A Finance Act is the headline fiscal (budgetary) legislation enacted by the UK Parliament, containing multiple provisions as to taxes, duties, exemptions and reliefs at least once per year, and in particular setting out the principal tax rates for each fiscal year.

Embossed stamp certifying that a conveyance has been produced in accordance with the Finance Act 1931

Overview edit

In the UK, the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers a Budget speech on Budget Day, outlining changes in spending, as well as tax and duty. The changes to tax and duty are passed as law, and each year form the respective Finance Act. Additional Finance Acts are also common and are the result of a change in governing party due to a general election, a pressing loophole or defect in the law of taxation, or a backtrack with regard to government spending or taxation.

The rules governing the various taxation methods are contained within the relevant taxation acts. Capital Gains Tax legislation, for example, is contained within Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992. The Finance Act details amendments to be made to each one of these Acts. The main taxes are Excise Duties, Value Added Tax, Income Tax, Corporation Tax, and Capital Gains Tax.

Excise edit

Excise duties are inland duties levied on articles at the time of their manufacture.

Specific finance acts edit

Finance Act 1910 edit

The Finance (1909–10) Act 1910 resulted in a significant net increase in taxation, and it also requisitioned a survey dubbed by right-wing journalists the "Lloyd George's Domesday land-survey",[citation needed] in particular entailing the 1910–1915 valuation maps.

Each property and related right under and over land (hereditament) in England and Wales was surveyed and valued, so Increment Value Duty based on land value could be levied when any property was sold. The initial rate was 20% of the increase in land-value between the date of the survey and the date of sale (capital gain). Exemptions included farmland and plots smaller than 50 acres (20 ha; 200,000 m2). This tax was substantively altered by the repeal of s. 67 by the Finance Act 1920 which superseded it.[1]

As part of the survey, landowners had to fill in a form, and the resulting records are extremely useful for local history.

The records today consist of:

  • working maps
  • valuation maps
  • valuation books
  • field books.

The valuation maps and books are kept in local record offices, and the other items are in the National Archives at Kew, London (field books in series IR58; working maps in series IR121 to IR135 according to region and each region has up to 22 different districts).

Finance Act 1920 edit

Finance Act 1920
Act of Parliament
 
Long titleAn Act to grant certain duties of Customs and Inland Revenue (including Excise), to alter other duties, and to amend the Law relating to Customs and Inland Revenue (including Excise), and the National Debt, and to make further provision in connection with Finance.
Citation10 & 11 Geo. 5. c. 18
Dates
Royal assent4 August 1920
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Finance Act 1920 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk.

This included a new "Duty on licences for mechanically propelled vehicles" (Vehicle Excise Duty, which went into the Road Fund until 1936), repealed "customs duties on motor spirit and motor spirit dealers licence duties", and introduced "Provisions as to spirits used for generating mechanical power" along with other provisions related to income tax and tax on alcohol.[2]

Finance Act 1946 edit

Finance Act 1946
Act of Parliament
 
Long titleAn Act to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the Public Revenue and the National Debt, and to make further provision in connection with Finance.
Citation9 & 10 Geo. 6. c. 64
Dates
Royal assent1 August 1946
Status: Partially repealed
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Finance Act 1946 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk.

The 1946 act established the National Land Fund and much of National Savings and Investments.[3]

Finance Act 1948 edit

Finance Act 1948
Act of Parliament
 
Long titleAn Act to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the National Debt and the Public Revenue, and to make further provision in connection with Finance.
Citation11 & 12 Geo. 6. c. 49
Dates
Royal assent30 July 1948
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Finance Act 1948 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk.

The 1948 act established the "Special Contribution", which was a one-off wealth tax.

Finance Act 1963 edit

Finance Act 1963
Act of Parliament
 
Long titleAn Act to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the National Debt, and the Public Revenue, and to make further provision in connection with Finance.
Citation1963 c. 25
Dates
Royal assent31 July 1963
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Finance Act 1963 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk.

The 1963 act abolished Schedule A of income tax, which was a tax on the imputed rent of owner-occupiers.

Finance Act 1965 edit

The 1965 act introduced corporation tax and capital gains tax.

Finance Act 1972 edit

Finance Act 1972
Act of Parliament
 
Long titleAn Act to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the National Debt and the Public Revenue, and to make further provision in connection with Finance.
Citation1972 c. 41
Dates
Royal assent27 July 1972
Other legislation
Repeals/revokes
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Finance Act 1972 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk.

The 1972 act introduced value added tax.

Finance Act 1977 edit

Finance Act 1977
Act of Parliament
 
Long titleAn Act to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the National Debt and the Public Revenue, and to make further provision in connection with Finance.
Citation1977 c. 36
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Finance Act 1977 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk.

The Finance Act 1977 abolished the last remaining tithes payable to the Church of England or Church in Wales.[4]

Finance Act 2000 edit

The Finance Act 2000 increased the Climate Change Levy.

Finance Act 2010 edit

This act shortly before the 2010 United Kingdom general election,[n 1] passed as set out by the Labour Party adjusted the rates of the main taxes, in particular introducing on income tax the 50% 'additional rate' band.[5]

The act also reversed a prospective rise enacted in the Finance Act 2007 of the inheritance tax nil rate band threshold from £325,000 to £350,000 which would have applied from 6 April 2010, thus, emphasising a degree of redistribution, the tax instead continues to apply to death estates that do not benefit from any exemptions (such as spouse nil-rate-bands) and consist of a property valued at 25% above the national average.[n 2]

Finance (No. 2) Act 2010 edit

This act of 27 July 2010 under the Coalition Government reduced the headline rate of Capital Gains Tax to 18%.[6]

The act increased the general rate of VAT from 17.5% to 20% (while cutting it for imported goods and materials from to 28.58% to 25%[citation needed]).

Finance (No. 3) Act 2010 edit

Finance (No. 3) Act 2010
Act of Parliament
 
Long titleAn Act to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the National Debt and the Public Revenue, and to make further provision in connection with finance.
Citation2010 c. 33
Dates
Royal assent16 December 2010
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Finance (No. 3) Act 2010 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk.

Enacted on 16 December 2010 this Act extended foster care relief, extended the applicability of venture capital schemes to companies with a "permanent establishment" in the UK "in financial health", modified the meaning of "distribution" in the Corporation Tax Acts, addressed the income tax treatment of seafarer's income, adjusted treatment of REITs:, modified rules as to EEA/UK consortium claims for group relief, introduced first-year allowances for zero-emission goods vehicles, adjusted for VAT purposes treatment of non-business use of business assets, amended penalties for failure to make payments on time and returns on time, proceduralised recovery of overpaid stamp duty and petroleum revenue tax, modified compliance checks as to excise duties, and clarified the tax treatment of asbestos compensation settlements in relation to the three main taxes.[7]

Finance Act 2020 edit

Finance Act 2020
Act of Parliament
 
Long titleAn Act to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the national debt and the public revenue, and to make further provision in connection with finance.
Citation2020 c. 14
Dates
Royal assent22 July 2020
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Finance Act 2020 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk.

The Finance Act 2020 (c. 14) was enacted on 22 July 2020. Part 2 provides for the introduction of a Digital Services Tax.[8]

Full title of the act including preamble and enacting formula edit

An Act to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the National Debt and the Public Revenue, and to make further provision in connection with finance.

Most Gracious Sovereign

We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom in Parliament assembled, towards raising the necessary supplies to defray Your Majesty's public expenses, and making an addition to the public revenue, have freely and voluntarily resolved to give and grant unto Your Majesty the several duties hereinafter mentioned; and do therefore most humbly beseech Your Majesty that it may be it enacted, and be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows...

See also edit

Notes and references edit

Notes
  1. ^ Passed on 8 April 2010
  2. ^ Note: the Coalition Government maintained this rate and threshold throughout 2010-2015
References
  1. ^ UK Legislation Finance (1909–10) Act 1910 c. 8 (Regnal. 10 Edw. 7. and 1 Geo. 5.) Parts II–IV
  2. ^ "Finance Act, 1920". England Legislation. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Finance Act 1946". 1 August 1946. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  4. ^ Finance Act 1977, section 56
  5. ^ UK Legislation Finance Act 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-17
  6. ^ UK Legislation Finance (No. 2) Act 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-17
  7. ^ UK Legislation Finance (No. 3) Act 2010 Retrieved 2013-07-17
  8. ^ UK Legislation, Finance Act 2020, part 2, accessed 29 September 2020