Weekly tax brief | 26 January 2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is due to end on 30 April 2021, but what next?
Susan Ball
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is due to conclude at the end of April 2021. As the pandemic continues, cases increase and the vaccine is rolled out, there is much speculation around when lockdown will be eased. Will it be March or later, a phased approach or back to tiers?

Should we just scrap Stamp Duty Land Tax?
Chris Etherington
Stamp duty was introduced as a four-year temporary tax in 1694 to pay for the war against France. Over three centuries later, we’re seemingly still footing the bill as successive governments favour the easy tax revenues it generates. As the Chancellor comes under pressure to extend the Stamp Duty Land Tax (‘SDLT’) holiday, we ask the question: should we just scrap SDLT?

Are some frontline healthcare professionals working overtime actually paying to go to work?
James Gransby
Some NHS workers may be taking home less than 30p in the £1 for overtime worked, and others may inadvertently fall into a pensions tax trap where marginal tax rates are over 100%, effectively paying to work.

HMRC confirms waiver of £100 late filing penalty for self-assessment tax returns
Holly Walmsley
HMRC confirmed yesterday (25 January 2021) that it would waive the late filing penalty of £100 for self-assessment tax returns which are submitted following the 31 January deadline, so long as they are no more than one month late. 

Is it time for a one-off wealth tax in the UK?
Alex Foster
A wealth tax has not been seriously considered in the UK for 50 years, but with the need to raise additional revenue as a result of COVID-19 the option has been garnering increased interest. The question is not a straightforward one - the options are various, including whether it should be a one-off or annual charge, UK or world-wide, all assets or only specific ones? 

HMRC dangles the carrot to settle tax avoidance arrangements
Holly Walmsley
In recent months HMRC has issued sporadic letters to taxpayers who have participated in tax avoidance arrangements, inviting them to come forward and settle their affairs. But is there a real incentive?