Weekly tax brief |12 October 2021

El Salvador paves way for UK Bitcoin tax savings
Chris Etherington
The adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador could pave the way for substantial capital gains tax savings for UK cryptocurrency investors. When withdrawals are made by individuals from a foreign currency bank account, a little-known tax rule exists that can prevent a capital gains tax liability from arising. We explore the rules and whether UK Bitcoin investors could benefit.

Think your Covid VAT arrears are dealt with? Think again…
Sarah Halsted
 Having believed they’d secured a firm payment plan with HMRC to clear their Covid VAT arrears by monthly direct debits running into 2022, businesses who make a VAT refund claim in the meantime may get a nasty surprise.

How long should it take HMRC to deal with a repayment request? 
Noel Mooney and Sarah Saunders
HMRC has launched a new online service to allow taxpayers to check when they can expect a reply from them, with some worrying timescales. As taxpayers face hefty penalties for late submissions, is it a case of one rule for HMRC and another for the taxpayer?

High income child benefit charge contradicts government policy
Joan Foster
 The point at which a taxpayer must pay the high-income child benefit charge has not increased since it was introduced over eight years ago. The policy to withdraw the benefit from high earners has become eroded, with basic rate taxpayers now also being caught by this stealth tax.