Today, 23rd March, the government published a command paper titled ‘Tax Policies and Consultations (Spring 2021)’, which set out a range of tax-related announcements including publication of consultations, discussion documents and calls for evidence.
HMRC is keen to engage with tax agents on these measures and reforms. Your scrutiny of these tax measures will increase the overall quality of tax policy and legislation, on which millions of taxpayers ultimately rely.
Today marks a significant milestone in HMRC’s work to deliver the Tax Administration Strategy (TAS), and to improve the resilience and effectiveness of the country’s tax administration system. Several documents related to the Strategy have been published including:
• a call for evidence on our Tax Administration Framework – exploring how to make tax more straightforward and harder to get wrong, how to improve people’s experience of the tax system, and how to build and maintain trust between HMRC and taxpayers
• a call for evidence on Timely Payment – exploring the longer-term opportunities and challenges of more frequent payment of income tax within Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA), and of corporation tax for small companies, based on in-year information
• a full consultation on Raising Standards in the Tax Advice Market – seeking views on the definition of tax advice and making indemnity insurance compulsory for all tax advisors.
Also announced, following recommendations by the Office of Tax Simplification, were changes to inheritance tax reporting requirements supporting our commitment to making tax easier and to improving the tax system. From 1 January 2022, over 90% of non-taxpaying estates will no longer have to complete inheritance tax forms for deaths when probate or confirmation is required.
Other changes included
• making permanent the current temporary provision for those dealing with a trust or estate to provide an inheritance tax return without requiring physical signatures and
• clarification of the requirement for estates to submit an inheritance tax account where the deceased was never domiciled in the UK but owned indirect interests in UK residential property.
The government has also published a consultation on a package of measures to tackle Promoters of Tax Avoidance, a summary of responses on the 2020 call for evidence on Disguised Remuneration and a discussion document, as part of HMRC’s No Safe Havens strategy, seeking views on ways to help taxpayers get their offshore tax right first time.
A further consultation has been published on the notification of uncertain tax treatment by large businesses, which addresses feedback received during the earlier consultation to minimise the uncertainty and the administrative burden on taxpayers whilst still achieving the policy objective.
Full details of these, and other announcements designed to enhance the stability and effectiveness of the UK tax system, can be found on GOV.UK.