Charity Tax Commission invites comments on effectiveness of tax reliefs

An independent commission reviewing the UK’s tax treatment of charities has suggested that Brexit may present opportunities for addressing several issues. The Charity Tax Commission, which the NCVO established in October 2017, has invited comments by July 6.

Tax reliefs for charities are estimated to be worth £3.8 billion a year, and reliefs for donors are worth £1.5 billion, according to the commission.

My news story of March 19 for Tax Notes (paywall) is now reproduced in full with permission:

UK charity body launches review of tax breaks (PDF)

UK government defends finance bill process amid concerns over scrutiny

Members of Parliament will have time to fully scrutinise the UK finance bill’s measures, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride insisted after opposition MPs claimed that the government is seeking to avoid “proper scrutiny and transparency.”

Stride rejected opposition claims that the government is restricting the scope for amendments as MPs debated the bill at its second reading on December 11. Scottish National Party MP Kirsty Blackman asked why the government did not present an “amendment of the law” resolution for debate after the autumn budget on November 22.

My news story for Tax Analysts, December 14 (paywall)

UK mulls royalty withholding tax to target digital economy

The UK government is consulting on an extension of withholding tax on royalty payments and is prepared to take unilateral action if insufficient progress is made on multilateral solutions to challenges posed by the digital economy, according to a position paper released alongside the autumn budget.

The challenge that digitisation poses for sustainability and fairness in the tax system can only be properly solved on an international basis, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond told members of Parliament November 22. The position paper sets out the government’s emerging thinking about potential solutions, he said. “But in the meantime,” he added, “we will take what action we can.”

My news story for Tax Analysts, November 23 (paywall)

UK invites feedback on tax measures for 2018

HM Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs are consulting on draft legislation for the UK’s next finance bill, which will form part of the 2018 Finance Act.

Eight consultations were published September 13, a day after members of Parliament approved the second finance bill of 2017, which will now proceed to its committee stage.

The new consultations relate to the bank levy, disguised remuneration avoidance schemes, interest on debt traded on a multilateral trading facility, landfill tax, offshore trusts, income tax for partnerships, registration of pension schemes, and payments on termination of employment. Draft legislation, explanatory notes, and tax information and impact notes are provided, and comments are invited by October 25. Read more:

My news story for Tax Analysts, September 14 (paywall)

UK government set to consult on tax measures for 2018

Draft clauses for a finance bill to be introduced after the UK’s autumn budget will be published for consultation on September 13 as part of the transition to a new budget timetable.

The consultation on the measures earmarked for Finance Act 2018 will be open until October 25. “The transition means there are fewer clauses than in recent years, but pre-legislative scrutiny will again help consideration of the bill,” said Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury.

Disruption caused by the general election contributed to an unusually high number of retrospective tax measures earmarked for the second finance bill of 2017, expected to be published on September 8, he told members of Parliament. Read more:

My news story for Tax Analysts, September 8 (paywall)

Another finance bill set to be passed with very little scrutiny

We now know that the 600 or so pages of finance bill measures withdrawn in April to make way for the general election will be reintroduced, with some technical amendments, “as soon as possible after the summer recess”. There will be very little time for debate in the shadow of the Brexit negotiations, but concerns continue to be expressed about the some of the measures.

It’s interesting to look back to mid-April, just before Theresa May called the election, when Andrew Tyrie, then chairman of the Treasury Committee, said he would continue to press the government to allow for MPs examining finance bills to consult tax experts before beginning detailed scrutiny of the legislation. Continue reading