Hallidays initial reaction to the last Autumn Statement

Philip Eagle

Tax Director

From a Tax perspective the Autumn Statement contained few surprises other than Mr Hammond announcing that he was presenting his first and last Autumn Statement!

From 2017 the main budget will move to the autumn with the spring budget being replaced with a spring Statement.  It is said that this will give more time for Parliament to scrutinise Tax legislation before it is enacted than is currently the case.  However, how much additional time Parliament will have over the next few years to review legislation other than legislation created by Brexit is doubtful.

As expected the reduction in the rate of Corporation Tax to 17% in 2020 has been confirmed, making the rate of Corporation Tax in the UK the lowest in the G20 grouping.

Again, as expected, the Tax free personal allowance will increase to £12,500 and the level at which the 40% Tax rate is payable increase to £50,000, by the end of the current Parliament.

As has been the case with recent Autumn Statements many changes announced earlier have been confirmed.The most headline grabbing one of which is the removal of the NIC advantages obtained by many sacrifice arrangements, such as health subscriptions, however, those arrangements which the Government continued to support such as pension payments, cycling to work arrangements and childcare provisions will be unaffected.

In something of a U-turn, further restrictions to the Tax advantages of employees’ shareholder shares have been announced.  These are tax advantaged shares which companies can issue to recompense employees giving up certain employment rights.

The Government has also identified that the VAT flat rate scheme is being abused and provisions which will be effective from today’s date impact on these arrangements.

A fuller analysis of the changes can be found here and this link will go live from 24th November.

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