Finance Bill – when will Royal Assent be? Late July?
Unless there are provisions to the contrary, provisions in the Finance Bill are due to take effect from the date it receives Royal Assent. There has been some speculation as to when that will be.
Royal Assent in late July is a reasonable working assumption and will almost certainly be the case.
In the past, Royal Assent for a Finance Bill generally had to take place by 5 August or, if later, four months after the date of the initial Commons budget resolutions.
The reason for some uncertainty is that Finance Act 2011 amended the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1968 so that Budget resolutions now apply for a maximum of seven months (see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/11/section/88 and http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2011/tiin5600.pdf).
The resolutions for Budget 2012 were passed on 26 March 2012, so will only cease to have effect on 26 October 2012, so theoretically assent could be as late as that.
Technically, the date of Royal Assent will be up to Parliament. We have however been informed by the Treasury that while they cannot say with certainty that it will be July, that is their expectation and working assumption.
18 May 2012