While the 2014 Budget headlines mostly focused on savers and pensioners, there were some announcements included that may have an impact on small and mid-size quoted companies. We have summarised them below:
- Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) changes – The Government has announced that it is equalising stocks and shares and cash ISAs, increasing the savings limit to £15,000 and allowing retail bonds to be included in ISAs. Whilst this may not have a direct impact, this, coupled with the recent changes to allow AIM and ISDX shares into ISAs, could help channel further investment in small and mid-size quoted companies.
- Share Incentives Plans and Save As You Earn (SAYE) – The Government has confirmed that it will increase the annual limits of both of these as of April 2014, as announced originally in the Autumn Statement in December 2013.
- Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) – The Government has announced that scheme is now permanent.
- Changes to Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) – The Government has proposed a number of changes to crack down on abuse of these schemes. The Government will also consult on more technical changes to these schemes in the summer 2014.
- Corporation Tax rates – The Government has confirmed again that Corporation Tax will be reduced to 21% from April 2014 and 20% from April 2015.
- Annual Capital Allowances – The Government has announced that the limit for capital allowances will increase to £500,000.
- Research and Development (R&D) tax credits – The Government has announced that it will the increase in the rate of payable credit for loss making small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Removal of stamp duty on growth market shares – The Government has confirmed again that it will remove stamp duty on trades of growth market shares (ie those on AIM and ISDX) as of 28 April 2014.
- Office of Tax Simplification Review of Unapproved Share Schemes – The Government has confirmed that it will consultation on two recommendations from this review, including the introduction of the concept of a ‘marketable security’ and an ‘employee shareholding vehicle’.
- Avoidance schemes involving the transfer of corporate profits – The Government has announced that it is going to block transfers of profits between groups of companies when the main purpose is to secure a tax advantage.
If you are interested in further detail on these announcements, you can access the Budget documents on HM Treasury's website.