As predicted, with the Budget announcement occurring so close to the general election, there were the usual “giveaways” that individuals and businesses may perceive as good news. The main issue that accountants and corporate finance advisors involved in M&A activity were holding their breath on, was any announcement in respect of Entrepreneurs Relief (the relief which accesses a 10% rate of CGT).
In short, there has been little change to the relief, other than a few alterations to tighten up current rules to put some further pressure on anti avoidance measures. The changes affect sales of assets connected to businesses and joint venture companies. However, these changes do not overly affect commercially negotiated transactions as a whole.
With these minimal changes, there will no doubt be a number of potential sellers attempting to complete the sale of their business quickly before any further significant changes occur. There will no doubt be some uncertainty around Entrepreneurs Relief should there be a change in government later this year, which would then result in the incoming Chancellor introducing a new budget in the summer. Despite this, my view remains that Entrepreneurs Relief (or something that looks a lot like it) will remain regardless of the make up of the UK government.