By Claire West

The Autumn Statement provided clarification around the Government’s plans for business taxation, as well as confirmation of the introduction from next year of a General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR).

The statement also outlined further Government measures to clamp down on tax avoidance and tax havens.

In addition, the Chancellor provided businesses with an additional windfall in the shape of a tenfold increase in the annual investment allowance on plant and machinery, taking it from £25,000 to £250,000 from 1 January 2013.

Martin Lambert, Head of Corporate & International Tax, Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: “The further reduction in the main corporation tax rate to 21% by 2014 is to be welcomed, and brings the rate much closer to the current small companies rate of 20%. Now is surely the time to unify these rates and bring some simplification to the regime.

“The change in the annual investment allowance for plant and machinery at first glance looks like a boon for businesses, especially small firms. In reality though, it may be of limited use. In the current climate many small businesses struggle to spend more than the £25,000 allowance they have now, let alone the new level of £250,000