• Research Briefing

    VAT : zero-rating e-publications

    In the 2020 Budget the Government stated that it would introduce legislation to apply a zero rate of VAT to e-publications from 1 December 2020, but subsequently announced the zero rate would apply from 1 May.

  • Research Briefing

    Managed Service Companies

    This note discusses the introduction in 2007 of the 'Managed Service Companies' (MSCs) legislation, which sought to prevent the exploitation of this corporate form for tax avoidance.

  • Research Briefing

    Tax avoidance and tax evasion

    In recent years concerns as to the scale of mass marketed tax avoidance schemes have led to three major initiatives to undermine this market, and encourage a sea change in attitudes, both in the accountancy industry and its customers: the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regime (DOTAS); the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR); and the system of follower notices & accelerated payments. Following these initiatives the Government has continued to introduce provisions to tackle both tax avoidance and tax evasion, including measures in both the Spring & Autumn Budgets in 2017, and the 2018 Budget. This note provides an introduction to the issue of tax avoidance, looking in detail at the development of follower notices and accelerated payments, before discussing the current Government’s approach.

  • Research Briefing

    Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2020/21

    This paper sets out direct tax rates and principal tax allowances for the 2020/21 tax year, as announced in the 2020 Budget on 11 March 2020. The paper outlines the conditions necessary for eligibility for these tax allowances, and provides a summary of the general tax position in straightforward cases.

  • Debate Pack

    Taxation on beer and pubs

    A Westminster Hall debate on the ‘Taxation on Beer and Pubs’ has been scheduled for Wednesday 5 February 2020 from 2.30-4 pm. The debate has been initiated by Mike Wood MP.

  • Research Briefing

    VAT on solar panels

    At present VAT is charged at the reduced 5% rate on the installation of energy saving materials (ESMs), including solar panels, in residential accommodation. The Government has introduced secondary legislation to amend the scope of the 5% rate to comply with European VAT rules (SI 2019/958). This took effect from 1 October 2019, although the Government has stated that the majority of solar panel installations is expected to be unaffected.

  • Research Briefing

    Taxing aviation fuel

    At present, although road fuel is charged excise duty, which represents a substantial proportion of the pump price paid by motorists, aviation kerosene (AVTUR) which is used in jet engines is exempt from tax. 

  • Research Briefing

    Taxation of road fuels

    This note discusses the approach of Labour, Coalition and Conservative Governments since 2010 to taxing road fuels. Figures for the tax take since 1990, as well as duty rates over this period, are given in a statistical appendix.

  • Research Briefing

    The October 2019 EU UK Withdrawal Agreement

    Boris Johnson's Government have negotiated a new 'deal' with the European Union. It is formed of a Political Declaration and a Withdrawal Agreement. This paper focuses on the Withdrawal Agreement and how it compares to the one negotiated by Theresa May's Government in November 2018. The main differences are in the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland or the 'backstop' as it is commonly known. It contains very different arrangements, the UK will no longer be in a single customs territory or union with the EU. The UK will no longer be legally bound to continue with level playing field commitments at the end of the transition period. Northern Ireland will still be in the UK's customs territory and VAT area, however, the region will align with the EU's rules in these areas. Northern Ireland will remain mostly aligned to the EU's regulations for goods. Four years after the end of the transition period Northern Ireland's democratic institutions will vote on whether they wish to continue the arrangements in the Protocol.