Tax transparency, taxpayer confidentiality and is it now time to make HMRC a Ministerial department?

We have a longstanding principle of taxpayer confidentiality in the UK. My tax affairs are confidential between HMRC and me. The essential effect of this principle is that my financial affairs are my business and (subject to my duty to disclose income to HMRC for the purposes of paying tax on it) mine alone. HMRC [...]

By |February 25th, 2016|Anti Avoidance, Government, HMRC|

R&D relief is changing for large companies and some SMEs

If you've been claiming R&D relief at the large company super-deduction rate of 130% then you should be aware that this relief ends for expenditure incurred after 31 March 2016. Whilst this is predominantly an issue for large companies, many SMEs will also find themselves claiming at the large company rate for expenditure that is [...]

By |February 2nd, 2016|R&D|

Quarterly tax returns: bureaucracy or “simplification”?

Thanks to fellow tweeter @goodall4 for pointing me towards this gem. In a Written Answer to a question from Jim Shannon (a DUP MP), David Gauke (Financial Secretary to the Treasury) stated that the new digital tax accounts to be introduced by HRMC would be: simple, secure and personalised Now, I can well believe that [...]

By |January 12th, 2016|Government, HMRC|

Patent Box – Connected Party Transfers – Error in the Draft Legislation

HMRC published draft legislation on 9 December covering some of the changes needed to make the UK's Patent Box regime OECD/BEPS compliant. Unfortunately, there is an important error in the drafting. This concerns the provisions that relate to whether or not IP transferred (or licensed) between connected parties on or after 2 January 2016 can [...]

By |December 18th, 2015|Patent Box|

HMRC has a long way to go in order to be “digitally advanced”

One part of HMRC's settlement in the recent Spending Review involves the following rather grand sounding target (taken from the department's press release): That sounds very impressive - HMRC is to become "one of the most digitally advanced" tax administrations in the world - almost sends a chill up my spine! And all of this [...]

By |November 26th, 2015|Government, HMRC|

Changes to Government funding of innovation

So the rumours have proved to be correct, the Government plans to replace up to £195m of Innovate UK grants per annum with loans. The following statement comes from the BIS press release on their Spending Review Settlement: The government will introduce new finance products to support companies to innovate following best practice in [...]

By |November 26th, 2015|Government, R&D|

HMRC is about to launch its R&D Advance Assurance scheme – at last

As I discussed in this earlier post, HMRC announced on 28 October that it would be launching an Advance Assurance scheme for small businesses making their first R&D claim. Actually, the scheme was first announced by George Osborne in his 2014 Autumn Statement and included in the consultation document “Improving access to R&D tax credits [...]

By |November 24th, 2015|HMRC, R&D|

HMRC’s problem may be poor leadership

Since the merger of the old Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise in 2005 to form HMRC, headcount in the merged department has fallen steadily from circa 95,000¹ (FTE) to 58,883² in September 2015. Of course, some reduction in headcount was inevitable, indeed desirable, if only from the synergies of merging the two former [...]

By |November 12th, 2015|HMRC|

HMRC needs more investment and better leadership

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published a report today into its findings on HMRC's performance in 2014/15. From HMRC's perspective, the report really does not make good reading. Jolyon Maugham has already blogged on one aspect of that report (prosecution of offshore evasion) here and I have made a couple of comments. In doing [...]

By |November 4th, 2015|HMRC|

HMRC’s plan for small business R&D tax relief – a bit of a damp squib?

HMRC launched their plans for improving access to R&D tax credits for small business on 28 October. To publicise the launch there were tweets (and retweets) from HMRC, HM Treasury and David Gauke (and probably others). The document - which is actually titled "Making R&D Easier: HMRC's plan for small business R&D tax relief" - [...]

By |October 30th, 2015|R&D, Uncategorized|