Whilst on the subject of Hamlet's father's ghost, in my post “As ye sow” on 13th of this month, I mentioned the spectre of income shifting legislation and was worried that it might be sneaked in whilst we were looking at the drastic measures being introduced to save the country from ruin. No, it's not funny.
In the PBR we were told:
"The Government firmly believes it is unfair to allow a minority of individuals to benefit financially from shifting part of their income to someone else who is subject to a lower rate of tax, known as income shifting. The Government has consulted on this issue but, given the current economic challenges, the Government is deferring action and will not bring forward legislation at Finance Bill 2009. The Government will instead keep this issue under review."
I explained a year ago how fundamentally inequitable such measures would be – see here.
My sources tell me that the Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs think that implementation of any such legislation is impractical and too expensive to administer. Phew, what a relief! I hope it's true.