Sunday, 28 March 2010

The March 2010 Budget

These Budget notes were compiled by Accountants and Business Consultants Kingston Smith, please direct any questions to Kingston Smith.

The 2010 Budget Speech was largely as expected: relatively devoid of meaningful economic content.

There was a welcome extension to the Stamp Duty Land Tax exemption for residential properties up to £250,000, which might provide a marginal boost to the housing market at the lower end, at the expense of an increase to 5% on properties over £1m.

The extension of Capital Gains Tax entrepreneurs’ relief to £2m was surprising and will be no doubt well received by the SME community. It will be difficult for an incoming government of whatever hue to overturn it, but it might well be viewed as a precursor to an increase in the rate of CGT to a rate more comparable with income tax.

As for the other tax measures the Budget was notable mainly for what it did not contain.

There was no mention of:

An increase in VAT, and an extension of the base to include food, which has become widely acknowledged as unavoidable.

An earlier starting point for the 50 per cent income tax rate, further restrictions in pension tax relief and further freezes/reductions in allowances.

Possible new "windfall taxes".

Some or all of these issues might well reappear in the first post-election Budget.

Here are the headline issues as we see them.

Click on the links below to read more on the individual topics, or click here for our full analysis of the 2010 Budget.