Prepare for George’s Marvellous Medicine

With a general election on the horizon, Chancellor George Osborne is unlikely to pull many surprises  on Budget day, but it’s still worth monitoring developments on AccountingWEB.

“I’ll be surprised if he pulls many rabbits out of his hat,” predicted AccountingWEB’s tax editor emeritus (and current ICAEW Tax Faculty chair) Rebecca Benneyworth.

Rabbits may be unlikely to appear, but there’s still a chance to get £250 in Amazon vouchers in our Budget 2014 sweepstake, thanks to our sponsor, TaxCalc. All you have to do is correctly predict how many times the Chancellor says the word “tax” during his Budget speech.

Pre-publicity has highlighted the likelihood of an increase in the personal tax allowance to £10,500 in 2015 - just in time for next year’s election.

However, Benneyworth commented, “He’s clearly not going to do anything sensible with the higher rate entry point – so the lower rate band will is becoming very small.”

Roughly a million more taxpayers will be dragged into the higher tax rate and in spite of the Chancellor’s widely reported claim that people will be happier paying a higher rate, the effect this has on tax collection hasn’t been considered.

Otherwise the diet of tax announcements is likely to be relatively insignificant, with boosts for investment and further crackdowns on tax avoidance widely predicted. The pre-election entropy has led many observers (including Philip Fisher) to predict a boring Budget for 2014, but the devil is always in the detail.

From the minute the chancellor sits down and the official Treasury and HMRC documentation is released, Rebecca Benneyworth will be getting to work on her Budget analysis. You can register now to receive a copy of our TaxCalc-sponsored report. Available early next week, it will detail all the key issues that affect small businesses, their owners and their advisers.

Already a number of topics have been examined in our Budget discussion group, including

You can also hear Rebecca’s thoughts in our live Budget blog from noon on Wednesday 19 March, along with comments and observations from Apprentice winner Yasmina Siadatan, who  since winning the 2009 series of the entrepreneurial BBC TV programme has joined James Caan’s Start Up Loans Company.

If you’re still looking for insights from fellow professionals ahead of the speech, there are several predictions and posts on AccountingWEB’s blog page, including: