The Treasury has announced that the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) will produce a report on the state of the UK Economy in time for the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to present his Autumn Statement on Wednesday 22 November.
Last year the Chancellor announced a number of significant changes, reversing many of the proposals in the Kwarteng/Truss mini Budget the previous September. This time we are not expecting too many surprises. However, the leaks and rumours have already started with suggestions that there will be no significant tax cuts. There is also likely to be a General Election within the next 13 months so there may be a few tax sweeteners. The Prime Minister’s statement on 20 September on progress to Net Zero suggests that there may be a number of announcements concerning green energy measures affecting individuals and businesses. Another suggestion has been the possible abolition of inheritance tax which may encourage traditional Conservative Party voters to stay loyal (see below)
RUMOURS THAT INHERITANCE TAX MAY BE ABOLISHED
In the weeks before any Budget or Autumn Statement there are always leaks and rumours. Normally, in the run up to a General Election there are also tax give aways in an attempt to re-elect the incumbent political party. One rumour that has been circulating in the press concerns the possible abolition of inheritance tax (IHT). That would certainly be very popular amongst wavering Conservative voters as it would enable them to retain more wealth within the family.
This rumour may have the effect of causing families to delay estate planning pending an announcement. Tax planning can only be based on the tax rules that exist at the time, and should not be based on speculation over future law changes. A further uncertainty concerns tax changes resulting from a possible change in the political party in government. The Labour Party have history for increasing capital taxes and strengthening the rules concerning the use of trusts in tax planning.
The now disbanded Office of Tax Simplification produced 2 reports in recent years concerning the simplification of IHT and the complicated interactions with capital gains tax (CGT). The Chancellor may decide to take some of those suggestions on board or possibly abolish IHT and extend CGT to certain transfers on death.
As always please contact us to discuss your future plans concerning the transfer of your business and family assets. We will of course keep you informed of any changes in tax legislation that may affect those plans.
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