Autumn Statement

24th November 2016

Wednesday 23rd November saw the new Chancellor announce his first Autumn Statement (and his last as it happens).  His speech overall was fairly limited in technical content and having reviewed the detailed documentation that gets published after the speech there were no particular surprises hidden in the small print.  The primary change which will impact on many small VAT registered businesses is the introduction of a new flat rate of 16.5% for businesses using the flat rate scheme where they have very limited purchases of goods.  For many small businesses offering services rather than goods they may now find that the flat rate scheme actually costs them more so this is an area to be reviewed in the run up to April 2017.

One of the more humorous moments came when he announced that he was simplifying things in future by scrapping the twice a year budget announcements.  From Autumn 2017 there will be an Autumn Budget only rather than both a Spring Budget and an Autumn Statement.  He then raised a chuckle all round by following that up with the announcement that starting March 2018 there will be a new Spring Statement so we basically end up back where we started albeit the party line is that the Statement will be a review position only without any technical changes but we find that hard to believe!  The Autumn budget is a return to years gone by and does make some sense as it then gives the government time to review professional commentary from the accountancy profession and ensure that the measures announced will operated as intended before they actually come into effect! Lessons learned from recent mistakes perhaps…

By and large most tax related announcements had already been put in place by the previous Chancellor so it was simply a case of Philip Hammond confirming that the government were committed to seeing those changes through.  In our resources section we’ve published our briefing concentrates on the tax measures which include:

In addition the Chancellor announced the following pay and welfare measures:

In addition to setting out any changes on the horizon our briefing also include comments on the more important changes, together with any planning points that may arise.  The summary provides an invaluable update for you and will help you get to grips with the changes.

Posted – 24/11/2016