Yes, that’s right. It’s finally been passed, and the Act is now available to download as a pdf file. HTML format is not available at the time of writing, but I expect it will be some time soon.
Well, aren’t you all relieved? I don’t really understand why we had to wait so long. Yes, I know, we had an EU referendum, but frankly, this isn’t good enough. We also had a referendum in 1975, but I don’t think that it held up the passing of the Finance Bill.
But surely, the EU referendum is much more important? Surely, the Finance Bill can wait? After all, it’s only something that the tax experts are really bothered about isn’t it?
Well, actually, no it can’t wait. You see it’s like this. The most important Parliamentary Bill is the Finance Bill. Because if the Finance Bill isn’t passed, the Government can’t raise any money. And without any money, well, without money, you can’t do anything! Constitutional experts will understand this point.
One thing that does strike me. In a few weeks, the new tax books will be published. The books that practitioners use to find the legislation, which have to be replaced each year. For this Finance Act 2016, these books will be up to date for about two months before they become out of date.
For on 23 November 2016, we have the Autumn Statement – and although the announcements made at this event don’t actually become law till the following Finance Act 2017 is passed, it is not uncommon for some measures to be backdated. All the way back to the date of the Autumn Statement.
I cannot say I am very happy at the thought of using a product designed to last for a tax year, but which I know will be only up to date for two months.
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