ACCA’s View on Budget 2015
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has voiced its thoughts on the Budget 2015 Report. It has stated with a Budget so close to the General Elections, the Budget was always going to be a political one with tax payer pleasing measures.
The head of taxation at ACCA, Chas Roy-Chowdhury has stated:
“As you’d expect so close to the General Election, this was a political Budget from a political Chancellor.”
“It contained a number of welcome measures that will go down well with voters from a range of economic backgrounds such as a further increase in the personal tax free allowance to £11,000, a new fully-flexible ISA and the new first-time buyer bonus.”
SME Business Rates
On the news of the Government launching a review into SME business rates, Chas Roy-Chowdhury commented that the review is welcomed, as business rates can often be punitive costs, especially for businesses in the retail sector.
Lifetime Pension Allowance
The reduction in the lifetime allowance for pensions from £1.25 million to £1 million has not gone down well. Chas Roy-Chowdhury commented that this wasn’t the right way to deal with long term investments. He stated:
“The Chancellor should exercise caution when meddling with the pension pots of those who have been contributing to them for 30 to 40 years in many cases. They are heavily relied upon by those looking to retire and care should be taken not to jeopardise their future.”
“What the Chancellor didn’t make crystal clear was the tax implications of withdrawing a lump sum. There is the potential for a large number of people to get quite a shock when they find out they will have tax to pay on their money should they wish to get their hands on it”.
On the controversial news that the government will be revolutionising the tax return by providing tax payers with digital online accounts, the ACCA commented:
“This move to the brave new world of digital tax returns will allow people to have a holistic view across the range of taxes they pay. As well as settling their taxes, taxpayers will be able to amend their tax codes and even pay their parking fines online, which is welcome news.”
“Many of those filing paper self-assessment forms are self-employed people and those running small businesses who have been using the postal method for many years. They need to be given access to resources which help them move the process online to ensure they aren’t left behind.”
National Insurance Contributions
The ACCA was disappointed to note that the starting point for paying National Insurance Contributions had not increased in line with the personal tax allowance.