Category: Recent posts

UK finance bill prompts ‘scrutiny deficit’ warning

Too many of the measures in a new 315-page finance bill have not been subject to consultation, and a tight timetable adds to a “scrutiny deficit,” according to UK tax professionals.

The House of Commons is scheduled to debate the bill on November 12. As the House is currently in a short recess, most members of Parliament “will not be able to get their hands on a hard copy” until the day of the debate, said Glyn Fullelove, chair of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s Technical Committee.

Fullelove noted that “just 37 of the 90 substantive clauses in the bill, and 12 of the 19 lengthy schedules,” were included in a draft bill published for consultation in July. My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Analysts on November 8 (paywall):

U.K. Finance Bill Prompts ‘Scrutiny Deficit’ Warning

HMRC powers and the 2019 loan charge

A tax barrister told a House of Lords committee that the finance bill to be published on November 7 should be used to repeal a controversial tax charge on disguised remuneration.

The legislation “goes for the person who is least able to defend himself or herself, [and is] attacking the worker, not anyone else in the chain”, Keith Gordon of Temple Tax Chambers told the Economic Affairs Finance Bill Subcommittee on October 17.

“I find it extremely worrying that the legislation has been able to get on to the statute book,” he said.

The government has defended the charge and said HMRC “will only go to the employee to settle their income tax liability in cases where it cannot reasonably be collected from the employer – for example, where the employer is no longer in existence”.

My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), published on October 19, is now reproduced in full with permission:

UK tax barrister calls for repeal of controversial loan charge

As I reported on October 29 (paywall) Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, has declined to appear before the subcommittee, which is examining the loan charge as part of its review of HMRC powers.

UK backs customs agents facing Brexit capacity challenge

The UK government will invest £8 million to help customs intermediaries expand to meet “potential capacity challenges” in the event of a no-deal Brexit. A package of measures will include support for training and increased automation for customs brokers, freight forwarders, and fast parcel operators, according to a joint October 22 release issued by HM Revenue & Customs and HM Treasury.

My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Analysts on October 24 (paywall). This story was also published in the October 29 edition of Tax Notes International::

U.K. Backs Customs Agents Facing Brexit Capacity Challenge

EU, UK Leaders Willing to Extend Brexit Transition Period

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said an extension of the Brexit transition period “probably will happen,” after UK Prime Minister Theresa May said it was an option that had emerged in the Brexit talks.

My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Analysts on October 19 (paywall). This story was also published in the October 22 edition of Tax Notes International:

EU, U.K. Leaders Willing to Extend Brexit Transition Period