Late Budget will have side effects

Yesterday, chancellor Gordon Brown announced in the House of Commons the Budget would be heard on 17 April, more than a month later than last year’s March date.

PwC tax partner John Whiting explained the consequences for an April date:’Changes to personal allowances and tax rates are effective from 6 April and with a March Budget can be ready to go then. By having the Budget in April, employers will have to do a certain amount of adjusting and amending.’

Whiting said while this meant more work for employers, the personal allowance figures from the pre-Budget report in November would help.

Employers will also have to watch out for potential changes to National Insurance contributions and where the 10%, 22% and 40% income tax rates start and end, he added.

And business will be forced to wait another month to know if reforms to intellectual property laws and ‘substantial shareholdings relief will be coming in at 1 April’. But, Whiting said: ‘Good things are, I suppose, worth waiting for!.’

But taxpayers can take heart in the knowledge the Treasury could also lose out on revenues from increases to taxes, such as petrol & diesel duties, which normally come into effect immediately.

Related reading