Latest by Ben Roberts

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The summer of discontent?

Published on 31 July 2020. By Kelly Thomson, Partner and Ben Roberts, Partner

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What comes to mind when you hear the word "summer"? The unbridled joy of no more school for 6 whole weeks? Buckets, spades and wind-swept beaches? Perhaps the call of a sun-soaked tropical island? For most, summer means taking some time out to recharge and switch off.

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Publication

Corporate Tax update - July 2020

Published on 29 July 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner and Adam Craggs, Partner and Robert Waterson, Partner

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team. This month’s update reports on some of the key developments from June 2020. Included in this update are a summary of a decision on the correct tax treatment of bonuses paid to members of an LLP, and an AG’s opinion on the VAT reverse charge position of services supplied for non-economic activity purposes. There’s also an update on HMRC guidance on “exceptional” circumstances in which anticipated losses can be used to claim back overpaid corporation tax. Finally, this update also reports on Covid-19 driven extensions to DAC6 reporting deadlines and to deadlines for notifying VAT options to tax. As ever we hope you, your family and friends are all staying safe.

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VAT'll do nicely – temporary VAT rate cut to boost hospitality and tourism sectors

Published on 13 July 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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Last week, as part of efforts to boost the UK economy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chancellor announced a temporary (6 month) cut in the rate of VAT for certain supplies of hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation, and admissions to certain attractions.

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Publication

Corporate tax update - June 2020

Published on 26 June 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner and Adam Craggs, Partner and Robert Waterson, Partner

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Welcome to the latest edition of our corporate tax update, written by members of RPC’s tax team. This month’s update reports on some of the key developments from May 2020. As well as some further COVID-19 related tax developments, this month’s report also has a bit of a sports theme with summaries of decisions involving an ex-England cricket captain and football referees. As ever we hope you, your family and friends are all staying safe.

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Blog

Game Match - Football referees held not to be employed for tax purposes – the final whistle for HMRC?

Published on 27 May 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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In Professional Game Match Officials Limited v HMRC [2020] UKUT 147 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) confirmed that certain football referees and other match day officials were not employees of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) and accordingly it did not have tax and NICs liabilities in respect of the officials in question.

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Football referees held not to be employed for tax purposes – the final whistle for HMRC?

Published on 14 May 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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Whether an individual is employed, or self-employed, for tax purposes is a question that has – in the era of the 'gig' economy and given the anticipated extension of the off-payroll working (IR35) rules – never required closer examination.

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COVID-19 and tax residence

Published on 09 April 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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This blog considers the potential risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to maintaining offshore tax structures.

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Blog

COVID-19 and tax residence

Published on 09 April 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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This blog considers the potential risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to maintaining offshore tax structures.

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COVID-19 forces HMRC to temporarily change its stamp duty processes

Published on 26 March 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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Yesterday (25th March) HMRC announced some "temporary" changes to its stamp duty processes, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Spring Budget 2020 - main tax announcements

Published on 19 March 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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This blog discusses some of the key tax changes announced in last week's Budget, and subsequent tax developments.

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New year's (tax) resolutions

Published on 21 January 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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It's that time of year when people are abiding by, (re)assessing and / or breaking their new year's resolutions. It's no different in the world of tax.

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Publication

Corporate tax update September 2019

Published on 30 September 2019. By Ben Roberts, Partner and Adam Craggs, Partner and Robert Waterson, Partner

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This month’s update reports on the key developments from August 2019. Although this was a relatively quiet month in the corporate tax world, this update includes summaries of an important Upper Tribunal decision on the correct tax treatment of “trail commissions” and a First-tier Tribunal decision on the recovery of pre-incorporation input VAT.

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Blog

Development Securities – Jersey-incorporated SPVs held not to be UK tax resident

Published on 26 July 2019. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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In Development Securities plc and others v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0169 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that a number of Jersey-incorporated companies were in fact resident for tax purposes in Jersey. This decision overturned the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), which had held that the companies were UK tax resident as a result of the central management and control (CMC) of the companies being exercised in the UK (through the companies’ parent). The UT took the view that the FTT had incorrectly concluded that the Jersey company directors had abdicated their decision-making responsibility.

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Blog

Hannover - SDLT avoidance and corporate property deals – the importance of timing!

Published on 30 May 2019. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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In Hannover v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0262 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) anti-avoidance rule in section 75A, Finance Act 2003, applied to a series of transactions that included the sale of units in a Guernsey property unit trust (GPUT), even though there was no tax avoidance motive and each transaction was 'appropriately' taxed.

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Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) avoidance and corporate property deals – the importance of timing!

Published on 21 May 2019. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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The First-Tier Tribunal has, in a recent decision, caused something of a stir for clients and advisors familiar with the well-trodden (and, usually, tax-efficient) use of offshore unit trusts to hold UK property.

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UK property – big tax changes for non-UK residents

Published on 05 April 2019. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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From 6 April 2019, all gains from UK real estate realised on disposal by non-residents, whether residential or commercial property and whether by way of direct or "indirect" disposal, will be subject to UK capital gains tax or corporation tax.

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Budget 2018 – 10 key business tax takeaways

Published on 08 November 2018. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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Blog

Something out of the ordinary (share capital)

Published on 05 November 2018. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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The term ordinary share capital is widely used in UK tax provisions. While the term has a statutory definition a recent table by the Chartered Institute of Taxation shows how HMRC has interpreted it in practice.

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Blog

Professional Game Match Officials – football referees not employed for tax purposes

Published on 22 October 2018. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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In Professional Game Match Officials Ltd v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 528, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that football referees and other match day officials were not employees of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL).

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Publication

Corporate tax update

Published on 31 August 2018. By Ben Roberts, Partner and Adam Craggs, Partner and Robert Waterson, Partner

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team and published quarterly. In this second 2018 edition we highlight some of the key tax developments of interest to UK corporates from the second quarter of 2018.

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Blog

Good news for UK share sellers - capital gains tax relief relaxed

Published on 27 July 2018. By Ben Roberts, Partner and Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

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The UK's entrepreneurs' relief (ER), which is already a valuable tax relief for individual UK-resident sellers of trading companies, is about to become a little more generous.

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Action required: mandatory disclosure of cross-border tax planning arrangements – effective (very) soon

Published on 12 June 2018. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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New EU rules providing for mandatory disclosure of certain cross-border tax planning arrangements by intermediaries and taxpayers will enter into force on 25 June 2018. Although reports to tax authorities will not be required until July/August 2020, the retrospective nature of the new rules means that reportable arrangements implemented after 25 June could be reportable in this first batch of (2020) reports. Preparations for the new regime should therefore begin now.

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Publication

Corporate tax update

Published on 01 May 2018. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team and published quarterly.

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Blog

Tax treatment of insurance SPVs – a cure for all ILS?

Published on 09 March 2016. By Ben Roberts, Partner

On 1 March 2016 the UK government published a consultation document on a new regulatory, corporate and tax framework for insurance linked securities (ILS) business.

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Blog

Tribunal criticizes HMRC’s refusal to allow retrospective VAT group application

Published on 27 November 2015. By Ben Roberts, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal (in Copthorn Holdings Ltd v HMRC) has asked HMRC to reconsider its decision to refuse a taxpayer’s application for retrospective VAT group registration. This is the second time HMRC have been asked to “think again” on their decision.

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Risky business? VAT exemption limits for would-be insurance intermediaries

Published on 08 October 2015. By Ben Roberts, Partner

The latest case to consider the extent of the VAT exemption for "insurance intermediary" services has again highlighted the limits of the exemption.

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Blog

Summer Budget – property developments

Published on 14 July 2015. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last week's "summer" Budget, the first by a (solely) Conservative government for nearly two decades, was full of surprises but contained relatively few specific property tax measures.

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By George! A Budget full of surprises?

Published on 13 July 2015. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last week's "summer" Budget, the first by a (solely) Conservative government for nearly two decades, included a number of surprises.

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Blog

UK VAT changes following Skandia decision

Published on 12 February 2015. By Ben Roberts, Partner

On Tuesday this week, HMRC confirmed a change to the UK VAT treatment of intra-entity supplies of services, from 1 January 2016.

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Blog

Limits on the VAT exemption for insurance intermediaries

Published on 06 November 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

A recent Tax Tribunal decision highlights the limits of the VAT exemption for supplies by an insurance intermediary.

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Root and branch changes to EU VAT rules on intra-entity supplies?

Published on 25 September 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) last week ruled that services provided by a US insurer to its Swedish branch were subject to VAT in Sweden. This widely reported decision is likely to have implications for insurers and other financial services groups across Europe.

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Blog

Let's talk about VAT – a useful reminder

Published on 14 August 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

A recent Court of Appeal decision (CLP Holding Co Ltd v Singh and Kaur[1]) serves as a reminder to consider VAT during sale negotiations, and ensure that VAT wording in contracts is sufficiently clear.

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Blog

Transfer of corporate profits – update

Published on 04 August 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Earlier in the year I posted a blog on the proposed new anti-avoidance measure, targeted at so-called "profit transfers" from one group company to another.

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New anti-avoidance rule targeting transfers of corporate profits

Published on 10 June 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

This year's Finance Bill, which is expected to become law as the Finance Act 2014 in July, introduces a new anti-avoidance measure targeted at businesses operating through a group structure where there is in substance a significant "payment" of profits from one company to another.

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Budget 2014 - update

Published on 24 March 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last week's Budget announcements were light on the property tax front.

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Budget 2014 - update

Published on 24 March 2014. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last week's Budget announcements were light on the property tax front.

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Autumn Statement 2013 – George's Marvellous Medicine?

Published on 11 December 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

In the midst of the political point-scoring, last week's Autumn Statement was light on significant new tax announcements.

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Financial Transaction Tax – still a cause for concern?

Published on 10 December 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

The FTT was due to take effect from 1 January 2014. In June the European Commission quietly announced a delay of at least 6 months.

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FATCA – are we nearly there yet?

Published on 25 September 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

The International Tax Compliance (United States of America) Regulations 2013 ('Regulations') came into force on 1 September 2013.

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SDLT group relief anti-avoidance – good news from HMRC

Published on 14 August 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last week saw some (much needed) good news on the topic of SDLT avoidance, that should clarify HMRC's approach to the common commercial practice of transferring a property intra-group, following the acquisition of a property-owning company (PropCo).

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SDLT avoidance - HMRC victorious regardless of taxpayer 'motive'

Published on 26 July 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

HMRC has scored a resounding victory in the first case[1] to consider in any detail the wide-ranging SDLT anti-avoidance provision (section 75A of Finance Act 2003).

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The new UK GAAR – a journey into the unknown?

Published on 24 July 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

The Finance Bill 2013 received Royal Assent on 17 July. We are now in uncharted territory.

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Property Rental Business Transfers and Leases – Reclaiming VAT and SDLT

Published on 17 April 2013. By Ben Roberts, Partner

Last November, following the decision in the case of Robinson Family Limited, HMRC announced that a transfer of a property rental business can qualify as a "transfer of a going concern" (TOGC) – and therefore not attract VAT – even if the transferor retains a reversionary interest in the property.

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