Moving on

February 21, 2013

Seventy days and counting since the Treasury updated the tax consultations page, but the HMRC consultations page has had a couple of new ones added – look down at the bottom of the page – with extremely short deadlines.

So if you’re interested in the taxation of non-doms you need to check out the third iteration of consultation on legislating the extra statutory concession 1/09, a consultation on some revised legislation that was issued on 11 February where the consultation closes on February 25th.  I don’t intend to respond, as it’s a small and very techy change to do with non-domiciled people employed in work that takes place both inside and outside the UK and what to do about bank accounts where employment earnings from both UK and non-UK work is received.  Frankly, I don’t care: but I DO care that it’s stupidly complex legislation that would have been better tackled by a proper review of (and, preferably, abolition of) the entire concept of non-doms.  But there you are.  A two week consultation.  How’s that working out for you?

The second one is the procurement guidance: the much vaunted plan to prevent tax avoiders from benefiting from government contracts.  Given that this was announced in September it’s hard to see why it needs to be open for public consultation for a mere fourteen days (it was issued on 14th February and closes on 28th) but I rather suspect the answer is that there’s not going to be any alterations to it, whatever the feedback.  The government seems to have found a reasonably workable plan to use relatively objective criteria to decide what sort of avoidance is objectionable enough to allow them to disbar a firm from government contracts without falling foul of EU procurement rules.  So if a firm has used a DOTAS scheme that doesn’t work, or if it uses a scheme that falls foul of the GAAR or a TAAR, or it has a civil or criminal penalty, well, it won’t get a government contract.

Here’s the real test.  Would it have stopped the Mapeley contract, where the old Inland Revenue accidentally sold its property portfolio to a firm based in a tax haven?


In which case, frankly, who cares?

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