Weekly tax brief | 28 August 2019

Does the Macron/Trump agreement spell the end for UK’s tax on big tech companies?
George Bull 
Faced with the demise of the traditional High Street and the rise of big tech companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, the UK government has been planning a digital services tax to level the playing field. Will France’s commitment to, if necessary, refund part of its digital services tax scupper the UK’s efforts?

Tax system needs total overhaul to meet net zero carbon aspirations
Sheena McGuinness
On 27 June 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. Tax will have a major role to play, but incentives are in a mess so the system will need a fundamental overhaul to even come close to meeting the net zero aspirations.

Do not ignore HMRC 'nudge' letters on UK residential properties
Andrew Hinsley
HMRC has begun sending letters to owners and occupiers of UK property where the registered owner is a company. The letters to occupiers in particular are causing a significant degree of alarm and confusion.

VAT case threatens price hike for some cosmetic procedures
Philip Munn
In a blow to a fast-growing sector in the UK, the First-tier Tribunal has recently ruled that some of the procedures offered at Skin Rich Limited’s clinic, including botox injections, should be subject to VAT. 

Could Scotland sustain itself financially?
Ross Stupart
Now that the latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland report has been published the annual debate of whether the fiscal position of Scotland could sustain itself has started up again; but what options would Scotland have if all powers were devolved?