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2015 Budget - Full Summary

18th March 2015

A political, pre-election Budget, delivered by the Conservative Chancellor of a coalition Government: it took Mr Osborne some time to even get to the tax details in his Budget speech today.  

The tax measures highlighted include a number of previously announced changes, a raft of others for future years, and a small number which will take effect immediately or at the start of the next tax year.   Another round of anti-avoidance measures, the introduction of the “Google” tax from next month and an increase to the Bank Levy mean that this Budget is intended to raise additional taxes, at least in the short term.  

Turning to the detail: the tax return is dead.  Long live the tax return.  Consultation will follow to replace the current annual tax return for individuals and small business with online tax accounts from 2020: a considerable IT challenge for HMRC.

In the shorter term, taxpayers will welcome the increases to the Personal Allowance, the introduction of a £1,000 savings allowance and the “help to buy ISA” .  For pension savers, some good news and some bad.  The Chancellor announced that current annuity holders will face a reduced tax bill if they choose to cash in annuities.  He also announced however, that the Lifetime Allowance for pension contributions will be reduced from £1.25m to £1m, from April next year.  

For business owners, the Entrepreneurs’ Relief rules for Capital Gains Tax are tightened with effect from today, to restrict relief to direct disposals of shares in trading companies.  

Following consultation last year, amendments will be made to venture capital schemes such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), which encourage investment in UK businesses.  The introduction of the orchestra tax relief has been confirmed, together with further minor enhancements to the film and TV tax reliefs. 

The Finance Bill which will give effect to many of the announced measures is due to be published on Tuesday, 24 March, just six days before Parliament is dissolved on 30 March in anticipation of the General Election.  This doesn’t of course leave much time for Parliamentary scrutiny!  In any case, we look forward to the possibility of a second Budget in the summer, after we know the results of the 7 May election.

Please contact Katharine Arthur, Head of Tax, or any of the haysmacintyre team if you have any queries.

Tel: 020 7969 5610

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