Autumn Statement 2015 – will SMEs be impacted?

Chancellor George Osborne delivered his much anticipated Autumn Statement this week. There were lots of theories thrown around in the run up to the announcement, but some were extinguished, with plans to cut tax credits scrapped and funding for police being increased rather than the opposite.

Autumn statement 2015

For SMEs, there has been a lot of debate on whether the government is truly supporting those who choose to start-up their own business. But did the Autumn Statement include any measures that will impact small businesses?

Here are nine measures that are likely to impact SMEs:

Small business rate relief

Osborne announced that the doubling of the small business rate relief will be extended until April 2017. Over 400,000 of the smallest businesses will continue to benefit from 100% relief from business rates.

Northern Powerhouse

The chancellor is still determined to close the north-south divide, so he’s injecting a £400m investment fund in to his Northern Powerhouse plans. This can help SMEs in the north by improving services, skills and infrastructure.

Enterprise Zones

The government plans to create 26 new Enterprise Zones across the country. These range from redeveloping and expanding eight current zones, and forming 15 new ones in smaller town and rural areas. This will mean SMEs who are not situated in the city can still benefit.

Apprenticeship Levy

The introduction of a new apprenticeship levy is unlikely to impact the majority of SMEs, as it only applies to businesses over £3m. Set at 0.5% of an employer’s wage bill, it comes into power from April 2017, and the government is hoping it will fund an additional three million apprenticeships.

Online tax accounts

An investment of £1.3 billion in to HMRC is planned to help transform it into “one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world”. The aim is to provide all businesses with an online tax account that will be updated quarterly by 2020.

Capital gains tax

Currently, capital gains tax (CGT) is due on the 31st January after a given tax years ends, but due to the plans for online tax accounts, CGT will need to be paid within 30 days of the sale of any residential property. This will come into effect from April 2019.

Start up loans

In a bid to help support SMEs, Osborne made £165m of loans available to new companies.

Company car tax diesel supplement

It’s good news for SMEs who use company cars to transport their goods. It’s been decided that the removal of the diesel supplement from company cars will be delayed to 2021.

Stamp duty land tax

The rates of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) are set to increase on purchases of additional residential properties above £40,000. The rates will be three percentage points about the current rates are will being from 1st April 2016.

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