The Spring Statement was always going to take second place to the Autumn Budget but the Brexit debate grabbed the headlines anyway. Yesterday, the Chancellor had little opportunity to make policy announcements, given that Brexit may happen on the 29th of the month, or may not, or may happen but not in a form that we can see at present, or even plan for. Death is now the only certainty that we have. Certainty over taxes has been parked for the present.
Inflation on target, growth and a healthy labour market provide a firm foundation for business after Brexit but a potential Brexit dividend of £26bn is kept in reserve for the moment until the future becomes clearer. Possible changes to Customs tariffs have been published should there be a no-deal Brexit, the current legal default, but so far as future changes to tax rates and the tax system are concerned, we are left with what has already been published together with a number of consultations.
Our summary picks up the more significant changes taking effect from 6 April. However, if they have not already done so, taxpayers – be they individuals, companies, trusts or other entities - should discuss potential planning opportunities with advisors before the close of the current tax year. As well as the tax changes taking effect from 6 April, there are also a number of regulatory changes, including the increase in pension contributions to 8% under Auto Enrolment: the employee contribution potentially increasing from 2% to 5%. The deadline for the filing and payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax has already been reduced from 30 days to 14 days from 1 March 2019.
Read our full summary by opening or downloading the PDF below: