Greater use of Business Investment Relief encouraged

Business Investment Relief (BIR) was introduced in the Finance Act 2012 and applies for investment made in the UK on or after 6 April 2012 by UK resident, but non domiciled individuals (RNDs) who are taxed on the remittance basis (and all persons who are deemed, by the remittance rules, to be ‘relevant persons’ in relation to them, such as a trust of which they or their spouse and / or minor children are beneficiaries). The Government introduced this relief with much fanfare as a way of enabling RNDs to invest their foreign income and gains in certain qualifying UK businesses (namely UK private limited, trading companies) without triggering the UK tax charges that would otherwise fall due on a remittance of those funds to the UK. However, with the Government’s announcement that it will consult on how to change the rules to encourage greater use of business investment relief to increase investment in UK businesses, while, again, there may be a political motive to this, it would also suggest that there has been very limited take up of this relief to date…


Making tax digital

The Government is to apply £1.3 billion to transform HMRC into one of the most digitally advanced tax administrators in the world. An ambitious aim but, given HMRC’s somewhat archaic reliance on paper, one wonders if £1.3 billion will be enough to see this through.

Digitising HMRC is certainly welcome as many practitioners bemoan the current paper-based systems which have long since lost pace with the digital world around us. If done well, it will be a move welcomed by taxpayers too.