A summary of tax changes from April 2018

Changes to tax and NIC from April 2018

MTD

From the beginning of April 2018 the personal tax allowance will increase to £11,850 per year.   Tax rates will be:

England and Wales
Basic rate 20% On the next £34,500 above the personal tax allowance
Higher rate 40% On £34,501 to £150,000 (the personal allowance reduces once earnings reach £100,000)
Additional rate On earnings above £150,000

 

Scottish rates and bands

On the 20 February 2018 the Scottish Parliament set the following income tax rates and bands for 2018/19.

Bands Band name Rates (%)
Over £11,850*-£13,850 Starter Rate 19
Over £13,850-£24,000 Basic Rate 20
Over £24,000-£43,430 Intermediate Rate 21
Over £43,430-£150,000** Higher Rate 41
Above £150,000** Top Rate 46
Tax on Dividends

The dividend allowance of £5,000 at 0% personal income tax, will reduce to £2,000 per year from April 2018.  Shareholders will be worse off by £225, £975 or £1,143 a year depending on whether they pay tax at the basic rate, higher rate or the additional rate.   Dividend tax rates have not changed, and the rate of tax on dividends remains at 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers, 32.5% above the higher rate threshold and 38.1% for those in the additional rate band (ie. Earning over £150,000).    For many owner-directors, the dividend/salary split will still be the most tax efficient method of remuneration, but it may not suit all.

Corporation tax remains at 19%

National Insurance

Self-employed people will continue to pay Class 4 and Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NIC).  The abolition of Class 2 NIC was scheduled for this April, but it has been delayed until April 2019.  Class 4 NIC will be 9% on profits over £8,424. Class 2 NIC will be £2.95 per week, to be added to your 2018/19 tax bill as one total for the tax year.

Other changes

The national living and minimum wage rates increase from 1st April 2018 to:

Category of worker Hourly rate
Aged 25 and above (national living wage rate) £7.83
Aged 21 to 24 inclusive £7.38
Aged 18 to 20 inclusive £5.90
Aged under 18 (but above compulsory school leaving age) £4.20
Apprentices aged under 19 £3.70
Apprentices aged 19 and over, but in the first year of their apprenticeship £3.70
Pension Contributions

Minimum auto-enrolment (workplace pension) contributions have been 1% from both the employee and employer.  From 1st April this changes to 3% contributions paid by the employee, and 2% paid by the employer.  This will change again in April 2019.

GDPR

Something not directly related to tax and accountancy, but that will affect all businesses will be the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  This is a fairly significant upgrade from the Data Protection Act 1998, which just wasn’t sufficient for the online environment that we use now.  The GDPR comes into effect from 25th May 2018.  There is no exemption for small business, and fines for non-compliance will be from 4% of turnover.

Businesses complying with the DPA 1998 shouldn’t have too much trouble preparing for 25th May, but assessing the data you hold, documenting what you do with it, rewriting policies and communicating with data subjects (customers, suppliers, employees) can be time consuming.   The ICO website is a good place to start, if you’ve not already looked at this.

Making tax Digital (MTD)

Making tax digital (aka quarterly accounting), has been delayed for a couple of years.  It will start for VAT only from April 2019.  The new rules will encompass VAT registered businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000)  From 1st April 2019 records will need to be kept using ‘functional, compatible’ software. Compatible meaning it must be able to upload information direct to HMRC each quarter.

MTD for income tax, corporation tax etc. will follow after 2019.  It will mean 5 updates to HMRC being made each year, instead of the one annual tax return.  There will be an obligation to keep records electronically.  You’ll upload sales, expenses and profit figures each quarter, then a 5th report (if necessary) will be used to claim allowances and reliefs that are not included in normal day-to-day bookkeeping.

The well-known software companies are developing solutions, as well as some of the lesser known software houses. HMRC has said it will not be providing free software, as it currently does for both VAT and personal self-assessment tax returns.

This is a very brief summary, and there could be many other factors to consider in your own business. If you’d like any help with your tax, bookkeeping or accountancy, please get in touch.

Tax changes from April 2016

Tax changes from April 2016 – what’s new?

There are many changes being implemented in UK taxation and accounting rules this year.  This is a very brief summary aimed at owners of small businesses, sole traders and sole directors.

Personal tax allowances and tax bands

  • The income tax personal allowance increases to £11,000 and the basic rate limit increases to £43,000.
  • Married couples’ can share part of their allowance, for low income families.
  • Income tax remains at 20% (basic rate) 40% (higher rate) and 45% (upper rate).
  • The capital gains tax (CGT) exempt amount is £11,100.
  • CGT rates remain at 18% (basic rate taxpayers) 28% (higher rate taxpayers).

Savings

  • There is a 0% savings tax band of £5,000 and a new 0% personal savings allowance of £1,000 for basic rate payers and £500 for higher rate payers.
  • There is a new range of ISAs savings including a right to buy ISA and it is anticipated a crowdfunding ISA will be launched.

Dividends

  • A new tax regime for dividends begins from April 2016.
  • Dividends will be taxed at 0% for the first £5,000, then 7.5% (basic rate), 32.5% (higher rate) and 38.1% (upper rate).

Employers

  • The compulsory National Living Wage (NLW) is being introduced from 1 April 2016. It is the legally required minimum level of pay for workers aged 25 and over.  The penalty for failure to pay either the NLW or the NMW of these will also increase from 100% of the underpayment to 200% of the underpayment on 1 April 2016.
  • National Minimum Wage increases have been announced for October 2016.Age 25 and over: £7.20 – (This is the National Living Wage effective from April 2016 and so will not increase in October 2016)Age 21 – 24: from £6.70 to £6.95

    Age 18 – 20: from £5.30 to £5.55

    Age 16 – 17: from £3.87 to £4.00

    Apprentice rate: from £3.30 to £3.40

    Please note – from 2017 the date for all minimum wage increase will be changed from October to April each year. This is to bring National Minimum Wage increases in line with National Living Wage increases.

 

Trivial Benefits

There will be a new exemption from income tax and national insurance for trivial benefits up to £50, with an annual cap of £300 for office holders of close companies and their families or households.   The exemption is an ‘all or nothing’ exemption: if the value of the benefit is £60 then the full amount of £60 is taxable, not just the £10 excess.   Examples of trivial benefits include things like birthday/wedding/Christmas gifts and workplace refreshments (coffee, tea, biscuits).

 

Workplace Pensions

Auto-enrolment continues to be rolled out. This is a compulsory change for everyone paying workers, and there are strict deadlines and procedures to meet.  I have arranged for a cost-effective solution for my payroll clients, and will be speaking to everyone in due course. If you process your own payroll, make sure you check your staging date on the Pensions Regulator website, and start preparing in plenty of time.

RTI (real time information)

The temporary relaxation in RTI reporting for micro employers will end as planned on 5 April 2016. The concession allowing employers to submit returns up to three days late without being subject to late filing penalties is withdrawn.

National Insurance

From 6th April there will be no Employers’ NIC on wages paid to apprentices aged under 25 or employees under 21 earning up to the Upper Earnings Limit of £43,000.

The Employers’ NICs allowance increases to £3,000 but is no longer available for companies where the sole director is the only employee.

 

 

For more information on any of the above please get in touch.

 

 

Business mileage expenses – why, what, how?

Business mileage expenses explained

It’s very simple to record, can save you tax, and contributes to an accurate set of accounts and tax return.  So why do I meet so many people who don’t do it?

What is business mileage?

Any journey you make solely for the purpose of business. Examples include travelling to visit customers, suppliers, to attend work-related training events and business banking.   It does not include commuting to your normal place of work.  If you drop off the business post on the way home from your office, you can’t count that as a business trip.

Why record business mileage?

Keeping sufficient financial records is a legal obligation. The benefit to you is in claiming this tax free expense.  Say you travel an average of 20 business miles per day, 4 days per week, 48 weeks per year.  At 45p per mile that could save you £345 per year in tax at the current basic rate.  So what’s stopping you?

It’s a choreBusiness mileage

Well, I can’t argue with that.  It’s not much fun, but it really doesn’t take long and quickly becomes a habit you’ll barely notice.  All you need to do is keep a notebook and pen in the vehicle you use for business, or use your smartphone.

I haven’t got time

10 seconds spent jotting down the details at the end of the trip and it’s done.  You can link several business trips together. So if you start at your business premises one day and travel to a customer’s premises, then go to a 2nd customer, then onto the stationers to pick up some flyers you’ve had printed, and drop off the flyers at the distribution company, that can all be recorded as one trip.

I forget

I believe you.  I also know you’re doing your best to run a successful business, often under very difficult circumstances.  So find a way to integrate the recording of business mileage into your daily or weekly routine.

Give me an easy solution

There are 2 options for tracking mileage.  You can use the old paper and pen method, or use one of the many apps that are available now.

For each trip your paper record needs to show:

  • The date

    business mileage
    Mileage record made simple
  • details of where you’re going to and from
  • the reason for the trip and
  • the business mileage.

There are mobile apps which are appropriate for UK taxpayers Most will deal with more than just mileage. Try ConcurEclipsecs, Webexpenses or search for an app that will record mileage.


A note on the value of your business mileage expense claims: there is more than one method of calculating mileage expenses, although there are certain restrictions.  Have a chat with your accountant or contact us to find out which is best for you.

 

 

 

Payroll changes 2014-15

Payroll changes 2014-15Payroll changes 2014-15 are the usual updates to tax codes, tax rates and NIC rates.  Good news includes a delay in the implementation of late filing penalties under the RTI system, and a £2,000 reduction to employer’s NIC.  On the downside, employers will no longer be able to reclaim SSP paid to employees.

 

RTI LATE FILING PENALTIES

The penalties for late filing of the FPS files which were due to commence April 2014 have been postponed until October 2014.

The FPS files are the Real Time Information (RTI) reports sent each pay period and are due on or before the pay date. The fines are per late FPS and depend upon the number of staff you have:

Staff Monthly Penalty

  • 1 to 9 employees  £100
  • 10 to 49 employees £200
  • 50 to 249 employees £300
  • 250 or more employees £400

The penalty notices will only be sent out quarterly ,so the bill could be quite high when you receive it.  Payment is due within 30 days of the notice.

Where an FPS is late for more than 3 months and the information is not included on a later submission a further charge is made – 5% of the Tax/NICs which should have been on the submission.

SSP RECLAIM ABOLISHED

From April 2014 the reclaim of SSP will be abolished. You still need to keep a record of SSP paid in the normal way but there will be no reclaims at all. Reclaims for SMP, SPP and SAP remain the same.

TAX RATES 2014-15

The new standard tax code is 1000L

Tax Bands:

  • 20% £1 to £31,865
  • 40% £31,866 to £150,000
  • 45% £150,001 and above

NIC Thresholds 2014-15:

Payments start from the primary threshold: weekly pay of  £153, monthly £663, annual £7,956

Employees deductions are 12% on amounts above the primary threshold, up to £805 weekly/ £3,489 monthly then 2% on all other earnings

Employers liability: 13.8% on all earnings above the secondary threshold (values are the same as the primary threshold mentioned above).

The threshold for statutory payments is £111 per week.

SSP rate £87.55 per week

SMP/SPP/SAP standard rate £138.18

Student loans are recovered at 9% on earnings above: weekly £325.19 , monthly £1,409.16 or annual £16,910.00.

£2,000 NIC ALLOWANCE

HMRC are introducing a £2,000 Employers Allowance to be offset against your Employer’s NIC. Most employers are eligible for this and we will be taking it into account on your monthly PAYE Summaries.

There are a small number of employers who are not eligible and you can check your entitlement by logging on to the following website:

https://www.gov.uk/employment-allowance-up-to-2000-off-your-class-1-nics