Personal service companies & IR35

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

Alcohol taxation and the pub trade

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

Coronavirus: Support for economies by European and other states

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 UK-EU future relationship negotiations: Level playing field

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

VAT on sanitary protection

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.

Read more

The 2019 Loan Charge

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 Budget and the annual Finance Bill

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