The press notices for the Pre Budget Report say:
The Government recognises the contribution that small businesses make to the economy and that business owners should profit from the success of their business. However, the Government believes it is unfair for one person to arrange their affairs so that their income is diverted to a second person, subject to a lower tax rate, to obtain a tax advantage (income shifting). The vast majority of individuals cannot shift their income and income shifting runs counter to the principle of independent taxation.
The Government will be consulting, shortly after the Pre-Budget Report, on draft legislation to take effect from 2008-09 to address income shifting. The legislation will work alongside the existing rules on businesses deductions and settlements, and will seek to remove the tax advantage obtained from income shifting. It would only apply when the income is in the form of distributions from a company (dividends) or partnership profits. Income from employment, interest on savings and any other source will not be affected.
HMRC will draw on the wide range of commercial experience available across the advisory community in framing practical guidance that minimises burdens, and makes it as easy as possible for individuals to understand their position. Relevant factors to consider when establishing whether or not income shifting has taken place could include the work done by the individuals in the business, the investments made and the risks to which they are subject through the business.
I will be submitting my opinion.