Weekly tax brief | 23 June 2020

A targeted stamp duty land tax change could make downsizing less painful
Chris Etherington and George Bull
The Chancellor is looking for simple tax measures to boost the economy after coronavirus. We suggest a Stamp Duty Land Tax change which would help older people maintain independent living while reducing intergenerational inequality.

Could a ‘fat tax' solve holiday hunger?
Chris Etherington
Following Marcus Rashford’s campaign for free school meals to continue through the 2020 summer holidays, there is a big focus on the issue of ‘holiday hunger’. As data from the Food Foundation highlights that over 200,000 children have skipped a meal due to lack of access to food during lockdown, we ask the question: should the “coronavirus summer food fund” be made permanent and if so, could a ‘fat tax’ fund it?

By relaxing R&D tax relief criteria, Government could help boost capital expenditure
Graham Steele and James Tetley
The extent of planned capital expenditure (capex) cuts by large listed companies in the UK was last week predicted to reach somewhere in the region of £23bn. CFOs seem to favour cash preservation over investment. What can Government do to lure business leaders away from their spending funk? Boosting the level of R&D tax relief available and relaxing the qualifying criteria would be a good starting point.

It pays to understand the small print when it comes to HMRC
Justin Stevenson, Sarah Halsted and Jackie Hall
With the coronavirus restrictions biting hard, many businesses turned to the financial assistance made available by the Government. But there are concerns that not all have fully understood the terms and conditions that apply.

The company car coronavirus tax tip
Chris Etherington
For many employees with a company car sitting idle outside their homes during lockdown, what was once a valued benefit has become an expensive gadget which has hardly been used over last three months. All is not lost for those who also have their fuel paid for by their employer, as a tax refund could be on the cards.