Weekly Tax Brief - 20 October 2015


Beware the ex-spouse spilling the beans to the taxman

20 October 2015

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling that two women should receive more money after they claimed they were misled by their ex-husbands about the extent of their wealth has put the spotlight on the issue of financial disclosure in divorce cases. It’s not unknown for former spouses to spill the beans to HMRC about the extent of an ex-partner’s financial assets – a move that can have serious implications for tax liabilities.

Country-by-country reporting requires tax authorities to raise their game too

20 October 2015

The UK’s new legislation on country-by-country reporting will initially be a compliance burden for multinationals, but tax authorities will also have to raise their game to ensure that the correct amount of tax – and no more – is collected. This is a significant cultural change and a major challenge for tax administrations which do not have a great track record for international cooperation.

Doctor, the taxman will see you now...

20 October 2015

Recent case involving a home-based anaesthetist’s journeys to hospital shows the importance of facts when determining travel costs are tax deductible.

Large business compliance – HMRC risks shooting the good guys

20 October 2015

HMRC has been consulting on changes to the way it deals with the tax affairs of large businesses, but we are concerned that their proposals will lead to additional burdens for the compliant majority of companies. Surely it would be better for HMRC to concentrate on the known high-risk companies?

The making of law and the whims of HMRC

20 October 2015

HMRC’s recent climb-down over the remittance basis treatment of foreign income used for loans is welcome but it points to a worrying trend for HMRC to unilaterally impose its view on the interpretation of the law and then change it without consultation. Isn’t it time for a return to due process?

Your pay in their (HMRC's) hands

20 October 2015

The recent case of a diligent taxpayer who was hit with two years of tax underpayments (rather than one) being collected through the payroll raises questions about HMRC’s arbitrary control over the tax coding system.