Weekly tax brief | 14 July 2020

Online quiz launches reform of capital gains tax
George Bull
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has asked the Office of Tax Simplification to conduct a far-reaching review of capital gains tax. The regime may be about to lose its attractions as a relatively low-tax environment for the wealthy. We discuss the review and show you how to contribute to it.

A wealth tax is likely but how might that look and work?
Gary Heynes
If government needs to raise revenue, and it surely will, then capital taxes seem the only likely way to go. In order to preserve jobs and to drive consumer spending, both key points in the Summer Economic Update, government can’t significantly raise taxes on income or business profits as these would put a squeeze on the circulation of money. So a wealth tax seems to be the obvious route.

Make no mistake – HMRC is serious about enforcement
Jackie Hall
With more than £28bn already claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), HMRC will be keen to ensure that claims are adequately scrutinised and appropriate enforcement action taken. The recent arrest of a businessman on suspicion of fraudulently claiming £495,000 under the CJRS demonstrates this.

Low-tax Freeports in the UK: what’s all the fuss about?
George Bull and Brad Ashton
The government has plans for 10 Freeports to regenerate deprived regions of the UK. We look at what’s planned, review the evidence and ask whether they are likely to achieve their stated aims. Mr Sunak and his team must address the National Audit Office (NAO) criticisms of enterprise zones to ensure that they are not replicated in Freeports.