Senior Accounting Officers legislation

The new rules on The Senior Accounting Officers (SAO for short) requires all qualifying UK resident companies to appoint an SAO to take personal charge for their company’s tax accounting matters.

What are the rules?

The SAO requirements came into force for accounting periods beginning on or after 21 July 2009 and apply to companies that in the preceding financial year either alone or when its results are aggregated with other UK group companies has turnover of more than £200m or has a relevant balance sheet total of more than £2bn.

The legislation requires that the SAO of a qualifying company must take “reasonable steps” to ensure that the company establishes and maintains “appropriate tax accounting arrangements” and in particular, monitors the accounting arrangements of the company to identify any aspects in which those arrangements are not appropriate.

The SAO must certify the position annually to HMRC, and the SAO will need to retain adequate supporting evidence to demonstrate that ‘reasonable steps’ have been taken. Failure to adhere to the rules risks a personal penalty of £5,000 for failure to comply with the requirements.

A briefing document prepared by KPMG, a leading provider of professional services including audit, tax and advisory. is avalable from the links shown below. Please contact me if you need further assistance in this matter in prder to ensure that your organization is in compliance with the legislation.

SAO – Briefing paper by KPMG – Direct Link

SAO – Briefing paper by KPMG – SkyDrive Link

SAO – Briefing paper by Google Docs – Direct Link

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