ACCA’s recommendations for the Budget 2015

The ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has called on the Chancellor to make a real meaningful difference to assist businesses and individuals by raising the threshold at which individuals pay National Insurance.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA stated:

“Since the election in 2010 the government has taken steps to take many of the lowest paid out of income tax, with the threshold scheduled to potentially reach £12,500. However anyone earning £153 a week, equivalent to less than £8,000 per year, still has to pay NICs (National Insurance Contributions).

If the government is serious about helping the lowest paid they should raise the level at which they start paying NICs. At present those earning between £7,956 and £41,865 pay 12% of their earnings in NICs, making the amount potentially saved by the lowest paid extremely significant.

In addition, raising the threshold could actually save the Government money in the long term as many of the lowest paid would be entitled to less in benefits such as housing support.”

The ACCA also called on the Chancellor to further help individuals by removing principle private residence from falling into the inheritance tax circle. Mr Roy-Chowdhury stated:

“House prices in the UK have become almost recession proof. They keep rising year on year, but the point at which inheritance tax is paid has risen little in the past decade. We are now at the point where, in many areas of the country, the average house price is far above the threshold, and despite paying the taxes and charges that are associated with owning a property your loved ones are left with a hefty tax bill when inheriting the property.”

On the issue of Government Growth Vouchers, the ACCA has expressed that the Chancellor should extend these growth vouchers to more businesses. Mr Roy-Chowdhury stated:

“Under the scheme small businesses can get up to £2,000 worth of free finance advice, offering a lifeline to many at a time when a lack of available finance is often cited as the main barrier to growth for small businesses.

The growth vouchers scheme is due to end on 31 March and has helped up to 20,000 UK small businesses. Extending the scheme would send a clear signal that this Government backs enterprise ahead of the General Election in May.”