Our News & Insights


Option to Tax – HMRC to keep up with the times?

November 2017

This is the sixth in a series of articles looking at the report issued recently by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), looking at the option to tax and specifically record keeping and the complexity of anti avoidance provisions. What everybody agrees is that the current system is simply not fit for purpose! Background The […]

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Input tax – what’s the use?

November 2017

This is the fifth in a series of articles on the Office of Tax Simplification’s (OTS) report on the simplification of VAT and looks at input tax recovery where businesses use costs for exempt or non business activities. Partial exemption One of VAT’s many complexities is partial exemption – the process for determining how much […]

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VAT Threshold – To Increase, to decrease, to freeze, that is the question…

November 2017

This is the fourth in the series of articles on the report issued by the Office of Tax Simplification (“OTS”). The OTS commented that the most significant issue identified in the report is that of the VAT registration threshold, currently set at £85,000 within the UK, costing the UK economy £2 billion a year. This […]

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VAT Exemptions, only the courts are happy…

November 2017

This is the third in our series of articles about the simplification of the VAT system as detailed in the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) report published on 7 November. This article continues the discussion about multiple VAT rates and focuses on the unsatisfactory way they apply, in particular to education and welfare services. This […]

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VAT takes the biscuit (or is it a cake?)

November 2017

If there’s one thing most people know about VAT it’s that Jaffa Cakes are cakes, not biscuits. Not everyone is sure why this matters – of course its because “biscuits wholly or partly covered in chocolate” are an exception to the general zero rate for food. The Office of Tax Simplification report on simplifying VAT […]

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Making VAT a simple(r) tax…?

November 2017

On 7 November the Office of Tax Simplification published its first report devoted to VAT. When VAT was introduced the then chancellor stated that his objective was to have “the simplest VAT in Europe”.  In my view he failed. While in many respects HMRC has sought to minimise the burden of VAT, in so doing it […]

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