Autumn Budget 2017 - Looking forward, not backward

Building a Britain ‘fit for the future’: the Chancellor used his Budget speech to present a vision for the country that combines fiscal responsibility with infrastructure investment.

This was not the easiest environment in which to deliver a Budget, given stalling Brexit negotiations, a vulnerable government and an economy with downgraded growth rates. Nevertheless, Philip Hammond cracked several jokes while announcing a range of measures to help families, businesses and the NHS.
 
Encouraging technology and innovation formed an important part of the Chancellor’s vision. Measures include an increase in the R&D tax credit to 12% and a doubling of Enterprise Investment Scheme investment limits for knowledge-intensive companies. Philip Hammond’s high-tech future is also one where employees charging electric vehicles at work will not suffer a benefit-in-kind charge.
 
From a business tax perspective, the Chancellor reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to retaining competitive corporate tax rates, but announced a freezing of the indexation allowance for corporate capital gains. A number of measures are being introduced to help alleviate the pressure of business rates. As for VAT, despite speculation, there will be no change in the current £85,000 registration threshold for the next two years.
 
Philip Hammond highlighted the challenge of maintaining a sustainable and fair tax system in this digital age, an issue addressed in a new position paper. Meanwhile, the Government will charge income tax on royalties relating to UK sales that are paid to low-tax jurisdictions, the latest move in the mission to ensure that multinationals pay their fair share of tax. A package of anti-avoidance provisions is expected to collect an extra £4.8billion in tax by 2022/23.
 
Personal taxpayers may be pleased by the increase from April in the personal allowance to £11,850 and in the higher rate threshold to £46,350. MPs cheered the freeze in duty on most alcoholic drinks (except high-strength white ciders) and the continued fuel duty freeze. House-building is also being boosted through measures aimed at delivering 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.
 
This year’s final flourish was the announcement of help for first-time buyers – the abolition of stamp duty land tax on house purchases up to £300,000 or on the first £300,000 where houses cost up to £500,000.

Business tax
Employment taxes
HMRC powers and administration
Personal tax
Tax avoidance and fraud
Tax efficient investment
VAT and other taxes
 

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