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A considerable number of clauses are being dropped from the Finance Bill 2017, leaving a somewhat slimmed down volume to be enacted in a single day. It seems probable that those dropped will be “held over” until after the General Election.
As part of the parliamentary “wash-up” process, prior to the General Election, those Bills that have not been passed are subject to a truncated process of debate and approval – the “wash-up”.
Following discussions between the conservative and labour business leaders in the Commons on Monday 24 April the clauses that are going to be included in Finance Act 2017 have been announced. Much of the more complex technical legislation is going – for now.
The Making Tax Digital clauses, 120 to 122, are being dropped, as are the penalties for enablers of tax avoidance provisions, the non doms provisions, the corporate interest restriction and carried forward losses provisions. We welcome this sensible and pragmatic approach and hope this will leave those technical specialists working in these areas time to reflect and make amendments and corrections as are needed in the event that the legislation is re-laid later in the year.
The Bill will go through all its parliamentary stages on Tuesday 25 April and will become Finance Act 2017 before the dissolution of parliament on 3 May.
A House of Commons Library briefing paper on the 2010 “wash-up” which was published in 2011 provides helpful background to the “wash-up” process which had been extremely controversial in 2010.
Following the Commons debate on 25 April a House of Lords Bill was published with only 148 pages, compared with 762 in the original Bill. No further amendments will be made to this Bill so it will become Finance Act 2017.