12 January 2017
It may feel like Mr Hammond's Autumn Statement was only a
few days ago, but shortly before Christmas the Treasury announced
that the Spring Budget will be on Wednesday 8th March.
In theory, this will be the last Budget to take place in spring,
as in November Mr Hammond announced he would be reverting to Autumn
Budgets, last seen when Ken Clarke was Chancellor. That means 2017
will have two Budgets, but no Autumn Statement and 2018 will
witness the first Spring Statement.
The tax year dates will not be changing, so the 2016/17 tax year
will end on 5 April - exactly four weeks after the Budget. Your tax
year end planning therefore needs to start as soon as possible. On
this occasion, there are two areas which warrant especially prompt
This is the last chance to carry forward unused annual allowance of
up to £50,000 from 2013/14. The calculations for maximising
contributions and picking up unused allowances can be complex and
have become more so with the introduction of a tapered annual
allowance this year. Assembling all the necessary data can be a
slow process, hence the need to start discussion early.
Venture Capital Trusts
The changes introduced to Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) last year
have slowed down the investment process according to many VCT
managers. As a result, some managers have decided not to raise any
fresh funds this year, while others are making limited new share
issues, primarily to existing investors. The potential reduction in
supply comes at a time when the 30% income tax relief offered by
VCTs is attracting increased interest from those affected by the
latest reductions in the pension annual and lifetime allowances.
Good offers could sell out quickly, so do let us know if you wish
to invest in VCTs this year and be prepared to act promptly.
VCTs are high risk investments and there may be no market
for the shares should you wish to dispose of them. You may lose
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and
you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance
is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investing
in shares should be regarded as a long-term investment and should
fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial
circumstances. The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual
circumstances. Tax laws can change. The Financial Conduct Authority
does not regulate tax advice.