Weekly tax brief | 18 May 2021

Silo thinking on taxes threatens UK plans to reach net zero by 2050
George Bull
Tax is an important instrument for pursuing the government’s goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In its recent report, a government watchdog takes both HM Treasury and HMRC to task for silo thinking, a lack of leadership and coordination, insufficient urgency and lack of a clear vision as to the role the tax system should play. We delve into the details.

Medical staff business given no alternative but to pay VAT bill
Scott Harwood and Sarah Halsted
1st Alternative Medical Staffing has been denied use of an HMRC concession on a technicality, resulting in a £2 million VAT bill. Could users of other extra statutory tax concessions be at risk too? 

The IHT system needs radical reform now to create a fairer society
Elaine Shiels and Sarah Saunders
Calls for the reform of inheritance tax are not new. The latest report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) compares past and present approaches taken in its member countries and identifies radical opportunities for change. Will the Treasury be attracted by the prospect of simultaneously increasing both equality and tax revenues?

And so, the crackdown on 'Covid fraudsters' begins
Sian King
With £100m invested into the Taxpayer Protection Taskforce to crack down on Coronavirus fraudsters who have exploited the UK Government support schemes, HMRC will clearly be seeking a significant return on the investment.