Deadlines for tax consultations extended
30 April: The government has announced new timelines for a number of consultations, including on raising standards in the tax advice market, in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The delays were announced by Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, in a written ministerial statement on 28 April, to give those affected by COVID-19 a chance to have their say on possible tax changes.
There will be a three-month extension to many consultation deadlines, including the call for evidence aimed at raising standards in the tax advice market, which will now close on 28 August 2020. Other consultations extended include those aimed at preventing abuse of the Construction Industry Scheme and R&D tax relief for small businesses.
The financial secretary’s statement also confirmed there will be short delays to the publication of other documents announced at Budget 2020, but reaffirmed that the government remains committed to all planned reforms. Work pushed back until the autumn, includes that on tax conditionality and penalties for tobacco tax evasion. Meanwhile the publication of other tax policy documents, including the call for evidence on disguised remuneration schemes, are yet to be confirmed.
With the end of the Brexit transition period unchanged at 31 December, a number of consultations will continue with their existing timetable in a bid to give businesses clarity as soon as possible. These include a consultation on duty-free and tax-free goods carried by passengers and an informal consultation on the VAT treatment of overseas goods.
The government has also confirmed that it is going ahead with its fundamental review of business rates, for which a call for evidence will be published.
Chris Sanger, Chair of the Tax Professionals Forum and Tax Faculty volunteer, said: “Acting now to extend the deadlines for consultation is a welcome decision, as these consultations cover important issues that taxpayers need time to consider. Given the current environment, attention will naturally and rightly be focused elsewhere.
“An extra three months should allow sufficient time for engagement, whilst still enabling the government to deliver important tax policy changes within the current fiscal timetable.”
The deadlines for responses to the following tax consultations will be extended for three months:
ICAEW’s Tax Faculty will be responding to those consultations that are of most relevance to our members. We should welcome comments from ICAEW members to inform our responses. Please send to our technical team at firstname.lastname@example.org.