• 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 briefing discusses the way sanitary protection is charged VAT - more specifically, the Labour Government’s introduction of a 5% rate from 1 January 2001, which was then the lowest rate then permissible due to EU VAT rules, and, more recently, with the UK's departure from the EU, the current Government’s introduction of a zero rate from 1 January 2021.

  • Research Briefing

    Corporate tax reform (2010-2020)

    This note discusses the Coalition Government’s approach to corporate tax reform since 2010, focusing on the reductions made to the main rate, the decision to set a single rate of tax, and the reforms made to tax reliefs for capital investment. It goes on to examine the debate over corporate tax avoidance and the international efforts, led by the OECD, to tackle avoidance by multinationals through ‘Base Erosion and Profit Shifting’ (BEPS). It concludes by providing an update on these issues up to the end of 2020.

  • Debate Pack

    Spring Budget 2021 and Finance (No.2) Bill 2019-21

    The Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented the Spring 2021 Budget on 3 March. The Finance (No.2) Bill 2019-21 was published on 11 March, and completed its scrutiny in the House of Commons on 24 May 2021. The Finance Act 2021 received Royal Assent on 10 June 2021.

  • Research Briefing

    Inheritance Tax

    This paper gives a brief summary of the structure of inheritance tax before looking at the debates there have been about the tax in recent years.

  • Research Briefing

    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.

  • Research Briefing

    Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2021/22

    This paper sets out direct tax rates and principal tax allowances for the 2021/22 tax year, as confirmed in the 2021 Budget on 3 March 2021. The paper outlines the conditions necessary for eligibility for these tax allowances, and provides a summary of the general tax position in straightforward cases.

  • 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.