Philip Hammond committed to retain the planned reduction in corporation tax from 20% to 19% in April, but announced new measures to assist businesses around research and development (R&D) costs.
The chancellor reiterated in his Budget that corporation tax will fall again to 17% in 2020, 'sending the clearest possible signal Britain is open for business,' as it will be the lowest rate in the G20.
Hammond also said he had finished the government's review of the R&D tax credit regime, concluding it is 'globally competitive'.
However, he said he had 'accepted industry calls for a reduction in admin burdens around the scheme', but has not yet announced further detail.
The chancellor added that smaller companies, which are under the VAT threshold, will be given a year's grace before the implementation of digital, quarterly reporting.
On small business rates relief, which had been much discussed ahead of the Budget, the chancellor announced £300 million of additional funding for councils to help them support 'hard cases' with struggling businesses. He also announced a £1,000 discount for pubs with a rateable value under £100,000.
Helena Kanczula, director at Blick Rothenberg, welcomed the move to simplify the R&D regime, calling it 'a move to reduce the administrative burden will encourage more businesses to claim this valuable relief.'