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Tax analysis: A summary of the tax-related announcements made with the Spring Statement on Wednesday 13 March 2019.
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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered this year’s Spring Statement on Wednesday 13 March 2019. His statement, punctuated with his trademark sense of humour, was heavily overshadowed by the ongoing deliberations regarding Brexit, to which the Chancellor alluded. The overall tone was upbeat about economic prospects, provided that the UK is able to negotiate a satisfactory agreement with the EU regarding the terms of its exit. No immediate tax changes were announced although a number of proposed spending commitments were (notably in relation to infrastructure and accessing the housing market).
Immediately following Spring Statement 2019, the Treasury published two tax-related consultation documents. One of these contained detailed draft legislation for the new capital allowance for non-residential buildings and structures, which was first announced at Budget 2018. The second was a review of the aggregates levy (first introduced in 2002).
The Treasury also published a lengthy report on progress and plans in relation to tackling tax avoidance, evasion and other forms of non-compliance. A separate batch of policy papers was also released outlining HMRC’s strategy for offshore tax compliance. Mandatory digital reporting for VAT takes effect from 1 April 2019 but the government indicated that this will not be extended to any other taxes in 2020. For the first year of implementation, HMRC will also take a ‘light touch’ approach to penalties for non-compliance with the new digital VAT regime.
A written statement published alongside Spring Statement 2019 also confirmed that a number of other documents will be published in the months to come, for instance draft regulations regarding the taxation of offshore receipts in relation to intangible property
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