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Spring Budget 2017 - Alcohol and Tobacco Duty increases

09 Mar, 2017

As part of the Budget measures the Chancellor announced that the duty rates on beers, ciders, spirits and wine and will be increased by RPI inflation from 13 March 2017. These measures will typically add 2p to the price of a pint of beer, 1p to the price of a pint of cider, 36p on a bottle of whisky and 10p on a bottle of wine.

Independent review recommends employers publish workforce data

09 Mar, 2017

The independent Baroness McGregor-Smith review, commissioned by the government, has now published its report on race in the workplace, considering the issues affecting black and minority ethnic (BME) groups at work. The report makes a number of recommendations on how employers in the public and private sectors can improve BME diversity and inclusion within their organisations. Its key recommendations are that businesses with more than 50 employees should:

Spring Budget 2017 - Making Tax Digital

09 Mar, 2017

The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) will fundamentally change the way businesses, the self-employed and landlords interact with HMRC. The introduction of MTD was first announced as part of the March 2015 Budget measures and is expected to see HMRC move towards a fully digital tax system by 2020.

There have been some concerns that the roll-out of MTD is moving too fast. HMRC had previously confirmed that businesses, self-employed people and landlords with a turnover under £10,000 a year will not have to make quarterly updates or keep records electronically.

Spring Budget 2017 - Dividend allowance

09 Mar, 2017

The new dividend tax allowance was introduced in April 2016. The new allowance replaced the dividend tax credit with an annual £5,000 dividend allowance with tax payable on dividends received in excess of this amount.

Spring Budget 2017 - Class 4 National Insurance Contributions

09 Mar, 2017

The Chancellor’s first Budget was a reasonable quiet affair against the backdrop of the Brexit negotiations. The Chancellor also has the opportunity for a second Budget later in the year as we move to a new schedule with the annual Budget taking place in the autumn. This gave the Chancellor some time to wait and see how the economic conditions are faring before making any major announcements for 2018-19 and beyond.

Spring Budget 2017 - VAT registration and deregistration thresholds

09 Mar, 2017

The taxable turnover threshold, that determines whether businesses should be registered for VAT, will increase from £83,000 to £85,000 from 1 April 2017. The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses can apply for deregistration will be increased from £81,000 to £83,000 on the same date.

Businesses are required to register for VAT if they meet either of the following two conditions:

IR35 changes relating to the public sector

09 Mar, 2017

From April 2017, the rules for individuals providing services to the public sector via an intermediary such as a personal service company (PSC) will change. The new rules will shift the responsibility, for deciding whether the intermediaries’ legislation known as IR35 applies, from the intermediary itself to the public sector receiving the service. It has been confirmed as part of the Budget measures that the necessary legislation for this change will be introduced as part of Finance Bill 2017.

Spring 2017 Budget

08 Mar, 2017

Budget Statement 8 March 2017

Pundits are mixed in their interpretation of the prospects for the UK economy as we approach the formal Brexit disengagement. They are keen to see encouragement for industry to invest and export rather than more of the same debt fuelled consumer expenditure. Has Philip Hammond succeeded in meeting these demands, and will he be able to bank any hard-won savings for this financial year?

Our summary of a selection of specific tax changes and other budget announcements for 2017-18 and future years follow.

Requesting an SA302 from HMRC

02 Mar, 2017

The SA302 tax calculation and tax year overview documents are commonly used as evidence of income for loan or mortgage purposes for the self-employed. The forms have become more widely used since the mortgage rules have required proper evidence of income for the self-employed.

The tax calculation (SA302) shows the breakdown of the income returned on the taxpayer's tax return, including commercial versions. The tax year overview confirms the tax due from the return submitted to HMRC and shows any payments made, cross referencing the tax calculation with HMRC records.

Employer deadline for providing P60s

02 Mar, 2017

It is not long until the end of the current 2016-17 tax year and employers have to complete their final PAYE submission for the tax year. It is also very important that employers remember to provide employees with a copy of their P60 form by 31 May 2016. A P60 must be given to all employees that are on the payroll on the last day of the tax year – 5 April 2017.

Advisory fuel rates for company cars

02 Mar, 2017

The latest advisory fuel rates became effective on 1 March 2017. Fuel rates are reviewed four times a year with changes taking effect on 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December. You can use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.

The rates are as follows:

Pension exit fees

02 Mar, 2017

It is now almost two years since the new pension freedoms provided those aged 55 and over new opportunities to access their pension savings. The new rules allow the over 55’s new freedoms to access their pension pots by taking lump sum payments. The first 25% is tax-free and the remainder is taxed at the individual's marginal rate.

However, an unexpected consequence of these changes resulted in some people being charged excessive early exit charges. The independent Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the authority responsible for setting the level of the cap.