Tag: tax policy

May to seek ‘binding changes’ as MPs oppose no-deal Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May declared that she will seek “legally binding changes” to her Brexit deal after members of Parliament voted to back a new proposal to replace the Northern Ireland backstop.

But a spokesman for European Council President Donald Tusk told reporters, in response to a series of House of Commons votes late on January 29, that “the backstop is part of the withdrawal agreement, and the withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation”.

My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), published January 30, also published in the February 4 edition of Tax Notes International:

May to Seek ‘Binding Changes’ as MPs Oppose No-Deal Brexit

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

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

A challenging landscape for tax professionals

Brexit dominates the political agenda, but it is by no means the only issue on tax professionals’ minds. Some of the challenges facing tax advisers were addressed by the House of Lords economic affairs committee in December. The committee’s report is essential reading for policymakers.

Concerns expresses by nine tax specialists in my article for a Tolley Tax supplement (not available online) to the January 2019 edition of Tax Adviser included the complexity of tax law, the impact of automation, the quality of HMRC’s service, and the department’s approach to avoidance and evasion.

 

Finance bill, VAT threshold and Brexit

Tax Notes published (paywall) the following articles in the week of December 24:

VAT Issues Need to Be Addressed in Brexit Talks, MPs Say
A significant reduction in the VAT registration threshold may be imposed on U.K. businesses if a new EU VAT directive takes effect during the proposed Brexit transitional period, a House of Commons committee said.

MPs Seek Finance Bill Change to Steer Brexit Debate
As the U.K. government ramps up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, members of Parliament hope to use a finance bill amendment to force the government to seek Parliament’s consent to such an outcome.

Digital services tax, business rates, employment status and Brexit

Tax Notes published (paywall) the following articles in the week of December 17:

U.K. DST Not Intended to Resolve Business Rates Issue
There is no formal link between a digital services tax and reductions in business rates, members of Parliament were told two days after they asked Amazon UK to disclose its U.K. sales and tax liabilities.

U.K. Business Groups Urge MPs to Prevent Disorderly Brexit
There is not enough time to prevent “severe dislocation and disruption” in a no-deal Brexit, five U.K. business groups said as they urged members of Parliament to prevent a disorderly exit March 29, 2019.

U.K. Steps Up No-Deal Brexit Plans Amid Anger Over Vote Delay
Cabinet ministers decided to step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s critics denounced her decision to defer a vote on the EU withdrawal agreement until mid-January.

U.K. Tax and Employment Rights Plan Draws Lukewarm Response
Aligning the existing employment status frameworks for tax and employment rights purposes will be difficult if the government continues to rule out changes to national insurance contributions, U.K. tax professionals said.

Juncker Seeks to Lower Temperature After Fraught Brexit Talks
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May maintained that she is still seeking “further assurances” about the proposed Northern Ireland backstop, after EU-27 leaders reiterated that the Brexit deal is “not open for renegotiation.”