Weekly tax brief | 25 February 2020

Tax predictions for the 2020 Budget
George Bull                                                                                    
At best, Budget predictions are a blend of science, art and complete guesswork. With a new Chancellor having recently taken up residence at 11 Downing Street, the uncertainty surrounding the contents of the famous red Budget box is greater than usual. Undeterred by this, my specialist tax colleagues at RSM have used their experience and insights to formulate clear, comprehensive and weighty predictions.

Should family offices be worried about HMRC’s new secret unit?
Chris Etherington
It has been revealed that a secret unit has been set up by HMRC to review the tax risks of Family Investment Companies (FICs), in particular the associated inheritance tax implications. Should families who have established a FIC be concerned?

Top tips for tidying up tax affairs before the tax year end (5 April 2020)
Alex Foster
As the end of another tax year approaches, it is important for taxpayers to review their overall position to ensure that they are making the most of valuable tax allowances and reliefs. We set out some of the main areas of interest.

HMRC invites claims for overpaid VAT (but doesn’t agree to pay them)
Peter Williams
Following the News Corp and Ireland Ltd Upper Tribunal decision released late last year, in which it was held that the digital editions of The Times and other News Corp newspapers should be zero-rated for VAT, HMRC has published a new briefing explaining how businesses can now submit claims for overpaid VAT. But there is a snag - any claims made are unlikely to be paid until when, and if, the litigation is finally concluded in News Corp’s favour.

A bluffer’s guide to the Climate Change Levy
Sheena McGuinness
As green taxes are likely to play a greater role in the UK’s taxation system in the future, we try to shed some light on the much-misunderstood Climate Change Levy.