Weekly tax brief | 1 September 2022

Garden offices – tax efficient home working
Thomas Dews
Covid lockdowns accelerated the shift to hybrid working with record numbers now regularly working from home, but there is speculation that the cost-of-living crisis will result in a U-turn this winter as employees return to offices in order to save on their heating bills. But what about the self-employed that do not have an office to go to, can they continue to work from home in a tax and energy efficient way? A garden office may be the answer.

Driving off into the sunset
Matt Brown
First year allowances currently provide an incentive for businesses to replace existing cars with electric versions, and to install electric charging points, by enabling tax reliefs for these costs to be claimed in full in the year of purchase. However, time is running out for relief to be claimed.

The tax measures that could minimise business failures from the energy crisis
Tim Smith
Industry bodies are conducting a concerted media campaign to raise awareness of the fact that businesses do not have the protection of the energy price cap. Some are facing energy cost increases of 1,000% or more after fixed contracts come to an end, with the average increase for leisure businesses reportedly being 300%. Without action and clarity on energy price caps from the government, thousands of businesses could fail.

Partnership planning found to be 'too good to be true'
Chris Etherington
A recent case has highlighted how partnership structures can sometimes be misused in family businesses to try to avoid income tax. However, such business structures are entirely appropriate in the right circumstances and could still be the right structure for family businesses, lowering their tax burden at a time of spiralling costs.

HMRC uses artificial intelligence to reduce the tax gap
Matt Taylor
It has been widely reported that the French tax authorities have used artificial intelligence to generate additional tax revenues from undeclared private swimming pools. We highlight how HMRC is also using similar methods to reduce the tax gap.

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