The government’s response to the consultation on “Making Tax Digital” – requiring businesses to keep digital records and make quarterly updates to HMRC – was published this week, together with draft legislation. But, rather like Theresa May at a press conference, the government doesn’t answer some of the big questions. Businesses, agents and rep bodies … More Making Tax Digital: fundamental questions remain unanswered
Last Thursday’s FT carried an intriguing story about a German tax avoidance scheme with €billions at stake: the so-called “cum-cum” dividend-stripping device. While we generally think of the Germans as highly disciplined, this looked like an example of complete chaos. And the aggressive artificiality of the scheme took me back to the dark ages of … More Scandal in Frankfurt: tax avoidance pays dividends for German banks
The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has been the subject of much comment since Wednesday’s Autumn Statement. But the fact that its remit has been changed seems to have passed largely unnoticed. Tucked away among the hundreds of pages of supporting documents is a revised draft Charter for Budget Responsibility. The charter fulfils a dual … More OBR can no longer shock us
Once upon a time, in a pre-Brexit, pre-Trump world, a conservative government unexpectedly won an election. One of their key priorities was to eliminate the deficit, and in the Budget immediately following the election they came up with a way to “raise” a few £billions by what amounted to an accounting trick. They decided to … More Smoke and mirrors don’t fill the deficit
The Supreme Court delivered an outstanding judgement on 19 October in R (on the application of Ingenious Media Holdings plc and another) v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs. The case related to an interview given on 14 June 2012 by the Permanent Secretary for Tax in HMRC, Mr David Hartnett, to two financial journalists … More The Supreme Court: confidentiality matters
With the summer finally coming to an end, I made time this week to look at one more of the tax consultations issued in August: HMRC’s Bringing business tax into the digital age, part of the Making Tax Digital programme. These proposals, requiring businesses to keep records using digital tools, have generated a significant amount … More Why, how and when? Some fundamental questions on HMRC’s proposals to Make Tax Digital
Soon after he was appointed shadow Chancellor last September, John McDonnell announced a “wholescale review of the tax system” and, more specifically, of HMRC. Last Thursday, almost a year later, the first-stage report of the HMRC review was published (apparently available only on Scribd). The report describes itself as commissioned by Labour and conducted independently … More Labour’s review of HMRC: evidence-based policy or shoddy sound-bites?
Now I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a deluge of tax condocs. I’m not going to comment here on the Making Tax Digital documents that came out on Monday 15 August. This is partly because I don’t find it the most fascinating aspect of the tax system, but mainly … More “Tax avoidance advisers to face tougher penalties from Treasury”: will the proposals work?
In the wake of Brexit, George Osborne planned to “woo business” by reducing corporation tax – already heading for 17 per cent, the lowest rate in the G20, by 2020 – to less than 15 per cent. Will Philip Hammond, the new Chancellor, now follow through this plan, and would this be a step towards making … More Philip Hammond should shelve Osborne’s plan to cut corporation tax