Monthly Archives: April 2014

OTS definitions project – Finance Bill 2014 measure

The OTS was delighted to see that Finance Bill 2014 contains a clause enabling the index of definitions included in an Act to be amended by secondary legislation (see clause 293 reproduced below). As a result of this clause, it should be possible for Parliamentary counsel to keep schedules of definitions up to date, without having to include legislation in future Finance Bills.

The OTS recommended something like this in its report “Definitions in tax legislation and their contribution to complexity” . This report referred to the schedules of definitions included in Acts produced by Tax law Rewrite Project being out of date (See ibid section 2.4.7) due to time pressure on parliamentary draftsmen. For example, Schedule 4 Corporation Tax Act 2010 does not contain the definition of “community amateur sports club” which was introduced in Finance Act 2012 (Finance Act 2012 s 52).

We are very pleased to see this welcome change.

293 Power to update indexes of defined terms
(1) The Treasury may by order amend any index of defined expressions contained in an Act relating to taxation, so as to make amendments consequential on any enactment.
(2) In this section—
“enactment” means any provision made by or under an Act (whether before or after the passing of this Act);
“index of defined expressions” means a provision contained in an Act relating to taxation which lists where expressions used in the Act, or in a particular part of the Act, are defined or otherwise explained.
(3) The power to make an order under this section is exercisable by statutory instrument.
(4) An order under this section is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the House of Commons.