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It would be unfair to say there were no tax changes announced in the first Autumn statement, but there was very little of real interest on the tax front which had not previously been announced in some form or another. In fact, the biggest surprise was the announcement was that in future, the Autumn Statement will become the day for the budget announcement from 2017. In hindsight, it is perhaps not a big surprise that there were not radical tax changes announced. Economics teaches us that the market hates uncertainty and following a year which included the Brexit vote, the replacement of the Prime Minister and Chancellor in the UK and Mr Trump being elected US President, there have perhaps been enough surprises. The announcement that the Budget will now be held in the Autumn will bring an end to the frantic panic that often occurs between Budget day in spring and the beginning of the tax year to reorganise individual’s tax affairs, minimise the effect of any changes and the pressure on software providers for the accountancy industry to ensure they get their software up to date in time. Some of the main tax changes announced or re-confirmed included: It seems clear that at this point, Mr Hammond does not want to make too many waves in the economy, but with a number of changes previously announced, tax advisers and their clients will still be busy in early 2017 optimising their position. Only time will tell if Mr Hammond waits until the Spring to bring in his own tax policies or any other changes needed to steady the ship before we see the timescale for Brexit.

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