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ICAEW Tax Faculty provides analysis of the announcements relating to the administration of tax in the 2018 Budget.

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Read the complete report from the Tax Faculty on the 2018 Budget.

Voluntary tax returns

Since the start of self assessment HMRC has always exercised its discretion to accept voluntary tax returns on the same basis as returns submitted under a statutory notice to file. Recent tribunal cases including Robertson [2018] UKFTT 0158 (TC) have challenged the validity of this practice. Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2018 to 2019 with retrospective and prospective effect to put the current practice on a statutory basis. This measure will give certainty to taxpayers who have submitted voluntary returns.

EU exit: necessary amendments to UK law

FB 2018-19 will introduce a power to permit the government to make minor amendments to ensure that tax law continues to operate as it does now if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The minor technical amendments that are contemplated include:

  • replacing references to the ‘EU’ with references to the ‘EU and UK’ in legislation;
  • amendments consequential to other changes to the law in preparation for EU exit; and
  • amendments to change values in euros into values in sterling.

Legislation will also provide for technical changes to an existing power which permits the government to bring international tax agreements into effect in UK law, mirroring a provision currently contained in legislation that gives effect to EU law; and removes references to EU legislation when HMRC is considering whether, and to the extent which, a taxpayer may be unjustly enriched by repayment of insurance premium tax, landfill tax, or excise duty.