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Tax Law Rewrite Project

Volume 715: debated on Thursday 19 November 2009


My right honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Stephen Timms) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to tell the House that today we are introducing the Corporation Tax Bill and the Taxation (International and Other Provisions) Bill. These two Bills complete a 13-year task of rewriting the majority of direct tax legislation for individuals and businesses that started in 1996. They are the Tax Law Rewrite project’s final Bills and maintain the project’s high standards in making tax legislation significantly easier to use. This would not have been possible without the expertise, time and commitment of all those involved in commenting on the provisions during consultation and I would like to thank them and the members of the Tax Law Rewrite project’s Steering and Consultative Committees for their invaluable help in making the project’s work such a success.

The Bills were published in draft on 3 March 2009 for consultation and response documents reporting on the outcome of that consultation were published on 3 September this year.

The Corporation Tax Bill completes the rewrite of the main corporation tax provisions. The Taxation (International and Other Provisions) Bill rewrites a number of international tax provisions and also rewrites and relocates some provisions which would otherwise be left unhelpfully in the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 or one of the Finance Acts. The scope of the Bills was agreed with the project’s consultative and steering committees which together include the main representative bodies and other users and I am pleased by the wide support they have amongst the tax community. Like all previous Bills prepared by the project, they rewrite the law without changing its general effect. All the provisions have benefited from detailed consultation and the drafting style and structure is in line with that of the previous rewrite Bills.