Taxbriefs Commentary Library

The Autumn Statement and Beyond

John Housden, 17 Oct 2012


George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on 5 December promises to be an uncomfortable exercise. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will have earlier presented him with bad news on the tax, spending and growth fronts. The Chancellor is expected to accept that he will miss his target to have debt falling as a proportion of GDP by 2015/16. Whether he will reveal any remedial actions in his speech is unclear, although this could be when he announces sub-inflation increases to working age benefits for 2013/14.

In any event, within a week of the Statement the government is due to issue draft Finance Bill 2013 legislation and accompanying notes covering over 35 topics, including:

  • Simpler (!) income tax for the smallest businesses.
  • Personal service companies, IR35 and ‘controlling persons’.
  • The rules restricting the amount of premiums that can be paid into qualifying life policies.
  • Final details of the long awaited statutory residence test.
  • How the cap on unlimited tax reliefs is to be implemented.
  • Simplification (ever a dangerous term) of periodic IHT charges on trusts.
  • An increase in the IHT exempt amount for transfers to non UK domiciled spouses.
  • ‘Integrating the operation’ of income tax and National Insurance contributions.
  • The annual charge on homes worth over £2 million owned by ‘certain non-natural persons’ and a corresponding extension of capital gains tax regime to sales of such property.
  • The final shape of the general anti-abuse rule (GAAR).

It may be getting near Christmas, but the Treasury is not allowing anyone to relax just yet.


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John Housden

Editorial Consultant

John Housden is a qualified actuary who has worked in the personal financial services industry for 40 years.

A former technical director for a life company and longstanding contributor to a wide variety of Taxbriefs publications.


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