The ‘IR35’ rules to prevent the exploitation of personal service companies for tax avoidance were introduced in April 2000, following a long and contentious consultation exercise. This legislation remains unpopular among freelancers who use this corporate form to provide services. This note looks at debates as to the effectiveness of these rules and wider concerns about the use of employment intermediaries to avoid tax, before discussing recent developments as to their application in the public and private sector.…Read more
Retrospective tax legislation imposes or increases a tax charge prior to the legislation being introduced. Although this is a controversial practice, retrospective provisions are often introduced to mitigate the risks to the Exchequer from tax avoidance.…Read more
This note looks at the way alcoholic drinks are taxed, the Labour Government’s introduction of a ‘duty escalator’ in 2008, and the concerns in the pub trade at the impact of this policy. It goes on to discuss the Coalition Government decision to remove the duty escalator in two stages in 2013 and 2014, and the current Government’s approach to the taxation of alcohol.…Read more
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. …Read more
This paper discusses the background to the Government’s proposals, announced in the 2018 Budget, to introduce a Digital Services Tax from April 2020, in the context of wider concerns as to the challenge of taxing digital businesses and moves to agree reforms to the international tax system.…Read more
What economic support have governments given to businesses and individuals to tackle the impact of the coronavirus? This paper looks at the policies put in place by the EU, governments in Europe, the US and other developed countries.…Read more
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented the 2020 Budget on 11 March. The Finance Bill 2019-21 was published on 17 March. …Read more
In the 2020 Budget the Government announced that it would introduce legislation to apply a zero rate of VAT to e-publications from 1 December 2020.…Read more
The so-called level playing field – rules on competition, state aid, taxation, labour and environmental standards, and climate change – are one of the main causes of disagreement between the UK and EU in the negotiations on their future relationship. This paper explains the commitments that both parties are proposing in these areas in order to come to a deal.…Read more
This note discusses the way sanitary protection is charged VAT – more specifically, the Labour Government’s decision, announced in the March 2000 Budget, to introduce a 5% rate on sanitary protection, the lowest rate then permissible due to EU VAT rules, and the current Government’s announcement in the 2020 Budget that a zero rate will apply from 1 January 2021.
In the 2016 Budget the Government announced the introduction of the Loan Charge – a major initiative to tackle the mass marketing of tax avoidance ‘loan schemes’. Since the legislation establishing the Loan Charge was introduced, there have been many concerns as to its design and the financial difficulties facing taxpayers who used these schemes to either settle with HMRC or pay the Charge. In the 2020 Budget the Government confirmed it would implement a series of reforms to the Loan Charge, following the recommendations of an independent review, chaired by Sir Amyas Morse.…Read more
The High Income Child Benefit Charge provides for Child Benefit to be clawed back through the tax system from families where the highest earner has an income in excess of £50,000. …Read more
This paper discusses the way that Parliament scrutinises the Government’s proposals for taxation, set out in the annual Budget statement. It looks at how this procedure may be affected by the timing of a General Election, and the decision in 2017 to move the Budget from the Spring to the Autumn. It also provides some suggestions for further reading.…Read more
This note lists a series of key documents on taxation.…Read more
Spring Budget 2020 was presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to Parliament on 11 March. Once the Chancellor sat down the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published updated forecasts in its Economic and fiscal outlook.…Read more
The Conservative manifesto set out rules for the public finances. Will the Chancellor stick to them?