• Research Briefing

    Capital gains tax : the 2008 reforms

    In the 2008 Budget the Labour Government introduced a major reform to capital gains tax, introducing a new single rate of tax set at 18%, and withdrawing 'taper relief', which had been designed to encourage longer-term investment in business assets. This note examines the background to this reform.

  • Research Briefing

    Capital gains tax : background history

    Capital gains tax (CGT) was first introduced in 1965 on gains made on the disposal of assets by individuals, personal representatives and trustees. This note provides a short history of the tax up to 2007.

  • Research Briefing

    Inheritance tax and probate

    In 2003 the Government introduced a new Direct Payment scheme, to deal with a problem created by the interaction between the conditions placed on an estate before a grant of probate is issued, and the requirements to pay inheritance tax on that estate. This note describes the introduction of the new scheme.

  • Research Briefing

    Tax Law Rewrite : the final Bills

    In November 2009 two Bills to rewrite corporation tax and international tax legislation were introduced in the Commons - the last two Bills in the Tax Law Rewrite Project, launched in 1996. This note examines the background to the project, and the preparation of these last two Bills.

  • Research Briefing

    Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2010/11

    This paper sets out the main changes to direct tax rates and allowances announced in the Budget on 24 March 2010. It lists the principal personal allowances which will be available against income tax in the tax year 2010/11, and outlines the conditions for eligibility for these allowances. The paper summarises the general tax position in straightforward cases and deals only with tax allowances. No reference is made to cash benefits provided under the social security system, or to child tax credit and working tax credit.

  • Research Briefing

    Climate change levy

    The climate change levy was introduced in April 2001, charged on electricity, gas, liquefied petroleum gas and solid fuels, when supplied to business. This note gives a short history of the levy, and the impact it has had in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Research Briefing

    The Future For Green Taxes

    This paper sets out to explain environmental taxes and their use in the context of existing and forthcoming policy and legislation; it does not explore the arguments surrounding climate change science. In particular this paper sets out: how green taxes are defined; the arguments for and against their use; Labour government policy on green taxation; the new context for environmental taxation in terms of climate change targets; and proposals for the future use of green taxes.

  • Research Briefing

    Additional personal allowance

    Lone parents, and married parents whose partner was incapacitated, were once entitled to claim the additional personal allowance, while they cared for at least one child. This note gives a short description of this tax allowance and the Government's reasons for its being withdrawn from April 2000.

  • Research Briefing

    Widow’s bereavement allowance

    From 1980 to 2000 widows were entitled to receive a tax allowance - the widow's bereavement allowance (WBA). In April 2000 the allowance was withdrawn as part of a wider reform in state benefits for widows and widowers. This note gives a short history of the WBA, and the efforts of widowers who lost their spouses before the WBA was withdrawn to claim it.

  • Research Briefing

    Landfill communities fund

    Landfill tax is charged on waste disposed at landfill sites. Site operators may fund local community environmental projects, under a scheme allowing them to offset this investment against their tax liability, up to a specified limit. This note gives a short history of the scheme.

  • Research Briefing

    Landfill tax : introduction & early history

    Landfill tax was introduced on 1 October 1996: this country's first tax with an explicit environmental purpose. This note discusses the background to the tax's introduction. Two other notes look at recent developments concerning the tax, and at the landfill tax community fund - a tax credit scheme to reduce the environmental impact of landfill sites.

  • Research Briefing

    Seafarers’ earnings deduction (FED)

    This note discusses this special tax relief for seafarers, before looking at recent concerns about a change in HM Revenue & Customs' approach to claims for this relief from those working in the oil & gas sector.