During the last round of consultation on the new Patent Box, HMT and HMRC held a workshop presentation to discuss their latest thinking (as I blogged at the time). It was a very good event during which there was a lot of useful discussion about the practicalities of the new regime. At the end of the session, HMRC asked whether the audience felt that SMEs would be comfortable self assessing the Patent Box. My response was that this was very likely to depend upon the quality of the guidance available to them (by which I meant, principally, official HMRC guidance). We were reassured that guidance would be prepared and were asked for help in ensuring it was robust.

During a subsequent telephone conversation with the team responsible for the guidance I was advised that the plan was to circulate draft guidance for comment.

Nothing has been circulated and I am now told that guidance (which will replace the current Technical Note) is unlikely to be available until the end of September – and there is no intention to circulate the guidance in draft. However, HMRC does welcome comments on the guidance once it is published!

What a waste of a wonderful opportunity to ‘road-test’ the guidance in draft and get some useful feedback before going public.