Indirect Taxes

 


With a no-deal Brexit appearing increasingly likely, HMRC is now warning that, in that event, 245,000 businesses would face a tsunami of new customs declarations, tariffs and VAT obligations after 29 March.

The CIOT response to the HMRC call for evidence on Amendments to Tax Returns.

The most significant Brexit-related development of the week was a series of votes in the House of Commons on amendments to an anodyne government motion, which gave different groups of MPs a chance to suggest alternative ways forward on Brexit. The key results were that Parliament failed to ‘take control’ of the Brexit process from government, and MPs indicated that the withdrawal agreement could get parliamentary support if the Irish Border backstop is replaced with something more acceptable to MPs. With the EU repeating its opposition to reopening the withdrawal agreement this will not be achieved easily. There is, however, increasing speculation that compromise might be possible – with both the EU and Labour – around a UK-EU customs union.

The government continues to lay Brexit-related statutory instruments (SIs) in preparation for a possible ‘no deal’ exit from the EU, including a number in the tax area. Since the start of 2019 six VAT-related SIs have been laid, plus three relating to Excise Duty and one relating to Customs.

MPs on a delegated legislation committee have approved three statutory instruments (SIs) establishing a customs union between the UK and three Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man), following less than 20 minutes of debate.

The CIOT comments on APPG on Taxation: Consultation on Tax and the Implications of Brexit.

MPs on the Finance (No.3) Bill public bill committee recommenced their clause by clause scrutiny of the Finance Bill at 11.30 am on Thursday 6 December, starting with clauses 57-58 on vehicle excise duty (VED). No Opposition amendments were successful.

MPs continued their committee stage scrutiny of the Finance Bill this afternoon. Debate was initially concluded on clauses 36 and 37, relating to oil activities and petroleum revenue tax, moving on to stamp duty land tax (higher rates for additional dwellings etc), and other stamp duty and SDRT measures. The committee then move on to debate clauses 50-52, on VAT, and changes to alcohol and tobacco duties, concluding at clause 56.

Second and final day of Finance Bill Committee of Whole House, debating clauses, new clauses and amendments about gaming duty and fixed odds betting terminals, and tax avoidance and evasion. The government accepted opposition proposals and made its own amendments.

Finance Bill (No.3) began its committee stage today with two days of Committee of the Whole House scheduled for today and tomorrow. The clauses debate today focused on tax thresholds and reliefs and on Brexit.