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Other news in brief

Other news in brief

A round up of other news this week.

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HMRC have published policy papers setting out their view of the appropriate tax treatment of cryptocurrency, e.g. Bitcoin. The first paper, published in December 2018, contained guidance for individuals holding such cryptocurrency. The second paper has now been published with guidance for businesses and companies on the tax treatment of cryptocurrency transactions. Broadly, the guidance confirms that all taxable profits must be calculated in sterling, as well as providing some discussion regarding the trading test as applied to mining activities. The paper also contains provisional guidance on the VAT and stamp duty treatment of cryptocurrencies. Further guidance on security tokens is expected to follow.

HMRC have published a technical note on new legislation to be introduced in the Finance Bill 2020. This will ensure that HMRC’s use of large-scale automated processes to give certain statutory notices, and carry out specified routine functions, is, and is deemed always to have been, fully supported by legislation. Among the tasks covered are providing notices to file returns, correcting returns and making penalty determinations. This means that the legislation will apply retrospectively, based on the view that this is not a new policy. However, HMRC have confirmed that this will not apply to taxpayers who received a settled judgment on this issue from a court or tribunal before 31 October 2019.

After a setback last year, KPMG in the UK’s analysis released on 4 November 2019 has revealed that significant progress has been made on the real Living Wage in 2019. Just under one-in-five (19 percent) of UK jobs currently pay below the threshold, which is down from 22 percent in 2018. This is the lowest figure for seven years and represents a decrease of around 560,000 jobs paying less than the real Living Wage.

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