Following news of a snap General Election, we now see the largest Finance Bill in history shrink significantly during the ‘wash-up’ before parliament is dissolved in time for the election on the 8th June.
The ‘wash-up’ refers to the final few days of Parliament prior to its dissolution ahead of a General Election; during this time the clauses that make up the Finance Bill must either be passed or dropped. Typically, only those which are non-contentious in nature make it over the line.
In respect of this Finance Bill many clauses have been cut from the version which will pass its committee and report stages in the House of Commons on 25 April and be read by the House of Lords on 26 April. No amendments can be made once it has passed the report stage in the House of Commons. The Finance Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and so become the Finance Act 2017 by 28 April.
Included in the list of abandoned items is the clause which imposes digital reporting and record keeping, under the Making Tax Digital (MTD) regime.
The plans for MTD are something we’ve been monitoring very closely here at George Hay and we fear that this latest announcement will only make the current situation worse.
The House of Lords and the Treasury Select Committee have said that the current MTD timetable is, quite obviously, unworkable and I completely agree.
How long must we wait for somebody to see sense?
Considering the General Election, I welcome rejection of the clause rather than poor or rushed legislation, but the decision still just goes to show that all is a mess. The £1K tax-free allowance for property letting and sole traders was announced in the 2016 budget and was due to take effect from 6 April 2017. Will it come back after the budget? Don’t people have a right to know if their income is taxable or not at the time it is received?
I think it’s safe to say that this judgement has raised more questions than answers.
As always we will continue to update you as and when new information becomes available. To find out more about the MTD story so far, click here.