The Summer Budget 2015 will have an impact on all UK businesses, and many individuals. Changes are being introduced from April 2016. What follows is a summary, with extracts, from the Summer Budget 2015 Policy Paper, published 8th July 2015.
Income Tax and Individual Taxpayers
The personal allowance will increase to £11,000 in 2016-17 (it is currently £10,600). The higher rate threshold will increase from £42,385 to £43,000.
The effective inheritance tax threshold will be £1 million, where a main residence is passed to descendants. This will be paid for by the introduction of a taper to the annual allowance for pensions tax relief for people whose total income is above £150,000 per annum.
Insurance premium tax will increase from 6% to 9.5%
Corporation tax will be cut from the current 20% to 19% in 2017, and 18% in 2020.
The Annual Investment Allowance will be £200,000 from January 2016. This allowance means businesses can claim capital allowances on tangible fixed assets of up to £200,000 in the year of purchase, rather than spreading the tax relief over several years.
From April 2016, companies where the director is the sole employee will no longer be able to claim the Employment Allowance (the £2,000 reduction in employer’s national insurance contributions).
In the March Budget 2015, the government announced it would transform tax administration for individuals and small businesses over this Parliament, leading to the end of the tax return. Small businesses will be able to manage their tax through a digital account linked to business software. HMRC will begin discussions with businesses and software providers about how best to integrate tax reporting and payment with everyday business activity, to inform a roadmap the government will publish by the end of 2015 setting out the policy and administrative changes needed.
Sunday trading – The government will consult on devolving powers on Sunday trading to city mayors and Local Authorities. This will look at allowing mayors or councils to extend Sunday trading for additional hours within parameters that they would determine.
Enterprise Zones – The government will hold a bidding round for a new programme of Enterprise Zones for this Parliament.
Tax lock – The government will legislate to set a ceiling for the main rates of income tax, the standard and reduced rates of VAT, and employer and employee (Class 1) NICs rates, ensuring that they cannot rise above their current (2015-16) levels. The tax lock will also ensure that the NICs Upper Earnings Limit cannot rise above the income tax higher rate threshold; and will prevent the relevant statutory provisions being used to remove any items from the zero rate of VAT and reduced rate of VAT for the duration of this Parliament. (Summer Finance Bill 2015)
Business tax roadmap – The government will publish a Business tax roadmap by April 2016, setting out its plans for business taxes over the rest of the Parliament.
Self-employed National Insurance contributions – The government will consult in autumn 2015 on abolishing Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) and reforming Class 4 NICs for the self-employed
Simplified expenses: legislative amendments – The government will amend the simplified expenses regime introduced in Finance Act 2013 to ensure that partnerships can fully access the provisions in respect of the use of a home and where business premises are also a home. (Finance Bill 2016)
Business skills, infrastructure and regional development
To support innovation throughout the country, the government will invest £23m in 6 Next Generation Digital Economy Centres over 6 sites (London, Swansea, Newcastle, Nottingham, York and Bath), leveraging £22 million of additional funding, and partnering with LEPs, regional councils, and local SMEs. These centres will exploit opportunities across sectors of the digital economy including the creative industries, finance, healthcare and education.
The so-called Northern Powerhouse seems to fail to recognise that the UK doesn’t end at Leeds. Although there is mention of upgrading the final stretch of the M1/A1 route between Newcastle and London to motorway. The government will look into the case for renaming the A1(M) north of Leeds as the M1. The A1 will be dualled north of Newcastle as far as Ellingham,
The Employment Allowance will rise from £2,000 per year to £3,000 from April 2016. This reduces the cost of Employer’s National Insurance contributions. Most small businesses will be eligible, but as mentioned above, the allowance will no longer be available to companies where the sole director is the only employee.
A National Living Wage is being introduced for workers aged 25 and over. National Living Wage – The government will introduce a new premium for those aged 25 and over starting at 50 pence leading to a new National Living Wage (NLW) of £7.20 in April 2016. The target is £9.00 per hour by 2020.
National Minimum Wage – The combined 50 pence premium with the 20 pence minimum wage increase on the current rate will benefit 1.7 million workers and means that a current NMW worker working 35 hours a week will see their annual salary increase by over £1,200 from April 2016.
Taxation of employee benefits and expenses – As announced at Autumn Statement 2014, from April 2016 the government will simplify the tax system by introducing a statutory exemption for trivial benefits in kind costing less than £50. (Finance Bill 2016)
Apprenticeships levy – The government will introduce a levy on large UK employers to increase the number of apprenticeship starts. In England, employers will be able to access this funding for apprenticeship training. Details including rates and implementation will be set out in the Spending Review.
Dividend tax credits will be replaced with a tax-free Dividend Tax Allowance of £5,000, and new dividend tax rates. The tax rates will be 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers, 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers, and 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers.
Tax relief on mortgage interest for individual landlords will be restricted to the basic rate of income tax.
Individuals renting out a room in their main residence will benefit from an increase in Rent-a-room tax relief to £7,500 from April 2016 (currently £4,250).
Reform of the Wear and Tear Allowance – From April 2016, the government will replace the Wear and Tear Allowance with a new relief that allows all residential landlords to deduct the actual costs of replacing furnishings. Capital allowances will continue to apply for landlords of furnished holiday lets. The government will publish a technical consultation before the summer. (Finance Bill 2016)
The full Summer Budget can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summer-budget-2015/summer-budget-2015
If you are concerned about how any of these changes could affect you please contact us.