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Bland Unsight

National Audit Office: Crack Down On Homeowners' Tax Break

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From that fine organ, This is Money, which has never been known to sensationalise a story.

Selling a home could come in for more tax scrutiny after a report from the National Audit Office warned it is worried about the abuse of tax relief given to homeowners.

It has called for better focus on capital gains tax on homes and wants to see a crackdown on principal private residence relief - the tax break worth £18billion-a-year that allows owners to sell their main homes with no capital gains tax.
The report was mainly concerned with a lack of oversight allowing owners to take advantage of the system and claiming it when they shouldn't - for example by saying they lived somewhere they didn't or by flipping residency at properties. We explain what's going on?

Source: Selling your property tax-free may be about to get tougher after call for crackdown on CGT dodgers using £18bn homeowners' tax break, This is Money, 1 August 2016

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Please Please make it happen. Flipping is just a way to avoid CGT.

With the NAO suggesting it and the Treasury apparently both on a hunt for cold cash and looking to discourage buy-to-let it is well within the bounds of possibility.

If you look at the SDLT surcharge, there's evidence that the Treasury are perfectly willing to put pretty sketchy plans on the statute books and worry about the details later.

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If you look at the SDLT surcharge, there's evidence that the Treasury are perfectly willing to put pretty sketchy plans on the statute books and worry about the details later.

The treasury doesn't pass laws. Parliament does.

It needs political will, not treasury myopia

Edited by knock out johnny

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The treasury doesn't pass laws. Parliament does.

It needs political will, not treasury myopia

Stop being silly. Treasury ministers get Treasury civil servant to write laws then Treasury ministers steer them trough Parliament. The Treasury makes laws, Parliament is part of how those laws end up as statute.

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Stop being silly. Treasury ministers get Treasury civil servant to write laws then Treasury ministers steer them trough Parliament. The Treasury makes laws, Parliament is part of how those laws end up as statute.

Stop being silly. Treasury civil servants report on the implications and implementation of the policy the government via it's departmental ministers want to adopt.

They may advise the minister that the policy is folly/not a good idea - it is up to the minister to decide to go ahead

As I said, the political will needs to be there.

Stop being silly and misinformed on how this country is run

Edited by knock out johnny

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Given this would effectively be another measure against buy-to-let landlords (the NAO are proposing a crackdown on abuse of the relief, not removal of the relief for actual homeowners, AIUI) the political will seems likely to be easy enough to come by.

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Stop being silly. Treasury civil servants report on the implications and implementation of the policy the government via it's departmental ministers want to adopt.

They may advise the minister that the policy is folly/not a good idea - it is up to the minister to decide to go ahead

As I said, the political will needs to be there.

Stop being silly and misinformed on how this country is run

"via its departmental ministers"

Are the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury not members of the Treasury? They appear to be, according to the Treasury's website.

You're suggesting implicitly that the term 'The Treasury' refers only to the civil servants and not also to their political masters. You can chose to do that, but I don't think it is a conventional or reasonable way to express yourself.

Of course political will is required for some policies to pass into law but the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the Treasury, sometimes provides that political will.

This 'conversation' is definitely very silly indeed and I'd definitely be silly to pursue it further. I'm out.

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"via its departmental ministers"

Are the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury not members of the Treasury? They appear to be, according to the Treasury's website.

You're suggesting implicitly that the term 'The Treasury' refers only to the civil servants and not also to their political masters. You can chose to do that, but I don't think it is a conventional or reasonable way to express yourself.

Of course political will is required for some policies to pass into law but the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the Treasury, sometimes provides that political will.

This 'conversation' is definitely very silly indeed and I'd definitely be silly to pursue it further. I'm out.

at least I've been able to instill in you that politcal will is needed to put in motion the proposals for primary legislation

Once you are talking about Chancellor of the exchequor he is part of the Executive and proposes legislation in that capacity

If you look at the SDLT surcharge, there's evidence that the Treasury are perfectly willing to put pretty sketchy plans on the statute books and worry about the details later.

I'd love to see evidence of these sketchy plans put on the statute books with the details worried about later - please supply examples.

You have an absolutely laughable fcking grasp of how things work

It would indeed be silly to persue things further with you until you understand how primary legislation is drafted and enacted as opposed to your errant nonsense

Edited by knock out johnny

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Departments such as HMRC which technically have no minister of state do have deferred powers to instigate secondary legislation via Statutory Instruments under enabling laws passed by Parliament such as the Taxes Management Act. For example most of the changes of regulation to the operation of PAYE by RTI were introduced in this manner. These Statutory Instruments have to be laid by the Department before Parliament but the Commons and Lords can basically only accept or reject the proposed regulations not amend them

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_Instrument_(UK)

That said I would expect any major changes to tax legislation to be confined to the annual Finance Act which has to go through the full Parliamentary cycle of approval

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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I'd love to see evidence of these sketchy plans put on the statute books with the details worried about later - please supply examples.

If you look at the SDLT surcharge, there's evidence that the Treasury are perfectly willing to put pretty sketchy plans on the statute books and worry about the details later.

The exact details of who would have to pay the SDLT surcharge and under what circumstances didn't get finalised until two weeks before it came into force, up until that point they had only been sketched out under consultation.

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FWIW HM Treasury is a ministerial department and so I would understand any reference to the Treasury as an entity entire to inherently include all Treasury ministers as well as non-ministerial staff. That is certainly my own intention when I use the term.

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The exact details of who would have to pay the SDLT surcharge and under what circumstances didn't get finalised until two weeks before it came into force, up until that point they had only been sketched out under consultation.

I'm getting exhausted explaining how things work

Departments such as HMRC which technically have no minister of state do have deferred powers to instigate secondary legislation via Statutory Instruments under enabling laws passed by Parliament such as the Taxes Management Act. For example most of the changes of regulation to the operation of PAYE by RTI were introduced in this manner. These Statutory Instruments have to be laid by the Department before Parliament but the Commons and Lords can basically only accept or reject the proposed regulations not amend them

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_Instrument_(UK)

That said I would expect any major changes to tax legislation to be confined to the annual Finance Act which has to go through the full Parliamentary cycle of approval

I was waiting for someone to wade in with secondary legislation/SI's

They still need parliament to say yea or nah and the crucial aspect of secondary legislation is that it is liable to judicial review so I suspect, as you have alluded, secondary legislation as onerous as suggested could be successfully challenged as ultre vires

Landscape changing legislation should be primary legislation only (admittedly that,s not set in stone but a general consensus and my opinion)

The raison d'etre for secondary legislation/S.Is is expediency not policy

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I'm getting exhausted explaining how things work

I was waiting for someone to wade in with secondary legislation/SI's

They still need parliament to say yea or nah and the crucial aspect of secondary legislation is that it is liable to judicial review so I suspect, as you have alluded, secondary legislation as onerous as suggested could be successfully challenged as ultre vires

Landscape changing legislation should be primary legislation only (admittedly that,s not set in stone but a general consensus and my opinion)

The raison d'etre for secondary legislation/S.Is is expediency not policy

Treasury financial legislation as announced pass in to law very easily. An SI is secondary legislation and is used to circumvent having to go through normal parliamentary processes - first, second and third readings in both houses. All departments can use SIs where powers exist. SIs can be affirmative or negative and therefore have the potential for a debate if a lord or mp prays against it. Even if a debate on an SI is requested, once legislation is laid (you have 21 days as a Lord or an mp to do so), the whole thing is largely a joke with the government always triumphing.

Anything announced in a budget is even easier to make law.

If politicians wish this to happen, it could be fast tracked and in place by April, if it were announced in the budget, it would be in place by April any chosen year similarly.

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I'm getting exhausted explaining how things work

[snip]

I'm not at all convinced that is what you are doing.

Treasury ministers are part of the Treasury.

The SDLT surcharge was only sketched out until two weeks before it came into force, at which point material changes as to who would have to pay it were announced.

Also, contrary to implication, until we actually leave the EU primary legislation is subject to judicial review if it can be argued to be in conflict with EU law.

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Treasury financial legislation as announced pass in to law very easily. An SI is secondary legislation and is used to circumvent having to go through normal parliamentary processes - first, second and third readings in both houses. All departments can use SIs where powers exist. SIs can be affirmative or negative and therefore have the potential for a debate if a lord or mp prays against it. Even if a debate on an SI is requested, once legislation is laid (you have 21 days as a Lord or an mp to do so), the whole thing is largely a joke with the government always triumphing.

Anything announced in a budget is even easier to make law.

If politicians wish this to happen, it could be fast tracked and in place by April, if it were announced in the budget, it would be in place by April any chosen year similarly.

Indeed.

It would be fairly easy if the Treasury wanted it to happen, given it really wouldn't be landscape changing to make it easier to enforce that a tax relief only intended for owner-occupiers is only actually available to owner-occupiers.

Tweaking the existing legislation so that for the purposes of CGT an individual's primary residence is established by fact rather than by nomination, as is already the case in relation to the SDLT surcharge, could be a possible route.

Hardly onerous.

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at least I've been able to instill in you that politcal will is needed to put in motion the proposals for primary legislation

Once you are talking about Chancellor of the exchequor he is part of the Executive and proposes legislation in that capacity

I'd love to see evidence of these sketchy plans put on the statute books with the details worried about later - please supply examples.

You have an absolutely laughable fcking grasp of how things work

It would indeed be silly to persue things further with you until you understand how primary legislation is drafted and enacted as opposed to your errant nonsense

Thank you for your fortitude and patience is attempting to alleviate my manifest ignorance. One good turn deserves another.

If you can't get your device to check your spelling, buy a dictionary. If you can't manage either, avoid words you can't spell with confidence. I'll give you a pass on instil, provided you also prefer center to centre and color to colour, but it's Exchequer and pursue. If you wanted to pursue a line of argument about the Exchequer's role in getting laws passed I think being able to spell those two words would be a good place to start.

You made one simple, stupid mistake right at the beginning of this. Desperate to show off some knowledge that you have, you read Treasury as meaning 'the civil servants of the Treasury and only the civil servants of the Treasury'. When challenged you propose that the other party, who is using concepts correctly but just not in the way you first read their post, is some kind of dull-witted ignoramus.

There's another way to deal with being called 'silly' which is to re-read the thread and work out why it happened. Where there is a log in your eye you can put your hand up and say, "My bad". The alternative is chancing your arm in a tedious flame war, and you really don't have the game for that. If (after over two thousand posts in a year or so) you haven't developed a small measure of aptitude for putting a glove on the person you're attempting to mock then you're not going to develop one, so I don't think that attempting to be rude and cutting is really the way for you to go with things.

(By the way, I'm getting the impression from your posting that your A level in Government and Politics has been great fun. Good luck with your result, only a couple of weeks to wait now!)

Edited by Ghost Bird

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Thank you for your fortitude and patience is attempting to alleviate my manifest ignorance. One good turn deserves another.

If you can't get your device to check your spelling, buy a dictionary. If you can't manage either, avoid words you can't spell with confidence. I'll give you a pass on instil, provided you also prefer center to centre and color to colour, but it's Exchequer and pursue. If you wanted to pursue a line of argument about the Exchequer's role in getting laws passed I think being able to spell those two words would be a good place to start.

You made one simple, stupid mistake right at the beginning of this. Desperate to show off some knowledge that you have, you read Treasury as meaning 'the civil servants of the Treasury and only the civil servants of the Treasury'. When challenged you propose that the other party, who is using concepts correctly but just not in the way you first read their post, is some kind of dull-witted ignoramus.

There's another way to deal with being called 'silly' which is to re-read the thread and work out why it happened. Where there is a log in your eye you can put your hand up and say, "My bad". The alternative is chancing your arm in a tedious flame war, and you really don't have the game for that. If (after over two thousand posts in a year or so) you haven't developed a small measure of aptitude for putting a glove on the person you're attempting to mock then you're not going to develop one, so I don't think that attempting to be rude and cutting is really the way for you to go with things.

(By the way, I'm getting the impression from your posting that your A level in Government and Politics has been great fun. Good luck with your result, only a couple of weeks to wait now!)

I'm still waiting on examples from you

I'd love to see evidence of these sketchy plans put on the statute books with the details worried about later - please supply examples.

No. Thought not

Edited by knock out johnny

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I'm still waiting on examples from you

No. Thought not

The sentence of Ghost Bird's that you responded to in the first place started with an example.

If you look at the SDLT surcharge, there's evidence that the Treasury are perfectly willing to put pretty sketchy plans on the statute books and worry about the details later.

The exact details of who would have to pay the SDLT surcharge and under what circumstances didn't get finalised until two weeks before it came into force, up until that point they had only been sketched out under consultation.

I'm not at all convinced that is what you are doing.

Treasury ministers are part of the Treasury.

The SDLT surcharge was only sketched out until two weeks before it came into force, at which point material changes as to who would have to pay it were announced.

Also, contrary to implication, until we actually leave the EU primary legislation is subject to judicial review if it can be argued to be in conflict with EU law.

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Wouldn't getting rid of Inheritance Tax and replacing it with CGT on main homes go some way toward dealing with the problems of flipping and IHT avoidance? I am sure they could tweak so it functions better than IHT and doesn't just capture gains made by plebs.

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Wouldn't getting rid of Inheritance Tax and replacing it with CGT on main homes go some way toward dealing with the problems of flipping and IHT avoidance? I am sure they could tweak so it functions better than IHT and doesn't just capture gains made by plebs.

I think a bit more tightening up of CGT Private Residence relief rules might not be entirely out of the question as they have been being progressively tightened, but I can't really see the relief being materially chipped away at where it is a genuine disposal of a primary private residence (which has never been let).

The rule used to be that if you'd ever had a house as your private residence then when you sold it was treated as if you'd lived in it for the last 36 months regardless of whether you had or hadn't. This was chopped down to 18 months recently (without any fuss or attention really) and I could see that being reduced to nothing.

My guess (based more on prejudice than anything else) is that the relief may be abused by people who claim to have lived in properties that they've never lived in, but it would have to be only small time BTL clowns otherwise you'd run an enormous risk of getting caught. As a result (and again no data to back this up) I can't see much money being raised by tightening the rules, but it would be another move to keep the bad news flowing to the BTL cheerleaders.

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