May 5th, 2015
Finance Act 2015
If you have not yet had time to digest Finance Act 2015 or are unclear whether you might have missed something, then look no further. We are pleased to be able to provide you with a comprehensive guide to the key rules and measures likely to attract the most attention, as assessed by experts at EY. The guide gives an overview of the main talking points and an analysis by tax area, together with some useful practical considerations.
The prospect of Parliament having to be dissolved for the General Election meant the first Finance Bill of the year (and we shall expect a second in June) passed by in a flash, requiring just 2 days from publication to Royal Assent. We can therefore anticipate that many of the deferred announcements will be legislated for with more meaningful debate second time around, or possibly even as part of a third Finance Bill before the year is out.
Overall there were few surprises in FA 2015, as many provisions had previously been telegraphed in the Autumn Statement or alternatively subject to much advance discussion as part of the government's consultation framework. One such measure was the diverted profits tax (DPT) which took effect from 1 April 2015, with the legislation having been restructured and rewritten to make it easier to follow.
Also of interest to corporate practitioners were changes to the rules for both controlled foreign company (CFC) charges and avoided permanent establishments (PE), as well as anti-avoidance measures addressing the use of brought forward losses. Changes were also made to capital allowances in respect of sale and leaseback transactions between connected parties, and various measures were introduced to support the UK's oil and gas industry.
However there was no place in FA 2015 for a number of measures announced in the draft clauses, including proposals for the reform of the taxation of corporate debt and derivatives, new powers for the direct recovery of debts and the strengthening of sanctions for tax avoidance.
From an employment taxes perspective, also missing was the proposed exemption for trivial benefits in kind, even though it had been flagged up in the Budget one week previously.
In terms of personal tax, the Act includes the legislation imposing CGT on the disposal of UK residential property by non-residents, and further pension provisions capitalizing on the flexibilities announced in the Taxation of Pensions Act 2014.
We hope you find this guide useful.