Budget highlights – what it means for small business owners

The last budget before the election and it contained few surprises, but what if anything will be the affect for small business owners of this fiscally neutral budget:

Business rates: always a major gripe for business owners, particularly in the retail sector, so the announcement of a review is definitely good news however if you are cynically minded you will note that this does not come with the promise of any action. So very much a wait and see.


Farmers’ averaging: this rule that allows farmers to average profits over 2 years to take advantage of good and bad years had previously seemed to be living on borrowed time, so it is good to see it has been given a new lease of life and increased to 5 years.


Personal allowance: to be increased to £11,000 for 2017-18 tax year.


Savers: will enjoy the first £1,000 of interest they earn being free of tax. There is also increased flexibility for ISAs and the creation of the help to buy ISA, first time buyers will benefit from government help in saving for their deposit.


Pension lifetime allowance: there had to be some bad news, the lifetime allowance has been reduced from £1.25 million to £1 million.


Death of the tax return? Saving the best news until last, I will now be able to book a holiday from Christmas until the end of January. Well may be no just yet. The details behind the headline suggest that a digital tax account will be created for all tax payers pulling together details of all their income and tax paid in to one place. Whilst this is a welcome step forward for tax payers with simple affairs the tax payer will still be ultimately responsible for the detail and accuracy of this. So the death of the tax return headline may be a bit of an exaggeration, at least for now.