On 8 December 2017, HMRC published a consultation on proposals to require evidence of tax compliance before the grant of certain licences by public sector bodies.

The consultation paper proposes “conditionality”, whereby a grant by a public sector body of a licence to trade would be conditional on the provision of evidence of tax registration by the applicant. Private security, waste management, scrap metal dealers, taxis and private hire vehicles, houses in multiple occupation, and street trading and market stalls would be the first sectors covered.

The evidence required might include registration for corporation tax, self-assessment and employee enrolment into PAYE.

The closing date for comments is 2 March 2018; draft legislation will follow thereafter. No date for implementation has yet been set.

The consultation paper can be viewed here.