Proposals on CGT fail to impress tax experts.

Inland Revenue officials are expected to come under fire at a special meeting with tax experts on Monday following the publication of capital gains tax proposals.

The proposals, long awaited and mostly welcomed, come as part of a new ‘strategy’ document on corporation tax which has been lambasted for ‘not containing much strategy’.

Under the proposals, companies could win exemption from CGT payable on the disposal of substantial share holdings.

But tax experts say there is ‘immense disappointment’ the document contained little else.

John Whiting, president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and a PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, said: ‘If this is meant to be the big think-piece about where corporation tax is going, there really isn’t that much there.’

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at ACCA, said it would continue to ‘create uncertainty’ for businesses looking to make investments.

‘The lack of substance will mean that uncertainty will continue,’ he said.

The government intends to introduce changes to CGT in the 2002 finance bill, but discussion of the issue has already been under way for at least two years.

Consultation was launched again in this year’s Budget. The latest document has a comment from chancellor Gordon Brown saying the new ‘relief’ for corporate capital gains was intended to ‘facilitate the process of restructuring and reinvestment’.

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