Budget 2020: the headlines

11th March 2020

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his first Budget earlier this afternoon amid Covid-19 concerns, flood defence spending and Brexit planning.

The key tax measure announcements include: 

  • Entrepreneurs’ Relief for Capital Gains Tax – the lifetime limit will be reduced from £10m to £1m
  • Employment Allowance for National Insurance will be increased to £4k
  • Increase in National Insurance threshold to £9,500
  • Research and Development and Structures and Buildings allowance rates to increase
  • Introduction of a Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge of 2% for non-UK residents, from April 2021
  • Corporation tax rate will remain at 19%
  • Taper of pensions annual allowance – increasing both thresholds by £90,000: reducing minimum annual allowance to £4,000
  • Business rates holiday for retail and leisure businesses with a rateable value of less than £51k for one year
  • Small businesses qualifying for business rates relief will receive a cash grant of £3,000
  • Statutory Sick Pay for those affected by Coronavirus will be refunded to employers by the Government in full for up to 14 days for businesses with fewer than 250 employees
  • Fuel Duty freeze continues
  • Introduction of a new Plastic Packaging Tax
  • Tax relief on red diesel abolished for many sectors but retained for farming and fishing
  • VAT to be removed from books and other publications, however delivered: a removal of the “reading tax” on digital publications from December 2020
  • Additional funding for HMRC to tackle tax avoidance and evasion

Katharine Arthur

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