Rishi Sunak has delivered his first budget as the UK’s Chancellor. With the headlines dominated by the coronavirus and little mention of tax measures in the Budget speech, you have to dig a little deeper to find the tax measures of most interest to businesses. 

In our latest podcast, associate Josh Critchlow interviews three London tax partners – Helen Buchanan, Paul Davison and Jill Gatehouse – on the business tax measures they found the most noteworthy in Budget 2020. 

In the podcast, we take a closer look at the measures that have been making the headlines, such as the changes to entrepreneurs’ relief that have been the subject of much press speculation in the months leading up to Budget day. We also consider the introduction of the UK digital services tax and why the UK has decided to go ahead with this measure despite international efforts to find a global solution and the threat of US trade wars. 

In among the usual promises of large figures to be raised from clamping down on tax compliance, tax avoidance and tax evasion, one measure that may have slipped under the radar is a new notification requirement which potentially imposes an onerous compliance burden on large businesses. The team examines the new 'large business notification' proposals and explains why this may lead to concerns about HMRC looking under the bonnet of the figures in taxpayers’ accounts.

But it isn’t all bad news, the podcast also covers some of the positive measures proposed under the 'backing business' banner. These include measures to promote the UK as an innovation economy, encouraging investment in research and development and some changes to the tax regime for intangibles that encourage intellectual property held offshore to be brought to the UK. However, the team explores why these changes may not be as straightforward as they first appear. 

Finally, among the raft of consultations announced at the Budget, we discuss points coming out of the proposed review of the funds regime and some promising indications that the government wants to make the UK a more attractive location for the funds industry.

Our podcast is available here. For more insights on the UK Budget 2020 measures, please see our latest article by Jill Gatehouse and John Tolman in Tax Journal, available here (no subscription required).