Autumn Budget 2017

Prospects for growth, especially for productivity have been downgraded, but the Chancellor was bullish in his forecasts for investment and the Government’s intention to sort out the slow pace of house building in the UK. A few non-tax comments of note were:

Our summary of a selection of specific tax changes and other budget announcements for 2018-19 and future years follow.

Personal Tax and miscellaneous matters

Personal Tax allowance

The personal allowances for 2018-19 is 11,850 (2017-18 11,500). According to HMRC, this means that an average taxpayer will pay 1,075 less tax than in 2010-11.

Income Tax bands, rates and the dividend allowance

The Income Tax bands for 2018-19 have been increased. They are:

There is no change in Income Tax rates, and the tax rates applied to dividend income. Readers should note that the present 5,000 tax-free dividend allowance will, as previously announced, be reducing to 2,000 from April 2018.

The Scottish parliament sets the basic rate limit for Scotland meaning that higher rate taxpayers may pay more tax in 2018-19.

Marriage Allowance extended

There is a small increase in this allowance to 1,185 from April 2018. This is the amount of unused personal tax allowance that can be transferred between spouses, or civil partners, if the person receiving the transfer is not a higher rate tax payer.

From 29 November 2017, the Government will also allow Marriage Allowance claims on behalf of deceased spouses and civil partners, and for the claim to be back dated four years in appropriate cases.

Offshore trusts

Changes will be made to ensure that payments from an offshore trust intended for a UK resident individual do not escape tax when they are made via an overseas beneficiary or a remittance basis user. This will take effect from April 2018.

Abolishing Stamp Duty Land Tax for certain first-time buyers

With immediate effect, first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty on homes costing no more than 300,000.
First-time buyers of homes worth between 300,000 and 500,000 will not pay stamp duty on the first 300,000. They will pay the normal rates of stamp duty on the price above that. This will save 1,660‎ on the average first-time buyer property.
80% of people buying their first home will pay no stamp duty, but there will be no relief for those buying properties over 500,000.

National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) increases

From April 2018, the NLW will increase from the present 7.50 per hour to 7.83 per hour.

From the same date, the NMW rates will also increase to:

Fuel duty no change

For 2018, the fuel duty will remain frozen, for the eighth consecutive year.

New railcard for the 26 to 30 age group

No doubt to win back the support of the younger generation, the government will work with the rail industry to introduce a new railcard from Spring 2018.

Duty frozen for most alcoholic drinks

The duty on beer, wine, cider and spirits to be frozen. However, cheap, high strength cider will be subject to a new band of duty from 1 February 2019.

Duty on tobacco products to increase

The duty on cigarettes will increase by 2% above inflation and hand-rolling tobacco by 3% above inflation, with effect from 6pm, 22 November 2017.

Universal Credit (UC) changes

In response to recent adverse publicity the Government has agreed to various changes that are intended to ease the financial hardship for new claimants. They include:

Pension lifetime allowance increased

The lifetime allowance will increase to 1,030,000 from April 2018.

Diesel Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) change

From April 2018, the first year VED (car tax) rate for diesel cars that don't meet the latest standards will go up by one band. The Chancellor emphasises this is cars only, and that the money will go to a new Clean Air Fund.

Business Tax changes

Corporation Tax changes

Although there is no change to the rate of Corporation Tax, maintained at 19%, HMRC is to freeze indexation allowance on corporate capital gains for disposals after 1 January 2018.

64m for construction and digital training courses

The new funding will be split as to:

Partnership tax

Legislation has been revised to be more compatible with commercial arrangements for allocating shares of profit, and to avoid additional administrative burdens for taxpayers. The changes will have effect for the tax year 2018-19 and subsequent tax years.

Business rates changes

From April 2018, business rates will rise by any increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rather than the Retail Prices Index (RPI). The change has been brought forward two years. Historically, the RPI has tended to be higher than the CPI.

Rates revaluations will now be undertaken every 3 years rather than the present 5 years. This will start after the next rates revaluation due during 2022.

Pubs with a rateable value up to 100,000 will continue to receive a 1,000 discount next year.

Venture Capital Schemes

Changes are to be made to the Enterprise Investments Scheme, the Seed EIS and Venture Capital Trusts. The aim is to target Venture Capital Schemes on companies where there is a real risk to the capital being invested, and will exclude companies and arrangements intended to provide ‘capital preservation’.

Incentives to encourage VCTs towards higher risk investments will include:

EIS and VCTs will also see increased limits for investments in knowledge-intensive companies:
The Government will legislate to:

The changes will have effect on and after 6 April 2018. This measure is subject to normal state aid rules.

R & D expenditure credit increase

The Government will legislate to increase the rate of the R&D expenditure credit from 11% to 12%, to support business investment in R&D.

This change will have effect on and after 1 January 2018.

Diesel car supplement increase

The diesel car supplement is to be increased from 3% to 4% from 6 April 2018. This will increase the company car tax and car fuel benefit charge (for company cars provided with an element of private use).

This change will apply to all diesel cars registered on or after 1 January 1998 that do not meet the Real Driving Emissions (Step 2) standards.