Weekly tax brief | 15 September 2020

Could the Chancellor’s CGT plan backfire?
Chris Etherington
Recent press reports suggest that the Chancellor is considering a significant increase in Capital Gains Tax rates in the Autumn Budget in order to help fill the hole in the Treasury’s finances.  If that is the Chancellor’s intention, he could be sorely disappointed by the level of tax receipts such an increase in rates could generate.

More difficulties created by the Trust Registration Service
Alex Foster
As a result of the requirements laid down by the Fifth Money Laundering Directive, the pre-existing Trust Registration Service (TRS) (which had already been beset with technical issues since its introduction) was considered inadequate. Following a welcomed consultation on the matter, HMRC created a new ‘micro-service’ Trust Registration Service, but is it working?

HMRC seeks backdated VAT on early termination fees and compensation payments
Sarah Halsted
HMRC’s new policy on cancellation fees and early termination charges threatens telecoms and motor vehicle finance businesses with backdated VAT assessments, and the risk may spill over into compensation payments in other sectors. Has HMRC overreached its authority, and how can businesses protect their position?  

CJRS Enforcement 
Carolyn Brown and Susan Ball
HMRC furlough compliance is now underway. The HMRC mantra is: No one who has tried to do the right thing, but made an honest mistake, has any need to be concerned, as long as they put it right. 

HMRC CJRS U-turn could result in many claims being miscalculated
Susan Ball
On 11th September HMRC announced a change to the rules on CJRS claims for those who return to work from furlough mid a claim period, which applies from 14th September. The legislation for the scheme from 1st July was issued on 25th June, and many employers and advisers did not initially understand that under the Treasury Direction, anyone who was furloughed under this version was in fact technically flexi-furloughed. 

Government’s duty-free shopping cutbacks have angered retailers
Sarah Halsted and Peter Williams
In a post Brexit shake up of duty and tax-free shopping for travellers, the government has announced that VAT free sales of non-excise goods, such as electronics and clothing, at ports and airports will end on 1 January 2021. The allowances for bringing back alcohol and tobacco from EU member states will also be drastically cut. 

HMRC’s information gathering powers are expanding further
Sarah Saunders
HMRC may soon be able to demand information from financial institutions without taxpayer or tribunal permission. These new powers could allow HMRC to demand complex information, which is difficult and expensive for institutions to collect, with no right to appeal against a request.


Related services