Draft regulations for quarterly payments of corporation tax have been slated as ‘deeply unpleasant’ and ‘likely to cause violent swings on the Stock Exchange’.
The regulations for large company payments were announced on Friday – although not released to most members of the press – and instantly met a barrage of criticism.
In a Commons debate on the finance bill, Tory MP Quentin Davies said it was wrong to ask big companies to forecast profits for their quarterly corporation tax payments.
‘The stability of the markets will be undermined,’ he said. ‘Naturally companies will not achieve predicted profits. False markets will occur.’
Ernst & Young partner Ros Upton said the government would have to change its mind on the estimates system.
A Coopers & Lybrand spokesman added: ‘This is deeply unpleasant; there seem to be anti-avoidance rules in this bill as regulations, and the penalties for negligence look like a case of “you’re guilty if we find you guilty.”‘
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