Today I learnt a new acronym – the WMS – or ‘written ministerial statement’. Most people who know me professionally understand that my vocabulary is full of these and I am pleased to now have a new one.

Whilst typically we are deluged with tax impact assessments and consultation documents today we have had to fight our way through a tax avoidance note, some draft legislation on structural buildings allowances and the apprenticeship levy – plus the WMS.

The WMS is largely a script from which the Chancellor read his speech – but the last three pages do cover a range of tax measures that we should be expecting more news on in the coming weeks, most of which we knew were coming including:

  • Reintroduction of a cap on the R&D credit for SMEs
  • Taxation and insolvency
  • Corporate capital loss restriction
  • Changes to stamp duty to reflect market value in connected party transactions
  • Offshore receipts in respect of intangibles
  • Digital services tax
  • Changes to the anti-hybrid rules

Something that has arisen in recent weeks, confirmed today, is a desire to look at the process of amending tax returns and make that more straight forwards.

On a professional personal level I am hoping that the Treasury realise that elements of the anti-hybrid rules are unworkable and downright inequitable and unfair – and make good sensible changes for the sake of common sense.

View all our Spring Statement coverage here.

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