Weekly tax brief | 18 February 2020

Nothing lasts forever and that includes tax reliefs
George Bull                                                                                         
As of October 2019, the UK had a staggering 1,190 tax reliefs costing an estimated £155bn. A recent report from the National Audit Office adds to growing concerns that HMRC cannot quantify the value of any single relief to individuals, companies and the UK economy as a whole. The NAO proposes a detailed process for a thorough review. We believe that a different approach could yield better results and faster too.

Hard customs border adds to Brexit pain for UK importers
Sarah Halsted and Brad Ashton
The removal of Brexit contingency plans for customs and VAT promised in 2019 will make an already difficult situation even worse for businesses. Disruption to supply chains seems inevitable, and the removal of postponed accounting and/or transitional simplified procedures will make an already difficult situation even worse for businesses.

How do we put a taxable value on data?
Sheena McGuinness 
The value of our data is locked up in the revenues of large corporations, so it should be possible to tax this commodity. How would a Digital Services Tax work in practice? 

When is a married couple not a married couple?
Sara Bonavia
Getting married abroad on a beach is some people’s dream. However couples should check their marriage is legally binding in the UK to avoid an unwelcome surprise.