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Posted by admin
August - 5 - 2011

 

Budget 2011 – Main announcements

 This page summarises the key, new announcements made by the Chancellor in Budget 2011 on tax, duties and national Insurance contributions that we think will be of interest to businesses.

 Business Taxes

Corporation Tax Main Rate

The Government is reducing:

• the main rate of corporation tax to 26 per cent for the Financial Year commencing 1 April 2011;

• the main rate of corporation tax to 25 per cent for the Financial Year commencing 1 April 2012; and

• the small profits rate of corporation tax to 20 per cent from the Financial Year commencing 1 April 2011.

VAT: revalorisation of registration and deregistration thresholds

The following changes will be made to the VAT registration and deregistration thresholds:

• the taxable turnover threshold, which determines whether a person must be registered for VAT, will be increased from £70,000 to £73,000;

• the taxable turnover threshold which determines whether a person may apply for deregistration will be increased from £68,000 to £71,000; and

• the registration and deregistration threshold for relevant acquisitions from other EU Member States will also be increased from £70,000 to £73,000.

The revalorised thresholds have effect on or after 1 April 2011. The simplified reporting requirement (three line accounts) for the income tax Self Assessment return will continue to be aligned with the VAT registration threshold.

Oil: Supplementary Charge and Decommissioning Relief

The rate of the supplementary charge levied on profits from UK oil and gas production will increase from 20 per cent to 32 per cent from 24 March 2011. As part of the fair fuel stabiliser, if in future years the oil price falls below a set trigger price on a sustained basis, the Government will reduce the supplementary charge back towards 20 per cent on a staged and affordable basis while prices remain low. The Government believes that a trigger price of US $75 per barrel would be appropriate, and will set a final level and mechanism after seeking the views of oil and gas companies and motoring groups.

With effect from Budget 2012, tax relief for decommissioning expenditure will be restricted to the 20 per cent rate of supplementary charge. There will be no restrictions to decommissioning relief beyond this level for the lifetime of this Parliament. The Government will work with the industry with the aim of announcing further, longer term, certainty on decommissioning at Budget 2012. Recognising the importance of continuing investment in the North Sea including in marginal gas fields, the Government will also consider with the industry the case for introducing a new category of field that would qualify for field allowance.

 Controlled Foreign Companies

Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2011 to deliver a package of interim improvements to the controlled foreign companies (CFCs) rules as a first step to make the rules easier to operate ahead of full reform in 2012. The interim changes will have effect for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2011 other than the extension to the transitional rules for the holding company exemptions which is deemed always to have had effect. Following consultation, a number of changes were made to ensure that the improvements delivered the desired outcome. This includes amending the three year temporary exemption to include overseas subsidiaries that are not currently CFCs but that have been in the past.

The full reform will introduce a mainly entity based system that will operate in a targeted and more territorial way by bringing within a CFC charge only the proportion of overseas profits that have been artificially diverted from the UK. The new rules will include a finance company partial exemption that, in broad terms, results in an effective UK tax rate of one-quarter of the main rate on profits derived from overseas group financing arrangements. This will result in a rate of 5.75 per cent by 2014. The Government will be consulting on this measure. A consultation document describing the new regime will be published in May 2011 with draft legislation in the autumn of 2011, for inclusion in Finance Bill 2012.

 Research and Development

Subject to State aid approval the rate of the additional deduction for expenditure on research and development (R&D) for companies that are small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will be increased from 75 per cent to 100 per cent from 1 April 2011, giving a total deduction of 200 per cent. The rate of vaccine research relief for SMEs will be reduced to 20 per cent from the same date.

Following consultation on the support that the R&D tax reliefs provide to innovation and on the recommendations of the Dyson review, the Government will publish a response in May which will include further consultation on the detail of proposed changes. Subject to State aid approval and to this consultation the rules will be simplified including:

• the rule limiting a company’s payable R&D tax credit to the amount of PAYE and national insurance contributions (NICs) it pays will abolished.

• the £10,000 minimum expenditure condition will be abolished for all companies.

• changes will also be made to the rules governing the provision of relief for work done by subcontractors under the large company scheme.

Bank Levy

In the June 2010 Budget the Government announced that it intended to introduce a bank levy (the Levy), effective from 1 January 2011, in respect of certain equity and liabilities on banks’ balance sheets. Following consultation on a number of operational issues around design and implementation, including possible and proposed approaches to defining taxable entities and the tax base, the Government

published a response document on 21 October 2010 along with an HMRC Technical Note setting out the Government’s proposals for the design of the Levy including changes made as a result of the consultation.

The Government announced on 8 February 2011 an increase in the effective rate of the Levy for the year 2011. The rates were increased so that the Levy will raise the target yield of £2.5 billion for the first year. Therefore, the rates for the calendar year 2011 will be:

• 1 January 2011 – 28 February 2011 0.05 per cent for short-term chargeable liabilities and 0.025 per cent for long-term chargeable equity and liabilities;

• 1 March 2011 – 30 April 2011 0.1 per cent for short-term chargeable liabilities and 0.05 per cent for long-term chargeable equity and liabilities; and

• 1 May 2011 – 31 December 2011 0.075 per cent for short-term chargeable liabilities and 0.0375 per cent for long-term chargeable equity and liabilities.

The Bank Levy rates will be increased from 1 January 2012 onwards from those announced on 9 December 2010 to offset the benefit of the further decrease in corporation tax. The rates for 2012 onwards will now be 0.078 per cent for short-term chargeable liabilities and 0.039 per cent for long-term chargeable equity and liabilities.

Revenue Protection

 All measures are detailed in Overview of Tax legislation and Rates. A small number of measures come into effect on 23 or 24 March 2011. These are in respect of:

• Corporation tax anti-avoidance derecognition

• Sale of lessor companies

• Stamp Duty Land Tax

• Corporate gains degrouping charges

• Oil and gas: intangible fixed assets

Tax Administration

Office of Tax Simplification – Review of Reliefs

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) was commissioned by the Chancellor to undertake a review of the reliefs and allowances available in the tax system. The OTS published their final report on 3 March 2011 (available on the HM Treasury website) in which they recommended abolishing a number of reliefs. Some of these reliefs have no further use, some are poorly targeted and several have an administrative burden that outweighs their benefit. The Government welcomes the recommendations and, based on the findings of the OTS and ongoing work by HMRC, intends to abolish a number of reliefs.

Posted by admin
August - 3 - 2011

Budget Summary 2010 

Changes to the personal allowance, basic rate limit and upper earnings limit for NIC Legislation will be introduced to provide for the following income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) changes for the tax year 2011-12:

• the personal allowance for those aged under 65 will be increased by £1,000 to £7,475;

• the basic rate limit will be reduced so that higher rate taxpayers do not benefit from the increase in the personal allowance. The exact figure will be confirmed when September’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) is known; • the alignment of the Upper Earnings/Profits Limit (UEL/UPL) with the higher rate threshold (the total of the personal allowance for those aged under 65 and the basic rate limit) will be maintained by reducing the UEL/UPL; and

• the secondary threshold, which is the point at which employers start to pay Class 1 NICs, is to be increased by an extra £21 per week above indexation. Taken together, these measures reduce the tax liability for those on lower incomes and have no impact on most higher rate taxpayers who are employees or self employed and will help employers.

Main Changes to Tax Credits and Child Benefit

• The Government will reduce tax credit eligibility for families with household income above £40,000 from April 2011 and make further changes in 2012-13;

• The Government will increase both withdrawal rates to 41%;

• The Government has announced the removal of a number of elements from the Tax Credits system including the baby element (6 April 2011) and the age 50+ element (6 April 2012);

• The Government will use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to uprate all of those elements of tax credits due to be uprated by RPI from April 2011. The child element of the Child Tax Credit will increase by £150 above CPI in 2011-12 and £60 above CPI in 2012-13. The rate of Child Benefit will remain at current levels until April 2014, which will help fund increases in the child element of the Child Tax Credit;

• The backdating provisions have been shortened to one month with effect from 6 April 2012 from the current 93 days and amendments will also be made to the income disregard for income increases from 6 April 2011 and an introduction of a disregard for income falls from 6 April 2012; and

• Whilst the Government has chosen to continue with the previously announced decision on Working Tax Credits of the over 60s, they have reversed the March 2010 announcement to increase for those with children aged one or two.

Corporation Tax – Rates

The Chancellor has announced that:

• legislation will be introduced to cut the main rate of corporation tax (CT) to 27 per cent for the Financial Year (FY) commencing 1 April 2011;

• the small profits rate of corporation tax for FY 2011 will be 20 per cent. This will be legislated in Finance Bill 2011; and

• there will be further cuts in the main rate in future years: 26 per cent in 2012-13, 25 per cent in 2013–14, 24 per cent in 2014-15.

Change to the standard rate of VAT The standard rate of VAT will increase to 20 per cent on 4 January 2011.

Zero rated supplies, such as basic foodstuffs, children’s clothing and books; exempt supplies, such as education and health; and supplies subject to VAT at the reduced 5 per cent rate, such as domestic fuel and power, are not affected by this change.

There are no changes to the Cash Accounting or Annual Accounting Scheme.

Anti-forestalling legislation will be included in the Finance Bill 2010 to prevent the 17.5 per cent rate applying to supplies of goods or services that are provided on or after 4 January 2011, subject to certain conditions.

Review of Powers: Excise Compliance Checks

This measure makes changes to the compliance checking framework for excise duties, covering information and inspection powers, record-keeping rules and time limits. It will amend current legislation covering record-keeping, time limits and information and inspection powers.

A first consultation on excise modernisation and compliance checks was published in July 2009. The second consultation, published at the Pre-Budget Report 2009, listed the responses and proposed updating the existing compliance checking framework which is mainly in the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

Draft legislation to supplement that consultation was published on 14 January 2010 and a summary of responses to that consultation together with an impact assessment were published on 24 March 2010. A final Impact Assessment is being published today, 22 June 2010.

Pensions – Annual Allowance

The Government has today (22 June 2010) announced it is considering restricting pensions tax relief from 6 April 2011, by reforming the existing pension savings allowances, principally by significantly reducing the annual allowance. The Government will discuss the changes with interested parties but provisional analysis has suggested that the level of a reformed annual allowance may be in the region of £30,000 to £45,000.

The reformed allowances would replace the high income excess relief charge, which currently is due to come into force on 6 April 2011. Legislation will be brought in to allow the high income excess relief charge legislation to be repealed.

Regional Employer NICs Holiday for New Businesses

On 22 June 2010 the Budget Report stated:

‘The Government will shortly announce details of a scheme to help new businesses in targeted areas of the UK that need it most. During a three year qualifying period, new businesses which start up in these areas will get a substantial reduction in their employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

Within the qualifying period, these employers will not have to pay the first £5,000 of Class 1 employer NICs due in the first twelve months of employment. This will apply for each of the first 10 employees hired in the first year of business and operate in selected countries and regions.

Subject to meeting the necessary legal requirements, the scheme is intended to start no later than September 2010. Any new business set up from 22 June which meets the criteria set out in the forthcoming announcement will benefit from the scheme.’

The countries and regions which will benefit will be Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West, the East Midlands, the West Midlands and the South West.