25 Mar 2018

Review of Finance (No 2) Bill 2017

13 December 2017

Santa’s clauses


  • Does bill signify shorter tax legislation in future?
  • The attack on disguised remuneration schemes continues.
  • EIS, SEIS and VCT changes introduce more complications.
  • The indexation allowance for corporate gains is frozen.

At times, it has seemed as if we have had a new finance bill every week of this year. It’s not been quite as bad as that, of course, but the combined effect of the general election and the transition to an autumn Budget has prompted a steady flow of legislation, both final and draft, throughout the year. Next year should be calmer, assuming the Brexit negotiations do not derail the process.

So, before we all become entirely ‘billed out’, I thought it would be useful to give a brief overview of the Finance (No 2) Bill as published on 1 December. This is not intended to be a detailed analysis of the provisions, but a general reminder of what is (and is not) in the bill.


Short and sweet?

The first thing to note is that this bill is shorter than most of its immediate predecessors. At 184 pages it is long enough, but it has only 48 substantive measures. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come and that the days of monster finance bills with hundreds of measures have been consigned to the past. So let’s gently turn the pages.

Clauses 1 to 5 set rates and confirm that income tax will be charged in 2018-19. No surprises there &...

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