Weekly tax brief | 22 March 2021

How Bitcoin fraudsters could leave you high and dry with HMRC
Chris Etherington
The Bitcoin bull run shows no signs of slowing down, with its value soaring to an all-time high of $60,322 per coin earlier this month. Just one year ago, Bitcoin was trading at around $6,000. The perceived easy gains have attracted many new investors to the cryptocurrency scene. However, fresh money in the market means fresh opportunities for fraudsters, and investors face the prospect of limited sympathy from HMRC if things go awry.

Does HMRC consider you to be sufficiently ‘credible’ to receive your tax repayment?
Noel Mooney
Whilst HMRC needs to be vigilant in ensuring tax repayments are made to the correct individuals, the latest security checks require information and documents which appear to be excessive and onerous in many cases where the risk is low and the repayments are small.   

Year-end actions can save tax, but don’t overlook the other financial consequences
Rachel De Souza
Many fantasise about not having to pay tax. It is possible, but be careful what you wish for, as you may not get the result you wanted.

Big setback for charities as European court decides Wellcome Trust must charge itself VAT
Phil Munn
Under current rules, where a VAT-registered business buys in services from outside the UK, it must charge itself UK VAT under the reverse charge procedure. Conversely, those who don’t undertake any economic activities are not liable.

After the problems of 2020 it may pay to prepare your 2020/21 tax return early
Sarah Saunders
For many individuals and businesses 2020 was a terrible year, both emotionally and financially. Those in the tax self-assessment system should prepare their 2020/21 tax returns as soon as possible to avoid any further financial burden, such as paying too much tax on their 31 July 2021 payment on account.