Tax consultations: The Treasury and the OECD want to know what you think

A House of Lords committee is examining the UK government’s approach to tax policy making, including how the government consults on draft legislation. Some critics say consultation has been too narrow, and that stakeholders other than businesses have been excluded from some meetings.

The Lords economic affairs Finance Bill sub-committee’s report will be an important contribution to the tax debate.

In the meantime there are three opportunities for businesses and others, including tax campaigners, to make representations to the UK government and the OECD on a wide range of issues.

Finance Bill 2014

Most of the draft legislation was published last month and a “technical consultation” closes next Tuesday, 4 February. Some further draft legislation has been issued in January and consultation closes later in February.

Budget 2014

The Treasury wants to know what you would like to see in the Budget on 19 March. Representations are invited by 14 February.

OECD project on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS)

The OECD has published an initial draft of revised guidance on transfer pricing documentation and country-by-country reporting.

The OECD has invited “interested parties” to comment by 23 February. That’s a very short consultation period but there is a lot to be done if the OECD’s BEPS action plan is to work.

Yesterday KPMG’s head of tax in the UK, Jane McCormick, described the BEPS project as “a once in a lifetime opportunity for governments to change the international tax landscape”, adding that “businesses must play their part by engaging fully”.

According to a PwC survey, 73% of UK CEOs “accept that the international tax system has not kept pace with how multinational corporations operate and needs reforming”.