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In brief: Autumn Statement; pensions bill; gaming duty; tobacco; FATCA; anonymised data; guidance

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Autumn Statement

The chancellor will give his annual Autumn Statement to Parliament on Wednesday 3 December 2014. The statement provides an update on the government’s plans for the economy, based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. The government is again inviting the public to submit views on what they would like to see in the Autumn Statement. The request for views was met with some scepticism on Twitter. At the time of writing, the only direct reply to HM Treasury’s tweet inviting people to have their say read: ‘Bankers to be jailed’.

Pension Schemes Bill

The Pension Schemes Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons on 2 September.

Gaming duty regulations

The General Betting, Pool Betting and Remote Gaming Duties (Registration, Records and Agents) Regulations, SI 2014/2257, which come into force on 18 September, set out the rules requiring gambling operators to register for general betting, pool betting and remote gaming duties, under the new gambling tax regime beginning on 1 December 2014.

Tobacco minimum excise tax consultation

The government is consulting until 8 October 2014 on the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a minimum excise tax (MET), as a means of protecting tobacco duty revenue.

FATCA update

HMRC has published guidance on reporting Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) information to HMRC and updated the UK FATCA guidance. The 181-page document, Implementation of The International Tax Compliance (United States of America) Regulations 2014, supersedes the February 2014 version, and contains introductory guidance and FAQs for financial institutions on the registration procedure for submission of FATCA returns under the UK/US agreement, and the required format for returns. HMRC’s online registration service will be available from mid-October 2014. The guidance is due to be reviewed and updated again in February.

Sharing of anonymised data

Further representations have been made to HMRC following the publication in June of the summary of responses to the department’s consultation on sharing and publishing of anonymised data for public benefit. HMRC has now published additional information on issues raised in these representations, which concern:

  • possible future charging for the ‘HMRC Datalab’: HMRC has said it would not generate any additional revenue from widening access to our data, but it wants to keep open the option of charging to cover costs of processing and providing data;
  • details of the existing ‘rigorous safeguards’ for the operation of HMRC Datalab, but further consideration is to be given to allowing opt-outs; and
  • granting private companies access to this data: to date, access has been restricted to approved academics, other government departments and not for profit groups, such as the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Future access is being reviewed by the Cabinet Office as part of an open policy making process that is considering data sharing across government. HMRC says that access would be granted only for projects that would create public benefit.

HMRC guidance

HMRC has issued the following guidance:

Issue: 1229
Categories: News