GREEN BUDGET – Brown’s SME tax aid

Accountants in business and practice gave a broad welcome to the measures, which included a promise to consider a cut in the 20% rate of small business corporation tax, but said they doubted if they would have a major effect.

David Harrison, Kidsons Impey national tax director, described the statement, intended to foreshadow next year’s spring Budget, as ‘in practice a mini-Budget’ containing a ‘miscellany of tax reliefs for businesses’.

Brown’s announcement that the merged Inland Revenue and Contributions Agency would offer a ‘one-stop advice service’ for small companies with a help line was welcomed by small business leaders.

David Hands, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said it would remove red tape and streamline the system while Chris Fitzgibbon, Deloitte & Touche tax partner, questioned whether the merged service would have the necessary expertise to offer advice.

But many commentators focused on what was not said. Some were disappointed that there was no mention of a structure for consultations on the reform of capital gains tax.

Others noted the absence of reference to payments on account for corporate self-assessment or details of plans for changes to the taxation of charities and charitable giving.

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