This Budget was all about ‘putting the next generation first’. The Chancellor said there are tough challenges ahead – financial markets are turbulent, productivity growth across the west is too low, and the outlook for the global economy is weak. However, the Government remains committed to its long term stability plan and will continue to put the next generation first – focusing on sound public finances to deliver security; lower taxes on business and enterprise to create jobs; reform to improve schools; investment to build homes and infrastructure; and help for working people who want to save for the future.
Last year, GDP grew by 2.2%. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now forecasts GDP will grow by 2% this year, then 2.2% in 2017, and then 2.1% in each of the three years after that. Although the forecasts have been revised down, the Chancellor said that because the country’s problems have been confronted and difficult decisions taken in a long-term economic plan, the British economy is now set to grow faster than any other major advanced economy in the world.
With regards to public spending, the Chancellor said that the share of national income taken by the state will fall from its current level of 40% to 36.9% by the end of the decade, at which time the country will theoretically be spending no more than it raises in taxes. These figures mean that the Chancellor needs to be cutting public spending by an extra £35bn a year by 2019/20. There are no details yet on how this is going to be achieved, – the Treasury is to study the options.
The Chancellor focused heavily on tax avoidance and evasion. Changes in this area, which are expected to raise an additional £12bn over this Parliament, include:
- shutting down disguised remuneration schemes;
- ensuring that UK tax will be paid on UK property development;
- changing the treatment of freeplays for remote gaming providers;
- limiting capital gains tax treatment on performance rewards; and
- capping exempt gains in the employee shareholder status.
In addition, public sector organisations will have a new duty to ensure that those working for them pay the correct tax rather than giving a tax advantage to those who choose to contract their work through personal service companies. Further, loans to participators will be taxed at 32.5% to prevent tax avoidance; and the rules governing the use of termination payments are to be tightened. Termination payments over £30,000 are already subject to income tax. From 2018, they will also attract employer national insurance.
Last year’s Budget delivered various measures designed to improve productivity, such as the apprenticeship levy and the national living wage. This theme was continued in this year’s Budget Statement and, again intertwining well with the ‘putting the next generation first’ theme, the Chancellor set out five key areas for change, including plans for fundamental reform of the business tax system, devolution of power to local councils; new commitments to future national infrastructure projects; improvements to education; and incentives to help people save.
The controversial ‘sin tax’ – the sugar levy – will be introduced in 2018. The levy will be assessed by reference to the sugar contents in soft drinks. The expected £520m revenue raised from this tax will be used to extend the school day with sporting activities for children.
Faced with concerns that people are not saving for the future, the Chancellor announced that annual ISA limit will be rising from just over £15,000 to £20,000 from April next year. In addition, a new lifetime ISA will be introduced from April 2017.
This newsletter provides a summary of the key tax points from the 2016 Budget Statement based on the documents released on 16 March 2016. It is possible that changes will be made between now and the publication of the Finance Bill, which is expected on 24 March 2016. We will keep you informed of any significant developments.
Personal allowance and basic rate limit for 2017-18
The personal allowance for 2017-18 will be increased to £11,500, and the basic rate limit will be increased to £33,500. The higher rate threshold will be £45,000 in 2017-18.
Personal savings allowance
The previously announced tax-free personal savings allowance (PSA) will take effect from 6 April 2016, for savings income paid to individuals. This means that basic rate taxpayers will be able to receive up to £1,000 a year of savings income, and higher rate taxpayers up to £500 a year, tax-free. The PSA will not be available to additional rate taxpayers. Also from this date, banks, building societies and NS&I will cease to deduct tax from account interest they pay to customers.
Starting rate of savings tax
The band of savings income that is subject to the 0% starting rate will be kept at its current level of £5,000 for 2016-17.
Changes to dividend taxation
From 6 April 2016, the dividend tax credit will be replaced by a new dividend allowance in the form of a 0% tax rate on the first £5,000 of dividend income per tax year. UK residents will pay tax on any dividends received over the £5,000 allowance at the following rates:
- 7.5% on dividend income within the basic rate band;
- 32.5% on dividend income within the higher rate band; and
- 38.1% on dividend income within the additional rate band.
In calculating into which tax band any dividend income over the £5,000 allowance falls, savings and dividend income are treated as the highest part of an individual’s income. Where an individual has both savings and dividend income, the dividend income is treated as the top slice.
Dividends received on shares held in an individual savings account (ISA) will continue to be tax-free. The dividend allowance will apply to dividends received from UK resident and non-UK resident companies.
Preventing liability to charge being removed from certain taxable benefits in kind
Legislation will be included in Finance Bill 2016 to clarify that the concept of ‘fair bargain’ applies only to general taxable benefits where the taxable amount is based on the cost to the employer of providing the benefit. The legislation will specifically exclude employees who work for an employer where the employer trades in the provision of hire cars to the public. In the circumstances where the employee hires a car from the employer at the same cost and under the same terms and conditions as any member of the public, there will not be a benefit in kind charge. The measure will have effect on and after 6 April 2016.
Royalty withholding tax
Legislation will be introduced to provide additional obligations to deduct income tax at source from royalties paid to certain non-resident persons where either:
- arrangements have been entered into which exploit the UK’s double taxation agreements (DTAs) in order to ensure that little or no tax is paid on royalties either in the UK or anywhere in the world;
- the category of royalty is not currently one of those in respect of which there is an obligation to deduct tax under UK law; or
- royalties which do not otherwise have a source in the UK are connected with the business that a non-UK resident person carries on in the UK through a permanent establishment in the UK
The measure will have effect for payments made under tax avoidance arrangements from 17 March 2016. The change to the definition of royalties to which deduction of tax applies and the change to the source rules in respect of royalties paid under obligations which are connected with a permanent establishment in the UK will have effect for payments made on or after the date Royal Assent to the Finance Bill 2016.
Bad debt relief for peer-to-peer investments
Individuals investing in certain peer-to-peer (P2P) loans will be allowed to set the losses they incur, from loans which default, against income that they receive from other P2P loans. An individual’s personal savings allowance will apply to interest they receive from P2P lending after any relief for bad debts.
The relief will apply to losses incurred on all P2P eligible loans on or after 6 April 2016. It will also allow individuals to make a claim for relief on losses arising on eligible P2P loans between 6 April 2015 and 5 April 2016.
Exclusion of energy generation from the tax advantaged venture capital schemes
The venture capital schemes excluded activities list is to be amended so that any company whose trade consists substantially of energy generation activities (including the production of gas or other fuel) will be unable to use such schemes.
This change has effect from 6 April 2016, and applies to the seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS), enterprise investment scheme (EIS) and venture capital trusts (VCTs). These activities will also be excluded from social investment tax relief (SITR) when this scheme is enlarged (expected within six to twelve months).
EIS and VCT revisions
Changes are being made to ensure that the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT) legislation introduced by F(No2)A 2015 works as intended. The changes include:
- clarification of the method for determining the 5 year period for the average turnover amount and the relevant 3 preceding years for the operating costs conditions for both EIS and VCTs to ensure that the most recently filed accounts of a company are generally used to determine the end date of the relevant period.
- a new condition to clarify the non-qualifying investments a VCT may make for liquidity management purposes. The legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2016 and will have effect from 18 November 2015 for shares issued under EIS and for investments made by VCTs for determining the relevant accounting period of a company, although an investee company may elect to apply the existing legislation for investments received between 18 November 2015 and 5 April 2016 inclusive, and from 6 April 2016 for non-qualifying investments made by a VCT.
Treatment of income from sporting testimonials
Legislation will be included in Finance Bill 2016 to confirm that all income from sporting testimonials and benefit matches for an employed sportsperson will be chargeable to tax, and liable to employee and employers’ National Insurance contributions. This treatment will, however, be subject to an exemption of £100,000 of the income received during the testimonial year, except where there is a contractual entitlement or customary right to the sporting testimonial or benefit match.
Independent testimonial committees will need to operate PAYE where the total proceeds from a non-contractual sporting testimonial or benefit match for a sportsperson exceed £100,000.
These provisions will have effect for the income from non-contractual or non-customary sporting testimonial events held on or after 6 April 2017, where the testimonial has been awarded on or after 25 November 2015. Income from sporting testimonial events held on or after 6 April 2017, where the testimonial or benefit match was awarded before 25 November 2015, will be subject to existing arrangements.
Retention of the three percentage point supplement for diesel cars
The three percent supplement for diesel company cars, which was due to be abolished with effect from 6 April 2016, is to be retained until April 2021 when EU-wide testing procedures will ensure new diesel cars meet air quality standards even under strict real world driving conditions. The appropriate percentage for a diesel company car will therefore continue to be three percentage points higher than the petrol car equivalent, up to a maximum of 37%.
Setting company car tax rates for the 3 years to 2019 to 2020
Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2016 to make the following changes:
- the appropriate percentage which is applied to the list price of company cars subject to tax will increase by 3 percentage points to a maximum of 37% in 2019 to 2020.
- there will be a 3 percentage point differential between the 0-50 and 51-75g CO2/km bands and between the 51-75 and 76-94g CO2/km bands.
The legislation will also set the level of the appropriate percentage for the years 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 for cars which do not have a registered CO2 emissions figure and which cannot produce CO2.
Van benefit charge for zero emissions vans
Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2016 to apply the level of the van benefit charge for zero-emissions vans at 20% of the charge for conventionally fuelled vans for the tax years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. This defers the planned increase to 40% of the van benefit charge for conventionally-fuelled vans to 2018-2019.
The van benefit charge for zero emission vans will be 60% of the van benefit charge for conventionally fuelled vans in 2019-2020, 80% in 2020-2021 and 90% in 2021-2022. From 2022-2023, the van benefit charge for zero emission vans is 100% of the van benefit charge for conventionally-fuelled vans.
Statutory exemption for trivial benefits-in-kind
A statutory exemption will apply from 6 April 2016, which will exempt from income tax and National Insurance contributions low-value benefits-in-kind which meet certain qualifying conditions, including a £50 limit per individual benefit. Qualifying ‘trivial’ benefits-in-kind provided to directors or other office holders of close companies, or to members of their families or households, will be subject to an annual cap of £300.
Employment intermediaries and relief for travel and subsistence
From 6 April 2016, certain temporary workers will not be able to claim tax relief or a disregard for National Insurance contributions (NICs) on the travel and subsistence expenses they incur on an ordinary commute from home to work. The restrictions will apply to workers who are employed through an employment intermediary, such as an umbrella company, or a recruitment agency/employment business, and who are supplying personal services (largely supplying their skills or labour) under the supervision, direction or control, of any person, in the manner in which they undertake their role.
Those individuals who supply their services through small limited companies, generally known as personal service companies, will no longer be able to claim tax relief or a NICs disregard for those contracts where they are required to operate the intermediaries legislation (commonly known as IR35), or they would otherwise be operating IR35 if they were not receiving all their remuneration as employment income.
Employee share schemes: simplification of the rules
Following recommendations from the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), a number of changes are being made to the rules for employment-related securities (ERS) and ERS options. Broadly, the changes will:
- for non-tax advantaged schemes, clarify the tax treatment for internationally mobile employees (IMEs) of certain ERS and ERS options;
- reinstate rules for share incentive plans (SIPs) previously repealed, to enforce the principle that shares with preferential rights cannot be issued to selected employees only; and
- permit late registration of tax-advantaged share schemes where the taxpayer had a reasonable excuse. The changes will generally take effect from Royal Assent to Finance Bill 2016. An amendment allowing a company controlled by an employee ownership trust to operate an enterprise management incentives (EMI) scheme will be backdated to 1 October 2014. A further change will provide that, following a company takeover, minority shareholders holding qualifying share options in an EMI will have the right for their share options to be acquired by the offeror without losing their tax advantage. This change will be backdated to 17 July 2013. (TIIN 9 December 2015)
Netherlands Benefit Act for victims of persecution 1940 to 1945
Payments made by the Netherlands government through the ‘Wet uitkeringen vervolgingsslachtoffers 1940 to 1945’ scheme for victims of national-socialist and Japanese aggression during World War 2 are exempt from income tax, with effect from 6 April 2016. (TIIN 9 December 2015)
Extension of averaging period for farmers
The period over which an individual who carries on a qualifying trade of farming, market gardening or the intensive rearing of livestock or fish, is allowed to average their profits for income tax purposes is to be extended from two years to five years. The option to average over two years will, however, continue. The measure will have effect for averaging claims made for 2016/17 and subsequent tax years.
Finance Bill 2016 will also include provisions to simplify the rules for farmers and creative artists who can benefit from two-year averaging, by removing marginal relief so that full averaging relief will be available where the profits of one year are 75% or less of the profits of the other year. (TIIN 9 December 2015)
Deductions at a fixed rate
Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2016 to amend the simplified expenses legislation in ITTOIA 2005 to clarify how the provisions in respect of business use of home and premises used both for business and as a home apply to partnerships. This change, which is designed to ensure that partnerships and individuals are treated in the same way, applies from 6 April 2016.
The amended provisions will make it clear that the fixed rate deduction for use of home for business can be claimed by individual partners where appropriate, and also that partnerships can use the fixed rate non-business use adjustment where premises are used mainly for business but are also used as a home by a partner or partners.
Extending ISA tax advantages after the death of an account holder
The individual savings account (ISA) savings of deceased individuals will continue to benefit from income tax and capital gains tax advantages, where those savings are retained in an ISA.
The change is expected to take effect during 2016/17, following Royal Assent to Finance Bill 2016, consultation on further detail of the change and amendment of the ISA rules by secondary legislation.
Investment managers: performance linked rewards
A statutory test is being introduced to determine whether carried interest should be taxed as capital gains or income. This will be determined by testing the average period for which the fund holds assets. All returns which are not subject to capital gains tax (CGT) will be chargeable to income tax and Class 4 National Insurance contributions (NICs) as trading profits. This change is designed to ensure that a carried interest structure only attracts CGT treatment in relation to funds which carry on long-term investment activity, and will apply to sums of carried interest arising on or after 6 April 2016, whenever the arrangements giving rise to those sums were entered into.
Broadly, where an individual performs investment management services for a collective investment scheme, then any sum of carried interest arising from that fund will only be eligible for CGT treatment if the fund holds investments, on average, for at least four years. Partial CGT treatment will be available where the average holding period is between three and four years. Where the average hold period is below three years all sums of carried interest arising to the individual, however structured, will be charged to tax and NICs as trading profits.
This change will not affect the taxation of performance-linked rewards which are already charged to income tax, and it will not impact on co-investments made in the fund by fund managers or an arm’s length return on such a co-investment.
Reform to the wear and tear allowance
In relation to expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2016 (for corporation tax) and 6 April 2016 (for income tax), the existing wear and tear allowance for fully furnished properties will be replaced with a relief enabling all landlords of residential dwelling houses to deduct the costs they actually incur on replacing furnishings, appliances and kitchenware in the property.
The new relief given will be for the cost of a like-for-like, or nearest modern equivalent, replacement asset, plus any costs incurred in disposing of, less any proceeds received for, the asset being replaced.
The amount of the deduction will be:
- the cost of the new replacement item, limited to the cost of an equivalent item if it represents an improvement on the old item (beyond the reasonable modern equivalent); plus
- the incidental costs of disposing of the old item or acquiring the replacement; less
- any amounts received on disposal of the old item.
This deduction will not be available for furnished holiday lettings, as capital allowances continue to be available for them.
The renewals allowance for tools (ITTOIA 2005, s 68; CTA 2009, s 68) will no longer be available for property businesses.
Tackling disguised remuneration avoidance schemes overview of changes and technical note
The Government is to bring forward a package of changes designed to tackle the use of disguised remuneration avoidance schemes. Initial legislation will be included in Finance Bill 2016 and further legislation will follow in future Finance Bills following a technical consultation. The first measure aims to prevent attempts to exploit the disguised remuneration legislation by inserting an additional targeted anti-avoidance rule (TAAR) with effect from 16 March 2016. The transitional relief on investment returns will also be withdrawn after 30 November 2016. The relief was intended to work alongside the EBT Settlement Opportunity, which closed on 31 July 2015. Anyone who has not settled with HMRC on or before 30 November 2016 will not qualify for the relief.
Applying ‘English Votes for English Laws’ to income tax
Changes to the current law will ensure that the Government meets its commitment that the ‘English Votes for English Laws’ (EVEL) procedure can apply to the main rates of income tax. From 6 April 2017, to coincide with the further devolution of income tax powers to the Scottish government, the government will legislate to separate the income tax rates that apply to savings (the savings rates), from those that apply to non-savings, non-dividends income (the main rates).
HMRC are to be given new powers which will enable them to make income tax or capital gains tax assessments without the taxpayer first being required to complete a self-assessment tax return. The new provisions will allow HMRC to assess a person’s tax liability on the basis of information held by them. For example, they will be used where it is not possible to collect the whole of a person’s annual income tax liability through PAYE, and HMRC have sufficient information about the individual to make the assessment. This change will have effect on and after the date of Royal Assent to Finance Bill 2016.
Time limits for self-assessment
The time allowed for making a self-assessment is to be clarified by Finance Bill 2016. The time limit is four years from the end of the tax year to which the self-assessment relates. This is the same time limit as for assessments by HMRC. This measure will have effect on and after 5 April 2017, although there are transitional arrangements for years previous to this, as follows:
- for tax years prior to 2012/13, taxpayers have until 5 April 2017 to submit a self- assessment;
- for 2013/14, the deadline is 5 April 2018;
- for 2014/15, the deadline is 5 April 2019; and
- for 2015/16, the deadline is 5 April 2020.
The four year time limit applies to everyone and those that are currently outside the time limit have notice to put in their self-assessment by 5 April 2017. (TIIN 9 December 2015)
Gift Aid intermediaries
HMRC are to be given power to impose penalties on the intermediary sector if they fail to comply with requirements set out in secondary legislation. This change means that if intermediaries are fully compliant with HMRC requirements, donors and charities will be protected – currently, if the intermediary fails to comply, the donor or the charity would be liable to pay the shortfall.
The primary legislation (amendment to ITA 2007, s 428) will take effect on the date detailed regulations are laid. These regulations will set out the detailed operating models for intermediaries.
Lifetime ISA and ISA limit
The overall annual ISA subscription limit will be increased to £20,000 from 6 April 2017.
From April 2017, a new Lifetime ISA will be available for adults under the age of 40. The Lifetime ISA is aimed at helping young people save flexibly for the long-term, allowing them to save for a first home and for their retirement, without having to choose one over the other.
A person can open a Lifetime ISA account between the ages of 18 and 40 and they will be able to contribute up to £4,000 per year, and anything put in before their 50th birthday will receive a 25% bonus from the government. This means that over a lifetime, a saver will be able to have contributions of £128,000 matched by the government for a maximum bonus of £32,000. Funds, including the government bonus, from the Lifetime ISA can be used to buy a first home in the UK worth up to £450,000 at any time from 12 months after the account opening, and be withdrawn from age 60. If a person withdraws their money before they are 60 (unless they have a terminal illness) they will lose the government bonus (and any interest or growth on it) and will also have to pay a 5% charge.
Individuals will be able to transfer savings from other ISAs as one way of funding their Lifetime ISA. During the 2017/18 tax year only, those who already have a Help to Buy: ISA will be able to transfer those funds into a Lifetime ISA and receive the government bonus on those savings.
Capital gains tax
Changes to capital gains tax rates
Legislation will be included in Finance Bill 2016 to reduce the rate of capital gains tax from 18% to 10% where the person is a basic rate taxpayer and from 28% to 20% where the person is a higher rate taxpayer or a trustee or personal representative, except in relation to chargeable gains accruing on the disposal of residential property (that do not qualify for private residence relief), and carried interest.
Provisions will also make clear that a residential property interest includes an interest in land that has at any time in the person’s ownership consisted of or included a dwelling and an interest in land subsisting under a contract for an off-plan purchase. Rules will set out how gains should be calculated in the case of mixed use properties.
This change will have effect for relevant gains accruing on or after 6 April 2016.
Disposals of UK residential property by non-residents
The capital gains tax (CGT) provisions for disposals of UK residential property by non-residents (NRCGT) are being amended. Broadly, the computations required in relation to a disposal will be corrected and HMRC will be given news powers to prescribe circumstances in which an NRCGT return is not required. In addition, CGT is to be added to the list of taxes that the government may collect on a provisional basis between Budget day (or a day after the Budget), and the coming into operation of the subsequent Finance Act.
Amendments to the computations to put beyond doubt that a double charge does not arise will apply retrospectively to disposals made on or after 6 April 2015 and, in relation to an omission in how to compute the balancing gain, to disposals made on or after 25 November 2015.
The extension of HMRC powers provisions, and the inclusion of CGT on the government’s provisional basis collection list, will apply from Royal Assent to Finance Act 2016.
Changes to rules to extend availability of Entrepreneurs’ Relief on associated disposals
Entrepreneurs’ Relief will be allowed on an ‘associated disposal’ of a privately-held asset when the accompanying disposal of business assets is to a family member. Relief can also be claimed in some cases where the disposal of business assets does not meet the present 5% minimum size condition.
Finance Act 2015 introduced new rules to combat abuse of ER. Whilst preventing the abuse, those rules also resulted in relief not being due on ‘associated disposals’ when a business was sold to members of the claimant’s family under normal succession arrangements. It was announced at Autumn Statement 2015 that changes to mitigate the impact of the Finance Act 2015 rules on associated disposals in these circumstances were being considered. Legislation will be included in Finance Bill 2016 and the changes will be backdated to 18 March 2015, the date on which the Finance Act 2015 measures became effective.
This will be welcomed by owners of businesses who are retiring or reducing their participation in their business and passing it to other family members.
Entrepreneurs’ relief: extension to long-term investors
The Chancellor announced that Entrepreneurs’ relief (ER) will be extended to external investors in unlisted trading companies.
The extension to ER, introducing investors’ relief, will apply to gains accruing on the disposal of certain qualifying shares by individuals (other than employees and officers of the company). In order to qualify for relief, a share must:
- be newly issued, having been acquired by the person making the disposal on subscription for new consideration;
- be in an unlisted trading company, or unlisted holding company of trading group;
- have been issued by the company on or after 17 March 2016 and have been held for a period of three years from 6 April 2016;
- have been held continually for a period of three years before disposal.
The rate of capital gains tax charged on the qualifying gain will be 10%, with the total amount of gains eligible for investors’ relief subject to a lifetime cap of £10 million per individual. Rules will ensure that this limit applies to beneficiaries of trusts.
As the relief is designed to attract new capital into companies, avoidance rules set out in the Finance Bill 2016 legislation will ensure that shares must be subscribed for by individuals for genuine commercial purposes and not for tax avoidance purposes.
This change extends ER to external investors and is intended to provide a financial incentive for individuals to invest in unlisted trading companies over the long term.
Lifetime limit on employee shareholder status exemption
The Chancellor announced that for Employee Shareholder shares issued as consideration for entering into Employee Shareholder Agreements from midnight at the end of 16 March 2016 there will be a lifetime limit of £100,000 capital gains tax (CGT) exempt gains. Any past or future gains, realised or unrealised, on Employee Shareholder shares that were issued in respect of Employee Shareholder agreements made before midnight at the end of 16 March 2016 will not count towards the limit.
When Employee Shareholder shares issued as consideration for entering into Employee Shareholder Agreements from midnight at the end of 16 March 2016 are disposed of, gains made in excess of the lifetime limit will be chargeable to CGT.
For transfers of Employee Shareholder shares between spouses or civil partners, the transfer will be treated as being for consideration which gives rise to a gain equal to the transferor’s unused lifetime limit, subject to the over-riding condition that the consideration does not exceed the market value of the shares transferred. This amount will fix the acquisition cost in the hands of the spouse.
Reforms to the taxation of non-domiciles
The existing inheritance tax (IHT) deemed domicile provisions for individuals are to be aligned with the proposed changes for income tax and capital gains tax. This will mean that an individual will become deemed domiciled for IHT purposes if they have been resident in at least fifteen of the previous twenty tax years (the ‘long-term residence rule’).
In addition, individuals born in the UK with a UK domicile of origin at birth who subsequently acquire a domicile of choice elsewhere will be deemed domiciled for IHT purposes whilst they are resident in the UK, provided they were resident in at least one of the previous two tax years (‘returning UK domiciles’).
Overseas property settled into trust by returning UK domiciles while they were domiciled elsewhere will also be subject to IHT once the individual has been resident in the UK in at least one of the previous two tax years. However, once the individual leaves the UK and ceases to meet the residence conditions, that trust property will be excluded for IHT purposes. These changes will apply from 6 April 2017.
Treatment of pension scheme drawdown funds on death
The scope of the current inheritance tax (IHT) exemption is to be extended, so that the failure to draw down all of the designated funds before a pension scheme member’s death will not trigger an IHT charge. This minor change will ensure that the exemption applies as originally intended, and will therefore be backdated and apply to deaths on or after 6 April 2011.
Compensation and ex-gratia payments for victims of persecution during the World War 2 era
The practice currently afforded by extra statutory concession (ESC) F20, which gives an inheritance tax (IHT) exemption in respect of certain compensation and ex-gratia payments for World War 2 claims, is to be put on a statutory footing. In addition, the scope of the existing concession will be extended to include a one-off compensation payment of €2,500 made under a recently created scheme known as the Child Survivor Fund, and will allow the Treasury to add any further schemes to the current list by way of regulations.
The current ESC had effect until 1 January 2015, but the legislation to be included in Finance Bill 2016 will be backdated to that date.
Cut in corporation tax rate
The rate of corporation tax will be reduced to 17% with effect from 1 April 2020 instead of the 18% rate previously announced.
Following the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project and subsequent HMRC consultation in 2015, rules will be introduced to address hybrid mismatch arrangements. The rules will take effect from 1 January 2017 and will prevent multinational enterprises avoiding tax through the use of certain cross-border business structures or finance transactions.
Insurance linked securities
Finance Bill 2016 give the Government powers to make statutory instruments to deal with the treatment of insurance linked securities issued in the UK. Insurance linked securities are a means of transferring insurance risk to capital market investors. The legislation will allow regulations to determine the vehicles to which the rules will apply, the treatment of such vehicles, the conditions that must be satisfied to achieve that treatment, reporting requirements, the tax treatment of payments to investors in such vehicles and anti-avoidance provisions.
Rate of tax for the loans to participators charge
With effect from 6 April 2016, the rate of tax charged on loans to participators and other arrangements will be increased to the dividend income upper rate of tax of 32.5% from the existing rate of 25%.
Securitisation and annual payments
Existing regulation making powers concerning the taxation of securitisation companies will be changed to permit changes to existing regulations concerning the treatment of ‘residual payments’ made by securitisation companies. The changes will clarify that ‘residual payments’ will not be treated as annual payments which means that they can be paid without a withholding tax deduction.
The measure will be enacted in Finance Bill 2016 effective from the date of Royal Assent and the securitisation regulations will be changed following public consultation.
Updating the transfer pricing guidelines
Transfer pricing legislation will be updated to provide that the definition of ‘transfer pricing guidelines’ incorporates the revisions to the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations published by the OECD in October 2015. These revisions were agreed as part of the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project. This measure will be achieved by updating the link between the UK transfer pricing rules and the OECD Guidelines which means that applying the UK rules will be done by reference to the revised OECD Guidelines. It will be enacted in Finance Bill 2016 effective for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2016.
Extension of enhanced capital allowances for Enterprise Zones
The government is to ensure that all Enterprise Zones can offer Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs) for eight years from the establishment of relevant sites. ECAs in the form of a 100% first-year allowance for expenditure incurred by companies on qualifying plant or machinery in various assisted areas in Enterprise Zones (subject to certain conditions) were originally introduced for a five year period from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2017. This was extended for a further three years to 2020, giving eight years of ECAs. From Royal Assent of Finance Bill 2016 the government propose that all Enterprise Zones will be entitled to eight years of ECAs from the date of their announcement.
The government is also to create a new Cornwall MarineHub Enterprise Zone, extend the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone (subject to necessary approvals and agreements) and create new Enterprise Zones at Brierley Hill and Loughborough and Leicester (subject to business case).
Business Tax Roadmap
The Business Tax Roadmap is a comprehensive document summarising the changes made to business taxation since 2010, and setting out various measures to take effect in the coming years as the government seeks to stimulate growth, respond to the OECD’s BEPS project and modernise the tax system. The roadmap can be found at www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/508173/business_tax_road_map_final.pdf.
Trading income received in non-monetary form
Legislation will be enacted to ensure that trading and property income received in non-monetary form is fully brought into account in calculating taxable profits for income tax and corporation tax purposes. The legislation will have effect in relation to trading and property business transactions occurring on or after 16 March 2016. State aid modernisation
In response to European Commission moves to modernise state aids, HMRC are to be given additional powers to collect information on state aids and to share this with the European Commission. The new powers will be provided for by legislation to be introduced in Finance Bill 2016 and will take effect from 1 July 2016.
Vaccine research relief
Vaccine research relief is to be removed in respect of expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2017.
Representatives for overseas businesses and joint and several liability for online marketplaces
There are two aspects to this measure designed to protect the UK market from unfair online competition. Both come into effect from Royal Assent to the Finance Bill 2016.
Firstly, HMRC’s power to direct an overseas business to appoint a VAT representative with joint and several liability is to be made more effective and HMRC is to be given greater flexibility when it comes to seeking security.
Secondly, HMRC will be allowed to hold an online marketplace jointly and severally liable for any unpaid VAT of an overseas business that sells goods in the UK on that marketplace. The notice so doing will specify a period of time (usually 30 days) during which the marketplace can avoid the liability by either securing the compliance of the overseas business or removing it from its online marketplace.
HMRC are to use these changed powers at their discretion on the highest risk cases. They will contact the overseas business directly in the first instance to gain compliance. If that fails then they will look to compulsorily register the overseas business for VAT in the UK, direct the appointment of a UK-established VAT representative or require an appropriate form of security. If compliance is still not forthcoming HMRC will then use its new power to put the relevant online marketplace on notice of joint and several liability.
HMRC will endeavour to give prior warning of any potential joint and several liability notice but where significant VAT revenue is identified no prior warning may be given. HMRC have advised that they will seek to collect the debt from a UK representative with joint and several liability first.
Revalorisation of registration and deregistration thresholds
From 1 April 2016, VAT thresholds are to be increased in line with inflation making the registration limit £83,000 (previously £82,000) and the deregistration limit £81,000 (previously £80,000). The limit applying to EU acquisitions also rises from £82,000 to £83,000.
Air passenger duty: rates
The rates of air passenger duty in relation to carriage of chargeable passengers on or after 1 April 2017 have been increased in line with the RPI. The increase in rates from 1 April 2016 which was announced in Budget2015 is confirmed.
Climate change levy: main and reduced rates
The climate change levy rates for supplies on and after 1 April 2017 and 1 April 2018 are increased in line with RPI. The rates from 1 April 2019 are to be increased to cover the lost revenue from the closure of the carbon reduction commitment.