Well, the proof of the pudding is here and we now have draft legislation and an informal consultation on 32 separate technical tax measures which the coalition Government inherited from the previous government. The tax measures are to be legislated for in Finance (No2) Bill 2010 which is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the autumn.
The Government is inviting comments by 3 September on whether the draft legislation now published will work as intended. They are not seeking comments on the policy behind the measures.
In effect what is being sought is free consultancy and input from the professional bodies, retired tax geeks and any other informed commentators who might otherwise complain about poorly drafted new tax law. And we've had plenty of that in recent years - largely I suspect because of the speed with which the then Government wanted to introduce changes. "Fast even if wrong" seemed to be the mantra. Now we have a more collegiate approach intended to get it right first time. It should make life easier for everyone and reduce the frustrations and time wasted when poorly drafted law comes into effect.
The draft legislation now published includes the following measures:
- Capital gains tax private residence relief adult placement carers
- Collection of income tax where sum deducted by payer
- Company distributions
- Consortium claims for group relief
- Enterprise management incentives
- Film tax credit - unused losses
- Financing costs and income of group companies
- First-year allowances for zero-emission goods vehicles
- Landfill tax criteria for determining material to be subject to lower rate
- Long cigarettes
- Non-business use of business assets etc.
- Payments to special guardians and those in receipt of residence orders
- Penalties for failure to make returns etc.
- Penalty for failure to make payments on time
- R&D relief for SMEs - removal of intellectual property condition
- Real estate investment trusts - stock dividends
- Recovery of overpaid tax stamp duty land tax and petroleum revenue tax
- Settlor to return excess repayment to trustees etc.
- Venture capital schemes