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Will the Summer Finance Bill bring clarity?

07 Jul 2017

With the Finance Bill 2017 truncated by the General Election, the next steps for many key tax policies remain unclear. The Queen’s Speech promised a new Summer Finance Bill but there has been little indication of what this will contain and what the impact on taxpayers will be.
 

James Hender and Lucy Brennan, partners at Saffery Champness, call for urgent clarity and foresight from policymakers:

James Hender, partner and head of the Private Wealth Group at Saffery Champness, commented:

“Once Theresa May called a General Election, the subsequent legislative shake-up was inevitable. The substantially abridged Finance Act that resulted kicked key policies, including Making Tax Digital, firmly into the long grass. 

“The Queen’s Speech promised a new Summer Finance Bill and taxpayers will be hoping that this firms up the ground beneath their feet. Indeed, we may see key elements that were dropped from the truncated Finance Act brought back to the table. However, with summer recess just around the corner, MPs have very little time to consider the detail before they pack their bags and head to the beach. Hopefully they will return refreshed in September, but even then it is not long before conference season takes them away from Westminster again.

“With many people craving certainty, we have to hope that the period of election purdah was used to think carefully about the contents of the Summer Finance Bill.  Without such thinking, there is a real danger of further upheaval that could lead to a summer of discontent for taxpayers.” 


Lucy Brennan, partner at Saffery Champness, added:

“It is critical that the Summer Finance Bill brings much needed clarity to the tax system, not least around Making Tax Digital and the tax environment for non-domiciled individuals. 

“Simply put, Making Tax Digital is coming and taxpayers – and their advisers - will have to deal with it. With the opportunity of the Summer Finance bill to bring in the legislation previously removed, it is hopefully that this will be followed by thorough and practical guidance from government as to how and when it will affect tax payers.   

“For non-doms, it had looked as though a workable structure for was finally going to be in place but the Election threw a spanner in the works for many who were at last getting their affairs in order. Indeed, some will have already put plans in place that assumed the new rules would come into force from April 2017 and will now be bearing the cost. After a long period of being pushed from pillar to post, non-doms will be hoping that the new Finance Bill will at last steady the ship.”

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