Media and politics

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 Treasury Committee staged the latest witness session in its inquiry into tax enquiries and resolution of tax disputes today (30 January 2019). HMRC made some announcements on the Loan Charge and defended its litigation and settlement strategy.

Conservative MP Jeremy Lefroy secured a debate in Westminster Hall on the taxation of low-income families, held on Wednesday. 

The Welsh Assembly has passed the Welsh Budget for 2019-20, which proposes that the Assembly will not use its powers to vary income tax in the coming year.

On Tuesday, the Welsh Affairs Committee began consideration of its inquiry into the potential devolution of Air Passenger Duty (APD) to Wales with an oral evidence session featuring representation from the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

The House of Lords economic affairs committee is right to call for a new review of HMRC powers as the tax authority over-reaches itself with spurious tribunals and exhaustive investigations, not to mention the introduction of a 12-year time limit set out in Finance Bill 2018-19, says John Cullinane CTA, tax policy director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

MPs got a final chance to amend this year’s Finance Bill with today’s report stage debate. Government amendments on intangible fixed assets and entrepreneurs’ relief were passed. A cross-party proposal to amend the Bill to hinder government preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit was passed. Another cross-party proposal for a review including consideration of the 2019 loan charge was accepted by the government.

On Wednesday of this week, the Scottish Government published its draft Budget for 2019/2020. This included its plans for the devolved taxes over which it has control, namely, Scottish Income Tax, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), Non-domestic (Business) rates and Scottish Landfill Tax.

MPs on the Finance (No.3) Bill public bill committee debated and agreed the final clauses (clauses 79-92) of the Bill on the morning of Tuesday 11 December. This included consideration of clauses 79 and 80 (offshore time limits).