Weekly Tax Brief - 8 December 2015

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


Tax legislation needs more scrutiny, not less

08 December 2015

Recent moves by the Government to curb the powers of the House of Lords by making greater use of secondary regulations instead of relying on primary legislation could have disastrous implications for the scrutiny of tax legislation.

A sour taste, but corporation tax will linger for a few more years

08 December 2015

With recent headlines about Cadbury’s tax affairs and the latest report from the OECD showing business tax receipts on a continued downward trend, what is the future for UK corporation tax?

Taxing times as Swinney prepares for Scottish Budget

08 December 2015

On 16 December, Scotland's Finance Secretary, John Swinney, will present his budget to the Scottish Parliament two days before MSPs break up for Christmas. So as he puts the finishing touches to his speech, we look at whether he’ll be Santa or Scrooge on the day itself.

Beyond the flood

08 December 2015

Storm Desmond has blasted the UK, bringing flooding and devastation across the UK. Over the next few days, the Government is expected to announce the support it will be giving to the thousands of homeowners affected by the floods. So could they look to use the VAT system to ease the misery of those affected by the flood waters?

BBC star torn apart in tax courtroom drama

08 December 2015

Imagine the scene – children’s television blaring in the background while fur flies everywhere as soft toys are ripped apart. What resembled a bad day at the crèche, was actually a scene from a recent tax tribunal to determine whether BBC children’s character Iggle Piggle was, in fact, a stuffed toy.

Has the taxman's timing left HMRC staff smiling?

08 December 2015

The results of the HMRC element of the Civil Service People Survey 2015 were announced last week. Over 42,000 employees took part in the survey, some 65 per cent of the workforce.

OTS and the case of the missing employee

08 December 2015

The OTS has spent a lot of time this year looking at one of the very basic building blocks of the tax system: the operation of PAYE and NIC. Total receipts from these two taxes dwarf the amount raised by corporation tax, although you’d never know this from the way public attention is devoted almost exclusively to how much (or little) corporation tax is paid by the multinationals. So securing the tax base on employment income is essential to the public finances. But who exactly is an employee? There’s no simple test, and some of the case law underpinning the definition is only marginally relevant to modern practice: couching the distinction in term of masters and servants doesn’t exactly resonate these days.

Temporary workers court denies VAT saving

08 December 2015

In what will come as a major disappointment for organisations unable to recover VAT charged by employment agencies, the VAT tribunal has confirmed HMRC’s position that VAT must be charged on the full amount received by employment agencies, rather than just on the commission received.