In response to the Chancellor’s 2021 Budget, Peter Legge, Tax Partner at leading business advisory firm Grant Thornton in Belfast, said:

“There was much in the Budget to please Northern Ireland businesses, particularly the announcement of a super deduction that will provide an incredible clawback incentive of 130% on capital expenditure in plant and machinery.

“Combined with ongoing support to deal with coronavirus, a temporary three year carry back of trading losses and, for those in the hospitality sector, a continuation of the lower 5% VAT rate for six months, there is some relief for businesses.

“Any optimism will however be set against the planned rise in corporation tax to 25% from 2023. While this may still be one of the lowest rates within the G20, it will be double that of our southern neighbours.

“In what could be considered a ‘sign of the times’, he also signalled an increased focus from HMRC on clamping down on tax avoidance. As a result, we expect to see greater scrutiny placed on tax returns particularly from this September onwards.”