Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at ACCA, said:
‘This is an important next step in the legislative process as there were matters announced in the Spring Budget but not enacted which still need clarification.
‘The Bill contains some problematic elements of tax retrospection. For instance, Clause 7 Money purchase annual allowance includes a reduction from £10,000 to £4,000, effective in the current tax year—even before the law has passed.
‘Corporate tax measures in the Bill are applied effective from 1 April 2017 which allows companies to act on the measures announced in the Budget before they become tax law.
‘This is not an ideal way of legislating on tax, and the Government should avoid repeating this process in future.’
On HMRC’s Making Tax Digital programme, which is also outlined in the Finance Bill, Roy-Chowdhury said:
‘ACCA welcomes the Government’s more measured approach to the MTD program, following the announcement that it will now be voluntary until 2020. However, we have concerns across the wide range of business sizes - large to small – that will be impacted by the roll-out, and we would certainly welcome broad carve outs.
‘It’s vital that sufficient time is allowed, and enough resources made available, to work through this complex and far reaching legislation before it becomes compulsory.
‘We look forward to seeing the next stage of the Bill.’