The publication on Friday 6 July of the draft Finance Bill 2019 marks a new approach to introducing UK tax legislation, following the revised timetable for the annual Budget, adopted by Philip Hammond last year, according to Nimesh Shah, a partner at accounting, tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg.
Mr Shah said that the new approach and Budget timetable put forward by the Chancellor is a “welcome change compared to the previous rushed and occasionally ill thought out means of introducing new rules to the UK’s burgeoning tax code.”
A number of consultations were published earlier in the year, and interested parties were given the opportunity to share their view on the proposals and how the future tax legislation could be shaped.
The Government produced responses to those consultations last week, together with the draft legislation, and there is now a further period to suggest improvements.
Mr Shah added: “It will be later in the year that legislation is actually finalised, for it to then take effect for the new tax year, starting 6 April 2019. We naturally expect that the draft Finance Bill 2019 will be added to later in the year (around the time of the Budget), including announcing the new tax rates for the 2019/20 tax year, so this is by no means a complete bill but provides an earlier starting point to the introduction and eventual effect of the rules.”
He added: “By having this longer period of consideration, it allows more time to review and appraise the proposals, and ensure the legislation is fit for purpose. In the past, consultations were being rushed so that legislation could be introduced in a matter of weeks for the start of the new tax year. A classic example of this was with the additional 3 percent SDLT provisions a few years back, and those rules have had to be tweaked since because of several unfair outcomes arising from poor initial drafting of the legislation.
“It is important the introduction of key tax legislation is given sufficient time for consideration and there is a stable process for its enactment.”
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