Weekly tax brief | 19 May 2020

Is it time to let HMRC loose on the coronavirus profiteers?
George Bull                                                                                         
The outcry against coronavirus profiteering has led to calls for the Government to give the Competition and Markets Authority emergency powers to pursue businesses which are exploiting customers during the emergency. Would it not be easier and quicker to give HMRC the necessary powers? After all, it was the taxman who brought notorious gangster Al Capone to justice.

HMRC’s latest procedural changes to Inheritance Tax are welcome but staying alert to scammers is critical
Alex Foster
HMRC has announced that form IHT100 can now be submitted unsigned in a further relaxation of its procedures to combat the challenges faced by many during lockdown. Whilst a welcome change for many individuals, to reduce the risk of fraud HMRC should be cautious about being too flexible.

Is your coronavirus voucher offering VAT-proof?
Sarah Halsted and Karen Glover
Businesses in some sectors are increasingly turning to vouchers to ease their coronavirus cash flow predicament. However, it is just as important to navigate the potentially hazardous VAT implications.  

Ambiguity surrounding High-Income Child Benefit charge (HICBC) might land you in trouble!
Jackie Hall
A raft of cases concerning the much-criticised High-Income Child Benefit charge (HICBC) and what constitutes a reasonable excuse for incorrect entries on tax returns have recently come before tribunals. One of these is particularly disturbing.