Government publishes draft legislation for Finance Bill 2017

The government has published nearly 400 pages of new tax legislation setting out the draft provisions for Finance Bill 2017 for technical consultation, including changes to National Insurance contributions, clampdown on salary sacrifice contracts for new car schemes and simplification of PAYE Settlement Agreements

There are some measures which have been left out of the draft legislation including the final proposals to tackle partnership taxation with the government's so-called clarification of tax treatment. Draft legislation will be published early in 2017 for consultation. 

The Treasury said Finance Bill 2017 will put into action further measures to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and aggressive tax planning. These include preventing the use of disguised remuneration schemes which help people avoid National Insurance and income tax and introducing a new penalty for those who enable the use of tax avoidance schemes that are later defeated by HMRC.

There will also be a new legal requirement to correct any failures by UK residents to pay UK tax on offshore accounts and investments with tough new sanctions for those who fail to do so.

In addition, the government is looking to go further by consulting on a new requirement for the creators of offshore structures to register them with HMRC.

The Treasury has also announced it is to go ahead with plans for a new soft drinks industry levy which will help tackle childhood obesity by encouraging companies to reduce added sugar in the drinks they sell.

Other measures will update the rules around how companies claim tax deductions for interest expenses and losses, and reform the rules around salary sacrifice.

The government has committed to confirming the majority of measures for inclusion in the finance bill at least three months prior to introduction of the bill itself and, where possible, to publish draft legislation for each of these measures.

Many of the measures covered by the latest release were first announced at Budget 2016 and, where appropriate, consultations on policy have been carried out over the summer.

However, the package of six consultations on HMRC’s flagship Making Tax Digital (MTD) did not close until 7 November. HMRC recorded around 1,000 written responses in total, along with feedback from   15 face-to-face roundtable events and 14 webinars (with over 3,000 participants). There were over 1,200 responses to the online survey in the short guide to the six individual consultations.

The Treasury says that to ensure that the views of respondents to the consultations are fully considered, the government will publish its response to all six consultations, together with draft Finance Bill 2017 legislation in January 2017.

The consultation on the draft legislation will run until 1 February 2017, with final details being confirmed in Budget 2017 and legislation introduced in the corresponding Finance Bill.

The overview of the draft legislation for Finance Bill 2017 is here

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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