Autumn Budget : Tinker Tinker

Philip Hammond promised “a balanced Budget”, one that would maintain fiscal responsibility but help families cope with the cost of living. What measures did he announce to achieve his Budget aim? Economic forecasts of the OBR Hammond shared the OBR’s forecasts for GDP growth over the coming years following slower growth than expected in 2017 so far. The OBR has revised down its forecast to 1.5% in 2017; 1.4% in 2018; 1.3% in 2019 and 2020; 1.5% in 2021; and 1.6% in 2022, leading the chancellor to state that productivity performance “continues to disappoint”, and has remained “stubbornly flat”. Nevertheless, Hammond championed the 3m jobs created since 2010 and the shrinking deficit, although

Autumn Budget 2017: What might be

The Brexit negotiations and uncertainties related to leaving the EU will cast a long shadow over the chancellor’s Budget. Without a clear idea of what the economy will look like over the next 12 months, it will be difficult for the chancellor to make any significant new fiscal policy changes at this juncture. The chancellor will also be keen to give an impression of stability, and to avoid any embarrassing U-turns in his second Budget. As a result, it looks likely that radical reforms will be off the agenda. There are two areas which have been debated at length, and it is possible that Philip Hammond will choose to address growing dissatisfaction around inter-generational wealth imbalances a

VAT Threshold proposed cut could affect 1m SME's

One million British small businesses face being brought into VAT if the government accepts the Office of Tax Simplification’s VAT reform recommendations. The OTS report, published Tuesday, suggests numerous changes to a VAT system “awash with layers of complexity”. The blockbuster recommendation is to drastically lower the VAT threshold from its current level of £85,000 (one of the highest in the world). The report doesn’t make an outright recommendation, but it does ponder the consequences of lowering the threshold to a level that is close to or below the national average wage (£26,000). This would bring around one million extra businesses into the VAT fold, and “make it harder for business

NIC changes have been postponed until 2018

The government has announced that the National Insurance Contributions (NIC) Bill expected this autumn, will be put back to 2018 and the NIC changes it is to enact will now take please a year later, from April 2019. The announcement was made by Andrew Jones, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, on 2 November in a House of Commons Written Statement “The Government is announcing today that it will introduce the National Insurance Contributions (NICs) Bill in 2018. The measures it will implement will now take effect one year later, from April 2019. This includes the abolition of Class 2 NICs, reforms to the NICs treatment of termination payments, and changes to the NICs treatment of sportin

Simple Assessment - How Simple is it ?

The first Simple Assessment computations, called PA302s, landed on doormats in October. The concept of Simple Assessment has been in development since December 2015, so what is it, and who will be affected? The background to Simple Assessment Simple Assessment, despite being a paper-based system, is part of the government’s Making Tax Digital programme. The goal is for HMRC to use information that it already holds to produce the income tax calculation for certain individuals and trusts, rather than require the submission of a tax return. What information does HMRC hold? Information on employment income, benefits and pension payments is provided to HMRC by employers and pension providers thro

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