Finance Bill – SME filing promise

Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson has confirmed small and medium-sized companies will not be required to file quarterly for corporation tax.

Speaking during a meeting of the Finance Bill Committee he told Tory MPs: ‘We as government have no intention of bringing the medium-sized companies into the in-year installment arrangements.’

He gave a categorical assurance that ‘the rates that we have committed to – the 30% rate for large companies and SMEs at 20% – are for this parliament.’

He made it clear he meant no increases – leaving scope for further cuts.

Tory MP Nick St Aubyn said companies would not benefit from lower rates due to transitional costs until after the next general election anyway.

He said: ‘The Paymaster General cannot make any meaningful commitment to ensure that, as a result of the proposed changes, companies will receive any benefits.’


The Treasury dragged its feet unnecessarily in publishing the consultation paper on clause 32 of the finance bill, leading tax advisers have said, writes Andreina Cordani.

Released last week, the paper on shadow ACT regulations gave interested parties only two months to wade through the complexities of the new regulations.

Ros Upton, corporate tax partner at Ernst & Young, said: ‘The government announced this change in the green budget last year, so it has had more than six months to get out a draft. Now there is little chance for parliament to debate it or for companies to look at the paper.’

Tax advisers said the late release would cause problems for companies wishing to claim back surplus ACT, and that the delay is a back-door way of ensuring the Inland Revenue secures some of the #7bn ACT surplus it holds.

John Whiting, head of personal tax at Price Waterhouse, said: ‘This confirms my feelings that the government’s strategy is to give back as little surplus ACT as it can.’

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