11 March 2020
In the shadow of the Coronavirus and Brexit and after less than a month in office, Rishi Sunak’s first Budget speech confirmed much of what we already knew, held a few surprises and ended the speculation around the future of entrepreneurs’ relief.
It was apparent from the first few words of Mr Sunak’s statement that the Budget was going to play a significant part in the government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak, and the Chancellor went on to announce a raft of measures designed to support public services, individuals, and businesses in light of this.
The Chancellor also set out a plan for future prosperity focused on investment in science and technology, supporting the private sector, protecting the economy, and levelling up.
From a tax point of view, with the exception of business owners hoping to qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief, there are not likely to be many significant losers. It was widely expected that entrepreneurs’ relief would be significantly curtailed or even abolished. While the lifetime allowance has been reduced to £1 million, many entrepreneurs will still be able to benefit from this in the future. Changes to the pensions regime and increases in various reliefs for businesses that invest in R&D and commercial buildings were also announced.
The Chancellor has been busy over the past 27 days, and he doesn’t show any sign of wanting to let up, with various reviews and consultations taking place over the next few months and another Budget later in the year.