The Chancellor George Osborne delivered his final Budget statement of this Parliament to the House of Commons on Wednesday 18 March 2015.
This is a summary of the main announcements affecting businesses.
- Corporation tax: the tax rate will be cut to 20% from April 2015. The rules will be amended to prevent contrived loss arrangements.
- National insurance: NICs on under-21s will be abolished from April 2015. They will also be abolished on employing young apprentices from April 2016.
- Business rates: a “major” review of business rates was announced. Small business rates relief will be extended from April 2015.
- Tax returns: the self-assessment tax return will be abolished, affecting 12 million people and small businesses. In most cases, the information HMRC needs will be uploaded automatically into new digital tax accounts.
- Diverted profits tax: a tax aimed at large companies that artificially shift profits offshore will come into effect from April 2015.
- Entrepreneurs’ Relief: loopholes will be closed to make the relief only available to those selling genuine stakes in businesses.
- Travel and subsistence: a clampdown on umbrella companies and agencies that abuse tax relief on travel and subsistence.
- Bank levy: the annual bank levy will be raised to 0.21%.
- Farmers: will be able to average their income over 5 years for tax purposes.