Weekly tax brief - 17 May 2016

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

Tax havens: drive to name and shame may push innocent to the dark side

17 May 2016

Contrary to much we’ve heard in the last week, not everyone who uses a 'tax haven structure' does so to evade tax or to conceal the proceeds of crime - as a recent court ruling has recognised. While the temptation to name and shame may be great, the irresponsible use of publicly available information risks driving both the guilty and the innocent to the dark side.

Will the new disclosure facility be all stick or will there be room for a miniature carrot?

17 May 2016

Criticisms of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility by a judge in a recent court ruling have increased pressure on HMRC to ensure that a hard line is taken in any future disclosure opportunities. As the new disclosure opportunity is imminent, will it be all 'stick' or will there be room for at least a miniature carrot?

Tax policies bring new turbulence to the housing market

17 May 2016

A report by Rightmove this week has revealed the impact on first-time buyers of the rush by landlords to purchase buy-to-let properties ahead of the introduction of the new stamp duty surcharge. But with further tax changes for landlords on the way, the market could be bumpy for some time.

The chancellor whacks the interest mole

17 May 2016

The chancellor continues with his game of 'whack a mole' trying to tackle tax avoidance as Panama papers, British Dependency headlines and anti-corruption summits spring up to remind him that this is a major public interest and political issue. One of Mr Osborne’s initiatives is to introduce a rule limiting the amount of relief that corporates can claim for interest deductions. The rule is, theoretically at least, a straightforward formula-based test but the consultation launched last Friday reminds us that nothing is ever simple where UK tax is concerned.

Another confusing simplification!

17 May 2016

With the introduction of the Personal Savings Allowance taxpayers could be forgiven for assuming that interest on their bank accounts would in future be tax-free. Sadly that may not always be the case.