Milsted Langdon is advising businesses and individuals to check the finer details of this year’s Budget to see how it might benefit them.
Chancellor George Osborne billed his 2014 Budget as being for “a resilient UK”, pointing to upgraded growth forecasts and the need to ensure economic security in what was his penultimate Budget before next year’s General Election.
The most significant announcement for businesses was the doubling of the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) for capital expenditure from £250,000 to £500,000, extended to the end of 2015, while residential properties bought for more than £500,000 by companies will be liable for 15 per cent stamp duty, effective from 20 March 2014.
As expected, the Chancellor announced that the personal allowance – meaning the amount someone can earn before being taxed – would increase to £10,500 from April 2015.
Other key announcements included capping the carbon price floor and other green energy levies to reduce energy bills for businesses and consumers, the doubling in Government export finance to £3 billion, and raising the rate of research and development (R&D) tax credit payable to loss making small and medium-sized enterprises from 11 per cent to 14.5 per cent from April 2014.
Pensioners and savers also received good news as the Chancellor announced that cash and stocks and shares ISAs would be merged with a new upper limit of £15,000.
Changes to pensions include the removal of most tax restrictions on pensioners’ access to their pension, ending the requirement to buy an annuity, and the introduction of a new pensioner bond.
Rob Chedzoy, tax partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “This has certainly been a Budget for businesses and savers. Although there were very few surprises, many business owners will welcome the unexpected increase of the Annual Investment Allowance to £500,000.
“Individuals will also welcome measures to increase the personal tax allowance and major changes to pensions and savings.
“However, as always, the devil is in the detail, so we would urge anyone unsure about what this year’s Budget means to them to seek advice as soon as possible to ensure they do not miss out on any opportunities which may be beneficial to them.”