On 18 July 2023, HM Treasury and HMRC published draft tax legislation for inclusion in the Finance Bill 2024 and certain policy papers. The draft legislation is open for technical consultation until 12 September 2023. Finance Bill 2024 is expected to be introduced to Parliament in Autumn 2023 and to receive Royal Assent in Spring 2024.
Cross-border tax avoidance arrangement disclosure rules implementing OECD Model Mandatory Disclosure Rules referred to as “UK MDR” have come into force in the UK on 28 March 2023. In-scope arrangements entered into on or after this date must be reported to HMRC.
On 15 March the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, released his Spring Budget 2023. With the Autumn Statement 2022 having to focus on the need to restore economic stability, in light of the UK political turmoil at that time, this was billed as a Budget for growth, encouraging business investment in the UK. The Government’s stated aim is to create a competitive, pro-business tax regime and the headline announcement – certainly going some way to achieving this – was on capital allowances.
In its efforts to continue to promote fair tax competition and address harmful tax practices, the European Council decided on 14 February 2023 to add the British Virgin Islands, Russia, Costa Rica and the Marshall Islands to the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes or “blacklist”. Now is the time for multinational enterprises and investment funds with subsidiaries or investors in these jurisdictions to consider the potential tax implications of this development on their structures.
On 26 January 2023 HM Revenue & Customs announced that, as of 1 January 2023, it has nine live Corporate Criminal Offenses investigations for the failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion, with a further 26 investigation opportunities under review. These live and potential investigations cover 11 different business sectors including software providers, labor provision, transport, accountancy and legal services.
On 7 September 2022, Brazil and the UK issued a joint declaration announcing the intention to start negotiating a double tax convention. This announcement came off the back of a number of years of discussion to progress both policy and technical issues – hence the treaty was able to be signed on 29 November 2022, within three months of that announcement. The treaty has not yet entered into force – this will happen upon completion of the legal procedures required by both countries, but it is not yet clear how long this will take.