Legislation Day – Over a thousand pages of change, but some good ones

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“Whilst last week’s Autumn Statement had far fewer tax measures than the Pre-Budget Reports of old, today’s publication of a 298 page tome, providing an overview of the legislation and its impact, together with 1,107 pages of draft clauses and explanatory notes, more than made up for that lack of tax content.

“Today’s publication of the draft legislation of the Finance Bill, together with formal responses to consultations, marks a high point in engagement on tax policy.  In the drafts published today, the government has adopted a range of sensible changes that will make their policies more effective.

“The changes include refinements to the UK’s Research & Development tax credits and the prospective Patent Box proposals for 2013 aimed at making these regimes more closely aligned to the way that business is undertaken in the 21st century.

“Similarly, the changes to the Controlled Foreign Company rules, which seek to tax profits earned abroad, again show that Government has understood that the original method involved needless complexity that could hamper the UK’s aspiration of being the “best place to do business on the planet”, as demanded by the Prime Minister last month.

“L-Day marks a key stage in the Government’s New Approach to Tax Policy Making.  This approach was broadly endorsed by the Forum of Tax Professionals in its first annual report, which highlighted a number of areas for improvement.”

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