Summer Finance Bill Will Stoke Tax Debate

The Summer Finance Bill is expected to inject some heat into Westminster debates as Prime Minister Theresa May’s government readies to resurrect some old ideas.

The Bill is likely to revamp some Tory favourites that were put on the back-burner due to a lack of Parliamentary time before Election 2017.

So, what legislation is likely waiting in the shadows for The Chancellor Phillip Hammond and The Treasury to breathe some new life into them?

A clue was in the Queen’s Speech – a non-specific ‘range of tax measures including those to tackle avoidance’ revealed little information.

What to expect from the government

Looking at what was dropped throws some light on what to expect:

• Dividend Tax Allowance – In Budget 2017, Hammond wanted to bring down the tax-free allowance for dividend income from £5,000 a year to £2,000. The measure was buried in the Election clear-out

• Money Purchase Annual Allowance – Another rule that was victim of the election clear-out. Hammond had announced reducing the cash cap on paying into a pension once flexible access is triggered from £10,000 to £4,000 a year

• Making Tax Digital – Moving away from paper and humans to robot tax inspectors and automation is all about cost-cutting at HM Revenue & Customs while improving tax revenue cash flows

• Non-Dom tax provisions – Most controversial was the deemed domicile rule changing the status of nom-doms to UK tax resident if they have lived in Britain for 15 of the preceding 20 tax years. Other restrictions on nom-doms include charging inheritance tax on UK residential property owned by non-dom bodies, such as a company.

Around 70 tax measures were dropped from the last finance bill so MPs could vote and make the proposals law before dissolving Parliament for Election 2017.
Also expect confirmation that the triple lock on state pensions will be retained for the life of this Parliament.

What’s happened to the 15-year rule?

Another Tory pledge dropped from the Queen’s Speech is lifting the 15-year rule on expats voting in UK elections.

The policy was promised as far back as David Cameron’s 2011 Election manifesto and a bill was due to go begore the last Parliament, but was dropped in the election run-up.

So far, the government has not addressed if the measure will be resurrected – if it is the legislation will be separate from the Summer Finance Bill.