Budget 2004


Personal Income Tax

Tax Credits

National Insurance Contributions





Capital Gains Tax

Inheritance Tax

Stamp Duty / Stamp Duty Land Tax

Corporation Tax

Business Tax

Value Added Tax

Other Measures

Tax Tables

National Insurance

Other Measures

Gift Aid

You cannot claim income tax relief for a gift to charity if you get something in return - that is not a gift. However, there is an exception for payments which only give the right of entry to premises, where the preservation of those premises is the object of the charity. This was intended to cover annual subscriptions to such bodies as the National Trust, but has been exploited by some other organisations to gain tax relief for "day membership" (i.e. entry fees at the gate). The rules are to be tightened up after consultation with charities.

Merger of Revenue and Customs

The Chancellor announced, as expected, that the two main revenue-raising departments will be merged. Mr Brown hopes for a large amount of saving in public spending from this and other reforms to the public sector, but the effect on taxpayers will be hard to assess in advance. Dealing with a single authority may be useful, but coping with a department which is going through a reorganization may lead to delays and difficulties.

Anti-avoidance measures

The Chancellor declared his determination to reduce the benefit of major tax avoidance schemes, either currently in existence or in the future. There were measures to close specific loopholes on VAT on buildings,financial products and finance leasing, and new requirements for:

  • law and accountancy firms who market avoidance schemes to register such schemes with the Revenue;

  • traders with over £10m of turnover to make certain declarations to Customs about the use of VAT-avoidance schemes which will be on a published register.

Simplified tax return

The Revenue carried out "pilot tests" of a shorter, simplified tax return last year, and they will extend it this year before rolling it out nationally in 2005. The shorter return will only be available to people with relatively simple tax affairs, and these will be selected from what was on the tax return last year. If you are not selected, you cannot apply to be part of the pilot!

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