Beneficiaries must own at least 5% stake in the business

Businesses have been told to take a close look at their share incentive schemes in the wake of changes to capital gains tax (CGT) rules in last week’s Budget.

Under the announced changes to CGT, shareholders must own a stake worth at least 5% of the value of a company in order to benefit from ‘entrepreneurs’ relief’.

Eligibility for entrepreneurs’ relief enables higher rate taxpayers to pay just 10% on their first £5m of capital gains, as opposed to the increased 28% rate announced in the Budget.

Olly Laughton-Scott of IMAS said that companies should look at lifting valued beneficiaries’ stakes of their share incentive schemes above the 5% threshold.

Commenting on the planned increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20% also announced last week, Groupama personal lines director Kevin Kiernan said that the change would increase the cost of repairs and services on claims.

He explained: “As insurance companies are exempt from VAT, they will not be able to claim the full effect of this back, which will lead to an increased claims cost.”