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The Budget - Tax is Taxing – Especially When There is No Relief...

The Budget - Tax is Taxing – Especially When There is No Relief...

Following the appointment of Rishi Sunak as Chancellor, the possibility of massive changes to our tax regime, when he delivers his first budget on the 11th of March, may or may not have increased. One thing is for sure, we need to be talking to our clients about the possible outcomes should there be changes. After all, all our clients neither enjoy paying tax or missing out on opportunities to save tax. We are all focused on this very important period up until the budget, as action now, or indeed, in some cases no action, could hold ramifications for our client’s financial wellbeing.

Opportunities and threats

There have been a multitude of rumours in the press over last few years suggesting removal of higher rate tax relief on pension contributions and entrepreneur’s relief. These have resurfaced in the last week and will continue to be discussed, especially with the announcement confirming the go-ahead with HS2 and the large increase in additional expenditure on infrastructure being promised. So, the effective use of carry forward pension contribution allowances, perhaps has never been as important.

A further underutilised and often unconsidered tax relief could be considered; using carry back income tax relief through EIS investment - reclaiming income tax (dividend, PAYE, general savings and rent returns) for this and 2018/2019 tax year.

Very few EIS providers allow this but Earthworm, an investment house we know well, do. They also have an interesting investment angle - they have developed a sustainable investment focus on projects that deliver a positive social and environmental impact on the world. Vertical farming (Vertical Future); environmentally friendly wastewater treatment (LAT WATER); and herbicide-free weed control (WEEDINGTECH) as examples. Please note, other EIS investments are available.

We are also suggesting caution around any inheritance tax planning (IHT), as our now former chancellor said back in October that changes to the death duties were “on his mind”. This follows on from a paper issued by the Office of tax simplification on IHT in July 2019, following his instruction. The appointment of Sunak could influence implantation of its suggestions, but with the strong hints that have been dropped by his predecessor, we wouldn’t want to discount the possibility of wholesale changes to IHT. These changes could include a reduction of the 7 year rule to 5, alteration of the gifting allowances, dating back to the 80’s and scrapping taper relief. All of this is generally positive but needs to be considered especially around non-revocable IHT structures like Discounted Gift Trust’s and life cover.

These are the headlines, the detail is complicated and we are discussing these issues right now with many of our clients. If you need us to help you or need assistance with any client matters please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 240 8700 or info@mattioliwoods.com.