• Research Briefing

    Inheritance tax and probate

    In 2003 the Government introduced a new Direct Payment scheme, to deal with a problem created by the interaction between the conditions placed on an estate before a grant of probate is issued, and the requirements to pay inheritance tax on that estate. This note describes the introduction of the new scheme.

  • Research Briefing

    Tax Law Rewrite : the final Bills

    In November 2009 two Bills to rewrite corporation tax and international tax legislation were introduced in the Commons - the last two Bills in the Tax Law Rewrite Project, launched in 1996. This note examines the background to the project, and the preparation of these last two Bills.

  • Research Briefing

    Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2010/11

    This paper sets out the main changes to direct tax rates and allowances announced in the Budget on 24 March 2010. It lists the principal personal allowances which will be available against income tax in the tax year 2010/11, and outlines the conditions for eligibility for these allowances. The paper summarises the general tax position in straightforward cases and deals only with tax allowances. No reference is made to cash benefits provided under the social security system, or to child tax credit and working tax credit.

  • Research Briefing

    Climate change levy

    The climate change levy was introduced in April 2001, charged on electricity, gas, liquefied petroleum gas and solid fuels, when supplied to business. This note gives a short history of the levy, and the impact it has had in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Research Briefing

    Additional personal allowance

    Lone parents, and married parents whose partner was incapacitated, were once entitled to claim the additional personal allowance, while they cared for at least one child. This note gives a short description of this tax allowance and the Government's reasons for its being withdrawn from April 2000.

  • Research Briefing

    Widow’s bereavement allowance

    From 1980 to 2000 widows were entitled to receive a tax allowance - the widow's bereavement allowance (WBA). In April 2000 the allowance was withdrawn as part of a wider reform in state benefits for widows and widowers. This note gives a short history of the WBA, and the efforts of widowers who lost their spouses before the WBA was withdrawn to claim it.

  • Research Briefing

    Landfill communities fund

    Landfill tax is charged on waste disposed at landfill sites. Site operators may fund local community environmental projects, under a scheme allowing them to offset this investment against their tax liability, up to a specified limit. This note gives a short history of the scheme.

  • Research Briefing

    Landfill tax : introduction & early history

    Landfill tax was introduced on 1 October 1996: this country's first tax with an explicit environmental purpose. This note discusses the background to the tax's introduction. Two other notes look at recent developments concerning the tax, and at the landfill tax community fund - a tax credit scheme to reduce the environmental impact of landfill sites.

  • Research Briefing

    Seafarers’ earnings deduction (FED)

    This note discusses this special tax relief for seafarers, before looking at recent concerns about a change in HM Revenue & Customs' approach to claims for this relief from those working in the oil & gas sector.

  • Research Briefing

    Taxing small businesses: recent developments

    This note discusses the reforms to taxing small businesses set out in the 2007 Budget - in particular, the phased increase in the small companies tax rate - before looking at the recent change in the Government's approach, signalled in the 2008 Pre-Budget Report.

  • Research Briefing

    Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2009/10

    This paper sets out the main changes to direct tax rates and allowances announced in the Budget on 22 April 2009. It lists the principal personal allowances which will be available against income tax in the tax year 2009/10, and it outlines the conditions necessary for eligibility for these allowances.

  • Research Briefing

    Income shifting

    This note looks at the Government's recent legislative proposals to prevent 'income shifting' - arrangements used by the main earner in a family businesses to divert part of his income through the business to another person in a lower tax bracket, often their spouse, to mitigate their overall tax bill. These proposals proved controversial, and in the Pre Budget Report in November 2008 the Government confirmed that it was deferring any legislation, but would keep the issue under review.