Book Review: Bloomsbury’s Tax Rates & Tables 2020/21 – Budget Edition
Published by: Bloomsbury Professional | ISBN: 9781526515490
The purpose of tax tables is to provide the tax practitioner with a handy reference tool to current tax rates, allowances and penalties. To have in one volume a comprehensive, easily accessible guide to our tax system.
This edition of Tax Rates and Tables 2020/21 has had to grapple with not just the annual budgetary changes, which cause the tables to need updating annually, but also with some of the concessions for the deferment of tax as a result of the corona virus. There is an online edition which includes brief summaries of some of the other schemes set up to help business through the pandemic.
This handbook runs to over 260 pages, nearly twice as long as other tax tables. It covers a wide range of topics:
- Personal taxation
- Expenses and benefits
- Payroll matters
- Shares & share options
- Pensions and investments
- Business profits
- Taxation of companies
- Capital Gains Tax
- Inheritance Tax
- Capital Allowances
- Stamp Taxes
- Other taxes such as ATED and Climate change levey
- National Insurance Contributions
- Tax credits & state benefits
- Statutory payments
- HMRC penalties, interest & powers
- Scottish & Welsh Taxes
- International issues
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It is an ambitious yet comprehensive list not matched in quite the same way by other tax tables.
Structure & Layout
The book is divided into chapters with an index on the rear cover to enable easy access to the relevant chapter and page. There is a useful section at the beginning on Key Tax Dates for 2020/21.
Each chapter has various headings to deal with the relevant tables and notes by way of commentary. For example, chapter 9 deals with Inheritance Tax and starts off with the IHT thresholds going back to 1986 and the table has notes of explanation to things like the residence nil rate band.
This is followed by the table for Capital Transfer Tax thresholds between 13 March 1975 and 17 March 1986 and then the tables for Estate Duty thresholds. The chapter goes on to list the rates of tax, the exemptions and reliefs. There is section on Pre-owned Assets Tax.
The remaining part of the chapter deals with the deadlines and dates for the delivery of IHT accounts and whether they are necessary along with the due dates for payment of IHT. It also considers estates and the allowable expenses for personal representatives and the distribution of intestate estates. There is one small glitch in that the fixed net sum was increased to £270,000 on 6 February 2020 and this is not mentioned.
Although the book is primarily a set of tax tables it also includes the useful number of days in the tax year and a tax year planner.
Clarity & readability
The content is easily accessed making the information easy to find. The layout makes it more readable than some of its competitors as Bloomsbury have gone for readability rather than cramp on the space allowed for each topic. Rebecca Cave, the author, has done an excellent job on the notes to the tables which help to provide background or an explanation to each table.
Relevance to practitioners
No tax practitioner can do without a set of annual tax tables. However, there are different choices and it is welcome to have in this publication a comprehensive and well laid out set. It is highly relevant to a wide range of practitioners, but primarily accountants and tax lawyers. No practitioner’s bookshelf should be without it.
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