The date of Autumn Budget 2018 has yet to be announced, but preparations are underway.
This time last year we were able to include an announcement of the date for Autumn Budget 2017 in Tax Matters Digest. However, at the time of writing, no announcement has yet been made about the date of this year’s Budget, despite a number of related developments during the week. Once a firm date is set, we will provide an update in Tax Matters Digest.
In his annual meeting with the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on 11 September 2018, it has been reported that the Chancellor commented that he was currently unable to set a firm date for Autumn Budget 2018. This is in part likely due to the proposed extraordinary meeting of the EU to discuss future relations with the UK, scheduled for 13 November 2018. There has been media speculation that the Budget could be earlier or later than usual this year to avoid clashing with the output of these Brexit negotiations.
Normal procedure requires the Chancellor to give the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) at least 10 weeks’ notice ahead of the Budget, however this may be reduced under exceptional circumstances – arguably the case at present. Instead, it is understood the Chancellor has asked the OBR to begin preparations for Autumn Budget 2018 without a firm date.
Separately, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee has published a call for evidence on the proposed changes to HMRC’s powers included in Draft Finance Bill 2018/19, indicating that the legislative cycle is indeed continuing relatively normally, despite the added complexity of the ongoing Brexit negotiations. The Sub-Committee is also examining progress on HMRC’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ programme since its last report on this subject in March 2017.
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