Back in September, Phillip Hammond took to YouTube to announce that he'd set the date for the Autumn Budget. Describing it as 'one of the most important dates in the parliamentary year', he announced that this year it will fall on 22 November.
This marks the start of the chancellor's new budget timetable. Rather than having a Spring Budget and Autumn Statement, in 2016 Hammond made plans to consolidate the two into one 'major fiscal event' each year. This means the budget that he sets this November will remain in place until November next year.
What does this mean for businesses?
Before the change, the UK was the only advanced economy to make major changes to the tax system twice a year. Business, economic and tax experts – such as the International Monetary Fund, Institute for Government, the CBI, Chartered Institute of Taxation and the IFS – were among those who were calling for this to change. Because businesses now face less frequent changes to the tax system, there should be more certainty and stability.
What about the Finance Bill?
Just as before, the Finance Bill will be introduced following the budget. So rather than being delivered in summer, the bill will now be presented in autumn with the aim that it will reach Royal Assent before the start of the following tax year. This change in timetable will help parliament to scrutinise tax changes more thoroughly before they take effect.
What about Legislation Day?
Tax policy consultation summaries and the draft Finance Bill legislation are usually published on ‘Legislation day’ following the Autumn Statement. Under the new timetable, this will now move to the summer. The date will continue to be announced by written ministerial statement.
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