A “great repeal bill” will put the U.K. back in control of its laws and maximise certainty as it seeks a “smooth and orderly” exit from the European Union, the government said in a white paper, but experts have warned that up to 15 new bills could be needed. Continue reading
A comprehensive pilot of the Making Tax Digital project is needed to establish whose estimates of additional compliance costs for small businesses are closest to reality, according to Andrew Tyrie, chair of the House of Commons Treasury committee. Continue reading
HM Revenue & Customs will consider changing the job title of its customer relationship managers dealing with the tax affairs of wealthy individuals, after the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee suggested a change to “something that better describes what [CRMs] do, and does not suggest an overly close and inappropriate service to the wealthy.” Continue reading
In the recent controversy over false self-employment, and the disparity in rates of national insurance contributions between employees and the self-employed, two forthcoming changes have received little attention.
The transition to universal credit will have an adverse impact on many self-employed people, particularly those with fluctuating incomes, and changes to the structure of class 4 NICs will make preserving entitlement to state pension much more expensive for self-employed earners on very low profits, as the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) highlighted on 20 March.
Yesterday in Parliament, the work and pensions committee heard evidence from experts from LITRG, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the RSA, the Social Market Foundation and others on “self-employment and the gig economy”. Continue reading
The UK government should consider setting a reduced rate of VAT for Northern Ireland’s tourism sector when the UK leaves the European Union and has the power to make its own VAT rules, according to a House of Commons select committee.
“The tourism industry in Northern Ireland has undoubtedly had some great successes in recent years, and we are optimistic for the future, notwithstanding the current political situation,” said Laurence Robertson, a Conservative member of Parliament and chair of the cross-party Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, in a March 20 statement.
Northern Ireland’s tourism sector is subject to a VAT rate that is more than twice that in the Republic of Ireland, the committee noted. Read more:
A tax barrister is set to begin legal proceedings that could, according to his own estimates, result in Uber Technologies Inc. being held liable for VAT of almost £20 million based on its smartphone-app-based operations in London alone. Uber maintains that it is not liable because it is not providing transportation services.
“Drivers who use the Uber app are subject to the same VAT laws as any other transportation provider in the U.K.,” an Uber spokesperson said in an emailed statement on March 21. Most drivers are likely to have an annual turnover well below the current VAT threshold of £83,000, so that they do not need to charge VAT …
The Conservative manifesto for the May 2015 election committed a Conservative government not to increase “the rates of VAT, income tax, or national insurance” in the next Parliament (ie. this one).
But the NIC lock, enacted in the National Insurance Contributions (Rate Ceilings) Act 2015, applied only to the class 1 NICs paid by employers and employees.
Writing in The Sun on March 16, chancellor Philip Hammond said he and the prime minister had decided, a week after announcing a proposal to increase the class 4 NICs paid by the self-employed, that it was “not enough simply to stay within the letter of our tax lock law”. Continue reading