Weekly tax brief | 11 May 2021

Nations assess negotiating positions over Biden tax plans
George Bull
US plans for global corporate taxes look set to raise as much revenue for other countries as the OECD’s earlier suggestions. With the pandemic to pay for, most countries will welcome an increase in their tax revenues, a more stable global corporate tax system and a reduction in harmful tax competition. However, until it is clear that the Biden administration can get the necessary laws passed in the USA, and the OECD secures international agreement, national self-interest will never be far away.

What would ‘devolution of VAT’ mean in Scotland?
Jim Burberry
The SNP manifesto states ‘Strengthening of Scotland’s tax powers with the devolution of VAT, and full powers over income tax and national insurance contributions’; but what is meant by ‘devolution of VAT’? Does it mean accessing the VAT collected from businesses and consumers in Scotland, or does it mean full legislative powers to introduce a Scottish VAT Act?

Can Scotland afford its independence?
Shirley McIntosh
The Scottish people have elected their new Parliament and pro-independence parties have increased their majority. The independence debate often runs on emotion, but cool heads will be needed to present the finances of independence to the electorate.

Consultation outlines new taxes for residential property developers
Adrian Benosiglio
Residential property developers have been targeted with a new tax on their profits, aimed at bringing an end to unsafe cladding on residential developments in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster. At a time when the government is aiming to build more homes, will this reduce the number of investors in the sector?

The continuing saga of woes with HMRC’s 30-day CGT reporting
Elaine Shiels
Problems with HMRC’s digital service for reporting capital gains tax due on UK property sales have been widely reported. Two new problems have now emerged which threaten cash flow problems and extra administrative burdens for taxpayers.