The Chartered Institute of Taxation has sent a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer requesting that he does not rush through any taxation changes without the necessary scrutiny in parliament. As the date of the election has now been set as 6th May, CIOT are concerned that the Finance Bill will be rushed through without due care for any possible consequences. They have asked the Chancellor to ensure that he only includes any measures which are absolutely necessary in terms of raising revenue. CIOT have asked that a post election Finance Bill be considered for more complex taxation changes.
CIOT President Andrew Hubbard stated in his letter: “The CIOT strongly believes that good tax law requires close examination and detailed scrutiny, from parliamentarians and from outside experts. In particular this is to ensure that the legislation does not have unintended negative consequences. A Finance Bill rushed through all its stages in a single day does not allow for this – especially in the final days of a Parliament when most MPs’ minds will, understandably, be elsewhere.”
Back in 2005, the pre-election Finance Bill resulted in 106 clauses which were rushed through the necessary parliamentary processes in just four hours. Only the first 13 clauses received any debate.
May 5th is the cut off date for Income Tax renewal, which is require din order for income tax to be collected. However, this can be postponed for 3 months through Budget resolutions until such times as the Finance Bill passes. The difference is, this extension does not apply when a dissolution of Parliament occurs as is the case this year with the upcoming General Election.