Media and politics

A near full auditorium was treated to an unusual CTA address. The calling of a snap general election meant that ‘purdah’ rules prevented former Tax Director of OTS John Whiting CBE – who remains a non-exec director of HMRC - from giving his planned speech on tax simplification. Instead, this year’s event was a panel discussion on topical tax matters. The panel was made up of Stella Amiss, of PWC, Paul Aplin, of ICAEW, Vanessa Houlder, of the Financial Times, Jill Rutter, Institute of Government and the CIOT’s Tax Policy Director John Cullinane. An audio of the event is below,

A corporation tax rate of 26 per cent (21 per cent for small profits) and higher rates of income tax for those earning more than £80,000 a year are the most eye-catching tax proposals in Labour’s election manifesto, published on Tuesday. High earners will also be targeted with an extra levy on ‘excessive pay’ and a proposal to publish the returns of those earning more than £1 million a year. Businesses below the VAT threshold would be given a permanent exemption from quarterly reporting. Overall, Labour estimate their proposals would increase the tax take by just under £49 billion a year by 2021.

To support the tax and spending pledges made within its main manifesto, the Labour Party also published a separate (but linked) document to its manifesto titled Labour’s tax transparency and enforcement programme. The party claims that the programme ‘will be the most comprehensive effort ever made by any UK government to end the social scourge of tax avoidance’ while ensuring that high net worth individuals and corporations ‘pay their fair share’ of tax.

Plaid Cymru launched its manifesto today (16 May), with the party aiming to improve on its 2015 general election performance that saw it win 3 of Wales’ 40 Westminster constituencies.

A draft of the Labour manifesto draft was leaked to the media this week. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has since said that a final version has been agreed. The information below is about the draft version, so it may be slightly different to the final version expected next week. The CIOT will be reporting in detail on the main political parties' eagerly-awaited manifestos and their potential impact on taxation, when they are launched.

We take a look at tax thinkers' respective takes on General Election 2017.

John Preston, Incoming CIOT President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), sets out some of the differences between the approaches of the UK and Australian revenue authorities in the ways they are implementing their respective Making Tax Digital (MTD) programmes. 

The committee’s report on Making Tax Digital was published in January and the Government’s response was reported in the April 24th political review.  Following the taking of oral evidence, committee chairman Andrew Tyrie wrote to the Federation of Small Business and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury asking them to give more details about their very different assessments of the cost to small businesses of adhering to obligations in Making Tax Digital. He sent their responses to the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board (ABAB) asking them to form an independent view on them because the figures are so different.

 

In a new report the Work and Pensions Committee has said the Government must close the loopholes that allow ‘bogus’ self-employment practices. These practices are potentially creating an extra burden on the welfare state while simultaneously reducing the tax contributions that sustain it, the Committee argues. The Committee heard from ‘gig economy’ companies such as Uber, Amazon, Hermes and Deliveroo, and from drivers who work with them. The evidence taken painted ‘starkly contrasting’ pictures of the effect and impact of ‘self-employment’ by these companies. The inquiry had to be curtailed because of the election.

The committee stage and third reading of the Finance Bill were held on a single day because of time restrictions owing to the General Election being called for June 8.