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PBR09: Business tax roundup

Date: 09 December 2009   |   Author: Martin Gurdon

PBR 2009

Chancellor Alistair Darling used his final pre-Budget report before next year's general election to announce a range of fiscal changes he claimed would help small and medium sized businesses.

But firms can still expect rises in their National Insurance bills and VAT payments.

Moves intended to soften the blow of paying back the UK's massive budget deficit included continuing the freeze on Corporation Tax levels paid by smaller firms, something the Chancellor predicted would benefit 850,000 companies.

Darling also said he would be extending the so called 'time to pay' scheme run by the Inland Revenue for both tax and National Insurance contributions. He also promised to reveal details 'shortly' of initiatives intended to further improve bank loan facilities for small and medium-sized firms, claiming that access to capital had already improved, despite a drop in the total money lent.

The Chancellor said was bringing forward plans to offer work placements and training for under-24s. These would be in place from January, and could incentivise businesses to provide work experience and training. The idea was to encourage 'internships,' particularly for undergraduates. Many fleet sector figures have expressed concern about recruitment and retention of this age group and the calibre of potential employees.

The Chancellor flagged up future changes to company car benefit in kind tax laws, but did not spell out what these would be, but said that he planned to exempt electric cars from company vehicle tax, and offer 100% capital allowances on battery powered vans.

However, despite industry peas, the Chancellor has stuck with plans to return VAT levels to 17.5% next month, and as widely predicted, has revealed further National Insurance increases, set for 2011, with will see an average 0.5% in the Pound contributions rise, with a £20,000 starting point.

  • Corporation tax frozen
  • VAT back to 17.5 per cent from January,
  • National Insurance rises 0.5p on average from April
  • Tax 'time to pay' initiatives extended
  • BIK changes confirmed
  • Tax breaks for battery cars and vans
  • Plans for under-24 training brought forward

More stories from the Pre-Budget Report