Weekly tax brief | 4 March 2020

Drama should not replace policy in Rishi Sunak’s first Budget
George Bull
One of the oldest mistakes in the book is to confuse activity with progress. With the Chancellor under massive pressure to act now in a number of tax areas, we think he would be better advised to concentrate on setting out a clear direction of travel, to consult where appropriate on significant tax changes and to set out a timescale for better decision-making.

The long goodbye? Preparing for Entrepreneurs’ Relief big exit.
Chris Etherington
The news is bleak for business owners in the midst of a transaction who were hoping to benefit from Entrepreneurs’ Relief (‘ER’), as rumours continue to circulate that one of Rishi Sunak’s first acts as Chancellor will be to scrap it entirely in his maiden Budget speech on 11th March. With time ticking away, how long does ER have and what options can business owners explore to secure ER before it goes?

A new dawn for employee ownership may emerge from the Budget
Chris Etherington
Whilst some may bemoan the anticipated scrapping of Entrepreneurs’ Relief, the Chancellor’s plans could prove to be the catalyst to encourage more business owners to explore an Employee Ownership model. 

Government statement fails to calm fears of a hard Brexit for customs 
Sarah Halsted and Brad Ashton
The Government has revealed ambitious, perhaps over ambitious, plans for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU to be in place by the end of this year. It is very clear on the outcome if negotiations don’t go to plan.

Tax injustice means that lower-paid employees miss out on pension top-ups
George Bull
A defect in the tax system leaves 1.75 million of the lowest-paid pension savers worse off. We urge Rishi Sunak to address this in his first Budget on 11 March.