Finance Bill - continued        House of Commons

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Research and development
     1. In Part XIX of the Taxes Act 1988 (general supplementary provisions), after section 837 insert-
"Meaning of "research and development".     837A. - (1) The following provisions have effect for the purposes of, and subject to, the provisions of the Tax Acts which apply this section.
    (2) "Research and development" means activities that fall to be treated as research and development in accordance with normal accounting practice.
  This is subject to regulations under subsection (3) below.
      (3) The Treasury may by regulations provide-
    (a) that such activities as may be prescribed are not "research and development" for the purposes of this section, and
    (b) that such other activities as may be prescribed are "research and development" for those purposes.
      (4) Regulations under subsection (3) above may-
    (a) make provision by reference to guidelines issued (whether before or after the coming into force of this section) by the Secretary of State, and
    (b) make such supplementary, incidental, consequential or transitional provision as appears to the Treasury to be necessary or expedient.
      (5) In subsection (2) above "normal accounting practice" means normal accounting practice in relation to the accounts of companies incorporated in a part of the United Kingdom.
      (6) Unless otherwise expressly provided, "research and development" does not include oil and gas exploration and appraisal.".
Oil and gas exploration and appraisal
     2. In Part XIX of the Taxes Act 1988 (general supplementary provisions), after the section inserted by paragraph 1 above insert-
"Meaning of "oil and gas exploration and appraisal".     837B. - (1) References in the Tax Acts to "oil and gas exploration and appraisal" are to activities carried out for the purpose of-
    (a) searching for petroleum anywhere in an area, or
    (b) ascertaining-
      (i) the extent or characteristics of any petroleum-bearing area, or
      (ii) what the reserves of petroleum of any such area are,
      so that it may be determined whether the petroleum is suitable for commercial exploitation.
      (2) For this purpose "petroleum" has the meaning given in section 1 of the Petroleum Act 1998.".
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