Seems to be a fairly quiet budget in relation to the independent sector.
THE GOVERNMENT’S PLAN
We like the philosophical statement (under section 1.42)
“The government’s long-term economic plan builds a stronger, more competitive economy, a fairer society, and secures a better future for Britain by creating more jobs by backing small business and enterprise with better infrastructure and lower job taxes.”
That concern for small business so long as it includes micro-businesses has to be right.
DEFICIT REDUCTION – EFFICIENCY AND REFORM
An efficient and reformed public sector remains a commitment (under section 1.68)
“Over the course of this Parliament, the government has taken significant action to reduce costs by increasing the efficiency of the public sector. Meeting future fiscal assumptions will require further consolidation over the next Parliament. In this context it becomes even more important that the government gets the most out of each pound of taxpayers’ money.”
We remain of the view that the right use of interim management talent is one valuable and indeed cost effective way to meet such a goal.
TACKLING TAX AVOIDANCE
A new power (under section 1.200/1.201) will seek payment for disputed tax, up front.
“Following consultation, this Budget announces that the government intends to extend the new requirement for taxpayers to pay upfront any disputed tax associated with schemes covered by the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Scheme (DOTAS) rules or counteracted under the General Anti Abuse Rule (GAAR).”
Whilst we support the principles of tax fairness, it will be interesting to see how payment collection steps under the General Anti Abuse Rule (GAAR) may impact HMRC investigations. Powers will be extended to HMRC to issue accelerated payment notices – quite how that may relate to tax investigations remains to be seen.
In a nutshell, HMRC could, if it thinks additional tax is due, issue an accelerated payment notice so that they get the money up front, with a repayment plus interest if they lose, but for a small interim business that cashflow impact may be critical.
Of course the bulk of our community operating as genuine businesses on their own account should have little to be concerned about, but this may make an investigation request even more impactful on day-to-day operations.
We shall see.
The full budget report is here:
If you have other comments, we’d love to hear them on our LinkedIn group.
The relevant thread is at:
The comments above are a fairly quick reaction and our views are subject to change.
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