In our Autumn 2021 Budget review, we set out the key points raised by Rishi Sunak in his latest Budget and Spending Review which are relevant to businesses:
National Living Wage increased to £9.50 an hour
Among the announcements leaked before Budget Day was an increase in the hourly rate for the National Living Wage (NLW) which was greater than inflation for those aged 23 or over, to £9.50 an hour. For an employee working a 35-hour week that would mean £17,290 a year. With the 1.25% increase in employers NIC to 15.05% on earnings over £9,100 a year would mean £1,233 on top, the cost to the employer would be £18,523 a year before pension costs.
Income tax rates, personal allowances and dividends
The basic rate of income tax and higher rate remain at 20% and 40% respectively, and the 45% additional rate continues to apply to income over £150,000.
As previously announced in the March Budget, the personal allowance and higher rate threshold have been frozen at £12,570 and £50,270 until 2025/26.
As announced on 7 September, from 6 April 2022 dividend income will be taxed at 8.75%, 33.75% and then 39.35%, depending upon whether the dividends fall into the basic rate band, higher rate band or the additional rate band. The first £2,000 of dividend income continues to be tax-free. The summary of the economic impact published on Budget Day suggests that these rates will remain in place until 2025/26.
Some national insurance thresholds are changing
The 1.25% increase in the rate of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) paid by workers and employers announced on 7 September to provide extra funds for Health and Social care will go ahead from 6 April 2022.
This will become a new Health and Social Care Levy from 2023/24 onwards.
Although the income tax personal allowance and thresholds are frozen until 2025/26, certain NIC thresholds have been increased In line with inflation. For 2022/23, employees and the self-employed will start paying NICs at £9,880 and pay at 10.25% (self-employed) and 13.25% (employees) up to £50,270. Note that the Upper Limit is frozen in line with the income tax higher rate threshold and that the new 3.25% rate will apply to earnings or self-employed profits in excess of £50,270.
Employer contributions at 15.05% will apply to earnings in excess of £9,100 a year for 2022/23.
“Temporary” £1 million annual investment allowance extended
Businesses investing in plant and machinery will welcome yet another extension in the 100% Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) until 31 March 2023. The 100% relief was scheduled to revert to £200,000 on 1 January 2022. This deduction is available to unincorporated businesses as well as limited companies and the equipment does not have to be new.
This tax allowance is not as generous as the 130% super-deduction announced in the March 2021 Budget which is available when new plant and machinery is acquired by limited companies between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2023.
Business rates to be made “fairer” and 50% discount for the retail and hospitality sector
The Government continue to promise a fairer system of Business Rates and will provide new reliefs for investment and improvements to business premises. In order to support businesses and jobs in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, the chancellor announced a 50% discount in business rates up to £110,000.
High Street businesses still operate at a significant disadvantage to online retailers who generally pay lower Business Rates, and some pay a lot less corporation tax. The Government will consult shortly on an Online Sales Tax which may help level the playing field.
Changes to R&D tax relief
As announced in the Budget R&D, tax relief will be reformed from April 2023 to support modern research methods by expanding qualifying expenditure to include data and cloud costs, and to focus tax relief on innovation carried out in the UK. HMRC will continue to target abuse of this generous tax relief and improve compliance.
Business asset disposal relief continues
Entrepreneurs will be relieved that the Chancellor announced in his Autumn 2021 Budget that CGT Business Asset Disposal Relief continues resulting in a 10% CGT rate on the first £1 million of lifetime gains.
If you have concerns relating to the Autumn 2021 Budget announcements and how they could affect your business do get in touch. We would be happy to explain the changes in further detail. You can contact us here.