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TAXline News: March 2022

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Published: 28 Feb 2022 Update History

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Frank Haskew, Head of the Tax Faculty, reports on recent developments at the Tax Faculty.

Staff news

We are pleased to announce that Angela Clegg has returned from maternity leave and resumed her role as a Business Tax Manager. We are also delighted to announce that Debbie O’Neill joined us as Operations Executive and will be supporting the Tax Faculty team and colleagues in the Corporate Finance Faculty. We are happy to note that Neil Gaskell is working for us again on a temporary basis to manage the operation of the VAT and Duties Committee. 

We are still recruiting for a new general tax manager who will also have responsibility for the VAT Committee. If you are interested in this role or know anyone who is, please contact me for further details.

31 January filing deadline

Last month, I mentioned that ICAEW, along with other professional bodies, had requested a possible easement of the 31 January filing deadline due to the latest restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We were delighted that HMRC took note of this request and, in early January 2022, announced a one-month penalty deferral for tax returns not submitted by 31 January.  

Making Tax Digital

We continue to engage extensively with HMRC on Making Tax Digital proposals, which, although still at a relatively early stage, continue to be of concern in such areas as the submission of quarterly reporting requirements. We are also concerned about the very low numbers of tax agents still in the pilot and we continue to press HMRC on the need for extensive and thorough testing before the system goes live.

Raising standards

We had a helpful discussion about the wide range of potential UK and international regulatory models that should be considered including, in particular, the Australian model based on the independent Tax Practitioner Board. We also discussed whether there might be an enhanced role for professional bodies to play, for example the seven professional bodies and associations, including ICAEW, that have published the professional conduct in relation to taxation code.  

Consultations and representations

We made representations to HMRC about the draft guidance on the notification of uncertain tax treatments. We also submitted evidence to the Finance Committee of the Welsh Senedd on the Welsh Taxes (Power to Modify) Bill, which was introduced into the Welsh Parliament in December 2021. We also agreed to give oral evidence to the Committee and participated in a discussion on the Bill with the Welsh Treasury officials and colleagues from the CIOT.

We attended a round-table workshop with colleagues from CIOT and HMRC to consider how to address several identified poor practices in the research and development (R&D) sector, including how to tackle poor behaviours of rogue agents. We agreed to start a regular series of meetings with HMRC to explore the specific issues raised. We also discussed some of the concerns with the proposed changes to the R&D rules set out in the Autumn Budget 2021, including the proposal for advance notification that an R&D claim will be made.

Committee meetings

During the period there were virtual meetings of the Tax Policy and Reputation Committee and regular fortnightly calls of the Tax Faculty Board.

Webinars and other events

By the time this article appears in print, we will have commenced our 2022 webinar series. Please keep an eye on our website for further details, including our regular series of MTD webinars. 

Tax representations

Our first published representation of 2022 was in response to the Government’s consultation on new proposals published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, HM Treasury and HMRC to introduce a facility to allow companies incorporated overseas to transfer their place of registration to the UK. This response was undertaken in partnership with colleagues from Business Law. In our response, we expressed concern that the risks of such a facility need to be properly identified and managed. Companies that avail themselves of this procedure must operate to the same reporting and governance standards as existing UK companies, including compliance with UK anti-money laundering rules.