The government’s Finance Bill 2020 (formally known as Finance Bill 2019-21) has now completed its passage through the House of Commons and the 1st reading at the House of Lords took place on 2 July 2020. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill’s journey through the Lords. The date for the 2nd reading of the Bill, where a general debate on all aspects of the Bill will take place has not yet been announced.
The Bill is known as a ‘Money Bill’ which means that the further stages of the Bill namely, the committee stage, report stage and third reading at the House of Lords are usually formalities. Once these steps have been completed, the Bill will receive Royal Assent and become an Act of Parliament known as Finance Act 2020.
The Bill contains the legislation for some of the tax measures that were announced when the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Budget to Parliament on Wednesday 11 March 2020. This includes the reduction in Entrepreneurs’ relief lifetime limit, changes to main residence relief, increased R&D credits and the introduction of the Digital Services Tax. In addition, a number of important amendments and new clauses to the Bill were introduced at the report stage concerning the Coronavirus pandemic.