Pandemic response changes U.K. tax debate, MPs told

The U.K. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has provided a reminder of “why we pay our taxes,” former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told the House of Commons Treasury Committee.

Along with two other former chancellors, Alistair Darling and Philip HammondOsborne gave evidence on June 3 to the committee’s inquiry into the economic impact of the crisis. The basic argument that if you want the protection of the state, you have to pay for it is “something left and right can agree on as we come out of this pandemic,” Osborne said.

My news story for Tax Notes, June 3 (free to view):

Pandemic Response Changes U.K. Tax Debate, MPs Told

U.K. tax charge to recover overpaid COVID-19 support payments

HM Revenue & Customs will impose a new 100 percent tax charge to recover grants overpaid under coronavirus support schemes, under a measure to be added to the current finance bill.

A technical consultation on the draft legislation was published on May 29, as Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak outlined changes to the coronavirus job retention scheme and the self-employment income support scheme. The consultation closes on June 12.

My news story for Tax Notes, June 2 (free to view):

U.K. Tax Charge to Recover Overpaid COVID-19 Support Payments

Peers call for clear guidance on Northern Ireland protocol

Time is running out for the U.K. government to provide certainty to businesses before the Northern Ireland protocol is implemented at the end of the Brexit transition period, the House of Lords EU Committee said.

A 100-page report published on June 1 provides a detailed guide to the protocol and “focuses in particular on the tension at its heart,” the committee said. “Without clear and prompt guidance from the government, and a proportionate approach to the application of the protocol by the EU, there remains a real and present danger of Northern Ireland becoming collateral damage of Brexit,” it argued as U.K. and EU negotiators were set to begin a fourth round of talks on the future relationship.

My new story for Tax Notes, June 2 (paywall):

Peers Call for Clear Guidance on Northern Ireland Protocol