Autumn Statement 2017: our summary

The Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his first Autumn Budget on Wednesday 22 November 2017. His report set out a number of actions the government will take including support for more housebuilding.

His view is that the economy continues to grow and as a result the UK is creating more jobs.

The major attention-grabber was aimed at first time buyers who will not have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on homes costing up to £300,000.

Our summary focuses on the tax measures which may affect you, your family and your business.

Overall, it was a rather low-key budget for businesses. It’s a no-gain, no-loss budget for many of our clients. There was a lot of bluster about ‘looking at this’ and ‘thinking about that’, but not really much action, although this is really as we expected.

The increase in the research and development (R&D) tax credit scheme for large companies is good but an increase should have also been extended to SME’s who qualify. We wanted to see more incentives for SMEs not just the large corporates.

The uplift in EIS relief to £2m could be interesting to our entrepreneurial clients, although the application of more anti-avoidance measures may counter the benefit.

The raising of the basic and higher rate income tax threshold is positive for the economy and means more money can be spent on goods and services providing a tangible boost but it’s not major news.

Most SMEs will welcome a crackdown on the levels of taxation paid by multinational competitors operating outside UK jurisdictions.

On the negative side we want to see a reduction of red-tape for small businesses – the fact that the Chancellor is considering reducing the threshold at which small firms need to be registered for VAT is concerning. Any adverse changes to the VAT regime must be carefully considered.

The Budget proposals may be subject to amendment in the Spring Statement and subsequent Finance Act. You should contact us before taking any action as a result of the contents of this summary.

You can find our full summary of the Autumn Statement here.