Autumn Budget - Blick Rothenberg Head of Corporate Tax gives Budget overview

29.10.2018

Genevieve Moore, Head of Corporate Tax at Blick Rothenberg, gives an overview on elements of the Chancellor’s Budget.

Great news that the annual investment allowance has been increased again, but the constant yo-yo of allowance does not help businesses plan for future expenditure. I would like to see the £1m allowance here to stay for good not just for two years.
 
Great news that Entrepreneurs Relief is here to stay (for now), but true entrepreneurs can grow a business very quickly. The doubling of the holding period to 24 months is likely to hit fast growing tech businesses and is not welcome.
 
Bad news! The Chancellor has gone ahead with his digital services tax – another Google tax! To be introduced in April 2020, ahead of any globally agreed Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development ("OECD") tax. This is likely to be the start of many other countries introducing their own regimes, which in turn will then hit UK digital businesses providing services overseas. Whilst the Chancellor intends to consult on this to make sure it achieves its purpose, it will not be well received by global businesses making sales in the UK.
 
Small businesses have been hit with a reduction in R&D credits by restricting these to the PAYE paid by the company. This restriction was removed a few years ago, and it was welcomed. It is likely the smallest businesses that are currently in receipt of the tax credit will be the ones hardest hit.
 
Good news for smaller high street businesses with a reduction in business rates, but until the consumer is encouraged back to the high street, this alone will not save our towns. I would like to see free parking in all high streets.
 
The ‘self-employed’ operating through personal service companies were a likely target for today’s Budget as the Chancellor focuses on the individuals operating this way and avoiding tax. It is thought that one third of people operating this way should be taxed as employees as and the extension of the IR35 rules to the private sector is the Chancellor’s attempt to tackle this tax avoidance.
 
Plastic tax is here as predicted by yours truly. Although paid for by the manufacturers, it is likely this will be passed on to the consumer. Let’s hope instead it encourages the manufacturers to use more sustainable products in the future. Save our planet.
 
Universal credit is here to stay, but the Chancellor acknowledges more funding is needed to help these transferring to the universal credit. Are the measures enough though to help the poorest off? The focus seems to be on the working claimants as the Chancellor wants to reward and encourage work.
 
Personal allowance and higher rate thresholds have increased, and earlier than expected, meeting the Tory manifesto pledge and delivering a real tax saving for many of Britain’s workers.

For more information, please contact Genevieve Moore.