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New Year, New TIIN, Same Old Rubbish

January 14, 2020

We’ve all read Dominic Cummings’ blog post about recruiting weirdoes and misfits into Number 10 and, yes, I’ve fantasised briefly about being one of them, stomping around in a Thick of It cloud of obscenities, demanding to know what the f**ing f**k people think they are playing at…

… with stuff like this, the TIIN for the new legislation on International Tax Enforcement.

Because it’s a piece of crap. HMRC are going to spend £7.7 million or so on the computer infrastructure for these new regs, and it will cost them another three and a half million or so a year to administer and enforce them.

They are expected to have a “significant” impact on businesses. What kind of businesses? What do we mean by “significant”?

This measure is expected to have a significant impact on businesses. HMRC is engaging with affected businesses and information gained through this process will contribute to further quantifying these costs. A fuller assessment of costs in relation to businesses will be made once the regulations have come into force.

Fuller than what, for fuck’s sake?

Will the legislation impact on small businesses? Will cross border activity by micro businesses be impacted, like it was when the VATMOSS saga was implemented to hit at multinationals and accidentally screwed a swathe of kitchen-table one-woman craft businesses? Who can say? (Well HMRC could have said, but I strongly suspect they haven’t bothered to worry their pretty little heads about it)

Well at least there will be some extra tax coming into the exchequer to validate all this quantified and unquantified administrative burden, right? I mean, right?

Exchequer impact (£m)

2019 to 2020 2020 to 2021 2021 to 2022 2022 to 2023 2023 to 2024 2024 to 2025

The Office for Budget Responsibility will include the impact of this measure in its forecast at the next fiscal event.

Yes, that’s a big fat blank line where under the heading, where the actual figures ought to be. In other words, we don’t know, we haven’t asked, and we’ll think about that tomorrow.

The point of doing an impact assessment or TIIN is not to annoy the policy team working on the subject, but to make better decisions by laying out the evidence in one place. Either do it right or don’t do it at all. But don’t do this.

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