Business Tax Update – March/April 2022

Mar 29, 2022 | Blog

The start of the new tax year sees many changes coming into force which affects businesses. Our Business Tax Update below gives you an overview of what to look out for:

Buy new equipment before 6 April?

Your business year-end, not 5 April, is relevant for capital allowances purposes. If, however you are running a business and making up accounts to 31 March or 5 April you should consider buying plant and machinery to take advantage of the £1 million Annual Investment Allowance (AIA).

The AIA provides a 100% tax write-off for new and second-hand equipment used in your business. This tax relief extends to fixtures and fittings within business premises such as electrical, water and heating systems. AIA does not apply to motor cars but there is a special 100% tax relief if you buy a new zero-emissions motor car.

If you are running a limited company, remember that new plant and equipment currently qualifies for a 130% tax deduction.

Changes to accounting for VAT on imports

HMRC have recently updated their guidance for VAT registered importers. These traders must account for postponed import VAT on their VAT returns for the accounting period which covers the date they imported the goods. The normal rules apply for what VAT can be reclaimed as input tax and the trader’s monthly statement will contain the information to support their claim.

HMRC is aware of the problems some importers are having when trying to access their monthly VAT statements. If you cannot access your statement or you’re having problems when viewing your statement, you can estimate your import VAT figures for the months you cannot access statements for. Your estimate should be as accurate as possible, based on the amount you’ve paid for the goods and any other costs you agreed to cover. As long as you take reasonable care to follow the guidance, there will be no penalty for errors.

There are also important changes from 1 June 2022 for small businesses using the Flat Rate Scheme who are importing goods and using postponed VAT accounting.

Payrolling benefits in kind

HMRC are encouraging more employers to payroll employee benefits in kind rather than declaring benefits on the end of year P11d forms.

If employers haven’t already done so they should register online with HMRC on or before 5 April 2022 to payroll employee benefits for the upcoming 2022/23 tax year.
The advantages of payrolling benefits in kind are:

  • employers no longer need to submit P11D and P46(Car) forms to HMRC
  • simpler PAYE codes mean HR teams receive fewer queries from employees regarding tax
  • tax deductions in monthly payroll will be more accurate
  • tax codes for individuals should change less frequently
  • fewer forms for employers to complete at year-end

Advisory fuel rates for company cars

These are the suggested reimbursement rates for employees’ private mileage using their company car from 1 March 2022. Where there has been a change the previous rate is shown in brackets.

Engine Size Petrol Diesel LPG
1400cc or less 13p   8p
(9p)
1600cc or less   11p  
1401cc to 2000cc 15p   10p
1601 to 2000cc   13p

 

 
Over 2000cc 22p 16p 15p

Note that for hybrid cars you must use the petrol or diesel rate. You can continue to use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

Despite lobbying to delay the upcoming 1.25% increase in NICs payable by employees, employers and the self-employed, the government has decided to go ahead as planned from April 2022, to provide additional funds for health and social care.

Some new measures have however been announced in an attempt to combat the effect of the increase, at least partially.

Increase in the starting NIC threshold for individuals

The annual level at which employees and the self-employed start to pay NICs was due to increase from £9,568 to £9,880 from 6 April 2022.

This increase will go ahead but be further uplifted to £12,570 from 6 July 2022, effectively aligning the point at which an individual starts to pay NICs with the £12,570 income tax personal allowance.

In the tax year to 5 April 2023, this is a NIC cut worth £267 for most employees and £207 for most self-employed individuals.

Crucially, this will more than negate the impact of the 1.25 percentage point NIC increase for most workers with employment earnings of less than £34,000, providing them with a small contribution to the increased cost of living.

The starting NIC threshold for the self-employed and company directors is computed on an annual basis and so will be set at a pro-rata sum of £11,908 for the whole of the tax year to 5 April 2023, before increasing to £12,570 in the tax year to 5 April 2024.

Class 2 NIC liabilities of the self-employed

For the self-employed, some individuals will find that they no longer need to pay Class 2 NICs from April 2022. The small profits threshold will be set at £6,725 as planned but the requirement to pay Class 2 NIC will only apply to those with self-employed profits over £11,908.

This will benefit approximately 500,000 self-employed individuals by saving them £165 a year.

From 6 April 2023, Class 2 NIC will only be payable by those with profits over £12,570.

What about employers?

No changes have been made to the annual level at which employers’ NIC start to apply; namely £9,100 for most employees in the tax year to 5 April 2023.

However, the Employment Allowance, which allows eligible businesses to reduce their employer NIC cost, will increase from £4,000 to £5,000 for the tax year to 5 April 2023.

It is expected that 495,000 businesses will benefit from this increase, with most saving £150 in the tax year to 5 April 2023.

Business Tax Relief for Capital Investment

In preparation for the 130% ‘super-deduction’ for companies coming to an end on 31 March 2023, other alternatives are being considered in an attempt to continue encouraging investment from April 2023.

In the meantime, remember to talk to us about the reliefs potentially available (to companies and non-corporates) for expenditure on plant and machinery. This includes:

  • A £1million annual investment allowance;
  • 130% and 50% super-deductions;
  • 100% first-year allowances (including on electric cars); and
  • 18% and 6% writing down allowances.

The date of acquisition of capital assets can make a difference to the tax relief you can claim so do speak to us before your next sizeable investment.

Green Technology

Green technology, including solar panels and heat pumps, will be exempt from business rates in England from April 2022, a year earlier than originally planned.

VAT on Energy Saving Materials (ESMs) installed in residential accommodation will be reduced from 5% to 0% from this April in Great Britain. The measure will be introduced in Northern Ireland in due course. The 0% rate will apply until 31 March 2027.

A 100% relief for eligible low-carbon heat networks which have their own rates bill will also be available.

VAT Rates in the Leisure and Hospitality Sector

No extension has been granted to the leisure and hospitality sector for use of the reduced 12.5% VAT rate on eligible supplies including food, non-alcoholic beverages and hotel and holiday accommodation. The VAT rate applied to these supplies will revert to 20% from 1 April 2022 as planned.

Research and Development (R&D)

The R&D tax relief schemes for companies will be enhanced from April 2023 but we have to wait until this summer for more details. We do know the reform is set to boost sectors where the UK is a world-leader, including artificial intelligence, robotics, manufacturing, and design.

If you have any questions relating to the above business tax-related topics, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us here.

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