Finance Bill massively reduced due to snap election

26 April 2017

Until at least after the General Election, several government initiatives are being dropped from the Finance Bill.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) wrote to the Chancellor warning of the risks of rushing through a large number of tax changes without thorough parliamentary scrutiny. An excerpt from the letter reads:

“Following the announcement of a snap election on June 8th the timetable for Finance Bill 2017 will inevitably be truncated. Rather than the expected two days of House of Commons debate and 14-20 standing committee sessions, plus two days of report stage and third reading debate, precedent suggests that the committee and report stages will be compressed into a single day.

At 762 pages the current Finance Bill is the longest on record.

The CIOT is urging the Government to drop the majority of the current Bill and keep only those measures essential to maintain the Government’s revenue raising capacity, such as renewing the provision of income tax, and other measures which are required urgently, such as anti-avoidance provisions. Measures dropped could be reintroduced in a post-election Finance Bill where they can be scrutinised at greater length.”

As reported by the CIOT the selection of amendments for the Finance Bill committee stage debate shows that the government plan to remove a majority of the Finance Bill – 72 out of 135 clauses and 18 out of 29 schedules. - following discussions with the opposition.

Amendments include the removal of changes to:

  • Taxable benefits: time limit for making good

  • Taxable benefits: ultra-low emission vehicles

  • Employer-provided pensions advice

  • Termination payments

  • PAYE settlement agreements.

Clauses dropped include those on making tax digital and penalties for enablers of defeated tax avoidance schemes now.

The CIOT have compiled a very useful list of what is in and what is out of the Finance Bill; all of which should be confirmed by Friday 28 April 2017 when the bill is expected to receive Royal Assent. Scroll down through this article to view the table of amendments.

We shall have to wait until after the General Election to find out which clauses and schedules will be resumed.