Weekly tax brief - 16 May 2017

In this edition of RSM’s weekly round-up of the most important tax news, we cover the latest developments.

The tax gamble at the heart of the Labour Party manifesto

16 May 2017

At the heart of the Labour Party manifesto is the gamble that the top 5 per cent of British taxpayers and larger companies can and will pay an extra £48.6bn per year without undermining the economic health of the nation. The Labour Party is hoping that, even though it plans to increase tax by around 7 per cent of GDP, it can bring about economic growth, social justice and a better life for all. For these taxpayers, Tax Freedom Day will be postponed to October!

Computers can't do everything

16 May 2017

Most commentators would accept that if a tax return is submitted late then – unless there is a genuine reasonable excuse – HMRC should quite rightly be able to impose a penalty. However, what happens if a computer makes this decision?

'Software glitches' doesn't bode well for Making Tax Digital

16 May 2017

We commented recently on problems with HMRC’s tax return software for 2016-17 and the fact that tax was wrongly calculated for certain combinations of income. The issue has come up again following a recent tax tribunal, but what does this mean for the digital future for tax?

Mental health is a reasonable excuse

16 May 2017

As mental health awareness week draws to a close it is good to see that the tax tribunals are taking an enlightened approach to mental health issues and reinforcing that suffering from a mental illness is a reasonable excuse, but should these decisions be anonymised to protect and reassure appellants?

The tides are changing for taxation of ‘workers’

16 May 2017

Employment status is a hot topic, and many are eagerly awaiting the publication of the Taylor review that is looking into this, but could a recent Work and Pensions Committee report highlight the direction of travel?