HMRC’s latest challenge to “tax avoidance” feels a little shoddy

Over the weekend, the BBC reported that HMRC is writing to certain individuals warning them that their participation in a scheme that HMRC does not like, means that their tax affairs are to be treated as "high risk". Apparently, the letter advises these individuals that HMRC will be opening enquiries into their tax affairs. Furthermore, according [...]

By |November 26th, 2012|Uncategorized|

So just what is a “fair share” of tax?

The tax avoidance "debate" - if, indeed, what we are seeing can really be called a debate - has given birth to the concept of individuals (almost always "rich") and corporates (usually "multi nationals") paying their "fair share" of tax. I don't think anyone would really object to everyone paying their "fair share". The problem [...]

By |November 16th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Patent Box Briefing

The Patent Box regime is just around the corner. It may still feel as though 1 April 2013 is some way off but, as I have blogged before, there is a lot that companies need to do in order to be ready for the new regime. I was talking with the head of tax at one large company [...]

By |November 13th, 2012|Uncategorized|

The PAC debacle

I decided to watch the meeting of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee yesterday afternoon when they were questioning senior management from HMRC on the department's accounts for 2011/12. The HMRC team was led by Lin Homer, HMRC's Chief Executive. It was initially slightly amusing but very quickly became quite depressing. Not, ironically, because of any of [...]

By |November 6th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Government departments should not use 0845 numbers

As taxpayers, we finance the operation of every single Government department, so why do those Civil Servants think it is acceptable to charge for telephone access to their services? It is increasingly evident that most, if not all, Government departments - and Executive Agencies - are switching their contact phone numbers to 0845 numbers. In [...]

By |October 2nd, 2012|Uncategorized|

The difference between a “specialist” and an “expert”

In July, I blogged about the importance of using a specialist. In that blog, I commented on the websites I see of firms claiming expertise that the technical errors on those websites would suggest they don't really have. Yesterday, I was directed to the site of a small specialist R&D consultancy who state that, whilst [...]

By |September 20th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Comments on the GAAR Consultation

The Government published its consultation on the proposed General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) on 12 June 2012. I have submitted my thoughts and comments on the proposals today. It is inevitable that we will end up with a GAAR of some description and I actually think that Graham Aaronson's proposals were pretty good. It was, perhaps, [...]

By |August 31st, 2012|Uncategorized|

More “tax avoidance” nonsense

So now Richard Murphy et al are claiming that Usain Bolt's refusal to compete in the UK under current tax laws is "tax avoidance". Oh please! As I understand it, the world's fastest man feels that he would rather not pay any UK tax on his sponsorship/endorsement income - and I understand that he's not alone, [...]

By |August 14th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Why has HMRC published a half finished “Guide” to the Patent Box?

HMRC has published a guide to the new Patent Box on its website. Leaving aside the issue that it doesn't really provide much in the way of useful guidance, I wonder why they didn't bother to make the links work properly? All of the "Read about..." links (bar one) take you to the front page [...]

By |August 9th, 2012|Uncategorized|

A missed opportunity?

During the last round of consultation on the new Patent Box, HMT and HMRC held a workshop presentation to discuss their latest thinking (as I blogged at the time). It was a very good event during which there was a lot of useful discussion about the practicalities of the new regime. At the end of [...]

By |July 24th, 2012|Uncategorized|