Hybrid and other mismatches

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 11:00 am ar 5 Gorffennaf 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Rebecca Long-Bailey Rebecca Long-Bailey Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 11:00, 5 Gorffennaf 2016

The same general points that I made about clause 61 broadly apply to this clause. The United Kingdom finds itself occupying a new place in the world and the provisions in the clause relate to the difficult business of double tax treaties. Such treaties currently need to be negotiated on a bilateral basis with countries that are outside large trading blocs such as the EU. They are therefore a model for the sort of issues that will be vital for the UK outside the EU.

There are model double tax treaties created by the OECD, which will guide our work. A future Labour Government would be outward looking in forging alliances of the sort possible under the OECD umbrella to create viable tax regulation and financial regulation internationally. However, there are some contexts in which the provisions in schedule 10, which the clause introduces, appear to be a little vague. For example, proposed new section 259BD(8) prevents a company from being “under taxed”, by identifying the highest rate at which tax is charged and asking whether that is lower than the company’s full marginal rate of tax should have been.

That is to be done by taking into account, on a “just and reasonable basis”, any credit for underlying tax. The reference to just and reasonable appears somewhat vague when contrasted with, for example, provisions governing international accounting standards in earlier clauses. As a survivor of the legal world, will the Minister confirm what “just and reasonable” is intended to mean and how HMRC will use that broad measuring stick in practice? Does he think that is a sufficiently clear mechanism for identifying whether sufficient tax has been paid, or do the Government simply seek to grant HMRC as much slack as they can?