Countdown to the Budget 2015

11 March 2015

Only one week to go until the Chancellor, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, delivers his  2015 budget.

The budget will be delivered to Parliament at 12.30pm on Wednesday, 18th March. Live coverage is on BBC2.

The good news for the average tax payer is that because it is an election year (Thursday 7th May) then the Conservative Party should be keen to spread the feel good factor and cut taxes in order to maximise votes!

However the Chancellor has already announced his spending plans for 2015/6 and has also vowed to balance the books by 2017/8, implying there will be no pre-election giveaways.

Possible good changes could be increases to personal allowances and the 40% tax threshold. Also an increase to the inheritance tax nil band threshold.

As we’ve previously covered, one area under discussion is the tax relief on a contractor’s travel & subsistence expenses. As we raised in our response to HMRC to restrict this for contractors would unfairly prejudice them when compared to permanent employees who can claim tax relief when travelling to and from a temporary assignment.

We attended a lobby event at The Houses of Parliament yesterday that was attended by 7 MP’s. The general feel is that this will rumble on with a formal consultation to follow the budget. It would seem inappropriate for any changes to be rushed through to the detriment to the large number of contractors working in the UK.

Tax avoidance and tax evasion are the key words at the moment so other possible tax changes could be:

  • Restriction or reduction of Entrepreneurs Relief (10% capital gains rate when selling a business). Annual cost estimated at £2.9bn.
  • Measures to ensure Large Foreign Companies pay their fair share of UK Corporation Tax.
  • Further clamp down on the use of Offshore Companies.
  • Further clamp down on Tax Avoidance Schemes.

The above are just our predictions and may or not be part of the Budget.

Should there be a change in Government then Ed Balls the current Shadow Chancellor could also deliver an alternative budget later in the year.

Umbrella.co.uk will be bringing you the key announcements on the day and in particular how these affect contractors & freelancers working in the UK.