Today I learnt a new acronym – the WMS – or ‘written ministerial statement’. Most people who know me professionally understand that my vocabulary is full of these and I am pleased to now have a new one.
Whilst typically we are deluged with tax impact assessments and consultation documents today we have had to fight our way through a tax avoidance note, some draft legislation on structural buildings allowances and the apprenticeship levy – plus the WMS.
The WMS is largely a script from which the Chancellor read his speech – but the last three pages do cover a range of tax measures that we should be expecting more news on in the coming weeks, most of which we knew were coming including:
- Reintroduction of a cap on the R&D credit for SMEs
- Taxation and insolvency
- Corporate capital loss restriction
- Changes to stamp duty to reflect market value in connected party transactions
- Offshore receipts in respect of intangibles
- Digital services tax
- Changes to the anti-hybrid rules
Something that has arisen in recent weeks, confirmed today, is a desire to look at the process of amending tax returns and make that more straight forwards.
On a professional personal level I am hoping that the Treasury realise that elements of the anti-hybrid rules are unworkable and downright inequitable and unfair – and make good sensible changes for the sake of common sense.