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Published on 28 February 2017

Draft Finance Bill 2017: Schedule A1: digital reporting and record-keeping: businesses with profits chargeable to income tax

The LITRG believe that this Schedule, which introduces the biggest change to the tax system since self-assessment in the 1990s, ought to be expanded to include matters such as the procedure governing the making and withdrawing of elections, appeals, administration, what kinds of electronic communications may or may not be enforced and at what cost to the taxpayer, amongst others. We are frankly surprised that so much that ought to be carefully scrutinised is left to regulations that will be subject to the barest minimum of parliamentary debate.

We also recommend that draft regulations be made available to parliamentarians considering the detail of the clauses in Committee, so that they are able to see the whole picture and can frame their contributions accordingly.

Finally, where the primary legislation contains no substantive provision but proceeds entirely by enabling clauses, yet ushers in changes to the tax system of such magnitude as these, we strongly recommend that the resulting regulations be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, not allowed to slip through Parliament on the nod, as it were, without any scrutiny or debate.

The LITRG submission can be found here: 

Robin Williamson

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