• Research Briefing

    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.

  • Research Briefing

    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.

  • Research Briefing

    Taxation in the construction industry

    For over 30 years businesses in the construction industry have operated a special scheme to account for tax on payments made between contractors and subcontractors. After a long period of consultation, the 'Construction Industry Scheme' was reformed in 2007. This note discusses the background to this reform, and recent reforms to tackle VAT fraud in this sector.

  • Research Briefing

    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.

  • Research Briefing

    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.

  • Research Briefing

    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.

  • Research Briefing

    Passenger purchases of alcohol and tobacco

    This note sets out the rules regarding the tax treatment of alcohol and tobacco purchases made by passengers, which have been amended as a consequence of the UK's exit from the EU Single Market from 1 January 2021.

  • Research Briefing

    Digital Services Tax

    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.