In Focus: Tax  

What's the thinking behind tax day?

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Tax day: all the devilish details

He also pointed to "some documents which are announced in the Budget, and which the government would usually have published alongside the Finance Bill.

But Bull agrees that other tax consultations will be published after Tax Day. Bull adds: "2021 will be a busy year for tax professionals".

Neil Jones, tax and estate planning specialist for Canada Life, says it is not so surprising that much of the tax change detail was separated from the Budget this March.

He comments: "The Conservative election manifesto stated a desire to ‘redesign the tax system so that it boosts growth, wages and investment and limits arbitrary tax advantages for the wealthiest in society’.

"This was followed up by the announcement recently of designing a tax system fit for the 21st century. These consultations could make proposals to help achieve these goals."

He believes the consultations will take months rather than weeks and could lead to announcements in the next Budget, scheduled for the autumn, with any changes becoming effective from the start of the next tax year in April 2022.

So the move is purely political - or is there more to it?

Shadow of Covid

Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter, agrees this Budget day was heralding a "different event" than the ghosts of Budgets past. 

She states: "It was clear the chancellor didn’t want to get into the granular details of CGT and IHT changes. Instead he did the headline announcements about personal allowance thresholds and then spent the rest of the time on Covid support and the Green future.

"This was deliberate. With the country still in lockdown and morale only starting to build back up thanks to the vaccines and roadmap now was not the time for headlines about the future of taxes."

Because dealing with coronavirus remains the number one priority for the country, Jones believes it was inevitable that Covid dominated all other matters n the March 3 Budget. 

He says: "Given the Budget speech focused a great deal on dealing with the pandemic, announcing consultations on top of this could have made the speech lengthy and therefore reduce the impact of the Covid-related announcements."

Griffin's views are similar to those of Kleinwort's Dixon. She says: "Ironically, the government has said tax day is designed to give greater visibility to certain aspects of tax policy, but moving the announcements away from the Budget may actually be designed to do the opposite.

"The dent that Covid has caused in government finances is not something the chancellor is willing to avoid for long.