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Finance Bill 2015

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Finance Bill 2015 was published on Tuesday 24 March. The Bill contains 127 clauses, 21 Schedules and runs to 340 pages. Second reading and all remaining House of Commons stages will take place on Wednesday 25 March (when Tax Journal goes to press), with royal assent is expected the following day. The short timeframe for the enactment of the Bill – with only a single day for consideration of all stages before the Commons – has led to criticisms from some experts over lack of proper parliamentary scrutiny. The Bill is available here. See here for supporting documents, including details of measures with immediate effect on their announcement in December 2014 and March 2015.

A number of clauses intended for Finance Bill 2015 have been deferred following the government's end-of-Parliament 'wash up' process. These include:

  • exemption for local authority members' travel expenses;
  • exemption for trivial benefits in kind (BIKs);
  • simplification of consortium relief claims;
  • changes to EIS and VCT scheme rules; and
  • new excise duty rate for aqua methanol.

This means that the proposed new exemption to income tax for trivial BIKs will not come into force from 6 April 2015, as HMRC previously advised. An HMRC spokesperson said: ‘However, I am sure that you will be pleased to know that the other changes to benefits and expenses (the abolition of the £8,500 threshold, collection of income tax on BIKs in real time (payrolling) and the paid and reimbursed expenses exemption) will be legislated in Finance Bill 2015.’