Weekly tax brief | 23 February 2021

Budget Day announcements to be followed by Tax Day on 23 March
George Bull
In a departure from tradition, while some tax announcements will continue to be made on Budget Day, others will be deferred until Tax Day which has been set for 23 March. What’s going on? We look at the implications.

Uber difficult: is a statutory employment test increasingly likely?
Carolyn Brown and Susan Ball
Recent court and tribunal decisions in relation to Uber drivers and television presenter Kaye Adams have shone fresh light on the misalignment of the employment, legal and tax treatment of people in work. Government promises to address this with an Employment Bill in December 2019 came to nothing. We hope the Chancellor will address this by proposing a statutory employment test in the Budget on 3 March, but we’re not holding our breath.

Furnished holiday lettings and capital allowances – the perfect combination?
Paul Smith
The prospect of a relaxing holiday in sunnier climes and joyously packing your sunglasses and flip-flops remains stubbornly (and sensibly) distant. Staycations are back in vogue, with sector operators enjoying high demand and an ability to increase prices. There’s arguably never been a better time to venture into the holiday lettings market. Those who have taken the plunge can look forward to some significant tax benefits.

Uber – where does this leave us for VAT?
Sarah Halsted
Last week’s Supreme Court ruling, that Uber drivers are employees rather than independent contractors, has fired the starting gun for part two of the debate - Uber’s VAT position. Is Uber a transport provider, or simply a booking agent? And how might this affect the VAT profile of other online platforms?

HMRC – deep pockets, short arms?
Zoe Martin
HMRC has extended the deadline for late filing and late payment penalties. Is it ‘too little, too late’ or is this the start of HMRC’s commitment to improve collaboration with its customers? HMRC’s Charter must be promoted both within HMRC and to the wider public. We are concerned that some HMRC officers appear not to be aware of, or are not implementing, its own Charter behaviours and obligations.

Construction Industry VAT: assessing the working capital impact of the domestic reverse charge
Louise Cowell and Ian Carpenter
After being pushed back twice, the domestic reverse charge (DRC) for the construction industry is to be introduced on 1 March 2021. Despite the UK returning to lockdown measures, there has been no indication from HMRC that the DRC will be pushed back again.