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Happy Budget Day!

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With his fourth Budget in under twelve months getting underway shortly, George Osborne certainly seems to want value for money!  I’ll be settling down at 12.30 for “Lunch with George”, but to be honest I’m struggling to decide whether he’ll be announcing any surprise measures – on the basis that surprises can be nice and nasty! – or whether he’s just going to be aiming at some smaller, perhaps obscure, adjustments.

Landlords who own residential property have been hit rather hard by recent Budget/Autumn Statement announcements such as the demise of the Wear & Tear allowance, the withdrawal of loan interest relief and the introduction of additional Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase of “additional” residential properties – and therefore must be feeling rather beleaguered.  So perhaps the chancellor will be looking to make changes that will effect a wider range of taxpayers.   

With the tax lock in place to ensure that the rates of income tax, national insurance and VAT do not increase for the duration of the current parliament George seems to have somewhat painted himself into a corner as far as any tax “hikes” are concerned.  He could always amend or repeal the relevant legislation, however, it is perhaps a still too new and shiny piece of legislation to be consigned to the bin as yet!

A more broad brush approach to increasing tax revenues could be effected by lowering the threshold at which higher rate tax becomes payable – but no doubt that would prove to be an unpopular move. 

Alternatively, if mainstream taxes are to be left alone, there have been suggestions in the press that Mr O could look to increase insurance premium tax.  If this were imposed for compulsory insurances, such as for road vehicles, it would no doubt effect a wide number of taxpayers.

It’s always difficult to predict Budget announcements but I think especially so today! - Perhaps rather than trying to second guess what George will announce I’ll be better off studying today’s Cheltenham race card!

Chattertons will be providing a summary of the 2016 Budget on a dedicated website www.budgetfocus.co.uk

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