Weekly tax brief | 19 January 2021

What happens to taxes if the UK becomes the Singapore of Europe?
George Bull
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is keen that the UK should become the ‘Singapore of Europe’ with light-touch regulation and low taxes. We’ve been looking at what that might mean for the UK tax system. Companies would see little difference, but high-earning individuals might have their taxes halved. Can the UK afford that? We think not.

HMRC enquiries issued this month could result in triple whammy for taxpayers subject to the loan charge
Holly Walmsley
As the month draws to a close, so does HMRC's enquiry window for those 2018/19 tax returns filed last January. HMRC has ramped up its enquiry activity to capitalise on the last chance to open enquiries into these tax returns before 31 January 2021. HMRC is paying attention to taxpayers who have failed to report the loan charge. These individuals may be the hardest hit, and some may not even be aware they are caught.

General Electric appeals to EU court to protect UK voucher scheme
Sarah Halsted
Could it be about to get more expensive to give your employees a retail voucher as an instant reward? A last-minute referral to the European courts from the UK First-tier Tax Tribunal suggests that HMRC thinks these perks should be subject to VAT.

Cryptocurrency gains are nice, but don’t forget the tax
Sarah Saunders
With the rise in the value of Bitcoin, investors may have decided to cash out and protect their gains – which will have tax consequences.