Spring Statement 2019: government to publish raft of consultations
The Spring Statement’s written ministerial statement outlines 13 consultations, draft regulations and call for evidence documents which are due to be published in the coming months, including regulations for maturing child trust funds and a consultation on extending private residence relief in capital gains tax (CGT)
13 Mar 2019
However, some of the documents due to be released in the coming months have not even had their consultation outcome published, for example Digital Services Tax, yet others have had draft legislation without a Technical Information Impact Notice (TIIN).
In the coming months the government will publish:
Child Trust Funds (CTF): consultation on maturing CTFs – Draft regulations to ensure that CTF accounts can retain their tax-free status after maturity.
CGT private residence relief – A consultation on the changes announced at Budget 2018 to lettings relief and the final period exemption, which extend private residence relief in capital gains tax.
Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) approved funds guidelines – Draft guidelines for comment alongside draft legislation. The document will contain guidelines stating HMRC’s proposed policy and practice for approving funds. The legislation will include powers for HMRC to set appropriate conditions and approve funds.
Review of Time Limits – A report, as required by Section 95 of Finance Act 2019, comparing the time limits for the recovery of lost tax involving an offshore matter, with other time limits, including those provided for by Schedules 11 and 12 to the Finance (No. 2) Act 2017. In the report the government will set out the rationale for the charge on disguised remuneration (DR) loans legislated in Finance (No. 2) Act 2017 and its impacts. The report will be laid by 30 March 2019.
Offshore receipts in respect of intangible property – Draft regulations to ensure the provisions apply as intended, and draft guidance relating to the practical application of the measure.
Hybrid and other mismatches – Draft regulations to update the definition of regulatory capital instruments that are entitled to an exemption within the hybrid mismatch rules.
General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) Amendments – A technical note alongside draft legislation on minor procedural and technical changes to the GAAR legislation to ensure that it works as intended.
National Insurance Contributions (NICs) Employment Allowance draft regulations – A document inviting technical comments on the draft regulations implementing the reform, as announced at Budget 2018, of the NICs Employment Allowance to restrict it to businesses with an employer NICs bill below £100,000.
VAT Simplification and the Public Sector – A policy paper exploring a potential reform to VAT refund rules for central government, with the aim of reducing administrative burdens and improving public sector productivity.
VAT Partial Exemption and Capital Goods Scheme: Simplification – A call for evidence on potential simplification and improvement of the VAT Partial Exemption regime and the Capital Goods Scheme – ensuring they are as simple and efficient for taxpayers as possible. This follows on from the recommendations of the Office of Tax Simplification, who have looked in detail at our VAT system and possible areas for improvement.
Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) and vehicle taxes – A government response following the review into the impact of the WLTP on Vehicle Excise Duty and company car tax.
Consultation on the use of diesel by private pleasure craft – A consultation seeking evidence on the likely impact of the government’s proposal to require diesel-powered private pleasure craft to only use full duty paid heavy oil (white diesel) for propulsion, replacing the existing system where private pleasure craft use marked gas oil (red diesel) but pay the white diesel rate of fuel duty.
Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) – A call for evidence on the use of the SITR scheme to date, including why it has been used less than anticipated and what impact it has had on access to finance for social enterprises.
Alongside these the government will also publish summaries of responses to other documents which were previously launched at recent fiscal events. This includes:
Digital Services Tax – A consultation on the detailed design and implementation of the Digital Services Tax that will take effect from 1 April 2020.
Amendments to tax returns – A call for evidence on simplifying the process of amending a tax return.
Structures and buildings allowance – A technical note on the introduction of this allowance.
Protecting your taxes in insolvency – A consultation launched in February 2019, following the announcement at Budget 2018 to make HMRC a secondary preferential creditor for certain tax debts paid by employees and customers on the insolvency of a business.
Corporate Capital Loss Restriction – A consultation on a change announced at Autumn Budget 2018 to restrict, from 1 April 2020, the amount of carried-forward capital losses a company can offset to no more than 50% of the chargeable gains arising in a later accounting period.
Stamp Taxes on shares consideration rules – A consultation on aligning the consideration rules of Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax and introducing a general market value rule for transfers between connected persons.
Tax avoidance and evasion action plan
As part of the government’s wider strategy to curb aggressive tax avoidance and evasion, in the coming months the government will publish three consultations on related topics. These were already flagged in last autumn's Budget but so far these has been no progress on this. These include:
Preventing abuse of the research and development (R&D) tax relief for SMEs – consultation on the measure announced at Budget 2018, as part of the package on tax avoidance. This consultation will focus on how the measure will be applied, to minimise any impact on genuine businesses.
Insurance Premium Tax operational review – call for evidence on where improvements can be made to ensure that Insurance Premium Tax operates fairly and efficiently.
VAT Administration in the Isle of Man – the Treasury has indicated that it will release the findings and recommendations of an investigation into review the Isle of Man’s VAT administration processes for the importation of aircraft and yachts. This follows claims made in the Paradise Papers alleging use of the island for complex transactions on purchases of private jets, for example.
Report by Amy Austin, additional reorting Sara White