17th - 23rd November marks international fraud awareness week. Whilst it seems slightly incongruous to focus on such an important issue that crosses the boundaries of all sectors for just one week, it does give national and international focus on key areas of action that all organisations should consider to reduce the significant impact of fraud.
Leaders of change live in a state of constant, relentless change and uncertainty all of the time. Organisations spend considerable sums of money on implementing methodologies; changing from one methodology to a better one; sending their leaders of change on training courses. However, change often requires so much more than traditional methodology.
The Federation of Small Businesses this week joined other business and professional organisations in calling for the new IR35 rules on off-payroll working to be postponed. While there are arguments in favour of postponing, many businesses who have invested in preparing themselves would justifiably feel aggrieved if the goal posts were to move.
A taxpayer has been successful in the Court of Appeal to ensure that ordinary homeowners are not exposed to capital gains tax (CGT) during the period between exchange and completion. Surely, it’s time for HMRC to accept the legislation should work as intended and change their guidance on this.
A campaign has been launched which aims to persuade the government to extend the VAT zero-rate on books and publications to include digital publications and audio books; but will we see changes in the UK?
While voters await the publication of the Labour and Conservative election manifestos, one anticipated battleground is the respective parties’ tax policies for the wealthiest in society. In particular, individuals benefiting from non-UK domiciled (‘non-dom’) tax status could be in the crosshairs of both major parties, albeit in very different ways. Could this be the election where ‘non-dom’ tax status dies in a ditch?
HMRC is contacting taxpayers about whether they have reported all investments in offshore funds, but thanks to cross-border data they probably already know the answer; so, there is no escape. If you receive one of these letters, take advice and then contact HMRC; don’t stick your head in the sand!
HMRC’s announcement that retrospective legislation is to be introduced to give force to its use of large-scale automated processes has caused consternation in certain quarters. For some, the retrospection is a step too far following the loan charge. For others, HMRC’s decision to press ahead without consultation represents a lost opportunity to improve the quality of the new legislation which is undoubtedly required.
With both the Labour Party and the Conservatives promising to increase public expenditure, a recent report forecasts the growth in government expenditure as a percentage of GDP. We will have a much clearer idea what the impact will be once the party manifestos are available. For now, it’s an absolute certainty that – once delivered – promises to increase expenditure will have to be paid for. Borrowing seems able to cover only part of that. Growth in the economy will be crucial. Beyond that, tax increases seem inevitable.