Coronavirus: Support for businesses

In a worst-case scenario, up to one-fifth of UK employees may be absent from work during the coronavirus outbreak. This would have significant economic impacts in the UK. This briefing provides information on the various sources of support for businesses affected. …

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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.…

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Coronavirus: Support for household finances

This Commons Library briefing paper outlines the measures introduced by the Government, and other authorities, to support household finances during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.…

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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 partnership. This paper explains the commitments that both parties are proposing in these areas in order to come to a deal.…

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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.…

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The UK-EU future relationship negotiations: summary of positions

The tables in this paper provide a summary of the UK and EU positions in the future relationship negotiations, based on their proposed draft treaty texts and other publicly available statements…

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The growth in short-term lettings (England)

This Commons Library briefing paper examines the growth in short-term lettings through online peer-to-peer platforms. It outlines the positive impacts of the accommodation sharing economy, and growing concerns about the adverse effects of high levels of short-term lettings in some areas. The paper discusses calls from some sectors for greater regulation of short-term lettings in England, and provides a brief overview of the regulatory approaches in other countries. …

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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.…

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Tax avoidance: a General Anti-Abuse Rule

UK tax law is specifically targeted rather than purposive: in tackling the exploitation of loopholes in the law, governments have legislated against individual avoidance schemes as and when these have come to light. This note looks at the case that has been made recently for a general anti-avoidance rule, and the Coalition Government’s introduction of a ‘narrower’ General Anti-Abuse Rule in 2013.…

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