Weekly tax brief | 30 May 2018

Tax hypothecation to fund the NHS: part of the solution or another problem?
George Bull
With the publication a report by The King's Fund, hypothecation – the earmarking of a tax to be spent on a specific area of public expenditure – is back on the political agenda. We ask whether it can be made to work and how it might apply across the devolved administrations of the UK.

Complexity in savings taxes could lead to poor investment decisions 
Chris Etherington
While 95 per cent of us pay no tax at all on our savings income, it is clear from the latestOffice of Tax Simplificationreport that for the 5 per cent who do, the rules are an amalgamated mess.The confusion and complexity could evenbeleadingpeople to take poor investment decisions.

Cost of post-Brexit customs reform could be higher than £20bn
Brad Ashton
With the approach of the October deadline informally agreed to conclude the UK’s withdrawal agreement from the UK and EU, the debate around customs reform has become ever more heated. HMRC’s recent intervention has highlighted the potential reality for businesses trading with the EU, but are its estimates too conservative? 

How many tax officials are needed to administer the UK tax system? 
Andrew Hubbard
As HMRC staff numbers fall and the number of unanswered calls from customers rise, what is the appropriate level of resource needed by HMRC to allow it to effectively discharge its duties to individuals and businesses? 

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