Introduction

Each year the Chancellor of the Exchequer presents the Budget, which contains all the tax measures for the year ahead. Traditionally the Budget has been in March, prior to the start of the tax year on 6 April.  The statutory provisions to give effect to these tax measures are set out in a single Bill: the annual Finance Bill.

In 2011 the Coalition Government reformed the Parliamentary timetable, moving the Queen’s Speech and the beginning of the annual session to the spring.  In turn provision was made to allow for the Finance Bill to be carried over from one session to the next to ensure that this did not substantially reduce the amount of time available for its scrutiny.

It has been the practice in recent years for Chancellors to make tax announcements twice a year, using the Pre-Budget Report or Autumn Statement as a second fiscal event. In his Autumn Statement in November 2016 the then Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that from autumn 2017 the Government would present a single autumn Budget, to allow for greater Parliamentary scrutiny of Budget measures ahead of their implementation.

Mr Hammond presented the last Spring Budget on 8 March 2017, and the first Autumn Budget on 22 November 2017. Following this, the Government published details of a revised annual Budget timetable for policy announcements, consultations, and the passage of legislation (HM Treasury, The new Budget timetable and the tax policy making process, 6 December 2017).

Over the last two years this timetable has been affected by the timing of the 2019 General Election and the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first case the 2019 Budget, planned for 6 November, was deferred to 11 March 2020. In the second case, the Chancellor’s presentation of three economic statements over 2020, resulted in the Autumn Budget being postponed to 3 March 2021. Subsequently the Chancellor presented the Autumn Budget, and the Government’s Spending Review, on 27 October 2021.

For further details see, The Budget and the annual Finance Bill, Commons Library briefing CBP813.

Autumn Budget 2021

The Chancellor presented the Budget on 27 October 2021. The Budget report (HC 822) and associated documents are on Gov.uk, including:

Commons Library briefings are available on the context for the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 (CBP 9349, 21 October 2021), and a summary of the measures announced (CBP 9351, 27 October 2021).

The Institute for Fiscal Studies published its post-Budget briefing on 28 October; this included some analysis of the business and indirect tax measures that featured in the Budget.

The Treasury Select Committee has held four evidence sessions on the Autumn Budget and Spending Review over 1 and 18 November, including one with the Chancellor, and published written evidence on the Budget from four professional tax bodies.

Finance (No.2) Bill 2021-22

The Finance (No.2) Bill 2021-22 was published on 4 November. The Bill, with its explanatory notes, is published on the Bill’s page on Parliament.uk, which also provides details of its parliamentary progress. Chapter 1 of HMRC’s Overview of Tax Rates and Legislation, mentioned above, provides a summary of all of the provisions in the Bill. The Bill received its Second Reading on 16 November (HC Deb 16.11.2021 cc393-541).

Committee of the Whole House

Generally selected clauses from the Bill are debated by the Committee of the Whole House over two days at the start of the Bill’s Committee stage. The selection of clauses considered in these debates was set out in a programme motion, which the House agreed at the conclusion of the Bill’s second reading on 16 November (Votes and Proceedings No.71). The motion provides for these proceedings to be completed in a single day: Wednesday 1 December. The clauses selected for debate are listed below, with links to the relevant tax information & impact notes for each:

Clause 4 (increase in rates of tax on dividend income)

Increase of the rates of Income Tax applicable to dividend income, 27 October 2021

Clause 6 (rate of banking surcharge and surcharge allowance)

Amendments to the surcharge on banking companies, 27 October 2021

Clauses 7 and 8 and Schedule 1 (trading property income)

Basis period reform, 27 October 2021

Clause 12 (capital allowances: extension of temporary increase in annual investment allowance)

Annual Investment Allowance extension, 27 October 2021

Clauses 27 and 28 (diverted profits tax: mutual agreement procedure and closure notices etc)

Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) decisions relating to the Diverted Profits Tax, 27 October 2021

Diverted Profits Tax – interaction with Corporation Tax closure notices and amendment to relieving provisions, 27 October 2021

Clauses 53 to 66 (economic crime (anti-money laundering) levy)

Economic Crime (Anti-Money Laundering) Levy, 27 October 2021

Clauses 68 to 71 (value added tax)

Northern Ireland second-hand margin scheme interim arrangement, 27 October 2021 [Clause 68]

Second-hand Motor Vehicle Export Refund Scheme, 27 October 2021 [Clauses 69-70]

VAT exemption for dental prostheses imports, 27 October 2021 [Clause 71]

Clauses 84 to 92 and Schedules 12 and 13 (avoidance)

Clamping down on promoters of tax avoidance, 27 October 2021

Clause 93 and Schedule 14 (free zones)

Implementation of VAT rules in free zones, 27 October 2021

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The Chartered Institute of Taxation has published a brief for Members on these specific clauses: Basis period and avoidance in spotlight at Finance Bill Committee Stage, 25 November 2021.

The Government tabled two amendments for consideration at this stage in the Bill to Clause 28 (Diverted profits tax: closure notices etc). The House had approved a Ways and Means Resoution to allow for these amendments to have immediate effect at the conclusion of the Bill’s Second Reading on 16 December (Votes and Proceedings No.71, item 9). These amendments were agreed when the Committee of the Whole House considered these provisions. No other amendments were made to the Bill at this stage (HC Deb 1 December 2021 cc959-1015; Votes and Proceedings No.82, 1 December 2021).

Library briefing material on the Finance Bill

It is long-standing practice for there not to be a single impact assessment on the Bill (see, PQ6549, 6 September 2017).  Similarly, given the scale and scope of the annual Finance Bill, the Library does not publish a single briefing on the Bill, but aims to publish briefing material relating to those clauses selected for debate by the Committee of the Whole House.

Health and Care Social Levy Bill, Commons Library briefing CBP9130, 16 November 2021 [Clause 4: Dividend tax rate] This measure was announced alongside the new Health and Social Care Levy, which is why it is covered in this briefing.

Taxation of banking, Commons Library briefing CBP5251, 12 November 2021 [Clause 6: Bank surcharge]

Autumn 2021 Budget: Basis period reform, Common Library briefing CBP9376, 30 November 2021 [Clauses 7-8: trading property income]

Corporate tax reform, Commons briefing paper CBP9178, 17 November 2021 [Clause 12: Annual Investment Allowance; Clauses 27-28: Diverted Profits Tax]

Autumn 2021 Budget: Economic Crime (Anti-Money Laundering) Levy, Commons Library briefing CBP9380, 30 November 2021 [Clauses 53-66 : Economic Crime (Anti-Money Laundering) Levy]

Tax avoidance and tax evasion, Commons Library briefing CBP7948, 24 November 2021 [Clauses 84-92 : Avoidance]

UK Goverment policy on free ports, Commons Library briefing CBP823, 23 November 2021 [Clause 93 : Free zones]

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In addition to these briefings:

Spring Budget 2021: personal allowance and higher rate threshold, Commons Briefing paper CBP9186, 17 November 2021 discusses the freeze in tax allowances set to apply from April 2022. Statutory provision for this is made by section 5 of Finance Act 2021, though the charge to income tax and its rates for 2022/23 are provided for by ss1-2 of the Bill.

Minimum Pension Age, Commons briefing paper CBP5847, 17 November 2021 discusses the increase to the normal minimum pension age which is provided for by Clause 10 of the Bill. 

The High Income Child Benefit Charge, Commons briefing paper CBP8631, 18 November 2021 discusses the provision regarding discovery assessments which is set out in Clause 95 of the Bill (see section 3.5 in particular).


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