UK firms ‘praying’ for more time to plan for Brexit

Planning for a no-deal Brexit among larger businesses is “highly variable,” but prudent firms will keep preparing so long as such an outcome “remains an option,” said James Stewart, head of Brexit at KPMG UK.

“Many of the businesses we’re speaking to are praying for an extension to article 50,” Stewart said in a January 28 statement. “At this stage even our most informed clients feel as if anything could happen. They’re thinking about getting products from A to B, market access, and staffing up situation rooms for April,” he said, adding that there are “no safe bets.” My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), published January 29:

U.K. Firms ‘Praying’ for More Time to Plan for Brexit

National Audit Office flags uncertainty over oil and gas tax reliefs

The cost of decommissioning offshore oil and gas infrastructure is “highly uncertain,” and there are gaps in the UK government’s understanding of the impact of tax changes in the sector, the National Audit Office said.

My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), published January 26:

U.K. Watchdog Flags Uncertainty Over Oil and Gas Tax Reliefs

HMRC defends devolution record amid tax code error reports

HM Revenue & Customs defended its implementation of devolved income tax rates as tax professionals reported errors in the identification of Scottish taxpayers.

HMRC was unable to provide the National Audit Office with an action plan for the implementation of Welsh income tax, setting out “lessons learned” from the earlier implementation of Scottish income tax, the NAO said in a January 24 report. The plan was drawn up after a July 2017 event attended by HMRC staff involved in the Scottish project…

My news story for Tax Notes (free to view), published January 25:

HMRC Defends Devolution Record Amid Tax Code Error Reports