HMRC have announced that many of the policy consultations they have in the pipeline are now delayed. This is a totally understandable and sensible response, given their huge new workload dealing with the COIVD-19 crisis response.
What is being delayed?
Part of creating any new tax policy, is a consultation period. This allows interested parties to respond to HMRC’s proposals and help shape the final tax policy.
Many people may not have made their intended response to the consultation opportunity because of the health pandemic. The delay is designed to give them longer to participate.
These are the ten current policies which will now be delayed and their new consultation closing dates:
- “Plastic Packaging Tax: Policy Design– now closing on 20 August 2020
- Preventing abuse of the R&D tax relief for SMEs: second consultation– now closing on 28 August 2020
- Tackling Construction Industry Scheme abuse– now closing on 28 August 2020
- Notification of uncertain tax treatment by large businesses– now closing on 27 August 2020
- Vehicle Excise Duty: call for evidence– now closing on 3 September 2020
- Call for evidence: raising standards in the tax market– now closing on 28 August 2020
- Consultation on the taxation impacts arising from the withdrawal of LIBOR– now closing on 28 August 2020
- Hybrid and other mismatches– now closing on 29 August 2020
- Tax treatment of asset holding companies in alternative fund structures– now closing on 19 August 2020
- Consultation: HMRC Charter– now closing on 15 August 2020″
This does not alter the government’s commitment to these policies, it’s just a new timeline. So if any of these documents involve you or your business, there’s still time to get involved.
Other tax policies and Budget documentation will have their own deadlines, some of which won’t be considered until the autumn.
What are people saying about this decision to extend consultation deadlines?
Statement from Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury:
“Consulting on tax policy is crucial to good tax law. And a good consultation makes sure everyone with an interest in the subject has an opportunity to have their say.
That is why we are extending these deadlines. The government is very grateful to the stakeholders who have already responded to these documents. But it is also acutely aware that there may be others who want to contribute but cannot do so because of the current situation with Covid-19. This extension should help them to do so.”
An industry opinion from Chris Sangar, Chair of the Tax Professionals Forum and EY Head of Tax Policy. He supports HMRC’s decision on deadline delays:
“Acting now to extend the deadlines for consultation is a welcome decision, as these consultations cover important issues that taxpayers need time to consider. Given the current environment, attention will naturally and rightly be focused elsewhere.
An extra three months should allow sufficient time for engagement, whilst still enabling the government to deliver important tax policy changes within the current fiscal timetable.”