Weekly tax brief | 8 November 2022

The energy windfall tax hokey cokey
Sheena McGuinness
The energy windfall tax was in then it was out and now it is back in again at a higher rate and could be applied more widely to electricity generators. However, will this new tax actually move the dial on the budgetary deficit or is it just a crowd pleaser?

The potential pension tax traps in the Autumn Statement
Andrew Robins 
There has been much recent debate about whether the government should maintain the pension triple lock in line with the 2019 Conservative Party election manifesto with the prime minister reportedly facing threats of revolt if he doesn’t, but there may be even bigger pension issues to consider.

Will tax rises mark the demise of the personal service company?
Tim Parr
Without even having had an official Budget, there has been more excitement in the world of tax over the last couple of months than there has been for many years. Amongst the numerous reversals announced by Jeremy Hunt, relaxations to IR35 in Kwasi Kwarteng’s fiscal event were abandoned. However, have the various tax changes announced so far removed the incentive to operate through a service company rather than as an employee? Has the need for IR35 been removed?

Tackling the future of research and development tax reliefs
Sheetal Sanghvi
Recent reports of bogus claims, together with a budgetary black hole, means the research and development tax reliefs regime could be squarely in the sights of the chancellor in his forthcoming Autumn Statement. Rather than simply slicing a relief that provides vital support to the growth of many businesses, efforts should be focused on tackling abuse of the system.

HMRC’s performance statistics show significant improvement is needed
Matthew Brown
HMRC’s performance statistics for September 2022 show that it is struggling to deal with correspondence in a timely manner, and that significant improvement is needed in a number of key areas to reduce the number of complaints that it receives from taxpayers.

Processing delays at the land registry causing HMRC to go after tax that isn’t due
Michaela Norman 
The land registry has suffered incredibly long processing delays since the Covid-19 pandemic began which seem to still be continuing. Many taxes are impacted by land registry data and delays caused by not processing the transactions in a timely manner has led to HMRC raising tax assessments incorrectly.

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