This week George Osborne announced the much-anticipated pre-election budget, which included some serious sweeteners to gain favour with the voting public. With some good news for businesses in particular, here’s a low down of the bits most likely to affect our customers:
Business rates: Corporation tax will be cut to 20%, and small business rate relief will be extended – good news for many Logic4training customers.
National Insurance contributions: These will be abolished for under-21’s and next year, apprentices will also be exempt from paying. Class 2 National Insurance contributions for the self-employed will be abolished completely.
Personal allowance increased: The amount you can earn before you have to pay income tax has gone up, rising to £10,600 from the start of the tax year in April, £10,800 next tax year and £11,000 the year after.
Higher rate threshold: The point at which higher earners have to pay 40% incomes tax has also gone up, from £42,385 this year to £42,700 in 2016/17 and £43,000 the following year.
Fuel duty: Fuel duty has been frozen, with the planned increase scrapped. With most of us relying on our vehicles for work, this will certainly come as good news to many.
Alcohol duty cut: Fancy an after work pint? Beer duty has been cut by 1p, spirits by 2% and wine has been frozen.
Self-assessment tax return scrapped! An interesting one for all of you sole traders out there, the dreaded end-of-year tax return has been abolished in favour of revenues being automatically uploaded throughout the year. Let’s hope this makes life easier.
Better broadband: The government has pledged to boost investment in broadband and increase the number of superfast connections.
Flexible saving: The tax free savings allowance will increase to £15,240, with ISA users now able to take money out an account and put it back at a later date without losing tax-free entitlement.
From April next year, the first £1,000 in savings income will be exempt from tax (the first £500 for higher rate taxpayers), a move that’s expected to bring 95% of taxpayers out of savings tax altogether.
Help to buy: If you’re looking to buy your first home there was some really good news. A ‘Help to Buy ISA’ has been introduced, a savings product designed for first-time buyers trying to build a deposit. For every £200 saved, the Government will top it up with £50, up to a maximum of £3,000 in any tax year.