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Quick and dirty Budget analysis

November 23, 2017

So here is OOTLAR, the Overview of Tax Legislation and Rates, published with the Budget documents.

Some quick numbers: there are 48 TIINs published in it.

TIINs with nil or negligible exchequer effect:  26

TIINs with a scorable exchequer effect: 22

Let’s start with two oddities, TIINs where the field for “exchequer effect” is simply left blank. First of all, Offshore trusts: anti-avoidance rules (page 49 of OOTLAR) where the policy objective “restores an objective of the rules relating to the taxation of income arising and gains accruing to offshore trusts…”

OK, so it’s anti-avoidance legislation. So why does it have no exchequer effect? Under the blank table of exchequer impact are the words “This measure supports the Exchequer in its commitment to protect revenue that was set out in the costing for the package of reforms of the non-dom regime…announced at Summer Budget 2015…”

Is this… revenue that was already scored in 2015???

If so… what the hell is it doing in the 2017 Budget documents? After a mere two years (and, surely, before many returns affected by the changes can have been submitted) they’ve already found a hole in the legislation?

What I think ought to have happened? How about a systematic review of the original legislation and its impact (and its TIIN). If the government committed itself to proper post-implementation review, it might be a bit more careful about getting it right the first time – or explaining it better if it needs to “tweak”.

Moving on, there’s Annual update to the Energy Technology List for first year capital allowances (page 171 of OOTLAR) which accompanies a proposed statutory instrument to consolidate information about what is and isn’t eligible for the energy saving scheme. As the field for exchequer impact helpfully tells us the “Office for Budget Responsibility has included the impact of this measure in its forecast at Autumn Budget 2017” perhaps it’s simply a proof reading error that the table of impacts is blank rather than completed with “Nil”?

Next: I’m looking at the ones where the exchequer effect is actually listed as “nil”.

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