The UK Government has published the first draft of the Finance Bill 2015, which includes most of the legislative changes announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement.
Building on the previous recommendations of the Office of Tax Simplification, the Bill introduces a number of measures to simplify the tax system for expenses and benefits reporting. These include a tax exemption for business expenses, the abolition of the lower earnings exemption for benefits in kind, and the option to payroll benefits in kind. These measures are expected to come into force in April 2016. The Bill also proposes increases to the Remittance Basis charge for non-domiciles resident in the UK and a new tax exemption for trivial benefits provided to employees (both these measures are due to come into force from April 2015).
These changes to the taxation of expenses and benefits are welcome and should help to reduce the administrative burden for UK employers. Ahead of their introduction in 2016, companies should review their existing policies, including those for travel, to ensure that they take advantage of the new measures.
Further detail of the proposed changes can be found in the attached article ‘Cutting the red tape: Autumn Statement tax update for HR professionals’.
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