ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
While it’s good to see policymakers rescind their policies when public and professional opinion states they need reworking, what we want to see from the Autumn Statement is stability and clarity, an announcement to show how the Government and the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) is planning for the short and long-term future of the UK’s economy
—Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation, ACCA

ACCA looks ahead to what may be announced in the Autumn Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, due on 5 December, will unlikely offer any early Christmas presents, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) ahead of the announcement.

Looking at the Chancellor’s options, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at ACCA, says: 'The March budget earlier this year was one which resulted in lots of back-tracks when it came to tax – from pasty tax to charitable giving tax relief.

'While it’s good to see policymakers rescind their policies when public and professional opinion states they need reworking, what we want to see from the Autumn Statement is stability and clarity, an announcement to show how the Government and the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) is planning for the short and long-term future of the UK’s economy.'

ACCA looks ahead to what may be announced:

  • Child benefit – ACCA is hoping there will be a rethink on arrangements as they now stand. The big issue in the New Year for many high earners is a decision regarding child benefit – should they let it go, or pay tax on it?
  • GAAR – will there be any changes to the proposals? 2012 has been the year of avoidance revelations, and for ACCA this has been a clear sign that tax needs to be simplified for individuals and for businesses. Personal allowance increases – the Chancellor could use the Autumn Statement to flag up any spring-time Budget changes in the personal allowance – which currently stands at £8,105.
  • Shares for employment rights – this will happen but will the bands be £2 – 50K and how will it be widened to non-UK companies? Also, how palatable will it be for the average UK employee to take shares in lieu of long held employment rights such as claiming unfair dismissal?
  • Further anti-avoidance measures – the Chancellor could be looking at multinationals tax payments, further VAT avoidance opportunities which are closed. The regime for disclosing tax schemes is being updated, and we might see something more on personal service companies – although reaction to the proposals over the summer was universally negative.
  • Higher rate tax relief for pensions contributions – this has been a ‘regular rumour’ for years, and the pressure on the Chancellor will be greater than ever to actually restrict relief to the basic rate of tax or reduce the annual contribution allowance even further from £50,000 to say £30,000. It has only been two years since the last major shake-up to pension’s tax though, and employers and pensions savers alike would appreciate some stability around what is supposed to be a long term undertaking.
  • The RTI system is due to go live nationwide in April, and this is the last chance for the government to tweak the regulations so that the burden on employers is a reasonable one, given the aims of Universal Credit. ACCA will be looking forward to signals from the Chancellor that we will have clear guidance from HMRC on how they interpret the rules, and the penalty regime.

- ends - 

For more information, please contact:

Lali Sindi, ACCA Newsroom
+ 44 (0) 207 059 5643
+44 (0) 7921 698085
lali.sindi@accaglobal.com 

Notes to Editors

  1. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. 
  2. We support our 154,000 members and 432,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,400 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. 
  3. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.