Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Draft tax legislation to be available for comments

First impressions of the June Budget document on "Tax Policy Making - a new approach" are very positive. If all of the proposals therein are brought into effect this would represent a bigger change even than the move of tax policy making from the (old) Inland Revenue to HM Treasury in 2005. And these proposals are far more welcome, progressive and taxpayer friendly too.

Without attempting to summarise the entire 16 page document let me just highlight one of the most welcome ambitions expressed therein:
3.4 Subject to views from interested parties, the Government proposes a minimum of eight weeks for comments on the draft Finance Bill legislation. This will ensure that there is sufficient time for the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to consider comments and amend the draft legislation, where necessary, ahead of publication of the Finance Bill.

3.5 However, a significant volume of changes to the tax code are dealt with outside the Finance Bill, through secondary legislation. Where secondary legislation makes a substantive change to the tax code, the Government will apply the same principles and disciplines as are applied to Finance Bill legislation, including publishing the legislation in draft for scrutiny. For secondary legislation, the Government proposes a minimum of four weeks for consultation on the legislation itself.

3.6 The Government welcomes views from interested parties on the practicalities for consulting on draft legislation, including the format and channel for providing comments, to ensure that it is efficient and effective for all involved.

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