• Research Briefing

    Tax relief on landlords’ finance costs: s24 of Finance (No.2) Act 2015

    This note looks at the way that landlords have been able to offset their finance costs against tax, the changes made to these rules by s24 of Finance (No.2) Act 2015, and the debate there has been over their likely impact. It looks briefly at the introduction from April 2016 of higher rates of stamp duty on the purchase of additional residential properties, as the Government has explicitly linked these two measures as being targeted to help first time buyers.

  • Debate Pack

    2018 Budget & Finance (No.3) Bill 2017-19

    The Chancellor Philip Hammond presented the 2018 Budget on 29 October. The Finance (No.3) Bill 2017-19 was published on 7 November, and the Bill's Second Reading was on 12 November. It completed its consideration in the House of Commons on 8 January 2019, and the Finance Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 12 February 2019.

  • Research Briefing

    Air passenger duty: introduction

    Air passenger duty (APD) is charged on all passenger flights from UK airports. It was introduced in the November 1993 Budget and came into effect on 1 November 1994. This note discusses the introduction of APD, and the first years of its operation.

  • Research Briefing

    Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

    In the 2012 Budget the Government announced proposals to introduce a new scheme, to be introduced from April 2013, to allow charities to claim additional payments on small donations - equivalent to the way they may claim tax relief on donations made under Gift Aid. This note gives some background to the scheme and the changes that have been made to it since it was introduced.

  • Research Briefing

    VAT : European law on VAT rates

    All Member States have limited discretion in setting VAT rates under EU VAT law. This note discusses the development of European law in this area, and the implications this has for the UK setting its own VAT rates.

  • Research Briefing

    Tax, marriage & transferable allowances

    Since the introduction of independent taxation in 1990, all individuals have been assessed for tax as separate persons, entitled to their own personal tax allowance, to set against their liability to income tax. This note looks at the debate there has been about allowing partners to transfer their allowance to their spouse, so that the tax system might 'recognise' marriage.

  • Research Briefing

    VAT and Churches

    This note examines how construction work for churches is treated for VAT in the UK, proposals for reform in this area, and the changes made in Budget 2012, removing the zero rate of VAT which had applied to alteration work on listed buildings. It also gives details of the current grant scheme for church repairs.

  • Research Briefing

    VAT Registration

    All businesses must register for VAT if their turnover of taxable goods and/or services is above a given threshold. This note discusses how the registration threshold has been set in recent years and the debate there has been about whether the threshold is too high or too low.

  • Research Briefing

    National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and the self-employed

    This paper looks at the way in which the self-employed are treated for the purposes of National Insurance, in the context of proposals made in the 2015 Budget to scrap Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs), and proposals in the Spring 2017 Budget to increase the rate of Class 4 NICs. In the latter case, the Government cancelled its plans a few days after the Budget, and in the former case announced in September 2018 that it would not proceed with the abolition of Class 2 NICs during this Parliament.

  • Research Briefing

    Income tax : increases in the personal allowance since 2010

    This note discusses the Coalition Government's policy over 2010-15 to increase the basic personal allowance each year, with the aim that the allowance should reach £10,000 by 2015, before looking at the current Government's approach to increasing both the personal allowance and the higher rate threshold - the point at which individuals start to pay the 40% top rate of tax.

  • Research Briefing

    Income tax: the additional 50p rate

    In the 2009 Budget the Labour Government announced the introduction of a new 'additional' 50p rate on incomes above £150,000 from April 2010. This paper discusses the background to the 50p rate, the debate over its political significance and its economic impact, before looking at the Coalition Government’s decision to cut the additional rate to 45p, and recent speculation as to its future.