Weekly tax brief | 23 November 2020

Taxspotter’s guide to the Chancellor’s spending review
George Bull
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is not expected to make any specific tax proposals in his statement on Wednesday 25 November. Nevertheless, taxspotters will be out in force with their antennae set to detect any clues regarding the tax changes to be announced in the spring 2021 Budget.

Eat Out to Help Out is leaving a sour taste in HMRC’s mouth
Sian King
The Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) scheme was so successful in August that some pubs, restaurants and cafes even carried on the discounts into September at their own cost. As we approach the end of the current lockdown, with talk of easing restrictions over Christmas, will a new version of EOTHO be on the cards? Possibly not, as HMRC now looks to claw back incorrect claims. 

Scottish Budget 2021
Shirley McIntosh
The Prime Minister’s reported reference to Scottish devolution as a “disaster” will have done little to endear him to many Scots. With elections in Scotland next year, the independence debate will become more impassioned. But first, there is a Budget to deal with.

Capital gains tax – action may be needed now
Gary Heynes
Did you defer tax on a capital gain made in 2018/19? If CGT rates increase from April 2021, the bad news is that you may have to pay more tax than you had expected. The good news is that you have until 31 January 2021 to do something about it.

Christmas parties: some good tax news!
Sarah Saunders
This year employers planning to have Christmas parties are largely looking at virtual events. The conventional Christmas party normally benefits from tax exemption, where up to £150 per head for one annual event for employees is allowed as a tax-free benefit in kind. There was a question whether a virtual event would still qualify for this exemption.