Well, we have the shiny brand new patent box proposals coming in April anyway, so there were no big IP expectations of this Budget – just as well, really!
There was one 'direct' IP announcement – the above the line R&D relief for large companies is increased to 10%, from the originally proposed 9.1%. This doesn't sound much of an increase, but it's a large improvement on the 6% that the current large company relief would be worth when the 20% corporate tax rate comes into effect. (A post on ATL is in the works …)
A 'coming soon' announcement was also hidden in the Budget documents – the Government plans to introduce consultation on tax reliefs for the visual effects industry. Presumably these will be modelled on the film/quality tv/animation/video games reliefs that we already have, but there's no detail yet beyond the announcement of consultation.
There were quite a few indirect announcements – things that will benefit IP companies by benefiting companies and sectors in general, including:
- the 20% corporation tax rate: a bonus for large companies, and fairly predictable
- the NICs allowance of £2,000 per business, reducing the costs of employing people
- the extension of the capital gains tax exemption on investment via SEIS: useful for startups looking for funding
- then the grants etc funding, including £1.6bn for Industrial Strategy, part of which will go into a £2.1bn fund for aerospace; a £15m competition for digital content production; and £8m for the Skills Investment Fund, focussed on the digital content sector
- and finally, various initiatives intended to make it easier to raise finance. In theory.