Autumn Budget round-up for the Self-Employed

On Wednesday 22nd November, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, announced the Autumn Budget – what was expected to be a bold announcement, quickly pivoted into a typical event for the self-employed, Craig McCall, Operations & Technical Director at Gorilla Accounting shares his views.  

There were no drastic measures announced which changes the way Contractors and Freelancers operate, but here’s everything you need to know about the Budget if you work from home.

Personal Tax 

From 6th April 2018, the Personal Allowance will increase to £11,850, and the Higher Rate Threshold will increase to £46,350.

The starting rate threshold for savings will remain at £5,000. Although the Dividend Allowance was not mentioned in this Budget, it is scheduled to reduce from £5,000 to £2,000 from 6th April 2018.

National Insurance

As previously announced, the government has decided not to proceed with increases to Class 4 NI, paid by the self-employed.

Corporation Tax

The rate of Corporation Tax will remain at 19%, as previously planned, in 2018. However, Indexation Allowance which is applied in calculating gains on investments held by companies will be frozen from 1st January, bringing the Corporate Tax system in line with Personal Tax for Capital Gains.

VAT

Despite speculation ahead of the Autumn Budget, the VAT registration threshold will remain at £85,000 for a 2-year period from April 2018.

However, a consultation is expected on the future design of the threshold in view of the fact that this is the highest in the OECD.

VAT: Explained – If you hit the VAT registration threshold, you’ll be required to register for VAT. This will be charged on company turnover. When invoicing a client, you will be required to charge VAT on top of your fees.  If you are below this point, you could be eligible to apply for the Flat Rate VAT scheme. 

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital will commence on April 19 for VAT Registered businesses whose turnover exceeds the compulsory VAT registration threshold. The scope of MTD will not be widened until it’s proven to work.

MTD: Explained – Making Tax Digital is a government scheme which requires selected businesses to record tax returns on a quarterly basis, rather than submitting an annual tax return. 

Employment Status/IR35

Despite speculation leading up to today’s Budget, there was no mention of IR35 in the Chancellor’s speech, however, the red book referred to a consultation which is due to be published during 2018. We would not anticipate any changes resulting from the consultation to be announced until the next budget (this time next year) or to take effect until April 2019.

What is IR35? It’s a piece of tax legislation intended to prevent ‘disguised employment’. This is when a worker carries out the same work as a fixed term employee, but operates as ‘self-employed’ to reap the tax benefits. If you’re caught under IR35, you will be required to pay income tax and national insurance. 

Despite a bruising Spring Budget 2017, it’s fair to say that the Autumn Budget announcement was a mellow event for Contractors and Freelancers across the UK.

Gorilla Accounting is a specialist accountancy firm, exclusively for Contractors and Freelancers operating through a Limited or Umbrella Company.

 

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  • LucyDorrington

    Thanks so much for this useful digest, saved me a lot of time!

  • A really good round up to help me keep up with it all while living out of the country

  • This is a great round up that everyone can understand! Lovely!

  • Justine Robson

    Really informative, and broken down well. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

  • Helen Jacob-Lloyd

    Very clear break down of the Budget – I understand so much more now, thank you 🙂

  • Kara

    Thanks for this, glad that the personal allowance is going up. Glad they are scrapping stamp duty for first time buyers too – that will help my daughter

  • I’m glad that the class 4 NICs aren’t going to be rising!

  • Newcastle Family Life

    I totally missed the budget so this was really useful, good news about the class 4 too

  • Stephanie

    Great round up of the budget for self employed, glad they’ve not put the NI up!

  • Sarah

    This is really useful info, thank you!