AccountingWEB tax editor Rebecca Benneyworth outlines what she thinks will top the business agenda when the Chancellor gives his Budget speech on Wednesday.
Budget 2012 is not expected to be a particularly a business-heavy Budget, but it is shaping up to spring a few surprises - happy ones, we hope - particularly with a potential focus on capital allowances.
- Capital allowances - There’s likely to be a fair amount on capital allowances, simply because there have been various consultations that are coming to fruition.
- Small business taxation and reporting - We can expect something in responseith the recent review conducted by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), with disincorporation relief looking a good bet.
- Corporation Tax - Rumours are spreading that the full rate of Corporation Tax might drop to 20%. This certainly has merit from a simplification point of view, but will anger small business lobbyists calling for a reduction in the small companies rate. One argument in favour of a single CT rate is that it won't penalise small companies with higher tax rates when they start to grow.
- National Insurance - Following recent lobbying from business groups, some retweaking could revitalise the NIC holiday to make it of more interest.
- Payroll and benefits - Real Time Information (RTI) for PAYE will top the agenda; with the regulations finalised and there might be more details on the RTI timetable and arrangements for small and mid-size companies.
- Fuel duty - The 3.02p fuel duty due this January increase was deferred until August in the Chancellor's autumn statement, but can the government not afford to take it?
- General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) - Following the recommendations of the Aaronson review last November, the GAAR will probably get a mention - perhaps a statement of position - but it seems unlikey the government will move too quickly, as the GAAR will be controversial with accountants and tax advisers and those who are concerned about it's potential effect on very small businesses.
AccountingWEB will be closely covering the Budget announcement on Wednesday with a live blog and detailed analysis to follow.