Autumn Budget 2021

First published on 28 October 2021 by Alastair
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Autumn Budget 2021

Many individuals, businesses and tax advisors feared the worst heading into this week’s Autumn Budget as tax rises across the board were heavily speculated.  However, there has been a collective sigh of relief as the actual announcements were very much an anti-climax.  In fact, the tax section of the budget document published by the Government is, at only 7 pages long, actually one of the shortest we have ever seen. It was in fact shorter than the Executive Summary!

 

Most of the significant changes to tax rules were already announced months in advanced, and none of the extreme changes to the tax system that have featured in the press in recent weeks were even hinted at.  That’s not to say that they won’t happen at some point.

 

Nonetheless, we have pulled together a summary of the most relevant points.

Main Budget proposals

Tax measures include:

  • a change in the earliest age from which most pension savers can access their pension savings without incurring a tax charge. From April 2028 this will rise to 57
  • the retention of the £1 million annual investment allowance until 31 March 2023
  • individuals disposing of UK property on or after 27 October 2021 now have a 60 day CGT reporting and payment deadline, following the completion of the disposal.
  • increases in the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage rates
  • a complete overhaul of alcohol duties that will see drinks taxed on their strength

Other measures include:

  • a new temporary business rates relief in England for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties for 2022/23
  • the cancellation of the previously announced rise in fuel duties
  • pubs supported with a reduction in draught beer and cider duty
  • an ultra-long-haul band of air passenger duty introduced.

Some Budget proposals may be subject to amendment in the Finance Bill 2021-22. Should you need any further help or support please contact us.

Personal Tax

To read about the tax allowances rates for earned income to be introduced in the future click here (INSERT LINK TO SEPARATE ARTICLE).

Tax on savings income

Savings income is income such as bank and building society interest.  Please note that dividends are not considered savings for tax purposes and have their own tax rates (see below).

The Savings Allowance applies to savings income and the available allowance in a tax year depends on the individual’s marginal rate of income tax. Broadly, individuals taxed at up to the basic rate of tax have an allowance of £1,000. For higher rate taxpayers the allowance is £500. No allowance is due to additional rate taxpayers.

Some individuals qualify for a 0% starting rate of tax on savings income up to £5,000. However, the rate is not available if taxable non-savings income (broadly earnings, pensions, trading profits and property income, less allocated allowances and reliefs) exceeds £5,000.

Tax on dividends

The first £2,000 of dividends is chargeable to tax at 0% (the Dividend Allowance). Dividends received above the allowance are taxed at the following rates for 2021/22:

  • 5% for basic rate taxpayers
  • 5% for higher rate taxpayers
  • 1% for additional rate taxpayers.

In September 2021 the government announced an increase to the rates of dividend tax by 1.25% from 6 April 2022 to help fund the new planned investment in health and social care. The new rates will therefore be 8.75% for basic rate taxpayers, 33.75% for higher rate taxpayers and 39.35% for additional rate taxpayers.

Dividends within the allowance still count towards an individual’s basic or higher rate band and so may affect the rate of tax paid on dividends above the Dividend Allowance.

To determine which tax band dividends fall into, dividends are treated as the last type of income to be taxed.

Green National Savings and Investment (NS&I) product

In the Spring Budget 2021 the government announced a green retail savings product through NS&I. The Bonds are now available to buy online and offer savers a chance to support green projects at a fixed rate of 0.65% pa over a three-year term. The Bonds are available to those aged 16 or over, with a minimum investment of £100 and a maximum limit of £100,000 per person. The interest is taxable in the tax year the Bond matures.

The UK’s inaugural sovereign green bond (or ‘green gilt’) was launched in September 2021, and was followed by a second issuance in October 2021. They are the first sovereign green retail product of their kind in the world. However, with a fixed rate of only 0.65% p.a., given the prospect of interest rate rises in that period as a measure to keep inflation under control, these may no longer seem an attractive investment and therefore only likely to attract those supportive of the initiative.

Universal Credit

The Universal Credit taper rate is reduced from 63% to 55%, meaning Universal Credit claimants will be able to keep an additional 8p for every £1 of net income they earn.

Increase to the normal minimum pension age for private pensions

As expected through previous announcements, those born after 5 April 1973 will have to work longer before they can access their pension. The current earliest age at which most pension savers can access their pension savings without incurring a tax charge is age 55. From April 2028, this earliest age will rise to 57.

Pensions - Scheme Pays

Although there are no limits to how much an individual can save or accrue in a registered pension scheme, there is an overall limit on the amount of an individual’s tax-relieved annual pension savings or accrual which includes employer contributions. This is known as the annual allowance and the standard annual allowance is currently £40,000, but in some circumstances this is reduced, with the maximum reduction taking it down to £4,000.

An individual’s unused annual allowance from the three previous tax years can be carried forward and added to the annual allowance. However, if the individual’s pension savings for the tax year exceed their annual allowance, the annual allowance tax charge is applied to the excess.

Although this tax liability would normally be the individual's liability it is possible for them to elect for the pension scheme administrator to be jointly liable.

Where an individual has inputted more than £40,000 and their annual allowance charge exceeds £2,000 the individual can request that their pension company pays the charge for them in return for an equivalent reduction in the value of their pension pot. This is called mandatory Scheme Pays.

From April 2022 there will be a change to the rules for certain pension schemes to remove anomalies where the tax charge has arisen due to a retrospective change of facts, the tax charge is £2,000 or more and the individual requests the pension scheme pays the amount. This measure applies retrospectively from 6 April 2016.

Employment

National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

In September 2021 the government published its proposals for new investment in health and social care in England.

The Health and Social Care Levy Act provides for a temporary 1.25% increase to both the main and additional rates of Class 1, Class 1A, Class 1B and Class 4 NICs for 2022/23. From April 2023 onwards, the NIC rates will decrease back to 2021/22 levels and will be replaced by a new 1.25% Health and Social Care Levy.

Broadly, the new Health and Social Care Levy will be subject to the same reliefs, thresholds and requirements as NIC. However the Levy (as opposed to the temporary increase in NICs for 2022/23) will also apply to those above State Pension age who are still in employment.

Existing reliefs for NICs will apply. Companies employing apprentices under the age of 25, all people under the age of 21, veterans and employers in Freeports will not pay the Levy for these employees providing their yearly gross earnings are less than £50,270, or £25,000 for new Freeport employees.

The Employment Allowance, which reduces employers’ Class 1 NICs by up to £4,000, will also be available for the employers’ liability to the Levy.

A novel aspect of the Levy is the application to employees above State Pension age. This does not apply  the temporary increase for 2022/23. The Levy will not apply to Class 2 and Class 3 (voluntary contributions for taxpayers to fill gaps in their contribution records).

National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW)

Following the recommendations of the independent Low Pay Commission, the government will increase the NLW for individuals aged 23 and over by 6.6% from 1 April 2022. The government has also accepted the recommendations for the other NMW rates to be increased.

From 1 April 2022, the hourly rates of NLW and NMW will be:

  • £9.50 for those 23 years old and over
  • £9.18 for 21-22 year olds
  • £6.83 for 18-20 year olds
  • £4.81 for 16-17 year olds
  • £4.81 apprentice rate for apprentices under 19, and those 19 and over in their first year of apprenticeship.

Power to make temporary modifications of taxation of employment income

Although not expected to be used frequently (or at least it is hoped not) this will allow HM Treasury, under ministerial direction, to make regulations to make temporary modifications to existing legislation for a period of up to two tax years in the event of a disaster or emergency of national significance as determined by HM Treasury. This will enable the government to support taxpayers, for example by:

  • exempting benefits in kind of a specified description from income tax where appropriate
  • changing the qualifying conditions for exemptions on benefits in kind
  • exempting specified reimbursements from the charge to income tax
  • providing relief for specified expenses.

This will have effect on and after the date of Royal Assent to the Finance Bill 2021-22.

Business

Making Tax Digital and Basis Period Reform

The government confirmed the following deferrals to the introduction of Making Tax Digital:

  • MTD regime for sole traders and landlords will be deferred until 6 April 2024
  • General partnerships will not be required to comply until 6 April 2025
  • The transition to the new accounting period rules will take place in the 2023/24 tax year and the new rules will come into force from 6 April 2024.
  • The new system of penalties for the late filing and late payment of tax for income tax self assessment will be aligned with when a taxpayer becomes mandated into MTD
  • HMRC has previously announced that MTD for corporation tax will not be mandated before 2026.

Corporation tax rates

The main rate of corporation tax is currently 19%. In the Spring Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced the rate would remain at 19% until 1 April 2023 but the rate will then increase to 25% for companies with profits over £250,000. The 19% rate will become a small profits rate payable by companies with profits of £50,000 or less. Companies with profits between £50,001 and £250,000 will pay tax at the main rate reduced by a marginal relief, providing a gradual increase in the effective corporation tax rate.

Company Vehicles

From 6 April 2022, the van benefit charge and the car and van fuel benefit charges will increase in line with CPI

Capital allowances

Plant and machinery

A very welcome extension as the £1 million annual investment allowance will now be retained until 31 March 2023. For companies, this aligns the end of the temporary AIA increase with the end of the ‘super-deductions’ as announced by the government in Spring Budget 2021.

Structures and Buildings

 Minor changes will be made to the allowance statement requirements to clarify the information required to be kept.

Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings

This harsh and punitive tax continues to increase with the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) charges continuing to increase automatically each year in line with inflation. The ATED annual charges will rise by 3.1% from 1 April 2022 in line with the September 2021 Consumer Price Index.

Residential Property Developer Tax

A new tax will be applied from 1 April 2022 on company profits derived from UK residential property development. The tax will be charged at 4% on profits exceeding an annual allowance of £25 million. For group companies the £25 million allowance will be allocated by the group between its companies.

Cultural relief

The government has announced that it will temporarily increase cultural tax reliefs for theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries across the UK from 27 October 2021 to 31 March 2024, increasing the relief organisations can claim as they invest in new productions and exhibitions.

Changes will also be introduced to better target the cultural reliefs and ensure that they continue to be safeguarded from abuse. These will apply from 1 April 2022.

Research and Development relief reform

Research and Development (R&D) tax reliefs for companies will be reformed to:

  • support modern research methods by expanding qualifying expenditure to include data and cloud costs
  • more effectively capture the benefits of R&D funded by the reliefs through refocusing support towards innovation in the UK
  • target abuse and improve compliance.

These changes will take effect from April 2023.

Cross-border group relief

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), the government is bringing the corporation tax group relief rules relating to European Economic Area (EEA) resident companies into line with those for non-UK companies resident elsewhere in the world. This applies to accounting periods ending on or after 27 October 2021 and will affect UK groups with subsidiary companies established in the EEA along with EEA-resident companies that are trading in the UK through a permanent establishment.

Online Sales Tax

The government has announced its plans to consult and explore the arguments for and against the introduction of an ‘Online Sales Tax’.

Should such a tax be introduced in future, it would raise revenue to fund business rates reductions. 

Business rates review (for England only)

For details on the changes to Business rates in England click here (INSERT LINK TO OTHER ARTICLE).

Business rates have been devolved to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and therefore not impacted by this budget.

 

Capital Taxes

Capital gains tax (CGT) rates

No changes to the current rates of CGT have been announced. This means that the rate remains at 10%, to the extent that any income tax basic rate band is available, and 20% thereafter. Higher rates of 18% and 28% apply for certain gains, mainly chargeable gains on residential properties, with the exception of any element that qualifies for Private Residence Relief.

The CGT annual exemption will also be maintained at the current level of £12,300 for 2022/23 and up to and including 2025/26.

CGT reporting and payment following a property disposal

UK resident individuals who dispose of UK residential property are sometimes required to deliver a CGT return to HMRC and make a payment on account of CGT within 30 days of completion of the property disposal. Broadly, this only applies where the property disposal gives rise to a CGT liability and as such usually excludes the disposal of a property to which private residence relief applies.

Non-UK residents are subject to similar deadlines in respect of the disposal of all types of UK land and property.

In another welcome and common sense change, for disposals that complete on or after 27 October 2021, the reporting and payment deadline is extended to 60 days from the completion of the disposal.

Inheritance tax (IHT) nil rate bands

The nil rate band has been frozen at £325,000 since 2009 and this will now continue up to 5 April 2026. An additional nil rate band, called the ‘residence nil rate band’ (RNRB) is also frozen at the current £175,000 level until 5 April 2026. A taper reduces the amount of the RNRB by £1 for every £2 that the ‘net’ value of the death estate is more than £2 million. Net value is after deducting permitted liabilities but before exemptions and reliefs. This taper will also be maintained at the current level.

Other Matters

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)

The government will increase VED rates for cars, vans, motorcycles, and motorcycle trade licences in line with RPI with effect from 1 April 2022.

For heavy goods vehicles, VED continues to be frozen in 2022/23. The HGV Levy is suspended for another 12 months from 1 August 2022.

Alcohol Duty

Rates of Alcohol Duty were not changed in this Budget. The government is publishing a consultation on its detailed proposals for Alcohol Duty reform. These include:

  • changes to duty structures
  • new rates for some products sold on draught
  • extension of small producer reliefs
  • simplification of the administrative regime.

In addition alcohol duties have been frozen to February 2022.

VAT penalties

Budget documents confirm that the new late submission and late payment penalties for VAT will still come into effect for VAT registered businesses for accounting periods starting on or after 1 April 2022, as announced at Spring Budget 2021.

Autumn Budget 2021 – Personal Tax Allowances and Rates

Following the Autumn 2021 budget, here is what you need to know about personal tax rates across the UK:

The personal allowance

The personal allowance is currently £12,570. The Chancellor announced in the March 2021 Budget that the personal allowance will be frozen at £12,570 for the tax years 2022/23 to 2025/26.

There is a reduction in the personal allowance for those with ‘adjusted net income’ over £100,000. The reduction is £1 for every £2 of income above £100,000. So there is no personal allowance where adjusted net income exceeds £125,140.

Tax bands and rates

The basic rate of tax is 20%. In 2021/22 the band of income taxable at this rate is £37,700 so that the threshold at which the 40% band applies is £50,270 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance.

At Spring Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced that the basic rate band will be frozen at £37,700 for the tax years 2022/23 to 2025/26. The National Insurance contributions Upper Earnings Limit and Upper Profits Limit will remain aligned to the higher rate threshold at £50,270 for these years.

Individuals pay tax at 45% on their income over £150,000.

Scottish residents

The tax on income (other than savings and dividend income) is different, for taxpayers who are resident in Scotland, from that paid by taxpayers resident elsewhere in the UK. The Scottish income tax rates and bands apply to income such as employment income, self-employed trade profits and property income.

In 2021/22 there are five income tax rates which range between 19% and 46%. Scottish taxpayers are entitled to the same personal allowance as individuals in the rest of the UK. The two higher rates are 41% and 46% rather than the 40% and 45% rates that apply to such income for other UK residents. Currently the 41% band applies to income over £43,662 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance. The 46% rate applies to income over £150,000.

The Scottish Government will announce the Scottish income tax rates and bands for 2022/23 in the Scottish Budget on 9 December.

Welsh residents

From April 2019, the Welsh Government has had the right to vary the rates of income tax payable by Welsh taxpayers (other than tax on savings and dividend income). The UK government has reduced each of the three rates of income tax paid by Welsh taxpayers by 10 pence. For 2021/22 the Welsh Government has set the Welsh rate of income tax at 10 pence which has been added to the reduced rates. This means the tax payable by Welsh taxpayers is the same as that payable by English and Northern Irish taxpayers.

The Welsh Government will publish its Draft Budget for 2022/23 on 20 December.

Autumn Budget 2021 – Business Rates (England Only) 

The government announced at Budget 2020 that it would conduct a fundamental review of the business rates system in England. The government’s objectives for the review were reducing the overall burden on business, improving the current business rates system and allowing the consideration of more fundamental changes in the long term.

In March 2021, the government published the Interim Report of the review. The Final Report was published on 27 October 2021. Collectively, these set out the government’s commitments by:

  • Supporting local high streets as they adapt and recover from the pandemic by introducing a new temporary business rates reliefin England for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties for 2022/23. Over 90% of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will receive at least 50% off their business rates bills in 2022/23.  This amounts to support worth more than double the relief that was announced pre-COVID for the 2020 to 2021 financial year and includes additional businesses such as hotels, gyms and bowling alleys.
  • Cutting the burden of business rates for all businesses by freezing the multiplierfor 2022 to 2023.
  • Introducing a new relief to support investment in property improvements, enabling occupying businesses to invest in expanding their properties and making them work better for customers and employees.
  • Introducing new measures to support green investmentand the decarbonisation of non-domestic buildings. This will provide exemptions for eligible green plant and machinery such as solar panels, wind turbines and battery storage used with renewables and electric vehicle charging points, as well as a 100% relief for low-carbon heat networks that have their own rates bill.
  • Making the system fairer by moving to three-yearly revaluations from 2023.
  • Providing stability ahead of the 2023 revaluation by extending Transitional Relief and the Supporting Small Business Scheme for 2022 to 2023to protect small businesses from significant bill increases in the final year of the current revaluation cycle.

 

 

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