EU News: The European Commission is consulting stakeholders in all EU Member States for their views on a new policy on access to the EU's public procurement markets as announced in the Single Market Act of April 2011.
An on-line questionnaire was launched last week and will be open for contributions until 2 August 2011. Replies will feed into legislation on this issue later this year. The aim is to create increased leverage for negotiating access to the procurement markets of other trading partners. This should help expand business opportunities for EU companies, as outlined in the EU's renewed trade strategy ‘Trade, Growth and World Affairs’ presented in November 2010.
In addition, the legislation seeks to establish clear terms of access to the EU's €1,800bn government procurement market for suppliers from outside the EU. This should bring more legal certainty for both the EU public entities that need goods and services and their prospective international suppliers.
WAG: Plans to change the way housing data is collected by the Welsh Government is out for consultation (closes on 15 July 2011). The consultation is seeking views on changing the frequency of some data collected in order to be able to accommodate requests for additional new data.
HMRC: Views are being invited on the Government’s proposal to incentivise charitable legacy by estates paying a lower rate of inheritance tax (IHT). The IHT consultation (closes on 31 August 2011) – ‘A new incentive for charitable legacies’ – follows the Budget announcement, that estates can reduce their inheritance tax rate by 10% (to 36%) when they leave a charitable legacy of 10% or more of their net estate.
HMT: The Government has published consultation documents on the Patent Box and Research & Development (R&D) tax credits (both close on 2 September 2011) as part of it’s plans to make the UK’s tax system the most competitive in the G20 and to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business. The Patent Box will apply a 10% corporation tax rate to profits attributed to patents from April 2013.