Weekly tax brief | 16 February 2021

Capital taxes in the UK: what does the Government want to achieve?
George Bull
Recent independent reports on changes to capital gains tax and inheritance tax and on the possible introduction of a wealth tax mean that the Chancellor is not short of options to reform capital taxes in the UK on Budget Day. Two overriding questions confront the Chancellor. What does the government want to achieve? And is now the right time to increase taxes?

HMRC prepares to launch new payment scheme to pay back VAT deferred because of Coronavirus
Sarah Halsted
The online portal for the new payment scheme, which will allow businesses more time to pay back VAT deferred under last spring’s coronavirus reliefs, opens on 23 February. Has HMRC done enough to make sure all VAT registered traders can benefit? 

Can the tax system support the reinvention of our retail spaces?
Shirley McIntosh
The decline of high street shopping has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic and it doesn’t look likely to return. Repurposing the resulting surplus of commercial space will take time and imagination, but can the tax system help?

Time to rethink the High-Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC)
Sarah Saunders
Basic rate taxpayers are now facing child benefit claw-back charges. Is the whole HICBC system still fit for purpose?

Proposed tax reforms could have significant impact on rural landlords and land letting
Sharon Omer-Kaye
We have seen multiple reports over the past couple of years relating to the reform of inheritance tax and capital gains tax, which could have a significant impact on rural communities already facing significant change.