Autumn Budget 2018 predictions


Blick Rothenberg’s experts are looking at what the Chancellor could, should and shouldn’t do and they have their say.

Andy Timpson, Partner
‘If the Chancellor is looking to pensions tax relief to help the £20bn NHS funding gap it will not necessarily impact on pension savings, as tax relief does not automatically get contributed into pension pots – merely a reimbursement of tax in an individual's hand. What the Chancellor may find though is a sudden increase in the number of retrospective tax relief claims, as many higher rate and additional rate taxpayers do not claim the tax relief owed to them each year.’

Alan Pearce, VAT Partner
‘The Chancellor needs to confirm the VAT treatment on imports in the event of a no-deal Brexit. He needs to provide an update on the consultation into the UK's VAT registration threshold as well as an update on reverse charge VAT for certain construction services.’

Genevieve Moore, Partner
‘I really hope he doesn't make further punitive changes to the pension tax savings, such as restricting the amount a higher rate tax payer can contribute further or reducing tax relief on pension contributions to basic rate only. People should be encouraged to save for their retirement.  
Lifetime ISA's haven't been as popular as he had hoped, and are mostly being used by the wealthy middle class to receive an additional contribution to retirement from the state. Will we see these restricted to basic rate tax payers only, or even abolished altogether? Let's hope not!
In light of Brexit uncertainty he may make pledges to further reduce corporation tax but in say 2025 with a view to trying to keep the UK as an attractive location for overseas businesses.
I don't believe that income tax or National Insurance (“NI") will increase, but the Chancellor may propose an additional "levy" to fund the NHS. This type of temporary tax charge is used in some overseas countries where they need funding, e.g. for defence, healthcare, and is often introduced for a short period of time e.g. two years, but then subsequently replaced by a different levy for a specific purpose. Any such levy would likely be widely criticized, but if people knew it was going to the direct funding of the NHS it may soften the blow. 
Top executives' pay may be under fire, an additional tax or levy payable by the company on executive pay of over say £1m, wouldn't be a direct increase in tax, but could raise additional revenue.
We've had a plastic bag tax, and a sugar tax - what's next? It has to be something around a general plastic tax. Perhaps a plastic bottle tax, an additional 5p for anything you buy that's in a plastic bottle?’
For more information, please contact Andy Timpson, Alan Pearce and Genevieve Moore. For any press enquiries, please contact David Barzilay on