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Other news in brief

Other news in brief

A round up of other news this week.

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The Finance Bill 2018-19 completed its remaining stages in the House of Lords on 7 February 2019. The planned date for Royal Assent has not yet been published.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that the Government will respond to the forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in a Spring Statement on Wednesday 13 March 2019.

As part of the ongoing implementation of Action 5 under the OECD/G20 BEPS Project, the OECD has released a new publication on harmful tax practices. This report demonstrates that jurisdictions have delivered on their commitment to comply with the standard on harmful tax practices, including ensuring that preferential regimes align taxation with substance. The report also concludes that all IP regimes identified in the 2015 report are now ‘not harmful’ and consistent with the nexus approach. You can read the OECD’s full announcement here.

On 25 January 2019, Ireland deposited its instrument of ratification for the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting with the OECD’s Secretary-General, therewith underlining its strong commitment to prevent the abuse of tax treaties by multinational enterprises.

In an article for Tax Journal, first published on 1 February 2019, Sean Randall of KPMG in the UK discusses how stamp duty land tax (SDLT) relief is property-sensitive. First-time buyer relief was introduced at the end of 2017. At best, it is curious that in certain circumstances the availability of the relief should depend on the type of property purchased. At worst, the legislation is defective and needs to be corrected urgently. You can access the full article by clicking here. Reproduced with permission.

KPMG in the UK’s Chief Economist comments on the UK’s record level of unemployment rate at 4 percent in the three months to November 2018. Workers saw another uptick in pay, with regular pay increasing by 3.3 percent in year on year terms.

Yael Selfin, Chief Economist at KPMG UK, discusses public sector borrowing, which increased to £35.9 billion for the current financial year in December, well above the forecast of £25.5 billion made by the OBR in October 2018.

KPMG’s latest retail sales monitor has recently been published. Paul Martin, KPMG UK’s Head of Retail, highlighted that retailers are looking nervously to the future as December’s trading performance was the worst in a decade, even though January 2019 brought a welcome improvement with total retail sales up 2.2 percent.

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