Clause 29 - Estates in administration and trusts

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 16 May 2023.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 10:45, 16 May 2023

On the simplification point, the replacement of the lower-rate band with the new tax-free amount supports our long-standing goal of a modern and simpler tax system. This is a simplification for low-income discretionary trusts, as income within the tax-free amount will no longer be taxed as it arises. The change also simplifies calculations when income distributions are made. The consultation last year outlined that where discretionary trusts make income distributions, the existing 45% credit given to beneficiaries with that income would remain, as would the continued need for trustees to top up their payments to HMRC to match that credit when the distribution is made. I am told that the Chartered Institute of Taxation agreed with that proposition, and the Association of Taxation Technicians saw that as largely a question of timing and did not see a particular issue with the principle.

The hon. Member for Ealing North asked about vulnerable beneficiary trusts. The measures are a simplification for those trusts, as for any other low-income trust, as there will no longer be the need to elect to have income taxed as if for vulnerable beneficiaries. Instead, the income will simply not be taxed as it arises. Most vulnerable beneficiary trusts are, indeed, discretionary trusts, and as I said earlier, both the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Association of Taxation Technicians have opined on this. The measure does not affect the need for trust beneficiaries to consider their tax reliability on their trust income. On the hon. Member for Aberdeen North’s question, the amendment clarifies our intentions.