How veganism can support wellness in the workplace
In recognition of November being World Vegan Month.
Increasingly, companies are growing to understand and engage with the multiple benefits that a healthy diet such as veganism can bring to their businesses. Big names endorsing the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products include IBM, Qualcomm, PwC, Caterpillar, General Electric, Volkswagen, Google, Facebook and Dropbox, all of whom have embraced employee-led vegan initiatives in their workplaces with positive results.
Companies report that the greatest benefit is the improved health and wellbeing of their employees. Veganism has been linked to lower BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol, all of which reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer and Type Two Diabetes among other damaging or potentially fatal diseases.
The practice has also been shown to have a positive impact on mental health through improved mood and reduced anxiety because of the absence of arachidonic acid in a meat-free diet. Arachidonic acid is an inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid found in animal products.
The improved physical and mental health of employees has wide-ranging benefits for businesses. These include a reduced number of sick days, increased productivity and lower insurance and health care expenses, all of which cut company costs and increase profitability.
The focus on wellbeing goes beyond the bottom line; increasingly potential employees and clients are attracted to businesses that follow inclusive, environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. Veganism not only promotes animal welfare, it can also diminish an individual’s carbon footprint by up to 73%. This means a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which decreases air pollution, a significant contributor to climate change. A reduction in the amount of land used for agricultural purposes would decrease the threat to endangered species of wildlife.
Forward looking firms are those supporting and encouraging these kinds of employee-led initiatives, as they are concurrently helping their employees, their businesses, and the environment.
At JHA we are committed to supporting the wellness of our employees by supporting and encouraging positive diet and lifestyle choices.
Offshore Structures and Onward Gifts
The so-called “onward gift” tax anti-avoidance rules were introduced by the Finance Act 2018 to complement the changes brought in the previous year aimed at restricting the UK tax privileges afforded to non-UK domiciled individuals. The rules were designed to close some perceived loopholes in relation to the taxation of non-UK resident structures (including but not limited to non-UK trusts). With effect from 6 April 2018, it would no longer be possible for an individual to receive a gift without questioning its providence, particularly where family trusts are involved.
The rules were designed to prevent non-UK structures from using non-chargeable beneficiaries as conduits through which to pass payments in order to avoid tax charges. Gone are the days of “washing out” any trust gains that could be matched to offshore income or gains by prefacing a payment to a UK-resident taxable beneficiary with a non-taxable primary payment to a non-UK resident beneficiary.
“It is notoriously challenging to prove a negative (especially to HMRC) and even more tricky where the taxpayer must speak to someone’s intention other than their own.”
Note that the new rules will apply where funds are received from non-UK resident structures before 6 April 2018 to the extent that they are subsequently gifted after that date.
Increased Investment in Personal Tax Compliance in the UK
Changes in public opinion, advances in technology and increased international fiscal co-operation have made global personal tax compliance initiatives pop up in abundance in recent years. In addition, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the corresponding economic fallout have prompted governments to increase transparency in relation to investments by wealthy foreign individuals in their countries.
The UK’s HMRC is one of the most sophisticated tax collection authorities in the world and the department is making significant investments in technology in the field of compliance work.
It should therefore be well placed to take advantage of new international efforts to increase tax compliance, particularly against the backdrop of the already extensive network of bilateral tax treaties in the UK, and not forgetting that the UK was a founding member of the OECD’s Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration (JITSIC) forum.
This article discusses the main developments in support of the increased focus on international transparency and tax compliance in the UK. There are other international fiscal initiatives, particularly in the field of corporate taxation, but such initiatives are beyond the scope of this article.
Case note: Lynton Exports (Alsager) Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners  UKFTT 00224 (TC)
As HMRC continue to apply the Kittel principle to increasing numbers of industries and businesses, taxpayers need to be vigilant about evidential requirements that HMRC must fulfil in order to discharge their burden of proof. Read JHA’s latest insight into the First-tier Tribunal’s decision in Lynton Exports (Alsager) Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners  UKFTT 00224 (TC).
If you require any further information about the Kittel, Mecsek, and Ablessio principles, or any other allegations by HMRC of fraud or fraudulent abuse, please contact Iain MacWhannell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Preparing for the Possibility of a Domicile Enquiry
Helen McGhee, a director and chartered tax advisor at Joseph Hague Aaronson, explores who might be vulnerable to an HMRC enquiry on domicile and how best to deal with such enquiries.
The Kittel Principle - Sweet Sixteen
The following is an article written by David Bedenham about HMRC’s wide-ranging application of the ‘Kittel principle’. The current focus appears to very much be on the labour supply industry and the allegation of ‘Mini Umbrella Company Fraud’ (or ‘MUC Fraud’). This article highlights the need for taxpayers to get specialist advice at an early stage when faced with a Kittel decision. If you have any queries about Kittel-related issues or similar denials of input VAT or assessments to VAT, please contact Iain MacWhannell (email@example.com).