An unavoidable budget?

George Osborne

Elsewhere on our website under Business News you can read all the detail on George Osborne’s budget today. On the whole, a good start, considering all the mess the country is in.

VAT – going up to 20% from 4 January 2011 – I’ll have to try and twist some arms on the tax team to work on 3 January to get bills out before the rate goes up.

CGT – it’s a relief it’s not up to 40% (is that what we are supposed to think?) but 28% for higher rate taxpayers is still quite high for long term gains which are really only inflation increases. Good news for Entrepreneurs relief still at 10% up to £5million. But will 28% be enough to stop the tax avoidance schemes for people paying 50% income tax – I doubt it. It’s changing at midnight. That’s going to make the 2010/11 tax calculations a nightmare. I hope the software guys at HMRC are up to the challenge.

Corporation tax – good news it is coming down – hopefully it will actually raise more tax as a result

New NIC employer tax breaks outside London, SE and E England…. Do you know how close we are to the edge of that excluded area – 10-15 miles max. Witney, David Cameron’s patch, last frontier town before the tax breaks for new businesses – at least it shows the PM didn’t favour his constituency!

A quick hurrah for furnished holiday lettings given a bit of a reprieve.

And finally, promises to review tax restrictions on pension contributions for high earners and tax on non-doms. These are two of the most impossibly complex bits of tax legislation ever to be conceived. Please, George, can you make them simple – they make my head hurt!