Observers of the UK tax scene will know how easy it is to get to the wrong place for all the right reasons. The last week has seen the launch of five separate government- or Parliament-initiated tax reform projects. There is a real risk of muddle, confusion and competing priorities. Clear vision, tough negotiating skills and strong leadership will be required if the UK is to have a post-coronavirus tax system fit for purpose in the 21st century.
Given the Chancellor’s short but dramatic track record on capital gains tax reforms to date, there is an understandable wariness that his request to the Office of Tax Simplification to review the capital gains tax regime is a precursor to tax rises. It needn’t just be about that; it also presents the opportunity to clear the decks and introduce a new set of rules to incentivise the next generation of entrepreneurs and get the economy going again.
The government has plans for 10 Freeports to regenerate deprived regions of the UK. We look at what’s planned, review the evidence and ask whether they are likely to achieve their stated aims. Mr Sunak and his team must address the National Audit Office (NAO) criticisms of enterprise zones to ensure that they are not replicated in Freeports.
With more than £28bn already claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), HMRC will be keen to ensure that claims are adequately scrutinised and appropriate enforcement action taken. The recent arrest of a businessman on suspicion of fraudulently claiming £495,000 under the CJRS demonstrates this.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has asked the Office of Tax Simplification to conduct a far-reaching review of capital gains tax. The regime may be about to lose its attractions as a relatively low-tax environment for the wealthy. We discuss the review and show you how to contribute to it.
If government needs to raise revenue, and it surely will, then capital taxes seem the only likely way to go. In order to preserve jobs and to drive consumer spending, both key points in the Summer Economic Update, government can’t significantly raise taxes on income or business profits as these would put a squeeze on the circulation of money. So a wealth tax seems to be the obvious route.
Tax accountants and advisers could face serious disciplinary action if they incorrectly encourage individuals to defer their tax payments due on 31 July 2020 and are urged to take care when advising their clients on what to pay.
Grants to support small businesses during the coronavirus crisis have been a welcome boost, but now as business owners start to think about their tax returns for the 2019/20 tax year, it is time to take a closer look at the amount of tax payable on these grants and when it will be due.
The capital gains tax filing deadline is now back to 30 days but HMRC’s online system still has many unsatisfactory features. Property-owners with CGT to pay need to make sure they are well prepared if they are to avoid hefty fines.