How the March Budget 2016 Affects you

Editor's Notes

With the current Government’s strategy to largely announce changes well in advance, and with a variety of outside influences adding to an unstable world economy, George Osborne didn’t pull out too many surprises in the latest Budget report. Given the rate of changes affecting the owner-manager in the last couple of years, this should no doubt be appreciated!

In line with our mission statement of being the best all-round advisers to owner-managers we have waded through the Budget report to pick out the areas of importance to you and your business.

Where necessary, we have included details of announcements from previous Budgets and Autumn Statements to highlight the changes that will most affect you and your business.


The Chinese downturn, American Presidential elections, continuing unrest in the Middle East and upcoming EU referendum are all causing instability in the financial markets and the wider worldwide economy, with the result that a number of countries have moved to lower interest rates to try to stave off the prospect of further recession.

However, Britain appears to be faring better than most other developed economies, with forecasts predicting growth in Britain higher than any other G7 economy, albeit lower than forecast previously. Indeed, it would appear that Britain is still on target for a Budget Surplus by 2019/20. All of the data provided by the Office of Budget Responsibility assuming that Britain remains part of the EU, I should add.

George Osborne set out a Budget looking to build upon stronger foundations seeking to provide ‘long term solutions to long term problems’, and investing for the benefit of the next generation. No doubt the introduction of a ‘sugar tax’ is also helping the next generation, but I doubt that little Billy will see it that way!!

Following on from recent Budgets that appear to have largely affected smaller businesses most, the outcome of this Budget report appears to mainly benefit smaller business, with most (not all) of the tax raising plans aimed squarely at large business.

 With the imminent changes to the taxation of dividends and residential property income, it is probably too soon to breathe any sigh of relief….but at least we can be thankful that it is not any worse!

Issues Affecting Owner Managed Businesses

  • Optimal drawing strategies for owner-managers
  • Taxation of dividends
  • Taxation of ‘overdrawn’ Directors Loan Accounts
  • Employer’s National Insurance Exemptions
  • National Living Wage
  • Travel and Subsistence Relief for Personal Service Companies
  • Business Rates Reform
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax on Commercial Property
  • Future Corporation Tax Rate Reduction
  • Self-Employed National Insurance Reform

Read in further depth about the effect on Owner Managed Businesses

Other announcements and new legislation

  • Capital Gains Tax Reduced
  • SDLT increase for Additional Residential Properties
  • Restricting tax relief for Buy to Let landlords
  • Additional rate taxpayers – reduced tax relief on pension contributions
  • Introducing the Lifetime ISA
  • Extension of free Childcare
  • Micro-entrepreneur’s reliefs
  • Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission
  • Duty, VAT and Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) Changes

Read in further depth about the other announcements from the 2016 Budget

Reaction to the Chancellors Speech

‘In this Budget we redouble our efforts to make Britain fit for the future.’

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer

‘Time and time again he has come to the House to announce new infrastructure initiatives... but he's not delivered. Every time he sets himself a target he fails. His delivery record is so poor that people are sceptical.’

John McDonnell - Labour Shadow Chancellor

‘Business wanted a steady, workmanlike Budget, and that’s what we got. The Chancellor listened to our calls to avoid higher business taxes and costs – and indeed moved to lower them in a number of areas. He has finally taken real action to lessen the crushing burden of business rates, and sharpened incentives for entrepreneurship and investment.’

Dr Adam Marshall - Acting Director-General, British Chambers of Commerce


This Report was written immediately after the Chancellor delivered his Budget and is intended to be a general overview of the main announcements. It is based on the press releases and other documents available on 16th March 2016. Budget proposals are subject to amendment before the Finance Act receives Royal Assent. This summary is not intended as a complete summary of every measure. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy, but no liability is accepted for any action taken or refrained from in consequence of its contents. Always seek professional advice before acting.