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Plus ça change…

Developments in tax and regulation in the context of the ever-changing external environment, can bring on a desire to lie down in a darkened room in even hardened practitioners, but potential relief is suggested at the end of this blog. I wrote in June of the uncertainty dogging every aspect of the macroeconomic and political landscape. We enter August with much changed in the immediate environment – a range of ministerial moves, starting at the top - and while the same choices confront the UK, they appear now to be moving towards us at an accelerated pace.

A new Chancellor is in place, with a very different programme: Brexit preparation and fiscal stimulus are very much on the agenda. There will be no Spending Review this year, and the prospect of an Autumn Budget (of which much may be required) is complicated by at least the possibility of an early General Election - the third in less than 5 years - given the government’s majority is down not so much to single figures, but a single person.

While HMRC concerns in the last year or two have been dominated by Customs duty issues at the borders, developments in tax impacting our members continue to emerge. The delayed draft regulations for disclosable cross-border arrangements under the EU Directive known as DAC6 (EU Directive 2018/822) was accompanied by a consultation document, and the ABI is consulting with members on its response.

Also emerging in July – in line with the HMRC custom of publication as interested parties depart for the holidays - was a consultation on potential simplification and improvement of the VAT Partial Exemption and Capital Goods Scheme regimes which restrict the recovery of VAT for the making of exempt supplies. Those subject to these rules will be aware that no changes within memory have brought either prospect, so any moves in this direction would be welcome. This ‘call for evidence’ has a longer span and runs until late September. As always, the ABI invites comment and contributions from its members (david.jordorson@abi.org.uk).

If considering either these developments or the tension between EU, OECD and UK versions of Digital Taxation reinvigorate your interest in discussing tax, there is still time to secure one of the few remaining tickets to the ABI Tax Convention in Brighton. One of the ABI’s flagship conferences, it is also one of our most popular. If either the opening sessions from Deloitte’s Chief Economist, Ian Stewart and HM Treasury’s Tim Power or the technical sessions on Life Taxes, DPT or IFRS17 bring on the aforementioned urge to lie down, back massages will be available, and a qualified Therapy Dog will also be on hand. The event opens with a drinks reception and dinner on September 9th, and those recovered from the superior networking opportunities can join fellow delegates for the traditional morning run along the seafront, or a cooked breakfast, as appetites and constitution dictate. Tickets will soon be scarcer than a Europhile in the Cabinet, so act now to avoid disappointment.

Last updated 06/08/2019