Carried interest

Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:45 am ar 16 Ionawr 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

With this it will be convenient to discuss new clause 2—Review of the impact of the removal of the transitional taxation arrangements for carried interest—

‘(1) Within two months of Royal Assent to this Act, the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs shall complete a review of the impact of the removal of transitional taxation arrangements for sums to which sections 43 and 45 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015 apply.

(2) The Chancellor of the Exchequer shall lay the report of this review before the House of Commons.”

This new clause would require HMRC to carry out a review of the impact of removing transitional tax arrangements for sums to which sections 43 and 45 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015 apply.

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

The clause removes certain transitional rules that are no longer required for the effective taxation of carried interest charged to capital gains tax. It amends the legislation that introduced the carried interest rules in the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015. The purpose of the rules is to ensure that where carried interest is subject to CGT treatment, CGT is paid on the full economic award.

Investment fund managers are rewarded in a range of ways for their work. One element of reward is straightforward income in the form of a fee, while another involves what is known as carried interest, which is the portion of the fund’s value allocated to the manager in return for their long-term services to the fund. The manager’s reward is therefore dependent on the performance of the fund. If the carried interest relates to short-term investments, it is rightly charged to income tax and national insurance.

The changes made by clause 37 make the tax system fairer by removing a limited exemption from the carried interest rules. That carve-out applied only to transactions before 8 July 2015 where there was a delay in the carried interest being paid out. By removing this exemption, we clarify and strengthen the policy intention. Furthermore, we prevent attempts to reduce unfairly the tax payable in circumstances not intended by the original legislation. To prevent forestalling, this clause, if passed, will have taken effect from 22 November 2017. It will ensure that carried interest is always subject to the higher rates of CGT on the full economic award.

The clause removes a transitional rule that is no longer required and puts the taxation of carried interest beyond doubt. Asset managers should pay the full rate of capital gains tax on their full economic award if it relates to long-term investments, and I therefore ask that this clause stands part of the Bill.

Ms Blackman, you may wish to speak to new clause 2, but you understand that you will not, at this stage, move it.

Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy), SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy)

Thank you, Sir Roger. New clause 2 is designed to enable us to find out more about the previous effects of this transitional arrangement. The changes that the Government are making to ensure that all carried interest is subject to capital gains tax at the higher rate are reasonable, but I am concerned about the transitional arrangement and its effect on the income of the Exchequer. Would it not have been better for the Government to make the initial change in the first place, rather than having a transition period in which they have received less tax and the disparity between the haves and have-nots—those who are receiving carried interest and those who are not receiving carried interest—has continued because of the transitional relief on carried interest from the higher rate of CGT?

It would be good if the Government told us the impact of the transitional relief on the income of the Exchequer, and therefore on the overall tax take. It would be good if they told us the differential between people who received transitional relief, and normal people who do not receive transitional relief and have probably never even heard of carried interest. It would be good if the Government came back with a bit more information.

We are clearly not opposed to these changes, but we are trying to find out more information and make sure that previous decisions on the matter were sensible. If we have an assessment, we can make better tax law. If we are looking at making changes, we can assess whether transitional relief is really necessary or whether we should move to a fairer system straight away, without the two-year period that has been instituted.

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

I thank the hon. Member for Aberdeen North for her observations. She says that the principal rationale for a review is to consider whether certain measures might have been brought in earlier and, indeed, whether the original transitional measures should not have been introduced, or should have been done differently. I am not sure that that, in itself, is a strong justification for a review. What matters is that we look closely at how these measures will operate, and I am grateful for her recognition of the fact that our proposed changes are positive in that respect. I assure her that we will closely monitor the operation of the measures and whether any further changes are needed.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 37 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 38