HM Revenue and Customs
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Tax law rewrite - fifth bill introduced

Tax law rewrite - fifth bill introduced

HM REVENUE AND CUSTOMS News Release (NAT 63/08) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 5 December 2008

The Corporation Tax Bill, introduced into Parliament by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, is published today.

The Bill is the fifth produced by the Tax Law Rewrite project which rewrites UK direct tax law to modernise it so that it is clearer and easier to use.

In a written statement Stephen Timms said:

"This is the Tax Law Rewrite project's fifth Bill and is the first of two which will rewrite substantially the whole of the legislation relating to corporation tax. This Bill maintains the Tax Law Rewrite project's high standards in making tax legislation significantly easier to use. This would not have been possible without the expertise, time and commitment of all those involved in commenting on the provisions during consultation and I would like to thank them and the members of the Tax Law Rewrite project's Steering and Consultative Committees for their invaluable help in making the project's work such a success.

The Bill was published in draft on 22 February 2008 for consultation and a Response Document reporting on the outcome of that consultation was published on 22 August this year."

The statement also says that the Bill has wide support amongst the tax community and rewrites the law without changing its general effect. The key features of the project are:

* clearer, more logical structure for tax legislation;
* use of plain language and other reader aids;
* no alteration of main tax policies;
* some minor policy changes, where these further improve the current legislation;
* full consultation to agreed timetables with interested parties; and
* streamlined Parliamentary procedures for enacting "rewrite Bills".

Notes for editors

1. The project was established in 1996 on the basis of full consultation. Since then a number of consultation papers have been published. The project's first four Acts, the Capital Allowances Act 2001, the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 and the Income Tax Act 2007 have all been well received by the tax community as a considerable and welcome improvement on the previous legislation in terms of clarity and accessibility. The project has also rewritten the PAYE Regulations in response to requests from users and representative bodies. These regulations took effect from 6 April 2004.

2. This Bill commences the rewrite of the corporation tax code. It includes:

* the basic corporation provisions including the charge to tax, accounting periods and provisions relating to company residence;

* provisions relating to trading and property income and income from other sources;

* special provisions for companies affecting the computation of income, such as those for loan relationships, derivative contracts and intangibles; and

* provisions governing particular types of expenditure, for example, expenditure on research and development and films.

3. A high level Steering Committee, chaired by the Rt Hon the Lord Newton of Braintree OBE DL, oversees the project. A Consultative Committee, consisting of representative bodies and other interested parties, also meets on a regular basis to consider issues and the draft legislation in more detail.

4. Copies of the Bill, like all the Tax Law Rewrite project publications, can be obtained free of charge from;

Jackie Bartlett
8th Floor, North Spur
SW Wing, Bush House
Strand
London WC2 4RD

5. HMRC has also published today an implementation stage Impact Assessment (IA) on the costs and benefits arising from the new rewrite Bill.

6. Copies of all the project's publications and the IA are also available on the Internet at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rewrite

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
Press enquiries only please contact:
Jan Marszewski
Tel: 020 7147 0798

Website http://www.hmrc.gov.uk

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