The Budget will take place on Tuesday the 9th March this year.
Predictions have already started. The Institute of Fiscal Studies, in their excellent "Green Budget" report discuss (amongst other things):
– No expectation of any major alteration in the overall burden of taxation but they do expect further changes in personal taxation and social security
– At least a move towards a 10% starting income tax rate with the removal of the 20% band.
– Further reform of NIC – especially for the self-employed
– Welfare reform including the taxing of child benefit
– Further extension of tax changes aimed at environmental improvement.
As well as these issues the financial services industry in particular will be looking out for any hints of the possibility of:
– Further reduction in MIRAS – possibility to fund the 10% rate
– Reform to inheritance tax or specific anti-avoidance provisions aimed at insurance based schemes and (especially "post-Ingram") strategies founded on the private residence
– Potential reduction in tax reliefs on pensions although this seems less likely especially given the current topicality of encouraging provision.
– Further corporate tax and capital gains tax changes – although given the significant recent reforms – changes in these areas seem highly unlikely. Despite this, the Government did, in its pre-budget report, focus on possible incentives for high-tec and start up businesses.
Regardless of what actually emerges, the run up to the budget (as well as the period following the Budget) is an excellent time for reviewing the financial affairs of key personal and business clients.