Prime Minister Theresa May survived an attempted coup by Eurosceptic Conservatives, winning a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party amid widespread frustration over the Brexit process.
Conservative members of Parliament voted 200-117 in May’s favour. The secret ballot on December 12 was triggered after Eurosceptic MPs secured the 48 signatures required for a vote. My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), December 13:
Theresa May Survives Conservative Party Confidence Vote
The Scottish government’s tax policies will continue to focus on fairness and investment in public services, Derek Mackay, cabinet secretary for finance, economy and fair work, said as he delivered his budget.
But Mackay ignored the pleas of business groups who had expressed concerns over a “growing tax gap” between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, according to Murdo Fraser, Conservative member of the Scottish Parliament and shadow finance secretary. My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), December 13:
Scottish Higher Rate Threshold Frozen Amid ‘Tax Gap’ Concerns
The Chartered Institute of Taxation has warned that “tinkering constantly with rates and allowances in unexpected ways” undermines stability and certainty and reduces international competitiveness. Several changes to tax allowances for businesses are “quietly working their way through Parliament” in the finance bill, the CIOT noted. Taxpayers do not welcome surprise changes and find them disruptive, it said.
My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), December 8: https://www.taxnotes.com/worldwide-tax-daily/tax-policy/tinkering-uk-tax-reliefs-undermines-stability-ciot-says/2018/12/10/28nvq
A House of Lords committee called for a review of the powers available to HM Revenue & Customs, arguing that some powers granted since 2012 are disproportionate and lack effective safeguards for taxpayers.
“HMRC is right to tackle tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. However, a careful balance must be struck between clamping down and treating taxpayers fairly. Our evidence has convinced us that this balance has tipped too far in favour of HMRC and against the fundamental protections every taxpayer should expect,” said Lord Forsyth, chair of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.
My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), December 4: https://www.taxnotes.com/worldwide-tax-daily/tax-policy/peers-call-review-disproportionate-hmrc-powers/2018/12/04/28n75
This story was also published in the December 10 edition of Tax Notes International.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s budget was “a bit of a gamble” that offered “sticking plasters rather than long-term solutions” to tax issues, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Analysts on October 31 (paywall):
U.K. Budget Is a ‘Gamble’ With Public Finances, Think Tank Says
Small business tax experts have welcomed the government’s decision to delay extending the IR35 regime for off-payroll working and to defer any change in the VAT registration threshold until 2022.
My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Analysts on October 30 (paywall):
U.K. Small Business Tax Proposals Receive Cautious Welcome
The devolution of tax powers across the United Kingdom adds to the importance of informed public debate, tax professionals said as they offered their expertise to policymakers involved in the process.
My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Analysts on October 23 (paywall):
U.K. Tax Bodies Offer Expertise to Inform Devolution Debate
Measures presented as anti-avoidance legislation may receive less detailed scrutiny than other measures because they are difficult to challenge politically, a leading tax professional told the House of Lords Economic Affairs Finance Bill Subcommittee.
My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Analysts on October 17 (paywall):
Tax Law Rhetoric Affects Scrutiny, U.K. Peers Told
UK business leaders urged Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to use the upcoming budget to increase tax reliefs to support business investment, while campaign groups recommended tax increases to fund public services.
My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Analysts on October 15 (paywall):
Hammond Urged to Increase Tax Breaks for Business Investment
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)