What to expect in tax in 2023

23 January 2023

In a recent Tax Journal article Rhiannon Kinghall Were and Lucy Urwin analyse the key themes that will drive tax policy in 2023. The publication also spans topics across employment tax, VAT, private client, real estate and more.

After the turbulence of 2022, the prospects of a quiet year ahead appear limited. The government may not want to impose the rigidity of a roadmap on itself but calls to understand the direction of travel and how to ensure greater stability and certainty in the tax system will continue to grow. In the meantime, large corporates will be busy with the advent of the global minimum tax and in particular navigating different timetables and potentially different rules. Corporates and individuals will be interested to understand the government’s policy direction in light of the emerging trend of remote working. Stretched public finances and increased dedicated resources means there is unlikely to be any let up in the attention taxpayers receive from HMRC.

Another bumpy year?

After a year so turbulent that "permacrisis" was declared the word of the year, many will wish the coming one is far quieter. Dealing with the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the aftermath of Brexit, Covid, and the recent political upheaval has only heightened the case for providing greater certainty to businesses and investors.

The last 12 months have been the antithesis of stability with four chancellors, three prime ministers, two fiscal statements, and one (never to be repeated) "mini-Budget". In the chancellor’s 2022 Autumn Statement, not only was "stability" mentioned ten times it was officially set as a priority
ahead of growth and public services. While there are calls for more stability and certainty every year, this year it feels more pertinent than ever.

Keeping up with the boomerang nature of policy making over the last year has been a challenge for anyone working in tax. The Health and Social Care Levy was repealed before it even came into effect. The rate of corporation tax will rise to 25% in April as originally planned, but only after a momentary flirtation of retaining the lower rate of 19%. The off-payroll worker rules remain on statute despite the short-lived prospect of a reprieve. The unhinged nature of tax policy making has eroded confidence in the UK as a place to do business.

Continue reading the article by Rhiannon Kinghall Were and Lucy Urwin

Other key areas covered in the article include

This article was first published in the Tax Journal on 13 January 2023.