Spring Statement 2019: key announcements

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered few significant announcements in his Spring Statement on 13 March 2019, instead reiterating or updating those made in Budget 2018.

Aside from a response to the updated economic and fiscal forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, here are some of the key areas covered in the speech, and in the Chancellor's written statement.

Spending review

The Chancellor confirmed that the Government will hold a "full three-year spending review", which will begin before the summer recess and conclude alongside the Budget.

He said this will set departmental budgets and include areas such as social care, local government, schools, police, defence and the environment.

However, he warned that investment in these areas will depend on an orderly departure from the EU.

MTD: light-touch approach confirmed

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT is still set to come into force from 1 April 2019.

However, the Government has confirmed it will take a light-touch approach to penalties during the first year, and will not issue penalties to businesses that are "doing their best to comply".

It also said MTD will not be mandated for any new taxes or businesses in 2020.

Digital companies

In response to a review into competition in the digital economy, the Chancellor has asked the Competition and Markets Authority to carry out a study of the digital advertising market.

The Government has also said it will publish a consultation on the design and implementation of the upcoming digital services tax, which is set to apply to large technology companies from April 2020.

Structures and buildings allowance

Draft legislation has been published on a new, permanent allowance for investments in non-residential structures and buildings.

This was announced in Budget 2018, and is intended to create a more competitive tax regime for businesses.

Apprenticeships

Reforms to the apprenticeship levy that were announced in Budget 2018 will now take place from 1 April.

This includes reducing the co-investment required from smaller firms from 10% to 5%, and increasing the amount of funding employers can transfer to their supply chains to 25%.

Talk to us for more information on the Spring Statement.

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