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Weariness prevails as UK’s autumn statement looms

With the autumn statement looming large, industry leaders are speculating, with more than a small hint of weariness, about what the chancellor could announce this time.

Weariness prevails as UK's autumn statement looms

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A recent discussion paper from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) has already warned that “the potential damage to the UK economy [from the crackdown on non-doms] could outweigh any anticipated exchequer gains” by making the UK less attractive for wealthy foreigners and investors.   

“What upsets wealthy investors most is the uncertainty about what the rules will be and whether they are likely to change while they are here,” Davies added.

Expect the unexpected

Old Mutual Wealth pensions technical expert, Jon Greer, commented: “The way I see it, the spending review and autumn statement is an opportunity for the chancellor to set the scene on a few rolling items ahead of the budget in March 2016.

“Consumers should also see it as a signal to undertake a review of their finances, both ahead of the statement itself and ahead of the budget and tax year end in April 2016. We do not expect to see any significant announcements this time but then nobody was expecting that in March 2014 either.”

Greer continued: “In the first instance, if you are a higher rate taxpayer and have the ability to, and are thinking of, funding extra amounts into your pension, I would do so as soon as possible. This is because even though the chancellor has indicated that the government’s future plans on Pension Tax Relief will not be detailed until budget 2016 – with the likelihood that higher rate taxpayers will see a reduction in the relief available on their pension contributions – recent experience suggests we should expect the unexpected.”

Too much change

“To be honest, most people would like a break from the ceaseless flood of tax changes we have seen over recent years. But with so many consultations yet to produce specific HMRC proposals, with a promise of more anti-avoidance and anti-evasion legislation and with both Europe and the OECD prompting changes to the UK tax regime, that’s a vain hope,” added RSM’s Bull.

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