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.
- Entrepreneurs’ relief – new restrictions for associated disposals
- Entrepreneurs’ relief – restrictions for use of joint ventures
- Extending the averaging period for farmers
- Capital gains tax wasting assets
- Film tax relief
- Venture capital scheme changes
- High end television tax relief
- Qualifying technologies within the enhanced capital allowance regime
- Changes to personal allowances and basic rate limit
- Further restrictions on the Pensions Lifetime Allowance
- Non-residents CGT charge – new guidance published
- Further changes to inheritance tax on trusts
- ISA flexibility and new savings allowance
- Help to Buy ISA
- Further measures on employment through intermediaries
- Lower company car tax rates for Ultra-Low Emission cars announced
VAT & Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
- VAT refunds to medical courier charities
- Air Passenger Duty child exemption
- VAT refunds for palliative care charities
- Deductible VAT relating to foreign branches
- VAT registration and deregistration thresholds
- Stamp Duty Land Tax Seeding Relief to be introduced for PAIFs and CoACs
- More Accelerated Payment Notices being issued
- Anti-avoidance to prevent loss refreshing by companies
- Changes to the disclosure opportunities