Previous Budgets and Statements have seen the introduction of new reliefs and reforms to existing allowances and thresholds for SMEs.

However, this latest speech seemed far more subdued. The headline increase to the VAT registration threshold to £90,000 will help some smaller businesses, but it comes after a seven-year freeze.

This means that this increase, while useful, will be largely wiped out by the impact of inflation during this period.

The newly permanent Full Expensing capital allowance will also be amended to include expenditure on leased assets, “when fiscal conditions allow”. This will create additional opportunities for businesses to reduce their Corporation Tax liabilities in future.

No further changes were announced to the R&D tax relief scheme, but businesses are already preparing for the previously announced merger of the SME and R&D expenditure credit (RDEC) scheme from 1 April this year.

The Chancellor also singled out the UK’s creative industries with a series of new tax reliefs worth £1 billion.

Eligible film studios in England will receive a 40 per cent relief from business rates for the next 10 years.

Additionally, the introduction of a new UK Independent Film Tax Credit is set to take place, alongside an increase in the tax credit rate by five per cent and the elimination of the eighty per cent cap on visual effects costs under the Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit.

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