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Talking points, 30 May 2014

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‘HMRC’s decision to reject Next’s claim for this tax relief has now been backed by two tribunals. This case shows that, when any business – large or small – tries to claim capital allowances beyond their intended scope, HMRC will challenge it, including through the courts if necessary.’

Jim Harra, director general business tax at HMRC, comments on the department’s victory before the Upper Tribunal in Next Distribution Ltd and Others v HMRC. The decision is due to be published soon.

‘The consultation document lists a number of questions concerning the proposals. However, they are all based on the assumption that the underlying idea is worth running with in the first place. In my view, that assumption is wholly misplaced.’

Keith Gordon, barrister at Atlas Chambers, writing in Taxation on HMRC’s ‘very worrying plans’ to extract cash from taxpayers’ bank accounts.

‘When we did our release review, we noted this area as something that offered scope for simplification, and noted that a single flat rate in principle sounded like it would be a simplification.’

John Whiting, tax director of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), commenting on the suggestion by pensions minister Steve Webb to apply a flat 30% tax relief to all pension contributions. Whiting added that the OTS had not been asked to perform any further work on this issue and stressed that there was no ‘formal view’.

Issue: 1218
Categories: In brief