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Westcotts tax expert offers mixed response to Chancellor's spring Budget

Westcotts Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers has welcomed the measures set out in the Spring Budget announced today but expressed disappointment about the lack of substantial policies to help the average small and medium sized business in the South West.

Mark Tibbert (pictured), Partner and Head of Tax at Westcotts, welcomed several of the announcements including the increased VAT registration threshold, changes to the High Income Child Benefit rate and capital gains tax rate.

He said: “The drop in the capital gains tax rate for residential property from 28% to 24% from April 2024 will be welcome for those considering selling and may well help what has been a struggling property market.

“An increase in the VAT registration threshold to £90,000 from April 2024, was the first increase for nearly 5 years, so while welcome, effectively puts the limit where it would have been with normal annual increases.

“In addition, the VAT registration threshold increase by £5,000 is welcome and will have an important impact on smaller businesses who can now grow their businesses by that amount and still avoid VAT registration.

“The changes to be made to the High Income Child Benefit, increasing the threshold in April 2024 to £60,000 and having the maximum limit increased to £80,000, with further changes to follow in 2026, is welcome news for families in the South West”

That said, he expressed disappointment that there was not more to help businesses: “While there were some positives for individuals and employees, there was very little for the average small and medium sized business with the exception of a few targeted sectors such as theatres and the tech industry.

“In particular, there was nothing of much benefit to help businesses day to day and disappointingly nothing specific funding-wise for the South West.”

At an event organised by Westcotts Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers, county business leaders gathered to react to the news as it developed. The expert panel featured Mark Tibbert, Partner and Head of Tax at Westcotts; Sean Bolter, Director at Westcotts; Carol Clark, Finance Director at JGBM Limited; James Peterson, Partner at GA Solicitors; Ben Manning, Executive of Curriculum, Quality and Student Experience at City College Plymouth; and Dom Walshe, Non-Executive Director at Plymouth Learning Partnership.

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