Weekly tax brief | 15 January 2020

Trade agreements: will UK scrap digital services tax?
George Bull
As the UK Government heralds the vital need for a post-Brexit trade deal with the USA, it finds itself under pressure from the USA on many fronts: the Iranian nuclear deal, contracts with 5G telecoms supplier Huawei, doubts as to whether the UK is a reliable military ally of the USA and the UK’s planned digital services tax, to name but four. What’s the issue with the digital services tax?

Scottish Government to set out draft Budget plan before the UK Budget
Shirley McIntosh 
The Scottish Government will set out its draft Budget plans on 6 February, more than a month ahead of the UK Budget. This raises two significant issues on the block grant and devolved taxes.

New Year, new shirts, new allowance – are retailers still scratching their heads?
Peter Graham
In October 2018, the Chancellor unexpectedly announced a brand-new capital allowance for structures and buildings, but most companies are only now starting to see its impact. Large retailers have now navigated the busy Christmas period and even busier January sales which will hopefully yield a much-needed profit boost. Will the new allowance provide a further uplift to reduce their tax bills?

IR35 Off-payroll working – are you ready for the new rules?
Susan Ball
It’s 12 weeks until the new IR35/off-payroll rules come into force. Public sector and medium and large organisations as end users will feel it the most, but small entities may be impacted as fee payers. There is a lot to do and organisations need to start preparing now, if they haven’t already.

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