A round up of other news this week.
The Criminal Finances Bill has now completed its Committee Stage in the House of Lords. The proposed amendments to Part 3 of the Bill, which creates two new corporate offences of failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion, were all withdrawn. The Bill will now proceed to Report Stage on 24 April 2017, and is on track to receive Royal Assent in late April or early May and to take effect in September 2017.
HMRC have published revised guidance on the general anti-abuse rule (GAAR), along with summaries of the changes to the previous version. The updated guidance reflects the extension of the GAAR to the diverted profits tax and Apprenticeship Levy, includes guidance on the new GAAR penalty as well as making changes to the sections on GAAR procedures and other small drafting changes.
HMRC have updated their guidance on the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings to cover the new registration process to submit ATED returns or relief declarations returns, and to include information on the new Home Reversion Plan relief.
The OECD have released a report, Technology Tools to Tackle Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud, on the use of technology by tax authorities around the world to prevent, identify and tackle tax evasion and fraud. Interestingly, the report mentions HMRC’s use of software which collates and filters social media and websites to monitor the trends within a geographic area or specific business sector, with the potential to collate data from the e-commerce sector in the future. The report was presented at the OECD Global Anti-corruption and Integrity Forum.
On 6 April the OECD published additional guidance on the implementation of the Country-by-Country (CbC) reporting recommendations in BEPS Action 13. This guidance provides clarification on five specific issues: the definition of revenues; the accounting principles/standards for determining the existence of and membership of a group; the definition of total consolidated group revenue; the treatment of major shareholdings; and the definition of related party for purposes of completing Table 1 of the CbC report.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published a Call for Evidence on a Beneficial Ownership Register of overseas companies or other legal entities that own or buy UK property or participate in UK central government procurement. The plans propose that the register would be publically accessible. The last date for comments is 15 May 2017.
The Double Taxation Treaty Passport scheme has been amended following earlier consultation. HMRC have now published the scheme’s new Terms and Conditions and Guidance, which will commence for loans entered into on or after 6 April 2017.
In collaboration with International Tax Review magazine, KPMG in the UK are conducting a survey to take the pulse of tax professionals on how the recent regulatory environment and trends in technology are shaping the future of their department. In this changing world of regulatory reform, companies need to focus even more on the efficiency and effectiveness of their tax functions. How do companies adapt their people, processes and technology to this changing environment? Take our survey and find out how your work compares with your peers.
The Tax Matters Digest consultation tracker for April can be found here.
KPMG International’s latest M&A Predictor research suggests the capacity of corporates in both the consumer discretionary and consumer staples sectors to fund inorganic growth, as measured by net debt to EBITDA ratios, is forecast to improve over the next 12 months by 16 percent and 10 percent respectively.