The Chancellor of the Exchequer used the final Spring Budget in the UK to unveil some significant tax changes.
However, for the self-employed and landlords with an income under the VAT threshold, the best news was that the government has listened to the many representations, including those of CooperFaure, and deferred the introduction of Making Tax Digital by a year to April 2019.
Under Making Tax Digital, businesses will be required to use digital software to keep their tax records and to update HMRC on a quarterly basis.
Five of the key tax changes are:
- as previously announced, from April 2018 Class 2 National Insurance will be abolished. However, at the same time Class 4 National Insurance will rise to 10% and, again, to 11% from April 2019.
- the tax-free Dividend Allowance will be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.
- from 1st April 2017, the VAT registration threshold will increase from £83,000 to £85,000 and the deregistration threshold from £81,000 to £83,000.
- three measures were announced to mitigate the impact of the Business Rates revaluation:
- no small business exiting Small Business Rates Relief will pay more than an additional £600 to the amount paid in the 2016-17 year;
- local authorities will be funded to provide £300 million of discretionary relief to aid businesses most affected by the revaluation;
- and from April 2017, pubs with a rateable value of up to £100,000 will be able to claim a £1,000 business rates discount for a year.
- tax-free Childcare was confirmed to start in April with the roll-out to be complete by the end of the year with parents of the youngest children able to apply first. This will provide up to £2,000 a year in childcare support for each child under twelve.
For savers, the interest rate for the NS&I Investment Bond was confirmed at 2.2%. From April 2017, up to £3,000 can be invested in the bond over three years.
There was one small piece of good news for property investors. In light of consultations, the government is going to delay the reduction in the timeframe for the filing and payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax until the 2018-19 tax year.
However, deep in the Spring Budget document, the government is going to consult on the redesign of Rent-a-Room relief to ensure that it is targeted to support longer-term lettings. The insinuation being that it will no longer apply to Airbnb-type rentals.
To encourage innovation, there was a commitment to simplify the administrative burden of the R&D Tax Credit regime to increase certainty as well as improving the awareness of R&D Tax Credits in the SME community.
Over the weekend, we will be publishing a detailed review of the Budget together with our 2016-17 UK Tax Guide.
In the meantime, if you would like to discuss how the Budget or the new measures that come into effect from April 2017 will affect you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.