Those with a keen eye for detail may have noticed that the recent 300 page draft Finance Bill issued earlier this week, did not include anything in respect of the proposed new residency test.
The Government has confirmed that it will now be delayed until 2013 at the earliest.
Despite issuing their consultation document in as far back as June and having a comfortable 12 week consultation period, it apparently seems that there is still not enough time to bring the proposals in for the start of the 2012/13 tax year – uncertainty will therefore simply continue for another 12 months.
Nobody really seems to know, with the Government being quoted as confirming “the consultation on tax residence raised a number of detailed issues which will require careful consideration to ensure the legislation achieves its important aim of providing certainty for individuals and businesses,” he said. “The government will therefore legislate the statutory residence test in Finance Bill 2013 to take effect from April 2013 rather than April 2012. It will introduce any reforms to ordinary residence at the same time. This will give time to consult thoroughly on the detail of these changes well in advance of implementation.”
We can only assume that they were deluged with comment at the consultation stage and the initial proposals could well be rehashed quite significantly.
Is this another own-goal by HMRC?
That may be a little unfair, but with clarity needed in the current economic times, only time will tell whether a 12 month delay was worth the possible ”fine tuning”!