UK Budget: Tax measures targeted at innovation, hospitality and UK attractiveness

28th October 2021, 9:38 am

Steve Nuttall, tax partner at Deloitte in the North West, comments on the Chancellor’s Budget statement:

“This was a Budget characterised by spending rather than tax, which is not surprising given previously announced tax rises that have resulted in the highest tax burden in decades. The tax announcements were categorised by three key themes – innovation, hospitality and UK attractiveness.

“In terms of innovation, while the scope of activities that qualify for R&D tax relief is expanding, existing reliefs will be restricted to UK activity which could represent a significant cost to business who have R&D operations across the world. The impact of this should become clearer later in the Autumn as we learn more.

“Targeted hospitality and culture related announcements show the government’s focus on supporting those businesses worst hit by the pandemic. It’s positive to see measures being extended across the arts industry and to smaller businesses such as craft beer producers.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and there is more bandwidth to consider the country’s post-Brexit position, there was a notable emphasis on UK attractiveness with a reduction in the bank surcharge, the new scale up visa, changes to tonnage tax and a consultation on corporate relocation to the UK. These kinds of measures align with the government’s wider strategy to attract a diverse portfolio of businesses and talent to the UK.

“There was a missed opportunity to widely incentivise private investment in green initiatives. While we did see some climate related measures scattered throughout, the government is yet to announce a cohesive strategy on the role of taxation in reaching a more sustainable future, something which will be vital in the years to come.”

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