On 23 March 2021, the Government issued numerous consultation documents and proposals. It was interestingly badged ‘Tax Day’ but in actual fact there were no announcements which had immediate effect. Some of the more interesting ones are summarised below:
HMRC: investment in digital infrastructure - At Budget 2021,2 the government announced investment of £95m in HMRC to deliver new digital technology needed to help build a trusted, modern tax administration system, which will allow development of a single digital account and single customer record. These integrated accounts will be available to everyone, allowing them to view and engage with all their tax affairs in one place, and will include, in the first phase of the account, new ‘once and done’ tax registration and change of circumstances services. This funding will also allow HMRC to develop services that will enhance their ability to collect and receive payments, helping taxpayers to budget and manage their finances. This includes expanding the Self-Serve Time to Pay service to more taxes.
Tax administration framework review - a call for evidence on the tax administration framework to explore how to make tax more straightforward to pay and harder to get wrong.
Timely Payment - a call for evidence to begin to explore the opportunities and challenges of more frequent payment of income tax and of corporation tax for small companies, based on in-year information.
Raising standards in the tax advice market - a consultation on raising standards in the tax advice market, seeking views on the definition of tax advice and a requirement to make professional indemnity insurance compulsory for all tax advisers, with a view to improving tax advice and providing taxpayers with better access to redress where they have received bad advice.
Reducing inheritance tax reporting requirements - Following recommendations by the OTS, reporting regulations will be simplified later this year so that from 1 January 2022 over 90% of non-taxpaying estates each year will no longer have to complete IHT forms for deaths when probate or confirmation is required. In addition, the current temporary provision for those dealing with a trust or estate to provide an IHT return without requiring physical signatures from all those involved will be made permanent.
Tax Conditionality: licensing in Scotland and Northern Ireland - a consultation on how to make the renewal of certain licences in Scotland and Northern Ireland conditional on applicants completing checks that confirm they are appropriately registered for tax from April 2023.
Strengthening the self-catering accommodation criteria for business rates - legislation to change the criteria determining whether a holiday let is valued for business rates to account for actual days the property was rented.
Residential property developer tax - a consultation to be published on a new tax on the largest residential property developers from 2022 to help pay for the costs of cladding remediation.
Taxation of trusts - a summary of responses to the 2018 consultation which did not indicate a desire for a comprehensive reform of trust tax at this stage.
Simplification of the land and property VAT rules - a call for evidence on the VAT land and property exemption to explore options to make the exemption simpler and clearer.