…but none pulled out of HMRC’s hat ! In short this was a budget of few surprises.
The biggest shock was perhaps George Osbourne’s announcement of the apparent end of the personal tax return. Further detail suggests this is not quite as radical as pronounced. Instead taxpayers over the next 5 years will be provided with an integrated digital account accessed on-line from which to view, file, update and pay their taxes.
Then, aside from the usual small rate and threshold changes the highlights were:
• R&D tax relief access – We were promised voluntary assurance schemes lasting 3 years and more specific guidance for smaller companies to make access and awareness of this relief more widespread.
• Entrepreneur’s Relief claims remain unchanged, however some restrictions are being introduced for joint ventures and disposals associated with a business or share sale.
• Class 2 NICs payable by self-employed individuals will be abolished as of the next Parliament.
• The lifetime allowance for pension contributions that can be made tax free will reduce from £1.25m to £1m as of 6 April 2016. (Transitional provisions will be implemented to protect those with pots already in excess of £1m).
• Consultation on restricting the ability to use a deed of variation, a very useful option to vary a will after the person has died.
• ISAs to be made more flexible – from later this year individuals will be able to withdraw and replace money in their cash ISAs without it impacting their annual limit.
• Further anti-avoidance provisions aimed at specific arrangements, and generally
• A couple of welcome reliefs which will allow palliative care and medical courier charities to obtain refunds of the VAT they pay on their costs.
• A restriction of VAT recovery for partly exempt businesses which have establishments both within and outside the UK.
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