Weekly tax brief - 21 June 2017

The tax implications of the Queen's speech

21 June 2017

The accompanying notes to the Queen’s speech promise three finance bills over the course of this parliament to implement Budget decisions. A key unanswered question is what can we expect from the Summer Finance Bill 2017. It is to be hoped this will include detailed measures in respect of individuals who are not domiciled in the UK, and in respect of HMRC's project to make tax digital.

Give individuals tax relief for self-assessment software costs

21 June 2017

Making Tax Digital will affect individuals and businesses. Extra software will be required to file returns and maintain digital records, and HMRC will not guarantee the availability of free software. Businesses will get tax relief for the costs of new software, but individual taxpayers will not. This is manifestly unjust so we urge HM government to ensure that tax relief is available for citizens who incur extra costs in meeting their tax obligations online.

HMRC guidance lacking clarity

21 June 2017

Two recent tribunal cases have highlighted problems with the phrasing of HMRC guidance and the difficulties which it can cause for taxpayers. If HMRC rightly expects taxpayers to take reasonable care in filing their returns, isn’t it reasonable to expect HMRC to take the same level of care in the guidance notes they provide?

MTD penalty regime must be simple, fair and effective

21 June 2017

HMRC last week closed a consultation which sets out its proposals for new sanctions for the late submission of returns and late payment of tax under the forthcoming Making Tax Digital (MTD) regime. A number of options are being considered but fundamentally, HMRC must ensure that the new regime acts as an effective deterrent, is simple and fair to all taxpayers.

The devolution of VAT distortion

21 June 2017

A recent tax tribunal ruling has determined that the devolution of laws on social care regulation has created discrimination – in breach of EU VAT law – in the VAT treatment of private day care services providers between the different constituent parts of the United Kingdom. On leaving the EU, the UK will no longer be subject to compliance with EU VAT law, but nevertheless, we cannot continue to have disparity between the unitary application of taxation and devolved competencies.