UK and International Tax news


Tuesday 26th March 2019

In the Chancellor’s Spring Statement of 13 March 2019, whilst there were no new tax proposals, he did announce a number of statements in the areas of tax avoidance and evasion which were required as part of need to report to Parliament on the effectiveness and impact of tax avoidance measures that were included in FA2019.

The Chancellor announced the publication of two policy papers:

  • Tackling tax avoidance, evasion and other forms of non-compliance setting out the government’s achievements, and
  • Offshore tax compliance strategy: No Safe Havens 2019 setting out the direction for HMRC’s updated strategy for offshore tax compliance, bringing together the government’s response to all forms of offshore non-

Further papers were also announced on Preventing abuse of the R&D tax relief for SMEs including a consultation on the measure announced at Budget 2018, as part of the package on tax avoidance which is to focus on how the measure will be applied to minimise any impact on genuine businesses, and on an Insurance Premium Tax operational review, with a call for evidence on where improvements can be made to ensure that IPT operates fairly and efficiently.

The Chancellor referred to Making Tax Digital and mandatory digital record keeping for VAT for businesses over the VAT threshold (with turnover over £85,000) which comes into force from 1 April. This is an important first step in this modernisation of the tax system to which the government remains committed and the Chancellor confirmed that a light touch approach will be applied in relation to penalties in the first year of implementation. Where businesses are doing their best to comply, no filing or record keeping penalties will be issued. He added that the focus will be on supporting businesses to transition and the government will therefore not be mandating MTD for any new taxes or businesses in 2020.

The Chancellor announced the publication of draft legislation on the new Structures and Buildings Allowance, which will introduce a new permanent allowance for investments in non-residential structures and buildings to create a more competitive tax regime for businesses, as originally announced in the 2018 Budget.

Draft legislation and consultations were also announced in other areas including:

  • Offshore receipts in respect of intangible property,
  • Hybrid and other mismatches,
  • GAAR amendments,
  • Reform of the NIC Employment Allowance,
  • Simplification of VAT Partial Exemption and the Capital Goods Scheme,
  • Time limits, comparing the time limits for the recovery of lost tax involving an offshore matter with other time limits,
  • EIS approved funds guidelines,
  • CGT private residence relief and a consultation on the changes announced at Budget 2018 to lettings relief and the final period exemption,
  • Corporate Capital Loss Restriction, a consultation on a change announced in the Autumn 2018 Budget to restrict from April 2020 the amount of carried forward capital losses a company can offset to no more than 50% of the chargeable gains arising in a later accounting period,
  • Stamp Taxes on shares and a consultation on aligning the consideration rules of SD and SDRT and introducing a general market value rule for transfers between connected persons, and
  • Digital Services Tax and a consultation on the detailed design and implementation of the DST that will take effect from 1 April 2020.

If you would like more information on the above, please contact Keith Rushen on 0207 486 2378.

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