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  • Writer's pictureLuciano Peria

SPRING BUDGET 2023

Updated: Mar 7



The Chancellor of the Exchequer today revealed a raft of measures, including additional free childcare, changes to prepayment meter charges and a rise in defence spending with the emphasis on growing the economy.


Businesses expecting a reduction on business rates or a reversal of the corporation tax increase from 19% to 25% were left disappointed, although the Chancellor tried to dampen the blow by replacing the super deduction scheme with a 100% full expensing tax relief for the next three years.


Main Tax measures


Here are the main measures announced by the Chancellor:

  • Raised the £40,000 annual limit on pension contributions to £60,000

  • Abolished the pensions lifetime allowance

  • Announced12 new Investment Zones to drive business investment

  • Criminal charges for promoters of tax avoidance – new consultation

  • Full expensing tax relief will come in from 1 April

  • Froze road fuel duty and retained the recent 5p cut in petrol and diesel duty for 12 months

  • The Energy Price Guarantee kept at £2,500 for an additional three months

  • Froze duty on average strength draught beer sold in pubs across the UK

  • Introduced a new apprenticeship – the “returnership” for over 50s

  • Relief for the UK film and TV industry

  • Alcohol duty to rise with inflation.

The Chancellor will raise the pension annual allowance, the annual limit on tax-relieved pension savings, from £40,000 to £60,000


The increase will come into effect from April 2023, However, some complexity will still remain as it would appear that the taper rate will remain. The adjusted income threshold for the tapered annual allowance will be increased from £240,000 to £260,000 from 6 April 2023.

Higher earners will still be hit by a reduction in the allowance through tapering, which can reduce the allowance to £10,000.


Pensions lifetime allowance abolished


After years of reducing the lifetime allowance for pensions, the Chancellor announced plans to abolish the £1,073,000 limit completely.

The Lifetime Allowance charge will be removed from April 2023 before the allowance is abolished entirely from April 2024.

These reforms benefit a small percentage of rich individuals and will help ensure that high skilled individuals such as NHS consultants are not disincentivised from remaining in the workforce by reducing the risk of incurring significant pension tax charges.


Investment Zones


Twelve new investment zones or "potential Canary Wharfs" will be eligible for £80m in funding to boost business there, with at least one each in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The ones in England are: Greater Manchester, West Midlands, North East, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Midlands, Teesside, and Liverpool.

There will also be £200m extra funding for local regeneration projects.


14-year sentences for tax fraud


Jail sentences of up to 14 years will be introduced for tax fraudsters, while more funding has been set aside for HMRC to tackle tax evasion.

The government has stated that it will ‘double the maximum sentences for the most egregious cases of tax fraud from seven to fourteen years.

There are already financial penalties in place for promoters who ignore ‘Stop Notices’ but these do not appear to deter the offenders.


The super-deduction tax relief will be replaced with the three-year ‘full expensing’ regime from 1 April 2023


From 1 April 2023 until the end of March 2026, companies will be able to claim 100% capital allowances on qualifying plant, machinery and IT investments.

The plant and machinery must be new and unused, must not be a car, given to the company as a gift, or bought to lease to someone else.

Full expensing allows companies to write off the full cost of qualifying plant and machinery investment in the year they invest.

That means in effect it is a corporation tax cut for every year it is in place, as every single pound a company invests in IT equipment, plant or machinery can be deducted in full and immediately from taxable profits.


Free childcare extended to 30 hours


The Chancellor set out long-term plans to offer up to 30 hours of free childcare for every child over the age of nine months up to 5 years old by September 2025

The measure will be introduced in phases, with 15 hours of free childcare for working parents of two-year-olds coming into effect in April 2024 and 15 hours of free childcare for working parents of nine months to three years old in September 2024.

The childcare costs of parents moving into work or increasing their hours on Universal Credit will be paid upfront rather than in arrears, with the maximum claim increased to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two children.


Back to work, the new apprenticeship or the “returnership” for over 50s


In a measure designed to encourage the over 50s back to work, the annual limit on contributions after pension drawdown is reverted to £10,000

This means that the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) will be £10,000 a year from April 2023, more than double the current rate of £4,000. Effectively, this returns the cap to the same level as when it was first introduced in 2015.

The MPAA kicks in when an individual accesses their defined contribution pension savings. The total tax-relieved pension savings they can make each year is restricted to the level of the MPAA as soon as they take money out of their pension pot.


Good news for the UK film and TV industry


From January 2024, film and TV expenditure credit will be raised from 25% to as much as 34%. The qualifying threshold for high-end TV shows would also be held at £1m.

In addition to the changes to the film and TV tax relief, the animation and children’s TV sector will receive a 39% tax credit.

The expenditure credits will be calculated directly from qualifying expenditures instead of being an adjustment to the company’s taxable profit as under the existing regime.


Alcohol duty


Tax relief of 11p has been announced on draft drinks served in pubs from 1 August.


Fuel duty


An extension of the 5p cut in fuel duty, has been announced for a year. Fuel duty will also be frozen for the next 12 months.


Benefits


The government will abolish the work capability assessment for disabled people and separate benefit entitlement from an individual's ability to work. The aim is to enable disabled people to seek work without fear of losing their benefits.

A new programme called universal support will also fund extra support for disabled people to find work.


Energy Bills


Thanks to the consumer rights champion Martin Lewis and many charities, the Chancellor confirms that the Government support for energy bills will continue for the next 3 months.


As expected, the government is extending the energy price guarantee (EPG), which keeps the average household bill at £2,500 until the end of June by capping the unit price of electricity. The typical bill was due to rise to £3,000 from 1 April. Under the EPG the government effectively caps household costs and reimburses energy companies for the difference between that, and the cost of buying power on wholesale markets.


The energy rebate scheme - paid direct to customers in six instalments of £66 and £67 a month - has not been extended and will end this month.


The so-called "prepayment premium", whereby those using prepayment meters are charged more for their gas and electricity, will be scrapped from July, enabling millions of families to make savings on their bills.




Disclaimer: Whilst we take care to ensure the accuracy of this document, no responsibility for loss incurred by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this information can be accepted by the authors or firm.

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