HMRC have announced a number of proposed changes to how they will carry out compliance checks on all taxes and an alignment (and for VAT an increase from 3 to 4 years) of time limits for assessments and claims. In addition they have announced some proposed changes to the tribunal system.
However, the main VAT specific announcements are:
From 1 October 2008, an extension to the VAT exemption for fund management supplies. Legislation is due to be laid before parliament in June so we await the details but it is clear that the intention is to extend VAT exemption to the management of closed end investment schemes and overseas funds.
From 1 July, the voluntary disclosure limit is to be raised to the greater of 10,000 or 1% of turnover (subject to an upper limit of 50,000). This will also apply to IPT, Landfill Tax and Air Passenger Duty.
A transitional period has now been announced for pre 1996/1997 unclaimed input tax or overpaid output claims following HMRCs defeat in the Fleming and Conde Nast cases. The transitional period in which to make claims will run for another year to 31 March 2009.
From 1 June 2008, the option to tax provisions will be simplified. A treasury Order will be laid shortly, detailing the revisions to Schedule 10 of the VAT Act.
The staff hire concession, whereby employment businesses supplying temporary staff only account for VAT on their margin will be withdrawn from 1 April 2009. This will affect suppliers of temporary staff and partly exempt customers, such as banks and insurance companies.
As usual the registration and deregistration thresholds will be increased. From 1 April 2008, the registration threshold will increase to 67,000 (from 64,000) and the deregistration threshold to 65,000 (from 62,000).
From 1 May 2008, there will be changes to the Fuel Scale charges these are detailed in Budget Notice 76.