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Treasury committee rebukes chancellor over CGT payment window

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The Commons Treasury Committee has accused the chancellor of delaying introduction of the 30-day payment window for CGT on disposals of residential property to help the government meet its fiscal rule deadline in 2020/21.

The new requirement for payment on account within 30 days of completion of chargeable residential property disposals was originally announced at Autumn Statement 2015 and intended to take effect in April 2019. The Autumn Budget announced a deferral of the change by one year, until April 2020.

In its report on Autumn Budget 2017 (, the Treasury Committee suggests the reason for the delay was ‘to create a one-off windfall to the public finances in the year of the fiscal target’.

Issuing a clear rebuke to the chancellor, the report said: ‘Using the fiscal rules in this way risks damaging the credibility of fiscal policy, the very thing that the rules are designed to protect.’ Timing of policies should focus on achieving their objectives and improving the public finances, ‘rather than meeting fiscal target deadlines’.