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Autumn Statement Approaches

Before we can all get too excited about Christmas we have the Autumn statement to look forward to. The Chancellor will present his speech on 5 December and the big question is what will he say? Commentators appear to vary between thinking that he will not say very much and that there will be hugely significant changes.

In my view the answer will be that he won't say much about tax but what he does say will need attention. I think with the recent furore around tax avoidance it is inevitable that there will be announcements relating to the prevention of schemes and  there could even be some kind of minimum tax for companies perhaps akin to the limitation of reliefs proposed for individuals. The hope is that such measures are proportionate and targeted at the right place.

On the personal side there is once again rumours that pensions relief may be cut or limited to the basic rate band. These tend to be perennial and one can never be sure, but certainly it is a fairly easy target. Again I think there could be a half way house in limiting relief to 40% rather than the top rate but in any event we could expect a raft of complex anti forestalling rules as we had previously.

Ultimately we will have to wait and see and hope that Mr Osborne treats this as a statement of the country's finances rather than a mini budget. We shall have a lot to do in reviewing the draft 2013 finance bill expected out on 11 December and we will of course continue to comment here on all relevant developments.



Date: 26th November, 2012
Author: Lisa Spearman


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