Spring Statement Summary

Taxpayers, manage any expectations of excitement that you may have had! Today’s Spring Statement was not a Budget, which is now an annual autumn event anyway.

With a parliament and government focussed on the Brexit impasse, as expected there were no critical tax announcements today, though there were some spending promises made, such as £3 billion for affordable homes, and free sanitary products for schools.

When it comes to new personal and business tax changes announced today on which to take action – as expected there was nothing.

One point of note was that HMRC will review the Aggregates Levy (rock, sand and gravel used in construction, encouraging recycling and use of industrial by-products) to see if it is still fulfilling its 2002 aims. But no change yet.

Mention was made of today’s big HMRC report on tax avoidance, a 68 page narrative and appendices on what HMRC has done since 2010 to tackle avoiders. There is a commitment to ‘do more’ – aspirational, but no detail on what that might entail.  There are some interesting facts though and big wins.  HMRC calculate that they have taken over £13bn back from tax avoiders since 2010 and made over 1,000 criminal charges a year for tax fraud.