As announced last year, the Chancellor’s Budget will in future take place in the Autumn each year as opposed to the Spring. There was however a Statement by the Chancellor on 13 March, but he made little mention of tax changes, instead choosing to focus on the state of the economy and stating that there is “light at the end of the tunnel”. This contrasts with other recent Chancellors such as Gordon Brown and George Osborne who used both the Spring Budget and Autumn Statement to make announcements of tax changes.
The Chancellor did however announce a number of tax consultations into possible future changes. One of the consultations concerns possible changes to the VAT registration threshold as it is concerned that some businesses deliberately operate below the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) as that adds 20% to the price of the goods and services. One suggestion is that businesses could be allowed to exceed the threshold by up to 50% for one year without the need to register for VAT. In another consultation HMRC is seeking views on how they can engage with online platforms, such as eBay and Uber, to promote tax compliance among its users.