Lloyd Powell, head of ACCA Cymru/Wales, said:
“With confidence amongst SMEs low, the Chancellor needed to announce a series of measures to boost investment. Today’s statement includes a number of positive steps, including simplifying and reducing tax for self-employed individuals, as well as action on late payment and an extension of business investment incentives.
“ACCA Wales welcomes the announcement of the second investment zone in Wales in Wrexham and Flintshire.
“Several of the announcements, for instance on apprenticeship funding and business rates relief, do not impact directly on Wales as they are devolved matters.
“There will be additional funding for the Welsh Government via ‘Barnett consequentials’ as a result of some of the announcements. We await the draft Welsh Government Budget to be published in December.”
Further ACCA comment on…
PENSIONS, PAYROLL & NATIONAL INSURANCE REFORMS
“ACCA welcomes the interesting proposal requiring employers paying into an existing pension pot if they choose, however it should be executed in a way that minimises administrative burdens and complexity for business.
“Whilst the short window required for implementation will be welcomed by those in receipt of a pension, payroll providers are now under an extraordinary pressure to be able to plan and deliver changes to NI, payroll and pensions in record time. Further clarity around the expectation of delivery is required, and we will work with ACCA members to ensure implementation runs as smoothly as possible.
“It will be interesting to see what the impact on the reduction of Class 4 National Insurance will have on whether incorporation remains the most tax effective route for most small businesses. ACCA has always maintained that incorporation should be for sound business decisions rather than a tax-led one.
“The reductions in NICs obligations for the self-employed help reduce the long established distortion between incorporated and unincorporated business formats for the smallest businesses.”
“We welcome the confirmed plans to make full expensing permanent for businesses – this will encourage business investment by companies and lead to increased growth.
“This provides certainty and stability for business, something we have called for increasingly over the past 12 months. Encouraging investment in businesses and incentivising it through improved capital allowance expensing is a step in the right direction to promoting longer term and stable economic growth that the UK needs.
“How this will trickle down to SME businesses who already have AIA and will navigate both reliefs is something we will observe over the coming months.”
DIGITALISATION & SIMPLIFICATION OF TAX
“The government announcement that the threshold for Making Tax digital (MTD) remains at £30,000 will disappoint some who wanted the figure higher, but at least there is relief it is not lower.
“Our members have expressed concern about how tax simplification is progressing since the abolition of the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS), and about HMRC service levels.
“Simplicity, certainty, and stability as the cornerstones of a good tax system. A simpler tax system avoids the potential for mistakes and enquiries, which too often distracts HMRC from addressing serious and deliberate evasion, as well as being better suited to digitisation.”
“With confidence amongst SMEs low, the Chancellor needed to announce a series of measures to boost investment. Today’s statement includes a number of positive steps, including simplifying and reducing tax for self-employed individuals, maintaining rates relief for hospitality and freezing the small business multiplier, as well as action on late payment and continuation of business investment incentives.
“The announcement of new Investment Zones in England, plus another in Wales, is welcome news and we look forward to seeing these develop over the next 12 months.
“While we need to ensure that certain measures, such as proposed pension reform and increased data requirements from HMRC don’t add additional administrative burdens on employers, overall these measures will all be warmly welcomed by small firms across the country.”