Three tie in Budget prediction stakes.

The battle to win the prestigious Accountancy Age Budget challenge ended in a three-way tie this year, with Arthur Andersen, the English ICA and the Chartered Institute of Taxation all claiming a share of the prestigious title. All three beat the remaining members of the Big Five, as well as business group experts and professional institutes, after scoring an impressive five out of six in anticipating Gordon Brown’s Budget reforms. The Institute of Directors, CIMA and Deloitte & Touche all chalked up a respectable four out of six to finish in joint second place. Even those left holding the wooden spoon – namely last year’s winners Ernst & Young, KPMG, ACCA and PwC – predicted a respectable three out of six. The organisations were asked whether the chancellor would revise CGT on business assets (yes), reduce NICs on share options for start-ups (no), increase stamp duty on property buying (yes), widen the 10% tax band for individuals (no) and increase air passenger duty (yes). All respondents were awarded a point for the final question on whether Brown would take an additional 1p off the basic rate of income tax. He didn’t deliver an extra cut though the rate was reduced to 22p following an announcement last year.

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