Press release: Closure of Certificates of Tax Deposit scheme seems hurried

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) is concerned that the closure of the Certificates of Tax Deposit scheme (announced in the Budget papers)1 without consultation could have unintended consequences.

The Government is closing the scheme at midnight tonight. The reasons given for this are that it will 'make the tax system simpler and fairer’.

The Certificates of Tax Deposit scheme has been available for many years. Under the scheme, a taxpayer can purchase a certificate from HMRC and subsequently use the certificate either to pay a tax liability or obtain a refund. Special rules apply to determine the inter-relationship with interest otherwise payable on late paid tax.

There was no consultation with taxpayers or their agents in advance of the announcement.

Yvette Nunn, Co-Chair of the ATT’s Technical Steering Group, said:

“The surprise in this announcement is that the closure of the Certificate of Tax Deposits scheme was made instantly without any notice or consultation as if it was some clever tax avoidance scheme which was being widely promoted and diverting receipts from the Exchequer. The scheme was, on the contrary, enshrined in legislation and designed to enable taxpayers to save for a future tax liability or to put aside money pending a decision as to whether tax was payable.

“The Government’s announcement provides no detail of how the closure of the scheme will make the tax system simpler and fairer. Those reasons could easily have been published in a consultation which sought evidence as to whether the closure would create unintended consequences. 

“Our concern is not that the scheme has been closed but that it was not considered appropriate to consult on the closure or to share the evidence that prompted the closure.”


Notes for editors

1. See:

a. Red Book section 3.85 and

b. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/certificate-of-tax-deposit-scheme

 

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