HMRC to review Scottish taxpayer guidance

Tax returns are not yet “the best indicator” of whether someone is a Scottish taxpayer, because the present error rate is higher than HM Revenue & Customs would like, according to a tax official.

Jim HarraHMRC deputy chief executive and second permanent secretary, sought May 9 to assure members of the Scottish Parliament on the Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee that an error like a recent one that led to a third of MSPs receiving incorrect PAYE codes could not affect the wider population. My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), May 11: HMRC to Review Scottish Taxpayer Guidance.

Doctors urge changes to pensions tax relief

The government should abolish tapering of tax relief for pension contributions, according to a former pensions minister who warned that NHS patient care must not “suffer on the altar of Treasury intransigence” … Philip Hammond has suggested that a solution may lie in allowing more flexibility in NHS pension schemes for highly paid staff.

My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), May 10:

Labour party to consider tax overhaul to fund basic income

Rolling back the “incredible number” of tax reliefs is one of several ways to fund a basic income, said a report for Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell … The report “moves the debate on to the question of pilot schemes,” the Progressive Economy Forum noted.

My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), May 9:

CBI urges reform of ‘unsustainable’ business rates

Reform of the “uneconomical, unsustainable, and frankly unintelligible” business rates system in England cannot come soon enough, John Allan, president of the CBI, told business leaders … John Boulton, technical strategy manager at the ICAEW, told the House of Commons Treasury Committee on May 7 that business rates fail to meet at least three of the institute’s “ten tenets for a better tax system”. The committee is examining the impact of business rates and has published more than 100 items of written evidence.

My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), May 8: