A useful summary of our views on the budget
Two Budgets in one year have the potential to make a major impression on your household finances. In his final Spring budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond said that he was supporting families, whilst not spending recklessly. Although the Budget was relatively low-key, other changes were already planned. This adds up to a significant financial impact on millions of people.
After the budget announcements, amid a backlash from some Tory MPs and newspapers, Theresa May said Budget tax rises would not go before MPs until the autumn and so it is not yet clear which of the changes for self employed people will go ahead.
So here is how it could affect you:
A blow to shareholders & directors
One of the biggest cuts was the £5,000 tax fee dividend by £3,000 to £2,000 from April 2018. And this is on a tax break that was only given to us last year.
That will affect those who own a small business and pay themselves in dividends alongside a small salary.
It will also impact people with large portfolios of shares. Experts say that with an Isa allowance of £20,000 available to use from April, many investors will not need to worry. It will important to use as many of your tax free allowances as possible during the next year. If you’re not sure what these are and if you should use them, please speak to us.
Help for savers
The Chancellor has said the Investment Guaranteed Growth Bonds will still be offered by National Savings and Investments from April, paying interest of 2.2%. Phillip Hammond described this as a market-leading rate, which it is – but it is only the equal of the best-buy three-year bond on the market now. Critics have already labelled the product as a “sideshow” and “underwhelming”. The bond will be open to those aged 16 and over, subject to a minimum investment limit of £100 and a maximum investment limit of £3,000. Savers must lock in their money for three years.
Self Employed National Insurance
The main National Insurance contribution rate paid by the self-employed will rise in the next few years. It will increase from its current level of 9% to 10% in April 2018, and then to 11% in April 2019 for those making a profit of more than £8,060.
The level for employees for these Class 4 contributions is 12%. The Chancellor said that this would raise £145m a year by 2021-22. On its own, the change announced in the Budget will leave 2.84 million people facing an average annual increase of £240.
As previously announced, Class 2 payments – which have a lower threshold of £5,965 or more of profits a year – will be abolished. Taken together, only the self-employed with profits over £16,250 will have to pay more as a result of these changes – at an average cost of 60p a week to those affected.
The whole idea is to bring parity between the self-employed and employees, but the move was criticised by many of the papers and the body that represents the self-employed.
“The chancellor should not forget that growth in self-employment has driven our labour market in recent years and punitive rises in tax will make many people have second thoughts about striking out on their own,” said Chris Bryce, chief executive of IPSE.
Some employees will think that it is only fair that the self-employed should make the same contributions as they do and face the same sort of tax rises.
What we already knew:
A long list of changes, announced in previous Budgets and Autumn Statements will come into force in April or the subsequent months. They include:
– The amount you can earn before paying income tax – the personal allowance – is currently at £11,000 and will go up to £11,500. The Government has promised this will rise to £12,500 by 2020-21. The threshold for higher rate will go up from £43,000 to £45,000, except in Scotland (owing to devolved powers) where it will be £43,000
The amount that can be saved in a tax-free Individual Savings Account (Isa) is rising from £15,240 a year to £20,000
– The start of a gradual process allowing people to pass on property to their descendants free from some inheritance tax, known as the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB). This is a big change for many of our clients and should be discussed at their Annual Strategy meeting to see how it affects your family.
– The launch of a new Lifetime Individual Savings Account (LISA) for those aged between 18 and 40. They can save up to £4,000 a year, and the government will add a 25% bonus if the money is used to buy a home or as a pension from the age of 60
– Many buy-to-let landlords will see the amount of tax relief that they can claim on mortgage interest payments cut over the course of four years from April. They will only be able to claim at the lower rate of tax, not the higher.
In May, probate fees will change, costing significantly more for large estates
– Many working-age benefits remaining unchanged for a second year, as part of a four-year freeze. These include Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, some types of Housing Benefit, and Child Benefit. However, state pensions, Maternity Pay and some disability benefits are excluded
– Any family which has a third or subsequent child born after April will not qualify for Child Tax Credit, which can be more than £2,000 per child. This will also apply to families claiming Universal Credit for the first time after April
– The family element of child tax credits, worth £545 per year, will be abolished. So families in which the eldest child is born on or after 6 April will not receive this payment.
– The National Living Wage will rise from £7.20 to £7.50 in April, for those aged 25 and over. Public sector pay has already been set at a 1% annual rise each year until 2019-20
– Salary sacrifice restricted for items such as computers, gym membership and health screening
– Fuel duty will be frozen for a seventh year, but the cost of vehicle insurance may rise owing to an increase in the Insurance Premium Tax from 10% to 12% in June
– New Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) bands are to be introduced for cars registered from April – zero, standard and premium
– Inflation-linked rises that mean a pint of beer will cost 2p more from Monday, wine will rise by 10p a bottle and a bottle of whisky will go up by 36p
If you’d like to find out more about how these changes will affect you and your family, or want some advice on how to protect everything you’ve worked hard for, just give us a call on 02920 782 330. One of our friendly and knowledgeable team will be delighted to help you.