SUMMER BUDGET 2015: WHAT SMEs NEED TO KNOW

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1 SUMMER BUDGET 2015: WHAT SMEs NEED TO KNOW Whether it s Corporation Tax, vehicle excise duty or the Annual Investment Allowance, the Emergency Budget raised questions about how open Britain s doors are for business. Here we examine the impact of these changes and ask what business owners need to know. lombard.co.uk

2 2 BUDGET RESPONSE White Paper ANNUAL INVESTMENT ALLOWANCE If you buy an asset, such as tools or other machinery or equipment for business use, you can t deduct the expenditure from trading profits. But you may be able to claim a tax allowance (also known as a capital allowance) for it. The aim is to give tax relief for the reduction in value of assets bought and owned for business use by allowing you to write off costs against taxable income. From 1 January 2016, there will be a new permanent level of Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), set at 200,000. This is a stimulus to those SMEs with long-term investment plans, as it means they can better plan for future investments. The previous limit had been set at 25,000, but overridden by a temporary limit of 500,000, so there is a debatable cause for celebration. What you need to know: As most businesses accounts are unlikely to start on 1 January, firms will need to calculate the AIA that applies to them, based on the proportion of their accounting period that falls in 2015, and that which falls in 2016, when the new limit takes effect. With greater certainty around the allowance, and with the temporary 500,000 limit due to end on 31st December, now is a good time for businesses to review the timing of any capital expenditure to maximise the benefit from the higher AIA. SMEs that have accounting periods that start earlier in the year will have a greater motivation to invest before 2016.

3 3 BUDGET RESPONSE White Paper ANNUAL INVESTMENT ALLOWANCE Analysis: This change will allow SMEs to better allocate capital expenditure. Ian Isaac, Head of Lombard Sales, says: While many will be disappointed that the permanent level was not set higher, we envisage that those who have high value capital investment plans will bring forward these plans in order to make the most of the higher allowance during the remaining four months that it is available. The government information website gov.uk has details on changes to AIA. Period From 1 January 2016 AIA 200k 1 April December k 1 January March April December April March April March k 25k 100k 50k Annual Investment Allowance rates since , , ,000 Temporary rate 200, ,000 75,000 50,000 25,000 Temporary rate 2008/ / / / / / / source:

4 4 BUDGET RESPONSE White Paper COMPANY CAR TAX According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), SMEs are responsible for the majority of employment in the automotive industry. More than 52% of employees in the sector work for companies with fewer than 500 staff (a total of 76,300 jobs), but these make up 99% of all firms in the sector. So those SMEs that operate within the automotive supply chain (as well as those with larger fleets) will feel a greater financial impact from changes due to the VED bands for new cars, which are increasing for low-emission cars. With emissions levels of new cars falling, fewer vehicles would be required to pay VED if the current rules were maintained, so the government has acted to protect parts of its income. The average VED stands at roughly 160 and most people will see a decrease in the tax after the first year. What you need to know: The new VED bands will apply to all cars registered on or after 1 April 2017, with first-year rates varying according to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. There will be a new standard rate of 140 for all cars (except those with zero emissions, which will incur no VED). Cars that emit high levels of CO2 will incur lower levels of VED, but since many of these will have a list price above 40,000 they will attract a supplement of 310 a year for the first five years in which the standard rate is paid. Existing and second-hand cars will continue to use the current emissionsbased bands.

5 5 BUDGET RESPONSE White Paper COMPANY CAR TAX Analysis: Simon Burney, Lombard Vehicle Solutions Programme Director, is concerned about unexpected results from the changes. Tinkering with taxes such as VED carries a risk of unintended consequences. Business owners and fleet operators need to keep abreast of these changes. It shouldn t influence when businesses refresh fleets, but with a complex new system it is impossible to know how behaviour might change. Mike Hawes, Chief Exec of SMMT, voiced his concerns about the industry to the BBC: New technologies, such as plug-in hybrid the fastest growing ultra low-emission vehicle segment will not benefit from long-term VED incentive, threatening the ability of the UK and the UK automotive sector to meet ever stricter targets. He added: British-built premium cars are in increasing demand at home and globally, and the industry helps to support almost 800,000 jobs. Levelling a punitive tax on these vehicles will impact domestic demand. How the new VED rates work NEW VED SYSTEM FOR CARS REGISTERED FROM 2017 Emission (g/co2/ km) First year rate *cars per 40,000 pay 310 supplement for five years Standard rate* , , over 255 2,

6 6 BUDGET RESPONSE White Paper CORPORATION TAX One of Osborne s favourite Budget catchphrases is that Britain is open for business. These words framed his announcement of a cut in the Main Rate of Corporation Tax from 20%, first to 19% (from April 2017) and then to 18% (from April 2020). Part of the justification for the cut was to help businesses pay for a new National Living Wage, which will come into force in April What you need to know: The Main Rate and Small Profits Rate (SPR) came into line this year and there will therefore be no targeted tax breaks for companies with lower profits. Plans for a new National Living Wage set initially at 7.20 an hour will also mean higher costs for some SMEs, especially those employing low-skilled workers, such as in services and agriculture. As well as alterations to Corporation Tax rates, payment dates are also changing. For accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2017, companies with annual taxable profits of 20m or more will have to pay tax closer to the point at which profits are earned. At present, companies do not pay Corporation Tax until the seventh month of a 12-month accounting period. However, the new plan means that such companies will pay Corporation Tax in the third, sixth, ninth and twelfth month of their accounting period, closer to the time they receive the profit. If a company is a member of a group, the 20m limit will be shared among the number of companies in the group, which will not affect small businesses.

7 7 BUDGET RESPONSE White Paper CORPORATION TAX Analysis: If the revised rates succeed in attracting international business and inward foreign investment, then the UK s SME sector - integral to the supply chains of many sectors - should also flourish. Jim Higginbotham, Head of Corporate Specialist Sales, Lombard Asset Finance & RBS Invoice Finance, is positive that all business owners will welcome the drop in Corporation Tax: The drive to a lower taxation, higher wage economy is a positive move and something that all responsible business owners will welcome. Michael Devereux, Director of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, says the cuts in Corporation Tax would make the single lowest among G20 economies by 2017 and as a result should increase foreign direct investment by 2% in the long run. This extra inward investment may well be a boost to smaller businesses. Main rate Small profits rate Corporation tax rates from 2010 to % 21% 26% 20% 24% 23% 20% 20% 21% 20% Unified rate 20% 19% 19% source: % 19% 18%

8 8 BUDGET RESPONSE White Paper Security may be required. Product fees may apply. TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM LOMBARD S SERVICE CALL TEXT RELAY LBF

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