US plans for global corporate taxes look set to raise as much revenue for other countries as the OECD’s earlier suggestions. With the pandemic to pay for, most countries will welcome an increase in their tax revenues, a more stable global corporate tax system and a reduction in harmful tax competition.
The Biden administration may have noted rumours about capital gains tax (CGT) changes Rishi Sunak was considering last year, as it has proposed similar plans to double the US CGT rate to 39.6 per cent. If the US President is successful in pushing through his proposals, it could motivate the Chancellor to impose similar changes in the UK. Be warned: Rishi Sunak may also take inspiration from another US policy to ensure its success - an exit tax on individuals.
Tax rises are the most basic solution to the age-old problem of raising revenue, but an increasing number of countries are taking a very different approach.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing is a huge and growing trend. With increasing recognition that tax avoidance is something which requires great skill but may not be very smart, two recent developments put tax firmly back on the list of hot governance topics. The big question now is whether the next US administration will be prepared to give way on sufficient points to allow the new OECD plan to go ahead.
One of the skills of an accomplished Chancellor of the Exchequer is to use a single tax to achieve multiple political objectives. We review the UK’s pre-EEC experience of a purchase tax and ask whether a hard Brexit could see the introduction of a higher rate of VAT on luxury goods.
The government’s £26 million grant scheme to aid the preparation of customs declarations after Brexit is more likely to be used to scale up the customs agent community than help importers complete the declarations themselves.
Press reports suggest that the Government’s Internal Market Bill, due to be published tomorrow, may significantly diverge from the customs border arrangements it agreed with the EU in the Northern Ireland Protocol. If so, Northern Ireland businesses could be pushed into a position of even greater uncertainty as Brexit looms.
The tax gap is HMRC’s estimate of the difference between the tax which should be paid, and the tax that is actually paid. It is a key factor in determining tax policy. It is therefore surprising to learn that US calculations of non-disclosure percentages are currently used to calculate the UK tax gap. The radical differences between the UK and US tax systems suggest this must distort the results.
HMRC has launched its latest campaign of nudge letters aimed at taxpayers who hold overseas investments. Given the potential for extremely harsh penalties for any errors discovered by HMRC relating to offshore matters, taxpayers with such investments need to carefully review their position.
For those who thought playing computer games was ‘a misspent youth’, the industry is now worth over £3.86bn. Video games producers have a number of ways to maximise tax relief but it’s complicated and lengthy. Ahead of Brexit there is opportunity to enhance, simplify and strengthen our top position.