Amidst fears of a double-dip recession, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had the unenviable task of presenting the Budget for the third time on 21st March 2012.
It came as no surprise when the Chancellor announced very early on in his speech that there would be no “unfunded giveaways”, confirming speculation that any concessions would need to be offset by an increase in tax elsewhere.
Although there was a significant change to the Stamp Duty on residential property costing over £2m, the wealthy will benefit from a cut in the top rate of tax down to 45% from April 2013 (currently 50%).
Individuals will gain from an £1,100 increase in the personal allowance from April 2013 but they could also lose out if they are earning over £50,000 and in receipt of Child Benefit.
Large companies will welcome the 2% cut in their rate of corporation tax. But whether small or large; all businesses were disappointed the government did not reverse their plans to reduce the Annual Investment Allowance to just £25,000.
Although small businesses appear to have been neglected in this Budget announcement, we should not overlook the recent introduction of the National Loan Guarantee Scheme and the forthcoming Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme. So whilst there was little mention of small businesses in this Budget, the government have already shown their support for small business owners already.
As usual, there was a lot of speculation about the measures that would be introduced in the Budget, but despite this there were still a number of surprises.
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