Global Tax Alert | 11 September 2017

UK publishes Autumn Finance Bill 2017

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The UK Autumn Finance Bill 20171 contains a number of major business and personal taxation measures, including reforms to:

  • Corporation tax interest relief
  • Corporation tax loss relief
  • Substantial shareholding exemption
  • Taxation of non-domiciles

It is also one of the most long-awaited Finance Bills in recent years.

Having started as draft clauses last December (with the above reforms having been subject to consultation well before that), the contents were originally included in the Finance Bill 2017 published in March. Most of the Bill’s measures were then withdrawn in late April following the announcement of the snap General Election in June, in order to enable essential provisions (and a few other measures) to be enacted prior to Parliament’s dissolution at the end of April.

The promise was that the remaining provisions would be re-introduced after the Election, but with the Conservatives failing to secure a majority government there was then some uncertainty as to how many of the provisions would survive, and whether the original April 2017 commencement dates for a number of provisions would remain.

The commencement dates of the provisions in the Bill, published on 8 September 2017, have more or less stayed the same as they were in March. Some legislative changes were announced in July when revised draft clauses were published,2 and some further changes were seen in the provisions published on 8 September. However, the thrust of the main provisions, particularly those highlighted above, seems to have remained broadly the same.

Changes to commencement dates include Making Tax Digital, where following concerns over the original proposals, the Government announced in July a new delayed timetable for implementation, such that businesses with a turnover above the valued added tax (VAT) threshold will only now be required to keep digital records for VAT purposes from April 2019 at the earliest, and for other taxes from a date to be appointed (but expected to be no sooner than 2020). Also, the extension of the disclosure regime for VAT and other indirect taxes has been put back to 1 January 2018.

Having had its publication delayed until after Parliament returned from its summer recess on 5 September, there is little time for the Bill to be enacted. The second reading of the Bill will take place on 12 September, and Parliament will then rise for its annual party conference recess between 14 September and 9 October, with a further November recess between 7 and 13 November. If the Bill is to be enacted before the Chancellor’s first Autumn Budget (which is expected to take place sometime after 13 November) then the Bill will have to have completed its passage through the House of Commons by the end of October, in order to give sufficient time for it to pass through the Lords and receive Royal Assent before 7 November. This would give the Bill approximately four weeks of parliamentary scrutiny time, which is around half the time normally set aside to analyze its provisions.

Nevertheless, assuming this is indeed the legislative timetable, this would mean that the Bill would complete its Report Stage in the House of Commons, and so become ”substantively enacted” for accounting purposes, by around the end of October. Accordingly, companies reporting under UK Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards after that date would have to take into account the provisions of the Bill. Companies reporting under US GAAP would take account of the provisions on enactment, expected in November.

The provisions, together with their planned commencement dates, have been summarized in the table below.

Endnotes

1. Formally, Finance Bill 2017-19.

2. See EY Global Tax Alert, UK Government announces plans to introduce Finance (No.2) Bill 2017, dated 17 July 2017.

Provision

Commencement date

Tax rates

Dividend nil rate for tax year 2018-19

6 April 2018

Income tax

Money purchase allowance reduction to £4,000 if already accessed pension benefits

6 April 2017

Trading and property income allowances of £1,000

6 April 2017

Life insurance policies - just and reasonable recalculation of disproportionate gains

Royal Assent

Personal portfolio bonds – extension of permitted investments

Royal Assent

EIS and SEIS changes

5 December 2016

VCT amendments

6 April 2017

Social investment tax relief

6 April 2017

Business investment relief – extension of scope

6 April 2017

New valuation rules for benefits received from trustees for loans, moveable property and land

6 April 2017

Domicile

Deemed domicile – income and capital gains tax

6 April 2017

Deemed domicile – inheritance tax

6 April 2017

Inheritance tax on UK residential property

6 April 2017

Corporation tax

Loss relief rules

1 April 2017 (13 July in certain cases)

Corporate interest restriction

1 April 2017

Substantial shareholding exemption reform

1 April 2017

Patent Box: cost-sharing arrangements

1 April 2017

Hybrids and other mismatches

1 January 2017 (13 July for foreign tax definition amendments)

Northern Ireland trading profits - expansion of definition of Northern Ireland company

From commencement of NI tax rate

Museums and galleries relief

1 April 2017

Tax relief for contributions to grassroots sport

1 April 2017

Petroleum Revenue Tax – oil fields election

23 November 2016

First year allowances for electric charging points

23 November 2016 (ends 2019)

Simplified capital allowances for investors in co-ownership authorised contractual schemes

1 April 2017

Chargeable gains

Carried interest gains

8 July 2015

Elections on assets appropriated to trading stock

8 March 2017

Employment Taxes

Disguised remuneration: Employment income through third parties

6 April 2017

Disguised remuneration: Trading income through third parties

6 April 2017

Disguised remuneration: Restriction of income tax relief

6 April 2017

Disguised remuneration: Restriction of corporation tax relief

1 April 2017

Disguised remuneration: Relevant tax payments relief

21 July 2017

Termination payments amendments

6 April 2018

Time limit for making good on taxable benefits not accounted for in ‘real-time’ through PAYE

6 April 2017

Company car tax percentage for ultra-low emission vehicles

6 April 2020

Automated PAYE arrangements

6 April 2018

Exemption for pensions advice of £500 or less

6 April 2017

Deduction for employee legal expenses

6 April 2017

Trading and property business income

Calculation of profits – cash basis

6 April 2017

Trading in/developing UK land - taxing all profits arising on/after 8 March 2017

8 March 2017

Indirect Taxes

Air Passenger Duty rates

1 April 2018

Increased Gaming duty bands

1 April 2017

Remote gaming duty – free plays made chargeable

1 August 2017

Licensing scheme for owners and lessees of tobacco products manufacturing machinery

Effective by regulation but 2018 expected

Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme for certain fulfilment houses/online marketplaces

Effective by regulation but 2018 expected

Landfill tax: taxable disposal definitions

Removed from Bill

Administration

Digital reporting for income tax

Effective by regulation but April 2020 expected

Digital reporting for VAT

1 April 2019 at earliest

Partial closure notices

Royal Assent

Penalties for enablers of defeated tax avoidance

Royal Assent

Disclosure of tax avoidance schemes: VAT/other indirect taxes

1 January 2018

Requirement to correct offshore tax non-compliance

6 April 2017

Penalties for VAT fraud

Royal Assent

Data gathering from money services businesses

Royal Assent

Errors in taxpayers’ documents

6 April 2017

Customs enforcement powers extension

Removed from Bill

For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), London
  • Chris Sanger
    +44 20 7951 0150
    csanger@uk.ey.com
  • Claire Hooper
    +44 20 7951 2486
    chooper@uk.ey.com
Ernst & Young LLP, UK Tax Desk, New York
  • James A. Taylor
    +1 212 773 5256
    james.taylor1@ey.com

EYG no. 05100-171Gbl