Media and politics

The Treasury Committee met with the Institute for Fiscal Studies to help with its inquiry into the Spring Budget 2017.

Following criticism, including by some Conservative MPs, of his decision to raise Class 4 National Insurance (paid by the self-employed), Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in a parliamentary statement that he would be dropping the proposal. The u-turn was welcomed by MPs across the political spectrum.

The four day Budget debate continued in the early part of this week, ahead of the Chancellor’s announcement of a u-turn on national insurance. A summary of days three and four are below. A summary of the debates on day one and two can be found here.

The CIOT has produced a summary of last week's debates on the March 2017 Budget, in the House of Commons. The Budget will continue to be debated this week.

Even before Philip Hammond got to his feet at 12.30pm last Wednesday, it had long been predicted that his first budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer would be markedly different in both tone and content from those of his predecessor, George Osborne.  So it proved.

Edinburgh’s iconic Signet Library provided the venue once again for the CIOT/ATT Joint Presidents’ Luncheon.

More than 160 guests, comprising senior figures from Scotland’s legal and tax professions, joined the Presidents of CIOT and ATT for the luncheon, alongside representatives from Scottish politics, government and the media.

Representatives of HMRC defended the Making Tax Digital project to the Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee after stakeholders had criticised the breadth and timing of the plans in previous Committee sessions. 

MPs debated the Report Stage and Third Reading of the Criminal Finances Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday 21 February. Some amendments were made at Report stage and the Bill passed its Third Reading. The Bill, which includes new corporate offences of domestic and foreign failure to prevent tax evasion, now progresses to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.

Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with the avalanche of government announcements on tax avoidance and evasion. This guide, produced by Jason Collins, a member of the CIOT’s Management of Taxes Sub-Committee, should bring tax agents, journalists and others with an interest in tax compliance up to speed with the rapidly changing landscape in this area.

The Scottish Parliament has confirmed the rates and thresholds for income tax that will apply to the non-savings and non-dividend income of Scottish taxpayers from 6 April 2017. We take a look at some of the effects.