Wednesday 24 March 2010 saw the last budget statement before the general election. The budget had both good and bad points for small businesses.
The good points
- Stamp duty for first time buyers on properties up to £250,000 has been suspended for two years. This only applies to genuine first-time buyers, who will have to certify that they have never owned a property before.
- Small company's corporation tax has remained unchanged at 21%.
- Annual investment allowance has been increased from £50,000 to £100,000 for small companies.
- Doubling of entrepreneur's relief (for companies that qualify) and no change to Capital Gains Tax.
- VAT rate has remained unchanged. However we understand that thresholds for VAT registration has been increased to £70,000 from 1 April 2010.
- And the government has created new tax relief for companies that design, sell or market video games!
The not so good points
- Tax bands and allowances have remained unchanged effectively this a tax increase.
- Employer, employee and self employed national insurance rates will be increased a further 1% from April 2011.
- From 6 April 2010, a new higher rate of tax applies to incomes of £150,000 or more.
- Personal allowances are also withdrawn for those with incomes over £100,000.
- The Government has also announced (in the "Red Book" published at the same time as the budget) that they are again looking at the use of trust and other arrangements used to avoid tax and NIC payments.
- From April 2011, tax relief on pension contributions for income over £150,000 will be reduced to 20%.
- From April 2010 penalties now apply for late payment of VAT. The penalty can be as high as 13% of the late paid VAT. Those with a record of late payment will now be required to provide "financial security" to HMRC and failure to do so will become a criminal offence.
- From 1 October 2010 a new 50p broadband tax will be levied on all landlines.
- April 2010 sees the abolition of rules that allow furnished holiday lettings to be treated as trade rather than an investment.
- The Government continues to look at the construction industry and is questioning the employment status of sub-contractors. Their "test of deemed employment" is under going further work and will be completed at a later date.