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In brief: Finance Bill; retail export; VAT event; France; UK treaties; FATCA; regulations

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Finance (No. 2) Bill

As the House of Commons has not been sitting, there has been no further progress on the Bill. However, the Public Committee will start work on the Bill on 29 April, with a meeting in the House of Commons on that date, and will be concluding by 17 June.

VAT retail export scheme

HMRC has published Revenue & Customs Brief 17/14, which updates interested parties on the progress of HMRC's review of the VAT retail export scheme. The retail export scheme, also known as tax free shopping, allows visitors from outside the EU to claim a refund of VAT on goods they buy and export from the EU in their personal luggage. A consultation on the scheme ran last year. HMRC announced plans to work closely with retailers, VAT refund companies and other interested individuals or bodies to bring about key improvements to the scheme in the interim.

HMRC says it is ‘currently looking carefully at digital systems in operation in some other EU member states. This will ensure that we benefit from the experience of, and learn lessons from, our EU colleagues. It will help us determine whether any aspects of those systems might be suitable for the UK.’ Further details can be viewed in the briefing on HMRC’s website.

HMRC VAT event

HMRC is holding a VAT place of supply of services and VAT mini one stop shop (MOSS) event at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London on 2 June 2014. Businesses affected by the changes being introduced on 1 January 2015 are invited to attend the event. Delegates interested in attending should notify HMRC of their interest by 25 April.

France: Tax authorities draft comments on anti-hybrid rule

According to Deloitte, the French tax authority has published draft comments on the new anti-hybrid rule, which limits the deductibility of interest paid to related entities, on 15 April 2014. The anti-hybrid rule is the country’s first move to effect to the action 2 of the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.

Deloitte says: ‘Although the comments do not resolve all issues relating to the anti-hybrid rule, they provide some welcome clarifications’, adding: ‘Interested parties have until 30 April 2014 to submit their own comments.’

UK treaty negotiation priorities for the year ahead

HMRC has announced details of the UK’s treaty negotiating priorities for the year to 31 March 2015 on its website. The tax authority has announced its intention to ‘begin negotiations on Double Tax Agreements (DTAs) and Protocols with Colombia, Kyrgyzstan and Trinidad’, as well as planning to ‘take forward work on DTAs and Protocols with Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, India, Kosovo, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Malawi, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan and the USA and on TIEAs with several jurisdictions.’

FATCA guidance update

HMRC has issued a supplementary update to their guidance to align with US regulations, as well as a change to the reporting on charitable account holders for the agreements with the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. Details can be found on HMRC’s website.


The Finance Act 2009 Sections 101 and 102 (Interest on Late Payments and Repayments) Appointed Days and Consequential Provisions Order, SI 2014/992 (C.45), comes into effect on 9 May 2014. This statutory instrument ensures that the normal interest provisions for late payment of tax and repayment of tax apply to income tax paid by PAYE, class 1 NIC and payments under the construction industry scheme (CIS).