Budget 2011: The enterprise experts place their bets

It says much about the precocious nature of politics that many pundits, commenting on this year's Budget, have chosen to use an 'odds' format. It's curiously apt. Some measures are clearly tipped to place while others - like a reduced VAT rate - are the three-legged donkeys in the race.

Here's the list of odds-on favourites from tax partner Barry Murphy, head tipster at accounting giant PwC:

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Will we see the removal of the 5% shareholding condition for Enterprise Investment Scheme Relief?

12-1

Corporation Tax

Further reduction to the UK tax rate and more on the promised Corporation Tax reform measures.

1-3 (Favourite)

Fuel Duty

Temporary suspension of  fuel duty escalator

Reversal of VAT increase on fuel imposed on 1 January

2-1

50-1

Green Taxes

Will we hear news of a new carbon tax (climate change levy) to be paid by electricity generators on the fuel they buy?

Evens

Income tax

Will we see an announcement on the direction of travel on the 50% tax rate?

5-1

Inheritance tax (IHT)

Will there be a wholesale review of Inheritance Tax?

25-1

NICs

Will we see harmonisation of NICs and income tax?

May we see a consultation on the harmonisation of NICs and income tax announced?

100-1

 

10-1

Stamp Duty

Clarification of sub-sale rules.  Confirmation that residential rate goes up to 5% on 6th April 2011

2-1

VAT

There is little scope to change the 20% rate but might we see some zero- or lower-rated items move into the higher rate?

50-1

The tax team at MacIntyre Hudson have the longest-priced odds in the business. Here's the lowdown from your alternative tote:

Fuel duty

There is pressure on the Government to mitigate huge increases in fuel costs. It's possible that a fuel price stabiliser will be introduced.

Evens

Entrepreneurs' relief

Odds on changes to the relief system

10-1

CGT for non-UK residents' property

Unlikely to change. May harm inward investment in addition to the extra revenue.

 

15-1

Income splitting

Tax avoidance has returned vampire-like from the grave but government shows no sign of tackling the issue in this budget.

20-1

Suspension of IR35

The legislation is too complicated but finding an alternative approach is almost as difficult.

50-1

Income tax

The 50% rate needs to go. But we hold out little hope for change

100-1

Capital allowances

Again, the team at MacIntyre Hudson predicts that despite the harshness of the measure, it is unlikely to change.

100-1

Residency rules

It is time for the UK to introduce clear residency rules. We are the only country does not have a formula for whether someone is resident and therefore liable for income tax. However, announcements regarding these rules are unlikely.

100-1

Inheritance tax (IHT)

The relief currently only applies to those who can afford to give away significant sums before they die.

200-1

Tipsters, got a small business Budget prediction? Place your bets below.

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