Consultations and discussion documents

A number of consultations and discussion documents have been issued

Recently issued consultations and discussion documents include:

Consultation: reforming the business energy efficiency tax landscape

The consultation has a very short deadline, closing on 9 November, and is a review of the business energy efficiency tax landscape.

The broad concerns are that overlapping reliefs are causing confusion and resulting administrative burdens while not achieving the aim of cutting carbon emissions.

The consultation starts by asking if you agree with the principle of moving away from the current system of overlapping policies towards one where a single business/organisation faces one tax and one reporting scheme.

Travel and subsistence: discussion paper

The paper is open for comment until 16 December and highlights the need for modernising the guidance.

It is an important consultation to consider given recent case law. The paper highlights that the government has identified a number of principles that any new set of rules should try to uphold.

These principles are:

  • that tax relief should continue to be available for business travel, but not for ordinary commuting
  • any tests should be objective and based on measurable facts as far as possible; they should not rely on the intentions of the employee
  • new rules should not be based on the concepts of ‘permanent’ and ‘temporary’ workplaces except and unless these terms carry their everyday meaning
  • employees should not have their journeys to multiple locations or areas which are a significant distance apart all treated as being ‘ordinary commuting’
  • relief should not be available for subsistence where this is essentially akin to a private expense
  • any changes should not come at an additional cost to the Exchequer.

Public consultation on modernising VAT for cross-border e-commerce

The European Union Consultation on VAT runs until 18 December and is part of the ongoing assessment of the new rules for VAT payments on cross-border telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services (VATMOSS), which came into force earlier in the year. 

The consultation highlights that the 'Commission will propose simplification measures for small business including an appropriate threshold'.

Proposals include:

  • extending the current single electronic registration and payment mechanism to cover the sale of tangible goods
  • introducing a VAT threshold to help online start ups and small businesses
  • allowing crossborder businesses to be audited only by their home country for VAT purposes
  • removing the VAT exemption for the import of small consignments from suppliers in third countries.

Other consultations and discussion papers

Other consultations and discussion papers include:

  • Reforms to the taxation of non-domiciles, open until 11 November;
  • Tips, gratuities, cover and service charges: employer practice, open until 10 November.
  • Patent Box; substantial activities, open until 4 December
  • Tax deductibility of corporate interest expense; open until 4 January

You can access the consultations at the GOV.UK website through the filters for HMRC and the Treasury

You can send also your views on the above to