March 2018

New Spring Statement scheduled for 13th March 2018

The Chancellor will not be releasing a Spring Budget this March, but instead will present a Spring Statement to the House of Commons.

The next Budget should be released in the autumn, probably in November. The rationale behind this change is to give more time to develop legislation and avoid the problem of changes taking effect from 6th April, but not reaching the statute book until months later.

This problem was amplified in 2017, when the snap election resulted in most of the March Budget measures being put on hold. Some that took effect from 6th April 2017 – such as the reduction in the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) – were in a Finance Act that only received Royal Assent on 16th November.

Despite the new schedule, there seem to be plenty of people still expecting a Spring Budget in March 2018. This is perhaps because 2017 was an unusual year, with two budgets and three Finance Bills. However, 2018 should be much quieter on the tax front (assuming there is not another surprise election!).

Whilst there is no Budget this March there may still be changes announced in the Spring Statement that have immediate effect. Few Chancellors can resist the opportunity when they are in the parliamentary spotlight. Mr Hammond’s predecessor was a classic example, as some of George Osborne’s Autumn Statements were more like Budgets than the real thing.

If you are considering year end tax planning, then it could make sense to complete any transactions before 13th March 2018. If you need any assistance in that planning, you should contact us as soon as possible.

The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances. Tax laws can change. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.

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