Tax



Tax clinic at Edinburgh Law School first in Scotland

A new student clinic at Edinburgh Law School will be the first of its kind in Scotland and only the second in the UK when it opens its doors next month.

Published 23 September 2021

General Court of the EU dismissed action by Nike and Converse over Netherlands tax ruling

The General Court of the European Union has dismissed an action brought by Nike and Converse against the European Commission's decision to initiate a formal State aid investigation in respect of their tax arrangements in the Netherlands.

Published 15 July 2021

HMRC waives late tax return penalties until end of February

HMRC will not penalise Self Assessment customers for filing late online tax returns as long as they file by 28 February 2021.

Published 26 January 2021

Richard Douglas-Home: First recommendations made for the Chancellor in Capital Gains Tax review

Richard Douglas-Home looks at proposed changes to the capital gains tax regime.

Published 14 December 2020

Changes to land and property tax could ‘support Scotland’s recovery’

Taxes on land and property could help Scotland develop a robust economy, according to a new report published today.

Published 10 December 2020

European Commission to appeal Apple tax ruling

The European Commission has decided to appeal a court ruling that US tech giant Apple did not receive illegal state aid from Ireland and does not have to pay €14 billion in back taxes.

Published 25 September 2020

Pension scheme transfer judgment to be handed down by Supreme Court next week

Judgment in a tax case will be handed down by the Supreme Court next Wednesday via video link.

Published 13 August 2020

Property tax cut must be matched in Scotland to prevent market collapse

The expected cut to stamp duty land tax (SDLT) being announced today by the Chancellor must be matched in Scotland to avoid a housing market collapse, according to property firm apropos.

Published 8 July 2020

ADS reclaim period extended following efforts of Scottish Law Agents Society

The Scottish Law Agents Society (SLAS) has been successful in its campaign to extend the period during which a refund of additional dwellinghouse supplement tax (ADS) may be claimed by people who have purchased a new home but are still to sell their existing one due to delays caused by the pandemic.

Published 20 May 2020

Scottish Law Agents Society calls on Revenue Scotland to extend ADS tax reclamation period

The Scottish Law Agents Society (SLAS) has called on Revenue Scotland to extend the period within which additional dwelling supplement tax can be reclaimed – to 24 months.

Published 20 April 2020

Edinburgh Tax Network: IR35 Seminars

The Edinburgh Tax Network, in conjunction with Terra Firma Chambers, will present a two-part series of seminars on IR35.

Published 7 November 2019

England: ‘Groundbreaking’ decision lets families plan tax of ‘vegetative relatives’

Families can undertake inheritance tax planning for incapacitated relatives, an expert has said in the wake of a ruling from the Court of Protection.

Published 8 August 2019

Channel Islands move towards wealth transparency

Offshore private registers detailing who owns which companies in the Channel Islands are to be made public.

Published 19 June 2019

Nicola Williams: The importance of early M&A tax advice

As someone who has worked in an M&A specialist law firm, I have great respect for the important role these lawyers play in advising clients involved in a transaction. It is, however, surprising that tax considerations are often overlooked in the initial stages of the deal process only to have tax advisors called in at the eleventh hour to fix a situation that has often developed into a deal breaker or a significant sticking point between clients.

Published 30 May 2019

Jason Collins: Making tech firms pay

Jason Collins looks at efforts to ensure tech giants pay their taxes.HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) believes that US-based multinational businesses may have underpaid £4.6 billion of UK tax last year, up 35 per cent from £3.4bn in 2017.Figures obtained by Pinsent Masons show that HMRC was investigating £27.8bn of tax possibly underpaid by large corporates in 2018, up 14 per cent from the £24.8bn believed to be underpaid the year before. US-based multinational businesses represented 17 per cent of the total amount of tax that HMRC was targeting last year, with Swiss-based businesses represented the second highest at six per cent of underpaid tax, followed by Ireland (three per cent) and France (two per cent).The figures refer to 'tax under consideration' by HMRC’s Large Business Directorate (LBD), which is an estimate of the maximum potential additional tax liability across all inquiries, before full investigations are completed. Typically, after investigation of individual cases, the amount actually due tends to be around half the original estimate. The LBD covers the 2,100 largest and most complex businesses in the UK.The diverting of profits overseas by multinational businesses is being targeted in HMRC investigations, with multinational technology groups a particular focus. This is because digital business models enable the company to generate revenues in places where it has little physical presence and therefore, under current international tax rules established in a pre-digital era, a limited tax liability. This growing scrutiny of the diversion of profits by HMRC comes after recommendations made by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2015 as part of its programme for reducing international tax avoidance by corporates – its base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.The UK's Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) was introduced in 2015 to deter activities that divert profits away from the UK so that they are not subject to corporation tax. DPT is paid at 25 per cent, compared to corporation tax at 19 per cent. This higher rate is intended to be an incentive to groups to adjust their transfer pricing, as paying more corporation tax can eliminate a DPT liability.DPT raised £388 million in 2017-18 – more than the £360 million forecasted when the tax was introduced. HMRC will be focusing on the tax affairs of all the businesses covered by its LBD in the coming year and it’s not just multinational businesses on HMRC’s radar – the affairs of all large businesses are under growing scrutiny. The amount of tax HMRC thinks was underpaid last year was a record high and it will be looking to act on this.In January HMRC launched a new 'profit diversion' compliance facility that gives businesses the opportunity to restructure cross-border arrangements that divert profits overseas and pay back any tax that they owe. If a business makes a disclosure, they will face lower penalties than they otherwise would have and will not be subject to investigation.HMRC has begun issuing 'nudge letters' to those on its 'hit list' of businesses it suspects are diverting profits and expects all businesses operating cross-border to have revisited their transfer pricing policies to check they accord with what is actually happening in practice. HMRC is already putting a huge amount of resource into counteracting profit diversion and no business operating cross-border to a significant extent can afford to be complacentAs part of its efforts to increase the tax paid by technology groups, the UK government has proposed a new digital services tax (DST) which will come into force in April 2020. DST is a 2 per cent tax on the revenues of businesses that are considered to derive significant value from the participation of their users and it will catch search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces.The implementation of DST is fraught with difficulties, such as how a business works out what proportion of its revenues are linked to the participation of UK users when those users are not paying to use the platform and some will be much more active than others. France, Italy, Spain and Austria are all proceeding with their own measures for a 3 per cent tax on the revenues of certain digital companies, while the OECD is focussed on reaching a solution by the end of 2020.

Published 10 May 2019