The UK Budget of 22 April 2009 contained a number of measures affecting business in our headlight areas. A detailed summary of the proposals will be available via this page, but for a brief comment on the principal announcements affecting our headlight areas please click on the relevant headlight link.  

Corporate finance

  • increased income taxes for high earners compared with low capital gains tax rates will put renewed pressure on incentivising employees in a tax effective way.
  • foreign dividends exempt from tax from 1 July 2009.
  • added compliance burden for senior accounting officials in relation to tax accounting systems.  

Financial institutions

  • restrictions on tax relief for pension contributions paid by high income individuals will impact companies operating pension schemes.
  • a financial institution’s tax affairs will be much more closely monitored, with a code of conduct and consultative document promised for banks, and rules requiring a senior accounting officer to certify the adequacy of their tax accounting systems.
  • more notices are to be issued by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) seeking details from financial institutions of potentially non-disclosed bank accounts held by UK taxpayers.
  • A comprehensive tax regime for Sukuk issues is introduced.
  • ISA limit increasing to £10,200.  

Energy and infrastructure

  • the new first-year capital allowance at 40 per cent for new expenditure on plant and machinery will benefit this capital intensive sector.
  • a package of “green” measures incentivises the low carbon economy.
  • enhanced ROCs available for offshore windfarms with financial close before 2011.
  • incentives for the oil and gas sector will encourage development of marginal fields and the re-use of redundant North Sea assets and infrastructure.  

Technology  

  • the intangible asset tax regime is subject to some changes.
  • a consultation is to be held on how to make the UK an attractive location for establishing technically innovative businesses.  

Transport  

  • a first-year capital allowance for a 12-month period at 40 per cent for new expenditure on plant and machinery will benefit this capital intensive sector, but lessors are not eligible.
  • a £2000 incentive is to be given to scrap old cars in exchange for new.
  • fuel tax increases provide one of the biggest fundraisers for the Government.
  • cross-border VAT is to be simplified.