Taxbriefs Commentary Library

Tax has become newsworthy

Danby Bloch, 17 Dec 2012


The tax announcements in the 2012 Autumn Statement were much more significant than anyone really expected. The chances are that the spring 2013 Budget will match or even exceed the Autumn Statement as a news event. George Osborne has relatively few occasions on which to make a positive mark on the public consciousness, and his Budgets and Autumn Statements (or mini-Budgets) provide him with the key points in the year.

The Chancellor’s continuing but conflicting themes include: action against tax avoidance, simplifying the tax system, making the UK more fiscally attractive to business, the need to raise more revenue and cut expenditure and, of course, “we’re all in this together”.

Expect some more big news next 20 March – the date already announced for the 2013 Budget. Some of the content of the spring Budget is hard to forecast at this juncture. But the 2012 Budget and then the Autumn Statement earlier this month set up plenty of consultations and projects that should come to fruition in time for the 2013 Budget and Finance Bill.

Here are just a few items we can confidently predict will be in the spring 2013 Budget: the strengthening of the IR35 to make sure that it applies to non-executive directors, highly paid freelancers and the like; the comprehensive offshore tax evasion strategy and review of offshore intermediaries; employees’ scope to surrender some of their employment protection rights in exchange for shares in their employers; the new ‘personalised protection’ for transitioning to the pensions lifetime allowance; and of course the GAAR proposals on tax abuse.

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Danby Bloch

Editorial Director, Taxbriefs

Danby Bloch is the editorial director of Taxbriefs, chairman of city-based IFAs, Helm Godfrey and director of Nucleus, an independent wrap provider.

Over a period of more than 40 years, Danby has established himself as one of the industry's leading thinkers and  is a respected author, lecturer and trainer on tax and financial planning.




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