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Budget overview

How the Budget 2015 will affect you and your business

George Osborne made his sixth and final Budget announcement before the general election yesterday. Kirkwood Wilson Accountants give you a succinct summary of all the key details likely to affect you and your business.

The headline news for those of you who dread the annual tax return process was the surprise announcement that the January annual tax return for individuals and businesses will be scrapped. A new digital version will be introduced, bringing with it a new era of greater flexibility and clarity it is hoped.

Extra help for savers and first-time buyers

George Osborne announced further measures to support savers, workers and first-time buyers. These included new measures to make ISAs more flexible, further increases in the personal tax allowance, and the introduction of a new Personal Savings Allowance for basic and higher rate taxpayers. This was tempered, however, by a less than welcome reduction in the Lifetime Allowance for pension contributions – down from £1.25m to £1m as of 6 April 2016.

Support for Northern businesses

The Chancellor gave hope to northern businesses with his declaration that he was “ready to commit new money, new infrastructure, new transport and new science” to support the region with £7bn worth of annual investment. The agreement with Greater Manchester to introduce an elected mayor was hailed as “the most exciting development in civic leadership” for a generation. The subject of business finance was covered by the announcement of a British Business Bank-led initiative to provide loans of between £500,000 and £2m whilst amendments will be made to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) to bring support in line with new EU rules.

Boost to UK Export

The government is also committing more money to UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to help British businesses to export to China. A particular focus will be on financial services, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, transport and life sciences. A package of measures was also unveiled to help UK businesses to thrive domestically and expand into new markets overseas.

AIA review on hold

Chancellor Osborne refused to declare the long-term future of the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), despite the clamour from many businesses seeking clarification on the subject. It currently stands at £500,000 but no further decision is likely to be made until the Autumn Statement, which gives scant reassurance for businesses planning investments with long lead times.

Wage increase for British apprentices

National Insurance for employing under 21s will be abolished in April and a year later the same will happen for employing a young apprentices. This comes amid news of a wage increase for Britain’s apprentices to promote training programmes as a credible career path. A further £40m will also be ploughed in to developing Internet of Things technologies through major programmes, a research centre and business incubator space.

Kirkwood Wilson summary on the 2015 Budget

Kirkwood Wilson Accountant’s Managing Director, Caroline Wilson broadly welcomed the key points outlined in the Budget 2015. She said: “This year’s Budget largely spells good news for SME businesses, with the announcement of lower business taxes, allowances for investment, and support for small companies and various sectors and regions.

“Next month’s reduction of corporation tax to 20 per cent is also a very progressive step towards making the UK’s tax regime far more competitive and should help to attract investment. All in all, we believe there is much cause for positivity looking ahead.”

For more information about Kirkwood Wilson Accountant’s accountancy services please contact us on 01704 546000.

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