An early Breakfast for an early Autumn Budget

On a clear November morning Howard Worth’s clients and professional contacts travelled to Macdonald Portal Hotel on Thursday 8th November for the Howard Worth annual Budget Breakfast Event, a week after Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced an earlier than expected Autumn Budget, to hear tax and financial experts dissect the Chancellors speech. 

A crowded room listened to Partner Andrew Hague’s introduction containing a summary of some of the political and economic changes since the last budget in November 2017 and the affects Brexit has had on businesses so far. Andrew concluded by asking the audience, “If you were given the chance to vote for Brexit again today, would you vote leave or remain?” The room filled with a sea of red cards signalling that an overwhelming number of Businesses would now vote Remain.

The first of the speakers was Tax Partner, Tim Lwin. His presentation explored the Chancellors message of ‘a budget for hard working families’. Tim explained the various Tax reliefs for businesses that are available including changes to the Entrepreneurs relief and Personal Allowance. Tim discussed Research & Development (R&D) tax credit changes, an area that most people associate with scientists and laboratories, however it was highlighted how almost every industry sector should be able to access these tax reliefs with help from Howard Worth specialist sector: R&DCo.

Tim continued by focusing on hard working landlords, who have once again been hit by the Chancellor’s Budget changes. Tim finished by stressing that depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, we could be looking at a simple spring statement or another Spring Budget with new taxes announced.

Mike Atkin, Farming and Rural Business Manager followed next, where he covered the impact of the Digital Services Tax and Making Tax Digital for businesses. He explained that the government wants to reduce the burden for taxpayers and implement an accessible online tax system that reflects the current digital age and has begun by implementing a new system – Making Tax Digital, which will be starting in April 2019 for businesses who have a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000). Reporting tax digitally is then expected to be mandatory for all by 2020*.

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) and Structures & Building allowance (SBA) were also highlighted, in particular a welcomed increase to AIA and the introduction of SBA on qualifying construction costs for new non-residential structures and buildings. 

Our final speaker Independent Financial Adviser Paul Galley, discussed pensions, inflation and a Brexit No Deal. He analysed the performance of the global markets since Brexit and with the current pension freedoms in place it is more important than ever to seek professional financial advice when planning for the future. 

Partner Andrew Hague closed this year’s budget breakfast event by noting expected UK GDP growth & borrowing for 2019 before asking the audience how many times Chancellor Phillip Hammond mentioned Brexit in his 2018 autumn speech, for the chance to win a bottle of Champagne. Congratulations to Terry Murphy from Benx who won the competition by answering: 1.

Further information can be found at www.howardworth.co.uk or by contacting Tim directly timlwin@howardworth.co.uk