Legislation will be introduced to modernise and strengthen HMRC’s powers to recover in certain circumstances tax and tax credit debts of over £1,000 directly from debtors’ bank and building society accounts, including funds held in cash ISAs. Safeguards will be put in place, including a county court appeal process and a face-to-face visit to every debtor before they are considered for debt recovery.
HMRC’s funding will be increased by a total of over £60m by 2020/21 to allow it to step up its criminal investigations into serious and complex tax crime.
The Government will extend HMRC’s powers to acquire data from online intermediaries and electronic payment providers to find those operating in the hidden economy. The Government will also create a digital disclosure channel which makes it simple for taxpayers to disclose unpaid tax liabilities.
An investment of around £300m will be made by the Government over five years from 2016 to tackle non-compliance by small and mid-sized businesses, public bodies and affluent individuals.
The Government will consult on how to ‘improve the effectiveness’ of existing intermediaries legislation (‘IR35’). A discussion document will be published after the Budget.
A new levy will be introduced on large UK employers to increase the number of apprenticeship starts. Employers in England will be able to access this funding for apprenticeship training. Details will be set out in the Spending Review.
As previously announced, the averaging period for farmers will be extended from two years to five years as of April 2016. The Government will publish a consultation at a later date.
The Government has published a draft Charter for Budget Responsibility which sets out a target for a surplus on public sector net borrowing in 2019/20, and a supplementary target for public sector net debt to fall as a share of GDP in each year from 2015/16 to 2019/20.
It also sets out a target, once a surplus is achieved in 2019/20, to run a surplus each subsequent year as long as the economy remains in ‘normal times’. The Charter will be voted on by the House of Commons in the Autumn of 2015