It’s the night before the Budget. Why does HMRC have four open consultations on the gov.uk website?
Let’s look at them, shall we?
Withdrawal of extra statutory concessions 2017 is a call for evidence that was issued in January and closes at quarter to midnight tonight. Unless you’re really interested in the withdrawal of extra-statutory concessions, I suggest we leave that one well alone.
Hybrid and other mismatches – draft guidance is some technical guidance for HMRC staff and for businesses on how the legislation on, er, hybrid and other mismatches will work. It’s complicated stuff coming out of the OECD BEPS project and I really feel as if I ought to buckle down and make an effort to understand it…
However in the real world…
Simplifying the administration of Alcohol Duty published 16 February, closes 26 April. This seems like a private conversation between the alcohol industry and HMRC but is being conducted in public for the sake of transparency. Again, I feel as if I ought to care enough to read it through, but again…
Finally we have:
Sanctions to tackle tobacco duty evasion and other excise duty evasion launched on 17 February and closing on 10 May (according to the website) or 12 May (according to the document). Sigh.
Incidentally I notice that the list of “who should read this” starts with “The general public”. Seriously? Then how are they communicating that they would welcome views from the general public?
More to the point, what is it doing sitting on the website today, the day before Budget, when you’d expect there to be a clean sheet of proposals ready for the Chancellor to start overwriting the tax rules again?
Could the answer lie in the paragraph on “getting to this stage” where it says that “at Budget 2016 the government announced that they would consult on sanctions to tackle the illicit trade in tobacco and duty evasion.” And, lo, before the next Budget… so they have.