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Autumn Statement Round Up

Apprenticeship Levy

This is used to fund apprenticeship training in England and is a cost to employers. There was no mention of changes; therefore, the following apply in the tax year 2024/25:

– Levy Allowance (per employer) £15,000
– Levy Charge 0.5% of the paybill

Capital Gains Tax

No mention was made of Capital Gains Tax; however, we know that the annual exemption will be cut in half to £3,000 on 06 April 2024, with the exemption for trusts set at half that level: £1500.

Inheritance Tax

The rates, exemptions, and thresholds for Inheritance Tax have been frozen since 2020/21 (and the nil rate band has been frozen at £325,000 since 2009). It was widely expected that there could be changes to Inheritance Tax but nothing was mentioned.

However, we do know that land situated outside of the UK will no longer qualify for agricultural property relief or woodlands relief from 06 April 2024.

Value Added Tax

From 1 January 2024, the government will extend the scope of the current VAT zero rate relief on women’s sanitary products to include reusable period underwear.

Landfill Tax

This applies in England and Wales only and is a tax designed to encourage waste producers and the waste management industry to switch to more sustainable alternatives for disposing of material. The lower the tonnage of waste sent to landfills, the lower the tax. As announced already in the Spring Budget, the rates are as follows:

Material sent to landfill
Rates from 1 April 2023
Rates from 1 April 2024
 £ per tonne
£ per tonne
Standard rate
Lower rated

Universal Credit
Universal Credit will increase in line with September’s inflation rate of 6.7%. This also applies to working-age benefits, means-tested benefits, and disability benefits.

Alcohol Duty
In other news, it has been announced that there will be a freeze on alcohol duty.

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
The ISA allowance limit of £20,000 has not changed since 2017 and the Autumn Statement froze this for tax year 2024/25.

The following are also frozen:

– Junior Individual Savings Account (£9,000), 
– Lifetime Individual Savings Account (£4,000 excluding government bonus) and 
– Child Trust Fund (£9,000)

Business Rates (England)
For tax year 2024/25, the small business multiplier in England will be frozen at 49.9p, while the standard multiplier will be uprated to 54.6p. The current 75% relief for eligible Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) properties is being extended into 2024/25.

Expanding Cash Accounting
Following a consultation after the Spring Budget, the UK government said it would extend the cash basis of accounting (or cash accounting). In the first instance, there will be improved cash basis guidance from HMRC:

– The turnover threshold will be removed completely.
– The cash basis will be set as the default method for calculating trading income (though businesses can elect to use the accruals basis)
– Cash basis interest deductions will be aligned with the rules that apply to the accruals basis and, similarly
– The restrictions on loss relief for losses generated in the cash basis will be aligning with the rules for losses under the accruals basis.

The changes will apply from tax year 2024/25.

HMRC ‘Data Gaps’
HMRC have long said that they need more information from employers, company directors, and the self-employed to fill gaps in the data they hold. The following provisions will come into force in the tax year 2025/26:

– Dividends Paid to Shareholders in Owner-Managed Businesses (via tax returns)
– The Start and End Dates of Self-Employment (via tax returns), and
– The Hours Employees Work (via RTI payroll submissions)

Details will be provided in the Autumn Finance Bill, and we will keep you updated on these new information requirements.

Freeport Tax Relief
For eligible employers operating in designated Freeport zones, they can claim certain tax reliefs that are not available to other employers, for example, relief from Stamp Duty. The deadline to claim these reliefs has been extended by 5 years to September 2031.

Employment Taxes
For more information on the employment taxes update click here

National Minimum Wage
For more information on the updates to the National minimum and National living wage click here

Corporation Tax
For more information on the corporation tax updated click here

For more information on the Pension updates click here

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