TAX expert Paul Aplin, vice president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and tax partner at Taunton based firm A.C. Mole & Sons, tells you what to expect from today's budget...
This is the first of two Budgets this year and with the uncertainty we still have surrounding Brexit and the effect it will have on the economy, I would expect the most significant announcements to come in the Autumn, not today.
While government borrowing for the current year is lower than expected in the Autumn Statement, the national debt is now more than one and a half trillion pounds and rising.
That seriously limits Mr Hammond’s room for manoeuvre.
We can be pretty confident that the Chancellor will announce some relief for small businesses affected by the new levels of business rates, particularly pubs and small shops.
He also said in last year’s Autumn Statement that he was concerned about the effect of rapidly rising business incorporations and self-employment on tax revenues – that was a somewhat cryptic comment and we may hear more about it today.
It could mean that he will look at the levels of national insurance paid by the self-employed and at further changes to company taxation.
Another potential announcement is on Making Tax Digital (MTD).
Just over a year from now, every business with annual sales over £10,000 and every landlord with rent over £10,000 will have to keep their business records using accounting software and digital apps.
Handwritten records will be a thing of the past. This will represent a huge change for many people.
I am all for digital record keeping, but for the smallest businesses it should be voluntary, not mandatory.
There has been significant pressure to exempt businesses with sales below the VAT threshold from this requirement and we may find out today if the Chancellor has listened.