UK tax initiatives can wait, professionals say

The UK government should avoid introducing any tax policy initiatives in the October 29 budget and focus instead on addressing the implications of Brexit, tax professionals said.

My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Notes on October 6 (paywall)

Budget 2018: tax reliefs under scrutiny

Now that the party conferences are over, what changes to the UK tax landscape can we expect to see in the coming months?

It is not yet clear how the government will meet the prime minister’s commitment, announced in the summer, to increase National Health Service funding by £20.5bn a year in real terms by 2023. Theresa May has vowed that a post-Brexit Britain will offer the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G20, and the Conservatives pledged at the 2017 general election not to increase the level of VAT.

My article for AAT Comment, published by AAT on October 5

Office of Tax Simplification urges HMRC to remodel tax guidance

HM Revenue & Customs should adopt a new model for published guidance that meets taxpayers’ needs and make “transforming the user experience” a priority, according to the Office of Tax Simplification.

My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Notes on October 6 (paywall). This story was also published in the October 15 edition of Tax Notes International.

May insists on UK’s integrity in Brexit solution

Any solution to the Irish border issue must preserve the integrity of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Theresa May said in a defiant response to the EU-27 leaders’ rejection of her Brexit plan.

Both sides in the negotiations have to face the fact that there are “two big issues where we remain a long way apart,” May told a Downing Street press conference September 21. European Council President Donald Tusk declared on September 20, at the end of an informal summit in Salzburg, that the United Kingdom’s proposed framework for future economic cooperation “will not work, not least because it risks undermining the single market.”

Responding to May’s speech in a September 21 statement, Tusk said the EU-27 will “treat the Chequers plan as a step in the right direction.” Read more:

My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Notes on September 22 (paywall)

Chequers plan for economic cooperation will not work, EU warns

The United Kingdom’s proposal for future economic cooperation will not work, and an EU summit in October will be a “moment of truth” for the Brexit talks, European Council President Donald Tusk said.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced September 20, following what she called a frank bilateral meeting with Tusk, that the U.K. government will bring forward new proposals to resolve the impasse over the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. But she maintained that the Chequers proposal for a free trade area is the only credible proposition for achieving frictionless trade. Read more:

My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Notes on September 21 (paywall). The story was also published in the September 24 edition of Tax Notes International.

Brexit committee urges government to reconsider customs plan

The U.K. government must change its approach to Brexit to secure a withdrawal agreement if the EU continues to oppose its customs proposals, according to a House of Commons committee.

Brexit secretary Dominic Raab told journalists, however, that the government has made compromises. “We do need to see that matched on the EU side,” he said.

Prime Minister Theresa May told the BBC September 17 that if Parliament does not back the Chequers proposals, “the alternative to that would be not having a deal.” Read more:

My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Notes on September 19 (paywall)