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The Budget buzz is building…
AccountingWEB editor John Stokdyk presents an insight into the forward planning that takes place at this time of year.
Ahh, springtime! The bulbs are blooming, the Cheltenham festival is in full swing - and pundits are cranking out megabytes of predictions, position papers and wishlists ahead of the Budget statement next Wednesday, 21 March.
For die-hard enthusiasts, we have been attempting to catalogue the main themes in our Budget discussion group as a sort of live, online notebook. Our blog page is becoming a little more lively, too, with Philip Fisher and Richard Murphy sounding off about the tax gap and top income tax rate from their different perspectives.
But to be honest, the Coalition government has taken some of the thrill out of the traditional Budget chase. Many of the draft clauses for the 2012 Finance Bill were published in December, which means that we’re likely to see a few theatrical shimmies and slights of hand from the Chancellor next Wednesday, but little in the way of the substantive tax measures.
Instead, we will probably all be hunkering down to spend endless hours next week poring over the first draft of the Finance Act 2013, in the shape of consultation documents and responses setting out possibilities for a general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR), HMRC’s new agent strategy, insolvency reform and, perhaps, plans for more PAYE reform.
We may well hear more about the company accounting reforms being pushed in Europe, and perhaps some suggestions for company law reform, without committing too much detail to print. Fuller consultations documents on those topics are pencilled in for July.
Rebecca Benneyworth will in harness for quick technical summary on Wednesday and will fill us in on nitty gritty on succeeding days. Thanks to this year’s Budget sponsor Sage, she will also compile a detailed technical guide to the main issues for small businesses that will be available on Monday 26 March. In addition, if you submit your details here, we’ll enter you in the Sage Budget prize draw for an iPad 3.
We’ll also be tinkering with our usual email bulletin schedule to accommodate the Budget. Instead of sending our usual Pick of the Week mailing to most members on Wednesday, we’ll send it out on Thursday morning instead with the traditional Budget-at-a-glance overview. Those members who receive our regular Thursday Business bulletin will get one on Wednesday instead.
After surviving something like 15 Budgets doing this, I can’t quite say the week ahead excites me, but there are always intriguing twists and turns when the worlds of tax, accountancy and politics collide.
Come along with us for the ride over the next 12 days or so - and make sure you take advantage of the opportunity AccountingWEB provides to be your own Budget pundit. Much as we love them, we’re getting a little bored of John Whiting, Francesca Lagerberg and Mike Warburton and are keen to hear what you think of the Chancellor’s policies.
AccountingWEB Budget 2012 resources - sponsored by Sage: