An outline of the Finance Bill 2021 has been published and provides the legal framework for changes announced in the recent Budget. We have reproduced below the published text. This is subject to scrutiny by parliament and may change before the Bill receives Royal Assent.
The Bill will ensure a number of tax changes set out by the Chancellor at last week’s Budget will take effect from the start of the next tax year beginning in April 2021, including:
- the extension of the stamp duty holiday
- extending the VAT cut for tourism and hospitality to September
As the country begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic, the Bill also legislates to help strengthen the public finances in the medium term through:
- Increasing the rate of Corporation Tax to 25% on profits over £250,000 from April 2023, balancing the need to raise revenue with the objective of having an internationally competitive tax system. Over 90 per cent of businesses will pay less than the 25%.
- Maintaining Income Tax Personal Allowance and Higher Rate Threshold at 2021 levels. This is a progressive measure: the richest households will contribute the most.
- keeping the Capital Gains Tax Annual Exempt Amount (AEA), the inheritance tax nil-rate band and the pensions Lifetime Allowance at their current levels
The Bill also helps deliver a fairer and more sustainable tax system too through legislating to:
- Implement a Plastic Packaging Tax which encourages the use of recycled plastic instead of new plastic within packaging. The rate of the tax is £200 per tonne of plastic packaging which contains less than 30% recycled plastic content.
- Reform the penalty regime for VAT and Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) to make it fairer and more consistent. The new late submission regime will be points-based, and a financial penalty will only be issued when the relevant threshold is reached.
The Bill helps drive an investment-led recovery through:
- the ‘super deduction’ – from 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023. The independent OBR have forecast that, at its peak, the super-deduction will raise the level of business investment by 10%, or roughly £20bn a year.
- supporting the introduction of Freeports through allowing the government to designate ‘tax sites’ in Freeports in Great Britain, where businesses will be able to benefit from a number of tax reliefs.
The Bill will now follow the normal passage through parliament.