You may be aware that the Finance and Constitution Committee and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution have established a tri-partite review group to examine the budget process following the devolution of further powers in the Scotland Act 2012 and Scotland Act 2016. The remit includes to bring forward proposals for a revised budget process.

The Finance and Constitution Committee of the Scottish Parliament has issued a call for evidence on the Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Bill, which was published on 19 December 2016. The Bill provides for a tax to be charged on the carriage of passengers on flights that begin in Scotland. It is intended that Revenue Scotland will be responsible for the collection and management of the tax. It should be noted that the Bill does not set out the rates and bands for the proposed tax but rather proposes an overall structure for the tax.

HMRC have published the attached consultation document seeking views on options for streamlining the advance assurance service for companies using the tax advantaged venture capital schemes: the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), Seed Enterprise investment Scheme (SEIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), as well as Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). 

This consultation aims to establish the high level design principles for a proposed legal requirement on businesses that create or promote certain complex offshore financial arrangements to notify HMRC of their creation, and provide a list of clients using them. Clients in their turn would be expected to notify HMRC of their involvement via a notification number on their personal tax account.

The purpose of this consultation is:

  • to gather views from stakeholders other than tax administrations about their experience of the current rules concerning mutual assistance for the recovery of claims across the borders;
  • to bring new insights for the on-going evaluation and reporting exercise about the efficiency of the Directive 2010/24;
  • to provide information with regard to the need for further improvement of the legal, administrative or technical framework.

HMRC have published a consultation on whether to make changes to UK VAT grouping rules following the decisions of the CJEU in Larentia + Minerva and Marenave (C-108/14 and C-109/14) and Skandia America Corporation (C-7/13).  

This consultation aims to gather views on whether there is a need for EU action aimed at introducing more effective disincentives for intermediaries engaged in operations that facilitate tax evasion and tax avoidance and in case there is, how it should be designed.

At Budget 2016 the Chancellor announced that: ‘Employers who hire an illegal worker face civil penalties from the Home Office. The government will build on this deterrent by removing a year’s Employment Allowance from those receiving civil penalties, starting in 2018.’

The OECD has published a discussion draft which deals with branch mismatch structures under Action 2 (Neutralising the Effects of Hybrid Mismatch arrangements) of the BEPS Action Plan.