Inheritance tax has become “bewildering and largely inaccessible”, a UK tax professional said as a group of lawmakers called for an overhaul.
The all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on inheritance and inter-generational fairness, comprising four members of Parliament, suggests replacing the current IHT regime with a “flat-rate gift tax” payable on both lifetime and death transfers …
The APPG was set up in February 2019 and heard from professional bodies and think tanks in five evidence sessions. “The key principle is that [the standard rate of IHT] should be low enough for the tax to be broadly based without the need for complex reliefs,” it said in a report published January 29 by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, which provides secretariat support to the group …
The suggested reforms are radical and would completely change the way IHT works, Anthony Nixon, a partner at Irwin Mitchell, said in a release. “A revolutionary view of inheritance tax is exactly what is needed. For years the system has been needlessly complicated,” he said.
My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), January 30 (also published in Tax Notes International, February 10):
MPs Call for U.K. Inheritance Tax Overhaul
APPG report: Reform of inheritance tax
The costs of complying with the Making Tax Digital regime for VAT have exceeded government estimates and the project is “far from achieving its goals”, according to two leading tax bodies.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Association of Taxation Technicians, a related professional body for providers of tax compliance services, called for “a comprehensive review of the rollout of MTD for VAT before HM Revenue & Customs goes ahead with plans to roll out digital reporting obligations more widely”.
My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), January 29:
Making Tax Digital Is Not Reducing Errors, U.K. Tax Bodies Say
CIOT: Survey results contradict government claims of realising benefits of digital tax reporting
Thousands of pub owners will benefit from a £1,000 business rates discount in April as part of a package of measures to support local high streets in England, HM Treasury announced.
The new “pubs relief” for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 will come on top of an extended retail discount for those with a rateable value of below £51,000, and pubs eligible for both will get up to £13,500 off annual bills, Treasury said.
My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), January 28:
Thousands of Pubs to Benefit From U.K. Business Rates Discount
HM Treasury: Happy hour for pubs as government cuts business rates
UK and EU leaders signed the EU withdrawal agreement in the latest step of the ratification process before Britain leaves the EU on January 31 …
“As we leave the European Union, we have a huge opportunity to be a liberalising force for trade in the world,” International Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss told lawmakers as the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill completed its passage through Parliament.
But Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds noted that the Trump administration’s threat to impose tariffs on cars if the United Kingdom proceeds with its digital services tax “seems an early test of how we will fare in independent trade talks.” Asked whether the UK government intends to “concede to American pressure,” Truss declared that “UK tax policy is a matter for the UK chancellor — it is not a matter for the US.; it is not a matter for the EU; it is not a matter for anybody else.”
My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), January 24:
Brexit Law Paves Way for EU-U.K. Talks on Future Relationship
Update January 28: This story is now free to view at
The U.K. government’s review of the air passenger duty prompted the Welsh government to call for full devolution of the levy, while regional airline Flybe defended its arrangements with HM Revenue & Customs.
The Welsh government noted that the cross-party House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee had recommended full devolution of APD to Wales by 2021. Devolution has also been backed by all parties represented in the Senedd, the National Assembly for Wales, it added. There is “no good reason not to put Wales on an equal footing with Scotland and Northern Ireland” in terms of APD, Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said …
My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), January 18:
Welsh Government Urges U.K. to Devolve Air Passenger Duty