers in the St Patrick’s Day mood with a number of promotions taking place in the Airport Departure Lounge.

Whilst a live Irish band will be entertaining passengers while they wait for flights, each of the bars throughout the Airport will be offering special Guinness promotions and the World Duty Free shop will be tempting passengers with Irish Whiskey tasting sessions. Ryanair are also giving away Dublin tourist information relating to the popular Temple Bar area.

20% of all Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s passengers travelled between JLA and either The Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland in 2010. Over one million passengers made use of regular flights with Ryanair to Dublin, Knock, Cork, Shannon and Derry and with easyJet and Flybe to Belfast International and Belfast City respectively.

Robin Tudor, Head of PR for Liverpool John Lennon Airport commented:- “The Irish market is a huge part of the Airport’s business and we thought it would be a nice surprise for passengers heading off tomorrow to experience a little bit of Ireland before they’ve even set off. This is the latest in a series of similar themed ‘Fun Friday’ events held at the Airport for passengers in recent months, but we thought we’d bring this event forward a day to St Patrick’s Day.”

Museum of Liverpool opening date announced!

THE Museum of Liverpool will launch 100 years to the very day that its iconic neighbour the Royal Liver Building, opened its doors.  The largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century, the new Museum of Liverpool, will open to the public for the first time on Tuesday, 19 July 2011. 

Professor Phil Redmond CBE, chairman of National Museums Liverpool said:- “Liverpool’s waterfront is known the world over, and we are pleased that we will soon be welcoming visitors to what is undoubtedly a stunning addition to that World Heritage Site.  Liverpool’s role in history is also known the world over, as is its iconic symbol, the Liver Bird. It is fitting then that the first purpose-built museum to examine a city’s role in world history, is opening its doors 100 years to the day that the Liver Building itself opened for business.”

Visitors to the new Museum in July will be able to see for themselves the magnificence of the Liver Birds, in one of the galleries overlooking the Three Graces.

Janet Dugdale, director of the Museum of Liverpool said:- “Until now, people have found it very difficult to grasp the sheer size of the birds that perch on top of what was once the tallest building in Britain. Visitors in the People’s Republic gallery will now be able to stand next to an 18ft life-size Liver Bird, whilst looking across at the real thing.”

Both considered cutting edge architectural designs in their own right, the celebrations of the Liver Building and Museum of Liverpool will take place during the city’s Year of Radicals, marking the anniversaries of a number of pivotal events in the city’s history.

2011 also marks the anniversaries of cultural, social and political events in the city including 30 years since the Toxteth Riots, 70 years since the Liverpool Blitz and the 100th anniversary of the Liverpool Transport Strike.  In February, the city celebrated 50 years since The Beatles first played at The Cavern, and the Museum of Liverpool will also display the stage where John and Paul first met four years earlier in St Peter’s Church Hall in Woolton.

Housing more than 6,000 other objects, many which have never been on public display, visitors can unearth an array of stories from the Ice Age to the present day. People can witness the city’s growth into the world’s greatest port, see first hand the last remaining carriage from the famous Liverpool Overhead Railway, and immerse themselves in the city’s rich sporting and creative history.

David Fleming, director of National Museums Liverpool said:- “The Museum of Liverpool is all about telling the stories of the city and its people. This includes the times of struggle such as the Toxteth riots, the triumphs of our musical exports including The Beatles, and the dramatic histories of our football teams.  Every single event has helped shape this city’s personality. The Museum of Liverpool is here to tell the tale, and like the Liver Building, will be around for many years to come.”

The £72m project is continuing apace, and internal fit-out of the major galleries is taking shape to such an extent that the three-phased opening of the museum has been reduced to just two, with the second phase opening later this year.  Discussions regarding plans for the launch day are currently taking place, and will be announced nearer the date

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