Why the Chancellor had a spring in his step: Spring Statement summary

By Alan Gregory | 21st March 2018 | 9 min read

As promised, the traditional Spring Budget has been replaced by a smaller Spring Statement this year. It’s the little brother to the Autumn’s main Budget, which is now the main platform for the Chancellor to announce major new measures, tax and spending changes. Nonetheless, it was with a spring in his step that Philip Hammond delivered his announcement – offering up a few interesting surprises too.

Below, the Keytime team has summed up the Spring Statement highlights, as well as the key points covering tax and business, that you may find useful:

-        3 million more people in work since 2010

-        GDP growth forecast increased to 1.5% from 1.4% in 2018

-        Employment growth predicted to be 32.7 million by 2022, up by 500,000 from this year

-        Inflation is expected to return to 2% over the next 12 months

-        Borrowing is forecast to be £45.2 billion this year, which is £4.7 billion lower than forecast

-        31 million working people are paying less tax by the raises in the personal allowance

-        Fuel duty has been frozen for the 8th year in a row

-        The National living wage will rise to £7.83 from 1st April 2018

-        £80 million of funding support will be available for SMEs seeking to recruit an apprentice

-        A business rates revaluation has been brought forward by a year to 2021

-        £95 million has been allocated towards full-fibre broadband for 13 areas across the UK

-        Housing supply to raise to 300,000 per year by the mid-2020s, with at least £44 billion invested

-       60,000 first-time buyers have already benefitted from the Stamp Duty relief announced in last year’s Autumn Budget.

 The Spring Statement was also a big chance to announce some hot topics that the Government are seeking views on – and the Chancellor seized his chance! He announced several tax consultations and calls for evidence, which hints at what is likely to make an appearance in the Autumn Budget or change in the future:

-         A review into the taxation of large digital businesses

-         Proposals for a new VAT collection mechanism for online sales

-         Call for evidence on how the VAT registration threshold impacts the productivity of SMEs

-          Reducing single-use plastic waste through the tax system

-         Investigation into encouraging cashless and digital payments, while ensuring cash remains available for those who need it

-         Environmentally-focused consultations on non-agricultural red diesel tax relief and vehicle excise duty rates

-         Extending the current tax relief to support self-employed people and employees when they fund their own training benefitting both individuals and the wider economy.

So, plenty of interesting snippets in the first Spring Statement, but it is Autumn that will offer the bigger decisions and potential shake-ups – especially for tax and small businesses. The team at Keytime will keep you updated nearer the time, with predictions on what to expect as well as a full round-up of all you need to know. 

It’s been a while since we last discussed Making Tax Digital (MTD) and we have been busy working on our solutions. With the new fiscal year around the corner it’s a good time to share our progress with you. 
Last year we delivered not only the ability to import client data direct from HMRC we also introduced functionality to allow our customers and their clients to take part in the HMRC pilot of MTD quarterly filing for Income Tax. While other vendors are busy talking about their roadmaps and the solution they intend to build we have already delivered it and our customers have been the first to make successful MTD submissions to HMRC. 
Just as we did with FRS implementation our early delivery of MTD functionality not only gives our customers (and their clients) the time and opportunity to get to grips with a new regime and adjust process as required, it allows us time to tweak and improve the system based upon the valuable feedback we receive from those who use it. 
We will continue the roll out of this functionality as and when it becomes available from HMRC, so that IRIS customers are always at the forefront of Making Tax Digital. Our aim is to make the adoption of MTD as painless as possible and deliver productivity benefits to our customers as they embark on their digital transformation.  
HMRC are hoping to come out of the pilot for Income Tax MTD filing and into a public Beta very soon. The pilot is currently only open to individuals with income from only one trade and/or rental income, if you are interested in taking part and have a client (or several) that meet this criteria feel free to get in touch with me at MTD@iris.co.uk and we can get you and your client(s) subscribed and registered with HMRC