Weekly tax brief | 6 November 2019

Whichever party wins the election, taxes are set to rise
George Bull
With both the Labour Party and the Conservatives promising to increase public expenditure, a recent report forecasts the growth in government expenditure as a percentage of GDP. We will have a much clearer idea what the impact will be once the party manifestos are available. For now, it’s an absolute certainty that – once delivered – promises to increase expenditure will have to be paid for. Borrowing seems able to cover only part of that. Growth in the economy will be crucial. Beyond that, tax increases seem inevitable.

More retrospective legislation from HMRC
George Bull
HMRC’s announcement that retrospective legislation is to be introduced to give force to its use of large-scale automated processes has caused consternation in certain quarters. For some, the retrospection is a step too far following the loan charge. For others, HMRC’s decision to press ahead without consultation represents a lost opportunity to improve the quality of the new legislation which is undoubtedly required.

HMRC’s continuing assault on the unwary
Rachel de Souza
HMRC is contacting taxpayers about whether they have reported all investments in offshore funds, but thanks to cross-border data they probably already know the answer; so, there is no escape. If you receive one of these letters, take advice and then contact HMRC; don’t stick your head in the sand!