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HMRC CONSULTATION: Licences to become conditional on registration of Businesses with HMRC?

23/01/2018

HMRC CONSULTATION: Licences to become conditional on registration of Businesses with HMRC?

Following the announcement in the autumn budget, HMRC have now launched their consultation on conditionality which can be viewed at Tackling the hidden economy: public sector licensing.

 

The closing date for this consultation is the 2nd March 2018. HMRC is seeking Local Authority views on which licensees should be included in the provisions. (Currently "settle owners" are not included and LA's may have a view on that apparent omission)

 

The consultation is seeking views on making compliance with certain tax obligations a condition of holding some licences, currently  including:

Taxi and private hire drivers and operators;

Scrap metal licensees:;

HMO and Selective Landlord Licensing;

Street Traders and Market Traders;

Any other licence identified as appropriate by the consultation.

 

It looks towards introducing checks on applicants’ tax-registration status as part of licensing processes and on ways that tax-registration checks could be administered and enforced.

 

The LGA supports the Government’s focus on preventing businesses from entering the hidden economy

 

Introducing tax registration as a condition of access to some business licences or permits is equivalent to other checks (for example, Disclosure and Barring Service checks or right to work checks) and therefore could in principle be incorporated into local government licensing processes.  However, it will be important that any proposals do not duplicate information about licence holders that government already collects through returns such as the National Fraud Initiative.

 

The LGA supports the Government’s focus on preventing businesses from entering the hidden economy.  Introducing tax registration as a condition of access to some business licences or permits is equivalent to other checks (for example, Disclosure and Barring Service checks or right to work checks) and therefore could in principle be incorporated into local government licensing processes.

 

However, it will be important that any proposals do not duplicate information about licence holders that government already collects through returns such as the National Fraud Initiative.Equally, any changes must not shift the burden of checks and investigation from HMRC to licensing authorities. Instead, any new rules should enable licensing authorities to undertake a simple check on an applicant’s tax status, with cases referred to HMRC in the event of any discrepancies.

 

2018

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