As Chancellor Rishi Sunak sits down after presenting his first Budget to the Commons, the headlines will all relate to tackling Coronavirus and increased spending on our public services. Reading the small print, however, which is released by HMRC straight after the Budget, announcements that will be of interest to clients running technology companies include:
- Increasing R&D Expenditure Credits (RDEC) from 12% to 13%.
- With effect from Budget Day, reducing the Entrepreneurs Relief ER lifetime limit from £10m to £1m.
- Reviewing the EMI option tax scheme, to increase eligibility.
- More public investment in digital networks.
- Further support for the UK net zero carbon emissions target of 2050.
- Extending funding of the British Business Bank’s start-up loan programme to 2021-22.
- To consult on whether eligible R&D costs should be expanded to include investments in data and cloud computer.
- Increasing the annual allowance threshold for pension contributions to earnings over £200k.
- Introduction of annual PAYE cap on RDEC refund claims wef 1-Apr-21.
- Introduction of 2% digital services tax wef 1-Apr-20.
- The government will publish an evaluation of the introduction of Making Tax Digital for VAT.
So the change to ER, that has been debated endlessly in the Press for the last few weeks, turned out to be a leak rather than unfounded speculation, and probably takes the gloss off the rest of the (generally positive) changes.