Tax simplification

Following a review of reliefs by the Office of Tax Simplification, the Finance Bill 2011 will abolish seven obsolete reliefs. A further 14 reliefs will be removed by the Finance Bill 2012. They include late night taxis, luncheon vouchers, provision of meals on cycle-to-work days and grants for giving up agricultural land. Another 22 reliefs will be removed some time after 2012. They include life assurance premium relief, capital allowances for flat conversions and safety at sports grounds, stamp duty disadvantaged area relief, transfers to registered social landlords, compensation for mis-sold pensions and land remediation relief.

Islamic finance

Regulations will introduce direct tax rules for Sharia-compliant variable loan arrangements and derivatives in 2011.

Tax avoidance schemes

The Government will consult on further changes to the ‘hallmarks’ for schemes that have to be disclosed to HMRC under the DOTAS rules.

The Government will also consult in May 2011 on proposals to counter the continued marketing and use of highly aggressive and artificial tax avoidance schemes, with a view to listing the schemes in regulations and attaching statutory consequences for the user, such as a surcharge for late payment of tax.

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