STOP PRESS: On 25 April 2017 it was confirmed that a large chunk of the bill will be cut.
Prime Minister Theresa May's snap decision to call an early general election on 8 June 2017 leaves the fate of the Finance (No s) Bill 2016/17 hanging in the balance. It may either be rushed through parliament intact but with little parliamentary scrutiny or the more difficult parts of the bill could be omitted.
The 762 page Finance Bill is the longest on record. As well as containing some complex legislation e.g. changes to corporation tax losses and interest as well as anti-avoidance measures. It is also notable in its lack of clarity on HMRC's Making Tax Digital proposals. The bulk of which are going to be introduced by secondary legislation in the summer.
It appears that MPs will have just three days to scrutinise the bill, before the start of the parliamentary 'wash-up period' when any unfinished business is lost on the dissolution of patliament.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) President Bill Dodwell has written to Chancellor Philip Hammond urging him not to rush through a large number of tax changes without any real parliamentary scrutiny.
He suggests that "Measures dropped could be reintroduced in a post-election Finance Bill where they can be scrutinised at greater length" and that "a post-election Finance Bill would also enable more of the framework for Making Tax Digital to be put in statute, rather than brought in through regulations."
Finance Bill 2016-17: progress to date
- Publication 20 March
- Second reading on 18 April
- Session of Whole House of Commons is planned for on 24 April. It was intended that this would cover clauses including Clause 7 and Schedule 1 (workers’ services provided to public sector through intermediaries) and Clauses 120 to 122 and Schedule 25 (digital reporting and record-keeping) and (Clauses 124 to 129 and Schedules 27 to 29 (tax avoidance and evasion).