Monthly Archives: October 2018

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Key Points from the 2018 Budget

This week Chancellor Philip Hammond set out changes to the government’s taxation income and expenditure in his Budget, many of which will have an impact on the way the UK’s small businesses operate in the future.

The Chancellor’s Budget this year seems to be something of a mixed bag. The big-ticket items are fairly widely-expected – the public-sector IR35 and the Digital Service Tax have been heavily rumoured, and no doubt will continue to be quite controversial. But we also have a range of other little bits and pieces: some helpful, some less so.

For personal tax the obvious thing is the increased personal allowance and higher-rate threshold, but the slightly worrying news is on CGT PPR. This is yet to be consulted on but based on the announcement would seem to make lettings relief almost useless and this could have a nasty impact on a lot of small landlords.

There are some investment incentives on the business side. AIA going up to £1 million is interesting: this won’t affect many businesses, but I suspect that the medium-sized ones who do benefit from it will be very happy. The Structures and Buildings Allowance (SBA) is clearly a re-badged Industrial Buildings Allowance (IBA). It only applies to new buildings but getting tax relief for commercial property fills a conceptual hole in the capital allowances regime and so must be welcome.

On the other hand, the SBA is only at 2%, not the 4% that IBAs were at, and the reduction in special-rate pool allowances is very disappointing. Although we are in theory not getting tax relief for a lot of investment, the present value of these 2% and 6% allowances is pretty low. Still, a deferred tax credit looks nice even if it doesn’t help much with cashflow.

Then we have some other tinkering with anti-avoidance and tightening up of rules.  Reintroducing a PAYE cap on SME R&D tax credits is going to be a bit of a blow for staff-light start-ups, for example, although denying Employment Allowance is unlikely to annoy larger companies much. A general theme is to allow more reliefs to smaller businesses, which seems to be becoming more common as a policy these days.

All in all, I get the impression that no-one at HMRC or the Treasury wants to introduce major new tax measures, and so a number of smaller ideas that have been bubbling away in the background are being wheeled out to have their day. The increased complexity this will lead to is regrettable, but I suppose it could have been worse: at least pensions tax relief hasn’t been broken the way that mortgage interest was.

If you’d like to speak with one of our tax advisers about the Budget, please call us or email us.


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UK200Group Update and Dates for Your Diary

By Declan Swan, CEO, UK200Group:


” It’s a little while since I last updated you on the UK200Group, so I thought it would be useful to summarise what we have been doing recently and highlight some dates for your diary.

Over the past few months, we have held several events including:

  1. The HR Forum led by Helen Spencer of Whittingham Riddell
  2. The Marketing Forum which was kindly hosted by Howard Worth and led by Jo Edwards of JE Consulting
  3. The Managing Partners Forum led by Cathy Revis of Fiander Tovell which focused on the results of the        2018 benchmarking survey.

For my part I have been visiting member firms around the UK. Most recently I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend and speak at Myerson’s partners meeting in Belfast. I also visited Essex where I was especially pleased to meet younger partners who have not been exposed to the UK200Group before. In addition, I was invited some weeks ago to meet the staff team at The Martlet Partnership who had some great ideas. On account of their direct feedback I am working on a letter for members to send to their clients to update them and re-assure them about Making Tax Digital (MTD).

As our profile rises, I have noticed that we are now receiving increasing numbers of membership enquiries from accountancy and law firms. Interestingly a remarkable number of would-be applicants fail to achieve our stringent entry requirements and are turned down. This may be because they are not members of a professional or regulatory body approved by us or because they fall short of our robust Quality Assurance and Standards (QAS) scheme. Beyond that it could be because they simply don’t share our members’ ethos of Building Better Together and are unlikely to fit. Whatever the reason, it reminds me that those who are members – be they new or long-standing – are part of a unique professional community which is known for its commitment to the highest professional standards.

Looking ahead, we have several events coming up:

1. Specialist Tax Conference on the 9 October 2018

2. Business Advisory Specialist Training Event on the 17 October 2018

3. Property and Construction Group – Specialist Sector Conference on the 18 October 2018

4. International Forum on the 14 November 2018

5. Corporate Finance Specialist Training on the 30 November 2018.

Finally, the UK200Group’s Annual Conference will be held on the 15th and 16th of November 2018. This year, the event will be staged at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. It features many excellent speakers, interactive sessions and networking. We will be joined by many of our Business Partners, ICAEW, SRA plus leading software providers. If you haven’t booked I would urge you to do so because this is the event where you can meet like-minded professionals from across the Group and beyond. We are also supporting a great local charity called the Teapot Trust who do some amazing work with children, families and young people facing chronic illness. It’s a great cause and during the conference we will be aiming to raise some funds to help the Trust in its good work.

I think that summarises where we are, and I will of course update you again in the near future.


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