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Holborn Assets Reviews the UK Spring Budget 2017

10th March 2017

What’s big?

The main news is a “2% stealth tax” on self-employed Brits, with changes to the National Insurance Contribution system coming in next tax year.

UK Spring Budget - colorful waving british flag on a english pound sterling money background

Personal Finance

Income Tax

  • Personal tax-free allowance rises – for the seventh year running – up to £11,500 this tax year.
  • High rate minimum threshold rises to £45,000. 

Inheritance Tax

  • Family home allowance: a tax-free allowance comes in for the first time this tax year on properties that are being passed directly (ie. not through a discretionary trust) on to direct descendants – with the allowance rising according to a sliding scale until 2020, when the combined allowances of a married couple will mean that they can potentially pass on £1m of assets tax-free.

Pensions

  • A tax charge of 25% is made on the transfer amount going in to the QROPS, if the transfer is outside the EU (this does not apply to EU).
  • Lifetime Allowance currently at £1m – ie. that’s how much you can save into a pension over a lifetime.

UK Self-employed

  • Millions of UK self-employed workers will be paying 2% tax more in National Insurance Contributions.
  • Class 2 NICs will be abolished altogether, but Class 4 NICs for the self-employed will increase from 9% to 10% next tax year, and 11% in 2019.
  • Chancellor Hammond says that all self-employed people earning less than £16,250 will pay less NI as a result.

NS&I & Isas

  • A new bond will be available for savers returning 2.2% on investment up to £3,000.
  • Lifetime ISA coming in this tax year (to join 5 other types of ISA).
  • ISA limit rising from £15,240 to £20,000 this tax year.

UK Sectors & Business

UK Consumers

  • No change to alcohol duties, but a minimum excise duty of £7.35 to come in per packet of cigarettes.
  • Sugar levy confirmed at !8p and 24p per litre for big brands.

UK SMEs

  • Business rates generate £25bn a year.
  • 90% of pubs to receive £1K discount on their business rates.
  • Companies leaving Small Business Rate Relief to have any rates increase capped to £50 per month.
  • Directors of SMEs will only be able to withdraw £2000 a year as tax-free dividends from 2018 – down from a current tax-free dividend allowance of £5000.

NHS & Care

  • “Additional grant funding of £2bn to social care in England over the next 3 years to “deliver immediate benefit to NHS”.

Housing

  • Buy-to-Let
    Changes announced in 2015 mean that, from April 6th this year, BTL landlords will only be able to deduct 75% of mortgage interest against their rental income in tax calculations. This deductible percentage is being decreased by 25% each year until 2020-2021, when it will no longer be possible to deduct any mortgage interest at all.

Education

  • New system of “T-levels” to roll-out in technical qualifications.

Government Benefits

  • Universal Credit taper rate to be reduced from 65% to 63% this tax year – reducing tax for 3m low-income families.
  • Tax-free childcare policy to pay out £2k a year to eligible parents of children aged under 12.
  • (National Living Wage will rise to £7.50 this tax year)

Other

  • £90m extra transport spending for North of England, and £23m for the Midlands.
  • £16m for a new 5G tech hub, £200 for local fibre broadband projects, £300m for biotech studies.

UK Treasury

  • UK debt stands at £1.7 trillion – that’s almost 87% of the UK’s GDP.
  • The UK debt/GDP ratio is expected to decline to 80% by 2021/2022.
  • The ratio of public sector net borrowing to GDP is to be trimmed back from 3.5% to 2.6%.
  • UK inflation will rise to 2.4% in 2017.
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