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UK government responds to PAC on tax reliefs

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Recently published Treasury minutes record the UK government’s response to the Public Accounts Committee’s twelfth report from session 2019/21, which made a number of recommendations on the management of tax reliefs. The government agrees with majority of the recommendations and will:

  • establish and publish (by 31 December 2020) the criteria it will use to determine which tax reliefs to evaluate;
  • assess the groups and sectors benefiting from all significant reliefs and publicly report the results during 2021;
  • publish data during 2021 showing who benefits from pensions relief, to the extent the data is available;
  • publish the objectives of both existing and new non-structural tax reliefs;
  • improve transparency by publishing the results of internal and external evaluations, so that they are easily accessible to Parliament and the public by December 2021; and
  • provide more detailed advice to ministers on costs trends of tax reliefs.

On the PAC proposal to evaluate the impact of pension tax reliefs, the government has undertaken several consultations on this subject over the last few years and will ‘continue to engage with stakeholders to understand the regime’s impacts and gather evidence through consultations’, but does not think that now is the right time for a formal evaluation.

The committee had also urged the government to produce an annual report setting out the results of its value for money assessments of tax reliefs. In response, the government considers that the current value for money assessments made by the Treasury are part of the normal policy-making process and part of advice to ministers, which is ‘necessarily confidential’.

Issue: 1503
Categories: News