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Budget review 2003

Francesca Lagerberg and Lisa Spearman report on the main points in last week’s Budget

18 April 2003

In this year’s Budget, many measures were introduced to close schemes perceived as ‘unacceptable’ tax avoidance. As a result, the Budget was thin on major announcements but long on technical detail. The Finance Bill 2003, published on 16 April 2003, is therefore expected to be very weighty. Anti-avoidance measures hit at stamp duty and VAT planning schemes, capital gains devices such as the use of ‘flip flops’ (see below), so-called ‘nanny schemes’ (where personal services are provided by domestic workers via companies to households) and certain accelerated capital allowance plans. The Chancellor also acted to reverse two court decisions which went against the Revenue authorities: Mansworth v Jelley [2003] STC 53, which affected certain options, and Dextra v MacDonald [2002] STC (SCD) 413 which related to the use of employee benefit trusts. There were some welcome business incentives, including a continuation of the enhanced capital allowances for small and medium busi...

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