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Do you know how to list your designatory letters?
26 July 2011

Do you know how to list your impressive designatory letters, of which the CTA is one? According to Debrett's, the modern authority on all matters of etiquette, there is a preferred way:

1. The abbreviations 'Bt.' or 'Bart.' and 'Esq.' as appropriate.
2. Orders and Decorations conferred by the Crown (OBE, MBE, etc)
3. Various appointments such as Privy Counsellor or Honorary Surgeon to the Queen
4. QC and JP
5. University degrees
6a. Religious orders
6b. Medical qualifications
7a. Fellowships of Learned Societies
7b. Royal Academicians and Associates
7c. Fellowships and Memberships of professional bodies
7d. Writers to the Signet
8. MP
9. Armed forces membership - e.g. RN

You should always separate your designatory letters by these groups. When listing your membership of professional bodies, an order that reflects their importance to your profession is most acceptable and therefore membership of a Chartered body should take precedence.

Helen Burgess, Membership Manager

Tax and the City
25 May 2011

The CIOT went transatlantic on 12 May with the inaugural meeting of the North America Branch (or Chapter). A networking reception, generously sponsored by Thomson Reuters, and held at their impressive offices at 3 Times Square (off 44th and Broadway) was well attended by representatives from the US financial and business communities as well as CTAs working in New York City and surrounds.

With the event space being situated on the 30th floor, guests had a superior view of the New Year's Eve Ball while we enjoyed drinks and canapés and listened to speeches by Vincent Oratore, Brian Peccarelli, President of the Tax & Accounting business at Thomson Reuters and Robert Moncrieff, North America Branch Chairman-Elect and partner at Ernst & Young in New York.

The next event for the Branch will be a technical meeting in September. All meetings will be open to anyone with a professional interest in tax and if you would like to receive news and alerts, don't forget to sign up in your site profile.

My own knowledge of international tax was greatly advanced by my visit (I learnt that NYC sales tax is 8.875%!) and we wish the 36th Branch of the CIOT every success.

Helen Burgess, Membership Manager

Bribery Act to come into force on 1 July: Guidance issued today
30 March 2011

The Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has confirmed that the Bribery Act will come into force from 1 July, three months later than planned, and will not seek to make corporate hospitality illegal. Guidance has been made available today and is available here.

Mr Clarke said: "Some have asked whether business can afford this legislation - especially at a time of economic recovery. But the choice is a false one. We don't have to decide between tackling corruption and supporting growth. Addressing bribery is good for business because it creates the conditions for free markets to flourish."

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills added: "Bribery has no place in British business, at home or abroad. This new robust law reflects the UK's leading role in the fight against bribery, updates regulation dating back to 1906 and paves the way for competitive but fair practice.

"We have listened to the concerns from business. That's why today we are minimising regulatory burdens and publishing easy-to-understand guidance and a guide for small and medium sized companies three months before the Act will come into force. This will give these businesses time to prepare."

Mr Clarke in an interview to tonight's Evening Standard added that the Guidance was simplified to the point where any director would understand the difference between an illegal bribe and everyday business entertaining or gift-giving without having to seek legal counsel. A stronger emphasis on the risk-based approach has also been added.

Helen Burgess, Membership Manager

Tax advisers from across Europe hold annual forum
11 March 2011

The CFE (Confédération Fiscale Européenne) will be holding its annual forum in Brussels on 7 April 2011.

The CFE includes 33 national organisations from 24 European States, representing more than 180,000 tax advisers.

The cost of attending the Forum is € 300 (or € 250 for those registered in the European Register of Tax Advisers of the CFE).

The Forum will this year focus on 'Permanent Establishment'.

In both direct and indirect tax, the concept of Permanent Establishment has undergone very recent changes: The 2010 changes to the OECD Model Convention and Commentary, and in particular the new Art. 7, will be adopted in national law, as speakers from the Netherlands and Germany will report. The effect of the new definition on treaties with other countries will also be considered.

In indirect tax, the discussion will deal with the practical consequences of the adoption of the Regulation implementing the EU VAT Directive in January 2011.

To register, or to find out more about the event, click here.

Recent Events in the Middle East
27 February 2011

Further to the recent instability in the Middle East, CTAs subject to the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations 2007 with clients in affected areas should review their arrangements for dealing with PEPs (Politically Exposed Persons), their use of due diligence and other obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. It is particularly advisable to ensure that the PEP checklists you are using are up-to-date.

In addition, HM Treasury have issued a Financial Sanctions Note in relation to Libya.

Helen Burgess, Membership Manager

CTAs: What do you need to know about the Cloud?
10 January 2011

You may be wondering what the cloud is. Most usually any reference to 'the cloud' is to cloud computing. Google has a range of explanations about what this is, but basically cloud computing is a style of computing where resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users also do not need to maintain or indeed know anything about the technology in their 'cloud' - which is an attractive option if turning the server off by mistake is a favourite office pastime.

Does this affect you? You probably don't know and probably don't care. You may, however, already be an enthusiastic user of cloud computing without having realised that you are. Have you ever used a web-based email address such as Gmail or Hotmail? Or maybe you have signed up to a account? All cloud computing - software and servers you don't need to maintain, upgrade, store on your computer harddrive or even think much about.

Ever used online banking? I access my current account online from different computers; I don't know where this data lives and I don't really want to know. I just want to be able to access my bank account details easily when I need.

Cloud technology is developing fast and becoming increasingly popular. According to the results of an October 2010 US study by KPMG LLP 90 percent of executives and 68 percent of middle managers surveyed said they are using or plan to use cloud-based services within two years.

Most companies fulfil their computing needs by buying the necessary hardware and software packages. They buy multiple software licenses for multiple employees - broadly speaking, if you have eighty staff all using Adobe PDF then you would buy eighty licenses. Cloud-based technology allows businesses to buy per user based on use which may work out significantly more cost-effective. If your eighty employees used Adobe PDF for three hours a week then you would only pay for the actual resources used. The software is accessed solely through the internet so the most current version is always available and you don't need to worry about installing or upgrading anything, which also frees up your time for doing actual tax work (should you be so inclined!)

Of course not everything about cloud computing is problem-free, and there are risks involved of which responsible users should be aware. I will look at these in part two, as well a more in-depth view of how the cloud can be used for financial matters (cloud accounting).

Helen Burgess, Membership Manager

Updated CPD Regulations & Guidance
13 December 2010

Updated regulations and guidance are now available on the website in the Members and Professional Standards sections website and members should be aware that these will apply from 1 January 2011. They have been structured on the same principles of relevance, flexibility and reasonability as the regulations currently in force and the minimum annual requirements are unchanged.

Members will be asked to make an annual declaration that they are undertaking their CPD from the end of the 2011 period. The arrangements for CPD record submission - upon request only - remain unchanged.

The objectives of revising the regulations and guidance are to simplify, modernise, reduce administration and place more emphasis on members’ responsibilities for their own career development and keeping their technical knowledge up-to-date.

The updated CPD Regulations and Guidance can be viewed here. Your comments are as always welcome.

Helen Burgess, Membership Manager

New Arrangements for Tax Adviser magazine
30 November 2010

The Institute is delighted to announce that LexisNexis will be publishing Tax Adviser from the January 2011 issue and Rebecca Benneyworth will take over as Editor-in-Chief from February 2011.

Vincent Oratore, CIOT President, said: "I would therefore like to express my heartfelt gratitude to CCH for all their hard work in making Tax Adviser such a successful and relevant tax publication over the last decade. I would like to give particular thanks to David Milne, Lesley Bolton and the Team at CCH for all their professionalism, dedication and skill. It is very much appreciated."

Patrick Stevens, CIOT Vice-President and Chairman of Tax Adviser Sub-Committee, said “We are very pleased to welcome Rebecca to the Editorship of Tax Adviser. She has lectured extensively on behalf of the CIOT and others, and we are sure that her vast experience with a wide spectrum of technical tax matters will ensure we continue to produce a high-level and practical magazine that makes compelling reading for all our members."

If you have anything you would like to contribute to the Institute's newsletter, CTA News, please contact us at

Helen Burgess, Membership Manager

Welcome to the New CIOT Website
3 September 2010

Following extensive member feedback throughout the life of the former, we hope you will find the new site an improvement both in terms of content and ease of navigation!

The latest technical articles and press releases about the Institute's doings can be found in Policy and Technical, whereas you can visit the Members' section to update your personal information, or book on to a local branch meeting.

Please bear with us while we continue to build and improve the site and don't forget to check back every so often to see what's new.

If you have any feedback or comments please don't hesitate to get in touch and we hope you enjoy using the site.

Helen Burgess, Membership Manager


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