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Almost before George Osborne sat down after delivering his 2012 Budget speech, many of his own Conservative MPs – on the back benches and in the cabinet – were putting up howls of anguish at some of the measures, such as the so-called “pasty tax”, the “granny tax”, taxes on caravans and listed buildings, and […]

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I honestly cannot believe the cack-handed way in which the government has sought to defend George Osborne’s proposed tax-relief cap for charity donations. Worse still they have attempted to do so in a manner that displays a total lack of understanding on how tax relief for charities actually works. It isn’t rocket science guys – […]

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It comes as no surprise that the UK Government has accepted the recommendation of Graham Aaronson QC that a General Anti-abuse Rule (GAAR) should be introduced into the UK tax system to tackle what it sees as misinterpretation of legislation. The aim of the GAAR is to allow tax avoidance to be tackled without making […]

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Watching George Osborne’s 2012 Budget speech on TV I cringed at some of the ideas that he came up with, not because they might not have points to recommend them, but because Osborne didn’t seem to realise that they gifted the opposition, the media, and some of his own party, opportunities to mock and attack […]

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For the purposes of UK Taxation a close company is broadly defined as being one controlled, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer “participators” or by any number of directors who are participators. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) defines a participator as a person who has a share or “interest” in a company. A participator […]

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In an ill-informed attack Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour opposition, has called for the EU to take action against the British Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) which he claims are “tax havens” which are ill regulated and where tax avoidance and tax evasion goes on to the detriment of the […]

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The European Commission recently proposed an EU-wide financial transaction tax (FTT) on a range of transactions to which a financial institution is a party. In simple terms every time a bank, stockbroker, insurance company, pension fund, financial leasing company, special purpose vehicle, collective investment scheme or holding company buys or sells stocks, shares, bonds or […]

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The Office of Tax Simplification has today published a document dealing with the taxation of small businesses. It contains a general appreciation that for very small businesses the existing tax rules are over complicated and that they tend to cause problems and costs for the business owner or manager that discourage and penalise entrepreneurial ideas. […]

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 Before I continue let me make it clear that the above is not an accusation but a genuine question, and one which I think needs to be answered urgently. By now there can be few people who have not heard that Sir Paul Stephenson, the Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police force, resigned last night. In […]

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Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs have announced a new hit list of potential tax cheats who they are targeting for investigation. High on that list are teachers who make extra cash from giving private lessons, people selling goods on eBay, Amazon or other internet sites, personal trainers and tradesmen and businesses who hide their true […]

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published revised Advisory Fuel rates to be used as mileage allowances where an employee is provided with a company car but not with company fuel. This can be, and usually is, advantageous to the employee who instead of being liable to be taxed on the “benefit in kind” of […]

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One of the reasons that you won’t often find me commenting on US tax issues is that the US government have a lot of very nasty laws that they are prepared to use on anyone they think might be encouraging their citizens to evade or even just avoid tax – even though tax avoidance is […]

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It’s over a year now since I pointed out that it is actually in the best interest of the British taxpayer for banks (or any other business) to pay large bonuses to their staff. It isn’t hard to see why this should be so and so I’m rather surprised that neither the media nor Government […]

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Keen readers of this blog will have noticed several articles over the last 18 months regarding changes to the tax treatment of holiday lettings. The first of these was UK Budget Bombshell for Second Home Owners (April 2009). This article highlighted a proposal hidden away in the small print of Alistair Darling’s 2009 Budget. This […]

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The Institute of Directors (IoD) today publishes the results of a survey of its members on the administrative burdens that the tax system imposes on them. The picture is much gloomier than that painted by last Friday’s World Bank survey, which placed the UK fourth for ease of paying taxes. The IoD argues for specific […]

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On Tuesday 4th January 2011 the Standard Rate of Value Added Tax is increasing from 17.50% to 20%. This change will mean a lot of extra work for VAT registered businesses and any non registered business or private individuals should consider whether there are any steps they can take to try and pay at the […]

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If you have decided to start your own business as a self-employed sole trader (perhaps having read Choosing the Structure for Your Business) then you might think that you have nothing else to do apart from finding some work and getting paid when you have done it. Unfortunately it isn’t quite as simple as that, […]

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On July 20th this year the Chancellor George Osborne announced the establishment of the Office of Tax Simplification (“OTS”) charged with the task of providing the Government with independent advice on simplifying the UK tax system. Not before time! Today the OTS announced details of two initial reviews, which are to be completed before the […]

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As more businesses take steps to move their tax residence from the UK and as many workers in the financial sector leave these shores because of high levels of personal tax, the UK Chancellor must urgently review the competitiveness of the UK tax system or risk prolonging the recession. Almost all commentators, economists and tax […]

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Is offshore banking legal? This is a question often asked these days, as various nations seek to clamp down on offshore tax havens and offshore banking. And while such banking may raise eyebrows in certain quarters, or invite disapproving comments from politicians seeking to balance budgets and maximise tax revenue, the fact is banking offshore […]

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