As expected with Brexit negotiations just around the corner, Phil Hammond delivered a fairly cautious budget last week, with no major changes to the tax system.
Probably the most controversial measure is that self-employed workers will see a rise in their National Insurance Contributions (NICs), bringing them more in line with NICs paid by those in employment. This is a blow to small businesses in particular, and critics argue that it goes against ‘tax lock’ promises made in the Conservative manifesto.
Family businesses and investors may also be affected by the reduction in tax free dividend allowances for shareholders from £5k to £2k from April next year.
Hammond also announced some measures to help businesses that may lose out in the planned re-vamp of the business rates system. Any business coming out of Small Business Rate relief will benefit from a cap of £50 per month on any increase. In addition, local authorities will have access to a £300m fund to deliver discretionary relief to some of those hardest hit by the changes.
By Paul Caunter, Director