Other measures announced
New childcare scheme from Autumn 2015
A new childcare scheme will be introduced to support working families with their childcare costs. For childcare costs of up to £6,000 per year per child, support of 20% will be available worth up to £1,200. From the first year of operation, all children under five will be eligible and the scheme will build up over time to include children under 12.
The scheme will provide support for families where all parents are in work and not receiving support through the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits/Universal Credit and where each is earning less than £150,000 a year. Support will be provided through a childcare account redeemable at any registered childcare provider.
The new scheme offer will be phased in from Autumn 2015 as the current system of Employer Supported Childcare is phased out. The Government will consult on the detail of delivery.
Start Up Loans
As announced in January 2013, £30m of additional funding has been provided to expand the Start Up Loans scheme in England and increase the age limit from 24 to 30.
The Government will publish the Business Bank's first business strategy on 22 March 2013. This will set out an accelerated timetable for how the Business Bank will deploy £1bn of new capital to improve existing access to SME support schemes. Elements will include: the launch of a £300m investment scheme in spring 2013 to help 'diversify and expand the supply of lending' to SMEs; the provision of an additional £50m for the Business Angel Co-investment Fund for SMEs; an extension of the Enterprise Capital Fund programme to include a £25m venture capital Catalyst Fund for investment in SMEs; and maintaining the lenders' guarantee cap at 20% for Enterprise Finance Guarantee loan portfolios for 2013/14.
General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR)
At the Autumn Statement, the Government confirmed its intention to introduce a new GAAR to 'provide a new deterrent to abusive avoidance schemes and strengthen HMRC's means of tackling them'. The taxes it will apply to include: income tax, NICs, corporation tax (including amounts treated as corporation tax), capital gains tax, inheritance tax, petroleum revenue tax and stamp duty land tax.
The measure will apply to 'abusive tax arrangements' entered into on or after Royal Assent to Finance Bill 2013.
Tax agreements with Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey
The UK has agreed a comprehensive package of measures with the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey governments to 'clamp down on those who choose to hide their money offshore'.
The package consists of:
- agreement to automatically exchange a wide range of financial information on UK taxpayers with accounts in the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey which will significantly enhance HMRC's ability to crack down on those who do not declare their offshore affairs; and
- a disclosure facility to allow people to come forward to disclose their previous tax affairs in advance of the information being automatically exchanged.
HMRC has signed Memoranda of Understanding with each of the Crown Dependencies.
Gift Aid small donations scheme
The new Gift Aid small donations scheme will come into effect from 6 April 2013. Announced at the 2011 Budget, the scheme enables eligible charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs to claim a Gift Aid style top-up payment on up to £5,000 of small donations, without the need to collect Gift Aid declarations.
Charities will be able to claim the new payment on donations of £20 or less.
Introduced as part of the Welfare Reform Act, Universal Credit will replace a range of existing benefits and tax credits with a more streamlined system. The benefit will be exempt from income tax and will involve a single monthly payment, covering all qualifying family members.
Universal Credit aims to improve work incentives and will be available to individuals who are in work and on a low income, as well as those who are out of work. The benefit will be introduced in a series of phases, starting from October 2013, with the process expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Personal Tax Statement
From the 2014/15 tax year the Government will introduce a new Personal Tax Statement for around 20 million taxpayers, including Self Assessment taxpayers and those in PAYE who receive a coding notice.
The statement will detail the income tax and NICs they have paid and their average tax rates. It will also outline how this contributes to public spending, outlining the proportions used for education, health and welfare.
The aim is to improve the transparency of the tax system.
According to sample Treasury calculations, someone earning just over £25,000 would pay £5,700 in direct taxes. Of that, more than £1,900 would go on welfare and pension payments, nearly £1,000 on health and £750 on education. £360 would also be spent on national debt repayments.