Autumn Statement predictions: our experts have their say


Our predictions ahead of tomorrow's Autumn Statement.

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

Caroline Le Jeune, Partner, said: “Over the last year we have had one election fought over tax and two Budgets. We would appeal to the Chancellor for stability and no more changes so that UK taxpayers can actually conduct their business and financial affairs with some degree of certainty. The current climate of continual change results in people hesitating over conducting business in the UK.”
Frank Nash, Tax Partner, said: “The Chancellor should introduce a 10% capital gains tax rate for owners of bare land or existing brownfield sites who dispose of consented land for at least 40% affordable housing.”
Genevieve Moore, Partner, said:
“The Chancellor should not change anything. It’s been a turbulent 12 months, with a raft of new legislation introduced, including the hastily enacted diverted profits tax, which is far from perfect and has led to uncertainty in the business environment. What we need now is stability and a chance for businesses to recover and make sound commercial decisions without the need to second-guess what the next move from the Government may be.
“However, in light of the recent BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) reports, we may see an announcement to change current UK legislation on a variety of matters covered by the BEPS project, including the definition of a permanent establishment – although I expect any actual changes in legislation will not be announced until the Budget.
“In line with this, there are consultations currently being undertaken on the tax deductibility of corporate interest expense and proposed changes to the UK Patent Box regime to comply with new international framework.  However, both consultations close after the Autumn Statement and therefore any changes in these areas are expected in the next Budget, rather than now.”
Alan Pearce, VAT Partner, said: “The Chancellor should reintroduce VAT postponed accounting for importers.”
Stephanie Parker, Trust Director, said: “On Inheritance Tax, we will hopefully have more clarity on how the new Residential Nil Rate Band will work for downsizers. Whilst the new allowance will be helpful, it is a shame that the complexity of the legislation may lead to many inadvertently missing out. In the spirit of simplification, we would appeal for alternative simpler methods of making Inheritance Tax more progressive.”
Jennifer McNally, Senior Manager within the Private Client Department, said: “The Chancellor could consider allowing single income families to transfer all or a portion of the standard rate band of the non-working person to the working person. This would address the inequality where there is one individual in a family earning for example £60k, versus two individuals who earn £30k each.”
Stefanie Stapleton, Assistant Manager, said: “To balance out the extensive punitive legislation aimed at high value residential property and encourage investment in the UK property market, the Chancellor should increase the IHT nil rate band and/or the main residence IHT band.”

Gary Gardner, Partner, said: "Small businesses and contractors can expect little comfort as the changes to the taxation of dividends will increase the burden of income tax on most small business. The Treasury anticipates that many small businesses may bring forward dividend payments before April 16 when the change is introduced so we might expect the introduction of anti-avoidance legislation to counter such behaviour.

Likewise a further consultation on how to improve the effectiveness of the intermediaries legislation (IR35) designed to counter disguised employment will be very unwelcome by the thousands of independent contractors potentially impacted. It would be far better if a more rounded consultation was announced with the scope to consider employment and self-employment in the 21st Century, particularly given that more and more workers are being given no other opportunity by an increasing number of employers than to engage as self-employed contractors."

Blick Rothenberg will be producing commentary following the announcements made tomorrow, which you can follow on Twitter at @BlickRothenberg