Weekly tax brief | 16 October 2019

Budget 2019: will the Chancellor heed vital tax lessons from the financial crisis?
George Bull 
With only three weeks until Sajid Javid’s first Budget, we offer four guiding principles which the new Chancellor would do well to heed; but only time will tell whether he learns from past lessons or carves his own way.

Pensions: what more can be done to help employees?
Susan Ball
Navigating the complex world of pensions is a challenge, but plans to launch a new dashboard will allow individuals to see their pensions portfolio online at the touch of a button. Can more be done to help employees?

Will the Chancellor stage a Budget-day raid on Entrepreneurs’ Relief?
Chris Etherington
With the announcement of a new Budget on 6 November, the foreboding shadow of uncertainty looms once again over Entrepreneurs’ Relief and whether it will survive. As calls to scrap the relief continue to grow, could Chancellor Sajid Javid make the surprise manoeuvre of abolishing the relief; and what options are available to taxpayers to try and secure it in the meantime?

How has HMRC’s Connect system increased high-income child benefit charge enquiries? 
Sian King
A recent surge in High-Income Child Benefit Charge enquiries opened by HMRC shows that the tax department is successfully using the mountain of knowledge available in its ‘CONNECT’ computer system. Big Brother may indeed be watching you, and sending you tax bills, but recent court cases show that HMRC is not always correct. If you receive a HICBC tax demand, check it carefully before you pay.