Overview

The Chancellor claims that the era of austerity is coming to an end, and there are substantial spending commitments, both in tax cuts and spending, most notably the NHS and Universal Credit – but all bets are off if there is a no deal Brexit.

There follows a brief summary of the key points, please contact us if you would like more details.

Personal tax

Personal allowance and higher rates

The personal allowance is to be increased to £12,500 from 6 April 2019, and the higher rate threshold to £50,000.

Capital gains tax – private residences

Capital gains tax private residence relief rules tightened, additional qualifying period after moving out reduced for 18 months to 9 months, lettings relief restricted to cases where landlord also occupies property, from April 2020.

Pensions

No changes to pension relief.

Business Tax

Annual investment allowance

The annual limit for businesses claiming 100% allowance for expenditure on plant and machinery increased from £200,000 to £1m.

Business rates

Many small businesses to have their business rates cut by one third for a two year period.

“Off payroll” workers

The IR35 rules already applying in public sector to apply to medium and large private sector employers from April 2020.

Building and structures allowance

Businesses to be able to claim a 2% annual deduction for the cost of new buildings constructed for use in the business.

Entrepreneurs relief

Minimum qualifying period to be increased for 12 months to 24 months, ownership definitions to be tightened to prevent abuse.

Digital services tax

This new tax is intended to collect £1.5 billion over 4 years by charging a 2% tax on the turnover of “search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces” – can’t imagine who they have in mind.

R&D relief

Limit to claims by reference to PAYE and NI of claimant company – aimed at stopping fraudulent claims.