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Budget rumour mill

Let's put Budget predictions to the 'wisdom of crowds' test within the AWEB community.

Didn't find your answer?

As part of our editorial planning , I put together a preview blog of next week's Budget announcements, but even as I was writing the thing, new leaks and predictions were breaking cover.

Norman Younger and Duggimon are among those betting that Rushi Sunak will do his master's bidding and abolish entrepreneurs' relief.

As we head into the weekend, all the papers will go into overdrive with their predictions. There are only so many social feeds, blogs and internet sources a human can track, and in the absence of the ultimate AI content bot I was hoping that AccountingWEB members can help us track new rabbits set loose ahead of next Wednesday. So far, the measures most likely to affect small business and their accountants include:

  • IR35 off-payroll rules for the private sector (a bit of last-minute tinkering)
  • The loan charge – hints of further changes 
  • Digital services tax – is Sunak ready to take on Trump and the US tech giants?
  • Business rates review – a hardy annual that has yet to blossom
  • Inheritance tax reforms, perhaps?

As we digest all the rumours, which ones do you think will actually appear in the Budget paperwork and which will give you the biggest headaches if they actually appear?

With your help, we can liven up our coverage and bring a more rounded analysis to the overnight reactions.

As always, we're looking forward to next week and hope to see some of you on the site during the day.

Replies (14)

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Tornado
By Tornado
05th Mar 2020 13:36

I think there will be last minute changes as the Coronavirus situation evolves because this will affect not only business, but Government Departments as well. I can see tens of thousands of Civil Servants refusing to come into work or self-isolating as they are likely to be the ones to be better supported financially if they take time off work.

I would like to think that some of the predicted changes that make tax less complicated will be at the forefront of the Budget Proposals this time otherwise the Chancellor may find himself as the captain of a massive container ship with no crew in the engine room.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Tornado:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
05th Mar 2020 14:55

I predict the exact opposite on the basis that Tornado's post is sensible.

We have had little sensible coming out of No.11 or HMRC for some years, only more complexity, more rules and more vagueness and tax traps.

I predict things that directly helps Boris and his mates.

Thanks (3)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By craig__2k4
05th Mar 2020 15:15

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

I predict things that directly helps Boris

Legalising racism?

Thanks (2)
Replying to craig__2k4:
Lone Wolf
By Lone_Wolf
05th Mar 2020 16:39

I may be wrong, but I think you'll find racism, i.e. the belief, isn't currently illegal, otherwise there'd be a hell of a lot of people in our jails. It is not a desirable quality in a person, I'll grant you, but it's not illegal.

Now abusing people in some form based on their race, now that would be illegal.

Are you suggesting that Boris is guilty of some form of criminal racist abuse?

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By justsotax
05th Mar 2020 15:16

Given the planned outgoings, I can only see tax increases (covertly done or otherwise)….which will be followed by much complaining from those who thought it was just labour interested in emptying their pockets of cash. Wonder whether the promised £90 of NIC saving will come through.....don't hold your breath....(well until maybe 2024 maybe)

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Replying to justsotax:
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By Not Anonymous
08th Mar 2020 14:02

justsotax wrote:

Given the planned outgoings, I can only see tax increases (covertly done or otherwise)….which will be followed by much complaining from those who thought it was just labour interested in emptying their pockets of cash. Wonder whether the promised £90 of NIC saving will come through.....don't hold your breath....(well until maybe 2024 maybe)

It is already in place according to Employer Bulletin 82.

And gov.uk has the Primary Threshold as £9,500 for 2020/21.

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By hje
05th Mar 2020 17:41

I predict a restriction on tax relief for pension contributions.

Thanks (2)
Replying to hje:
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By Not Anonymous
08th Mar 2020 13:58

hje wrote:

I predict a restriction on tax relief for pension contributions.

As in the amount you can contribute or the tax rate you can receive relief at?

One seems easier to achieve than the other.

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By Duggimon
06th Mar 2020 12:07

I stand by what I said on John's article earlier, I am virtually certain that with a substantial number of Limited companies winding up in 20/21, the government will see this as the ideal time to tax them double by removing ER.

The Conservatives are good for business. Unless you're one of the small minority of 99.3% of all businesses making up the small business sector, then they want you taxed the same, or preferably more, than people in secure salaried employment.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
06th Mar 2020 15:29

End of ER could be a big one

Thanks (0)
Replying to Glennzy:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
06th Mar 2020 16:09

Compared to "r", "R" is indeed a big one.

Thanks (1)
David Winch
By David Winch
08th Mar 2020 02:24

There are reports of a new Economic Crime Levy on businesses in the regulated sector (yes, that means us) in order to fund more financial investigators.
My guess is that there may be limited enthusiasm for that on AWEB!
David

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
10th Mar 2020 08:29

Thanks for all the replies so far - some interesting variety in there, including the odd diversion from business and tax policy.

The Entrepreneurs' Relief reform proposal remains one of the strongest contenders on our list, with a tip to our new community tax pundit Duggimon for getting in another excellent point about the potential revenue-raising opportunity of abolishing ER just when IR35 policy triggers a wave of disincorporations.

But events appear to have overtaken us somewhat. Since I posted this question, the coronavirus outbreak has risen up the agenda to the point that it is likely to dominate proceedings in Parliament during the Chancellor's speech at lunchtime on Wednesday. We've already heard that there will be other "fiscal events" during the year with an autumn Budget when the real tax measures are likely to emerge, but the need to contain and mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic may well push back more non-essential tax announcements to the back burner. I took a stab at rounding up all the Corvid-19 measures being floated in the weekend newspapers, but it's very clear the government is planning to use the Budget as a platform for demonstrating its resolve. Here's the article: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/business-tax/budget-plans-overtaken-...

So even though it may be (yet another) policy-lite Budget, it's still going to be worth watching closely. We'll be doing so in one of AccountingWEB's traditional live chats from noon and you can track all the announcements and reactions on our Budget 2000 page: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/hub/budget-2020

We'll also be watching the Any Answers page closely through the afternoon to see what surprises you all uncover in the paperwork.

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
11th Mar 2020 10:13

I think this thread is a little bit redundant now. In what has to be the most leaked and pre-announced Budgets of all time, the Bank of England kicked off the morning with a co-ordinated interest rate cut to 0.25% and bank lending support package.

Add that to the statutory sick pay announcement (payable from day one of leave instead of after four days), business rate reliefs for pubs and entertainment venues, plus early release of IR35 review etc etc. It smooths some of the mental processing that has to take place on the day itself, but is scrambling our usual editorial planning mechanisms.

If you have a taste for instant analysis and want to share your views with fellow AccountingWEB members and tax experts during the speech, do come and join us in our Live blog, which will start rolling from noon here: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/hmrc-policy/budget-2020-live-panel

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