George’s Gorgeous Googly

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You really have to watch George’s balls very very carefully. George Osborne’s Budget statement was really like a cricket bowl which looks like one thing but is in fact another.

First of all it wasn’t really an Autumn statement was it? December 3rd I’d call that “winter”.

Then comes the great SDLT great tax “give away”. Ok so a large number of people will benefit from the blended rates of tax and we whole heartedly support that. But lets not ignore the fact that the top two rates of tax have doubled with the top end an eye watering 12% at the top end. How that will play out in the pricing of properties going to market remains to be seen. While we definitely do not support and annual (mansion) tax – I think this still has a ring of tax hike around as effectively its a punitive capital gains tax in all but name. Where’s the aspiration in that?

Buried deeper was the hit on entrepreneurs and start ups.  Transferring  businesses into a corporate shell has been process as old as the limited liability concept itself. Start ups unsure as to the scale and scope of this business might start as a sole trader or partnership then after a few years fold everything into a Company-  making themselves director and shareholder. The tax regime around this was benign – as it should be. You were (until last week) able effectively to set the goodwill against your other tax payments eg corporation tax. While you can still take advantage of entrepreneurs relief the base cost is set at a higher level.  So where the incentive in that?

If only George had shouted these changes on his budget delivery as loudly as some of the patterns you will be wearing on your Christmas jumper today – then we’d all have had a bit more time to react and shout “howzat”.


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