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The top financial minds in Scotland examine what the Chancellor’s recent Budget means for


businesses and whether the tax landscape really is a welcoming place


G


eorge Osborne wants to make sure that ‘Britain is open for business’. Did the tax changes he made in his latest budget help achieve that aim?


What other current tax issues are concentrating minds? Glasgow Business sought advice from some of Scotland’s top specialists. Paul Gallagher, Tax Partner at Ernst &


Young, was one who welcomed the Chancellor’s efforts. He said: “Te 2013 budget was steady but business friendly. It’s clear the UK government is trying to improve the climate for business and atract investment from overseas. “Many of our clients believe the action he is


taking is supporting the message. Businesses thinking about investing in the UK are atracted by initiatives around research and development, the patent box and capital allowances.” Paul believes there was a change in


emphasis this time around. “In previous budgets, spending cuts were always a focus but reforming the tax system is now seen as the key to promoting growth. Te corporation tax cut to 20 per cent from 2015 is sending a clear message around the UK being open for business and it supports the aim to make us the most competitive tax regime in the G20. “Te changes that allow the R&D tax credit


to appear in a firm’s profit number are creating great interest. In many companies, management and staff are rewarded based on the profitable performance of the company – now the R&D tax credit can increase that level of profit. “Meanwhile, unincorporated small


businesses will be encouraged by the legislation that does away with complicated forms and allows them simply to pay tax on the cash that they earn.”


Agents of change


Stephen Dodds, a Tax Associate at legal firm MMS, agrees that the 2013 budget is good for


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