Weekly tax brief | 28 September 2021

Loan charge – controversy, more controversy and a crucial deadline
Noel Mooney
The loan charge has attracted controversy since its inception in 2016. With HMRC now adopting a tougher stance in reaching settlements with affected taxpayers, the controversy is set to continue. We lift the lid on what’s happening. Don’t forget: the deadline date to apply to HMRC for a refund or waiver under the Disguised Renumeration Repayment Scheme 2020 is 30 September 2021.

Winter fuel payments require reform
Chris Etherington
With reports that energy bills for low-income households are set to increase by more than £250 next year, the Chancellor could look to alleviate the financial pressure on those worst affected with an increase to the winter fuel payment. This unfocused approach would however benefit millionaire pensioners as much as those in fuel poverty. We explore the options to reform the benefit, so it is more focused on those who need it.

Prepare for lift-off (and taxes)
Jim Burberry and Murray Paterson
As Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson return from outer space, the Scottish Government has started Britain’s space race by striking a deal for ‘horizonal’ satellite launches from Prestwick airport. This, along with the associated benefits for our economy and job creation, will no doubt open new avenues for generating tax revenues for our reserved and devolved tax administrations. 

Workforce rights are changing, but regulation still looks a long way off
Carolyn Brown
Like buses emerging from a post-pandemic fog, after a wait of almost two years, changes to three employment legal rights have been announced simultaneously. However, regulation of these changes still looks a long way off.

Is making tax digital protecting the digitally excluded? Of course, it’s all on the internet!
Sarah Saunders
One of the many concerns about the introduction of making tax digital (MTD) is how the digitally excluded, who cannot use a computer either for practical or religious reasons, will be dealt with. Is a webpage the ideal medium to reassure these people?