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HMRC publishes consultation on Improving Large Business Tax Compliance

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27 Jul 2015

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published a consultation entitled 'Improving Large Business Tax Compliance'. Amongst other measures, the consultation proposes that large businesses should publish their tax strategy annually. It seeks views on the right medium for publication of this information, in particular whether it should be included in the annual report and accounts.

This consultation has been issued as part of the government's drive to improve large business tax compliance, as announced at the 2015 Summer Budget.  

As well as asking respondents where businesses should publish their tax strategy, it also asks for views on other issues, including the size of company that would be required to comply with the new requirements. It suggests that the measures might apply to all businesses who have a turnover of more than £200 million and/or a relevant balance sheet total of more than £2 billion for the preceding financial year.

Views are requested by 14 October 2015.

The full consultation can be obtained from the UK government website.

*Update 10 December 2015 - In publishing the responses (link to HMRC website) to the above consultation, HMRC have stated that businesses should publish their tax strategies on their websites or in some other accessible place on the internet and not within their annual reports and accounts*  

*Update 31 March 2016 - HMRC has published guidance (link to HMRC website) explaining the qualifying criteria for publishing a tax strategy, what a tax strategy must contain, what penalties may be charged and the appeals process.  The guidance also confirms that the strategy should be published for the first time in the first financial year after the Finance Bill 2016 receives Royal Assent.  It should then be published between 9 and 15 months after the day on which the previous strategy was published.  As above, it should be published on the internet "as a separate document or a self-contained part of a wider document.*

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