CIOT Blasts Government Over ESC C16 Decision

Friday, February 3, 2012 Print Email

The CIOT has hit out at the government for passing a law it says will ‘impose significant additional burdens on small firms’.

The furore stems from the recent approval by parliament of the Enactment of Extra-Statutory Concessions Order 2012.

The order was passed by the House of Commons First Delegated Legislation Committee, and gives legislative effect to six extra-statutory concessions (ESCs), including ESC C16, which covers the tax treatment of distributions to shareholders when a small company is dissolved.

In a unified bid to change the direction of the voting, the CIOT and the ICAEW had written to committee members asking them to withdraw or reject the legislation so it could be amended.

Andrew Gotch, chairman of the CIOT’s owner managed business sub-committee, said: ‘It is extremely disappointing that the Government have chosen not to listen. It will impose significant additional financial and administrative burdens on small and medium-sized businesses.

‘It is particularly disappointing to see the new legislation passed even though there is anti-avoidance legislation addressing the same area. The implication that restrictive tax legislation is justified simply because HMRC do not have the resources to administer the anti-avoidance legislation currently in place is a matter for great concern and does not bode well for future anti-avoidance legislation.

‘If there is evasion or abuse then HMRC should tackle it as such, rather than implementing further restrictive legislation that effectively imposes financial and administrative penalties on an innocent majority while leaving evaders and abusers unaffected’.

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