Weekly tax brief | 7 December 2021

Do people really want tax cuts if that means poorer public services? 
George Bull
 The Chancellor of the Exchequer is signalling now which taxes he plans to cut, and by how much, before the 2024 election. If he is hoping that in 2024 people will prefer a modest tax cut to proper services, he is taking a huge gamble.

Crypto traders should invest in a digital will
Chris Etherington
 Crypto investors may have a bigger appetite for gambling than other investors, but there are two certainties they can’t bet against: death and taxes. Without a plan, investors could leave loved ones behind with a 40 per cent inheritance tax liability and no access to the funds to settle it.

HMRC delays escalate 
Justin Stevenson and Noel Mooney
HMRC resources have been understandably spread thinly due to the demands of both Brexit and responding to the coronavirus pandemic. For taxpayers this has most keenly been felt when waiting for a refund to be processed.

Scottish Budget faces dual challenge of inflation worries and financial impact of Covid
Shirley McIntosh
 Thursday 9 December will see the publication of the Scottish Budget. Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has had just six weeks to finalise her plans. Concerns about inflation and the continuing economic impact of coronavirus present a challenging backdrop. 

Tribunal denies VAT relief on insulated roofing panels
Sarah Halsted
In October 2019, the government committed to hold itself and other public bodies to account on their environmental obligations, including on climate change. Nevertheless, HMRC are still litigating to deny VAT relief on environmentally driven home improvements. A recent case has highlighted yet another missed opportunity to use the tax system to pursue the country’s climate change objectives. We urge the government to convert words to actions and to review its VAT reliefs on energy-saving materials to ensure they fully support its climate change goals. 

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