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Autumn Budget 2018 predictions: VAT and tax simplification

Ahead of the Autumn Budget, our experts look ahead to what the Chancellor could, should and shouldn't announce with regard to VAT and tax simplification.

Tax simplification

  • “Tax simplification has to be at the top of the agenda of the Budget, but we do not expect it to be. This decade has seen the UK’s tax code increase exponentially, as various Governments have introduced a number of politically motivated measures, continuous reforms to property taxation and numerous anti-avoidance provisions. Something needs to be done urgently to simplify the UK’s tax code.” Nimesh Shah


  • “The Chancellor should postpone the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT registered business for at least a year – especially if this coincides with the UK crashing out of the EU without a trade deal. It’s believed that less than half of UK businesses are ready for MTD and many are not even aware of the changes taking place for VAT returns submitted after 1 April 2019. With inevitable changes, some might say chaos, resulting from Brexit the last thing businesses need is the introduction of a new digital system for processing VAT returns just three days later!” Alan Pearce
  • “The Chancellor should announce the introduction of postponed accounting for import VAT irrespective of whether the UK secures a trade deal with the EU. This would allow all importers to off-set, via their VAT returns, the import VAT currently paid up front at the point goods arrive in the UK. It should apply to goods arriving from outside the EU and, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, on goods arriving from the EU. This would put the UK on the same footing as other EU countries, notably France and the Netherlands, who currently have a commercial advantage over the UK.” Alan Pearce

Blick Rothenberg will be producing commentary and analysis in the lead up and on the day of the Budget announcement on Monday 29 October.
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