KPMG's Michelle Quest comments on the Spring Budget.
Commenting announcements in today’s Spring Budget, Michelle Quest, Head of Tax at KPMG in the UK, said:
“As we head into exit negotiations with the EU, the Chancellor overall delivered messages of long-term economic stability, fiscal responsibility and the foundations to build a stronger, fairer Britain in today’s Budget.
“With the major annual fiscal event moving to the autumn from this year, today’s announcement seemed to have more of a feel of a Spring Statement than a full scale Budget with few major changes announced, particularly for UK corporates.
“Philip Hammond demonstrated Government was listening to businesses wish for stability and calls to simplify the tax system as well as reiterating that the UK will continue to be competitive on the international stage. Other than some targeted anti-avoidance changes that were largely previously announced, UK business will be relieved to have the breathing space to deal with current changes taking effect during this year.
“The Government is also clearly eager to maintain the mantra that the UK is open for business with the Chancellor renewing the commitment to reduce the headline corporate tax rate to 19% in April of this year (the lowest in the G20) and 17% in April 2020. On top of these there were a number of areas where Phillip Hammond pledged to do more work though without much detail provided at this stage. Areas included R&D tax compliance simplification, taxation of the digital economy and maximising the position for oil & gas companies in the face of a declining North Sea oil platform.
“At the same time, the Government is ensuring that, individually, taxpayers move towards an even keel with changes to be introduced targeting self-employed individuals and those operating through incorporated companies. The Chancellor also showed sympathy to the increases in business rates and, at the risk of introducing further complexity into the system, has introduced a number of targeted measures to lessen the impact of these.
“Overall, this Budget announcement showed Philip Hammond to be a Chancellor who prefers consultation with what seems to be a more measured and sensible approach to policy development.”
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