Posted by Tax Innovations on 14 Mar 2018

As had been expected, the Spring Statement did not include any major tax policy announcements; rather it provided a number of consultations that suggest potential legislative changes in the future. Some of the more welcome areas for exploration are:

Entrepreneurs Relief (ER)

Currently, the ER relief requirement is for an entrepreneur to hold a minimum of 5% ordinary share capital in order to be eligible for a 10% capital gains tax. Recognising that this threshold could potentially dissuade business owners from seeking external investment, and therefore slow growth, the government is proposing that an owner can elect to be treated as if having disposed of shares and then reacquired them at market value. Either at that time or upon future disposal of shares, the individual would be able to claim ER on the gain.

Self-funded training

The government are considering introducing tax relief for individuals who personally fund training that will allow them to either learn new skills and qualifications or simply maintain their current performance. Importantly, this may include retraining that allows the employed or self-employed alike to change careers. This could allow individuals to enjoy the same tax benefits as their company, had it elected to fund their training.

As with all consultations, we should be mindful that there are no definitive conclusions to be drawn at this stage, however these ‘calls for evidence’ can be greeted with a cautious optimism.

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