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13th May 2020

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BUFDG Digest - Wednesday 13 May 2020 Amanda Darley



This first Digest for May is also Amanda’s first. She’ll be helping Matt out with the Digest from time to time from now on, so if you’ve got any feedback on her first attempt, drop her a line, including whether you like/don’t like the current fortnightly format.

There was great news for universities in the past fortnight with the Chancellor announcing he was bringing forward the zero-rating of e-publications to 1 May – have you checked what a difference this could make to your libraries/journals/publications budgets? There’s an excellent BUFDG guide to the change on our website.



Don’t forget the Financial Statements webinars running at 12.30pm and 2.30pm on Friday (15 May). During the webinar the BUFDG Financial Reporting Group and the audit firms will cover amendments/new guidance for Financial Statements, and provide an opportunity to review best practice and ask questions. Find out more here.

We’re also running a webinar to help you prepare your corporation tax return. It will be run on two dates to help as many people as possible attend live (though a recording and the slides will be available to all registered attendees, in case you cannot attend live). The webinar will run on Wednesday 20 May at 11am and Thursday 4 June at 2.30pm and costs £100 (+VAT). Find out more here.

There’s a new joint leader, a new entry and a re-entry into the Top Ten on the BUFDG/HEPA e-learning board this week. Have you entered the competition? Find out more about the competition here and see the latest leader-board article here. The competition closes on 31 May so get your learning-skates on!

Continuing our regular series, this week we’ve put the spotlight on VAT on Purchasing in HE. It’s a module that should be useful to anyone raising POs throughout a university, as well as procurement staff and accounts payable staff dealing with purchase invoices, especially if it’s harder to contact the internal finance/tax team at the moment when trying to figure out how to code a PO or invoice. Find out more here.



As well as the permanent zero-rating of e-publications noted above, HMRC has announced a temporary zero-rate for supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) from 1 May to 31 July to assist in the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic – the latest update is available here.

We’ve got new guidance on how to calculate Job Retention Scheme (JRS) claims on our website, as well as the excellent general guide to the JRS in HE which is being updated as and when changes happen. It was last updated on 12 May, to include the Chancellor's announcement on 12 May that the scheme would be extended to the end of October, including some relaxations from August, with more details to be released by the end of May.

The most recent issue of TaxHE was published last week, covering a LOT of coronavirus measures as well as other updates on the new Customs Declaration Service, a change to India’s Equalisation Levy (a digital services tax) and an update to HMRC’s VAT Health professionals and pharmaceutical products public notice. Read all about it here.



HEPA recently organised a Time to Talk session on furloughing/the JRS in the context of procurement, hosted by James Major of Clyde & Co. The slides and other information from this session can now be accessed on the HEPA website.

The Home Office has issued guidance on addressing and reporting modern slavery risks during the coronavirus pandemic. You can find out more here.

The UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) Supplier Impact Analysis was updated on 12 May. Background and a link to the impact analysis is on the HEPA website.



Last week WPM hosted an outstanding Tuition Fee Fraud summit and replays of all the presentations can be viewed here.  These include an excellent overview of credit card fraud by Dave Lund Yates at the University of Southampton, and an important sector fraud legal overview from Nicola Finnerty, Partner at Kingsley Napley.



The big (but now old) news from the last couple of weeks was the government’s response to UUK’s proposed package of measures to help the HE sector through the current (and future) crisis, announced by DfE on 4 May. Just in case you’ve missed any commentary on it, you can find an initial response from HEPI and opinion on WonkHE.

On 1 May, the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU)/Graduate Prospects, merged with Jisc. HECSU Prospects’ staff, products and services will be retained, adding digital careers information and guidance as well as degree verification to Jisc’s portfolio. It is hoped the new organisation will support the delivery of the government’s careers strategy as well as its International Education Strategy more effectively. Find out more on the Jisc website.

Our Job for the fortnight is for a Finance Manager in the finance team at the University of Warwick. The deadline for applications is 25 May.

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