January may be over but wake up! There is never a dull minute in UK tax. These current consultations may have a major effect on SME owners and advisers.

ESC C16: draft legislation completely changes the concession

HMRC are proposing not to legislate Extra Statutory Concession C16 but to legislate the Treasury Concession over bona vacantia instead. The question is whether this an error or a conspiracy to award more work to the insolvency profession? It nevertheless provides something of a marketing opportunity.

Business Records Checks: consultation

HMRC says that 40% of SMEs do not keep proper records; so it wants to issue spot fines when record keeping failures are indentified. It proposes to extend the idea of the error or mistake regime into real time. However, businesses come in all sort of shapes and sizes so can one size really fit all? This consultation hopes to find out. 
Consultation published on 17 December 2010 with a closing date for comments: 28 February 2011.

Simplification of tax penalties

Is this bolting the door after the horse has bolted? After what seems like a life time of consultion on the topic of “Modernising Powers, Deterrents and Safeguards” but is actually only about ten years.., the rolling introduction of some thirty new tax penalties and compliance measures into our statute books, the penny seems to have finally dropped: it is all too tricky. At a time when it has been revealed that even HMRC is getting the new system wrong someone, somewhere, has come up with a novel solution. Shake it all up again…HMRC published a discussion document on “The Simplification of Regulatory Penalties” on 31st January 2011. The closing date for comments is 11th March 2011.