Summer Budget roundup: Government clamps down on tax avoidance, apprenticeships to be increased

Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered the Summer Budget, which outlines plans to combat tax avoidance and increase apprenticeships.

The Government has promised to continue clamping down on planning and evasion, as well as tax avoidance in the UK. 

For example, the Budget states that the Government will triple the number of criminal investigations HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can undertake into complex tax crimes, plus it will allow HMRC to access more data to identify businesses that are not declaring or paying tax.

In addition, the Budget has revealed plans to stop investment fund managers from using tax loopholes to avoid paying the correct amount of Capital Gains Tax on their profits from the fund.

Plus, new plans will ensure international companies pay tax on profits that are diverted from the UK. 

The Government has also revealed that three million new apprenticeships will be created by 2020, which will be funded by large employers.

The Budget states: "Firms that are committed to training will be able to get back more than they put in."

During the speech, Osborne revealed plans that will give local councils the ability to allow larger stores to stay open for longer on Sundays.

Currently stores are only allowed to stay open for a maximum of six hours, depending on their size, which the Chancellor is hoping to change.

A further announcement has revealed that there will now be a reduction in corporation tax to 19 per cent in 2017 and 18 per cent in 2020.

Martin Hook, MD of Alma CG, said: “From the perspective of R&D tax relief it will reduce the amount of benefit claimable for tax paying SMEs and slightly increases the benefit available for large companies through the R&D Expenditure Credit Scheme from 2017 onwards."

There will also be more support for the creative sectors and the media, and an increase in the rate of film tax relief to 25 per cent.

Investments will also be made in skills and business development in the creative industries, with an extra £4 million to help fund support for training and development in video games, animation and television.

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of online accounting software provider FreeAgent, added: “I would have liked to see IR35 being scrapped, or an overhaul of how VAT MOSS affects the very small businesses, but the main Budget announcements seem to be more focussed on very large companies or smaller businesses who are already enjoying success and are ready to grow. For the average freelancer, contractor or startup business, there’s not much to get excited about.”

Further issues discussed in the budget include new tax rules around bank profits, public sector pay to increase by one per cent, as well as changes to road tax.

Image source: Shutterstock

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