Comprehensive Budget 2015 Review

It was an uplifting pre-election Budget speech for a Britain that is growing, has living standards better than in 2010 and the highest employment level on record. The deficit is down by more than half and austerity is turning to prosperity. George Osborne had promised no gimmicks or giveaways, but there were certainly some gifts.

The ‘end of the tax return’ was announced with the expectation that by early 2016 all of the UK’s five million small businesses and the first ten million individuals will have access to their own digital tax account. This is going to transform the way taxpayers manage their affairs.

The crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance continues to be a dominant theme with the announcement that the favourable terms offered to tax evaders under the Liechtenstein and Crown Dependencies Disclosure Facilities will end early in December 2015.

These will be replaced with a ‘last chance’ disclosure facility which will be offered between 2016 and mid-2017, with penalties of at least 30% and no immunity from prosecution.

Despite all the speculation on IHT the only new announcement was that there will be a review of the use of Deeds of Variation for IHT avoidance, with a report being published by autumn.

Meanwhile, savers are rewarded with ISA flexibility, a new tax free saving allowance and a Help to Buy ISA.

The Finance Bill will be published next week and we will be updating our website with any additional provisions.

Meanwhile here is a summary of today’s announcements together with our comments.

OMB/Entrepreneurs

Private Client

Employment

VAT & Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

Compliance

Anti-avoidance

Other