Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer handed down his 2013 Budget, promising it was a 'budget for an aspirational nation … for a Britain that wants to be prosperous, solvent and free'. Certainly, there are many measures which will seem attractive to corporates and individuals alike and which are aimed at encouraging growth and investment in the UK. Also of note is the further focus on clamping down on avoidance (and more measures are promised). Unfortunately, very little detail underpinning some of these proposals was actually published today so it will remain a case of 'watch this space'. Some of the key measures announced today include:
- A reduction in the main corporation tax rate to 20% with effect from 1 April 2015.
- R&D 'above the line' relief increased to 10%.
- A watering down of the Government's procurement proposals. In particular, the 'look back' period has been reduced to 6 years and confirmation it will not apply retrospectively.
- Employee shareholder CGT exemptions.
- Introduction of a shale gas field allowance and other measures to promote investment.
- Changes to the taxation of the asset management industry to promote its competitiveness.
These and the other more commercially significant measures are dealt with in more detail in our briefing which can be found here.