The main points to be noted by employers from Spring Budget 2017 announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond are:
• The personal tax allowance will increase by £500 from £11,000 to £11,500 from 6th April 2017 as previously announced, this is in line with the government's goal to have the personal tax allowance at £12,500 by 2020.
• The Dividend Allowance will decrease by £3,000 from £5,000 to £2,000 from 6th April 2018. This means that there is no tax payable on dividend payments up to £2,000 from April 2018 onwards. Any dividends above this allowance will be taxed at 7.5% for basic-rate taxpayers, 32.5% for higher-rate taxpayers and 38.1% for additional-rate taxpayers.
• There were no changes regarding company car and van charges or fuel charges.
• In the Finance Bill 2017, legislation will be introduced by the government about dates where an employee can make a payment in return for a Benefit in Kind they receive, this can reduce the taxable value of the Benefit in Kind. The 6th of July after the end of that tax year has been decided by the government, so if employees make a payment for the BIK before that date, they can reduce the taxable value of the BIK or remove if payment in full is made. This will be for the 2017-18 tax year and following tax years.
• Termination payments over £30,000 which are subject to income tax currently from April 2018 will be subject to Employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) The first £30,000 of a termination payment will remain exempt from Income Tax and NICs. In the Finance Bill 2017, the tax treatment of termination payments will be clarified and this will include all contractual and non-contractual payments in lieu of notice taxable as earnings and requiring employers to tax the equivalent of an employee’s basic pay if notice is not worked. The changes, including to Foreign Service Relief, will take effect from 6 April 2018.
• The Money Purchase Annual Allowance to £4,000 will be reduced from April 2017, down from £10,000. This restricts the amount of tax relieved contributions an individual can make in a year into a money purchase pension, if they have flexibly accessed their pension savings.
• The Government is carrying out the first statutory review of State Pension Age and the details will be published in their review by 7th May 2017.
• HMRC's compliance team are monitoring employers that are claiming the Employment Allowance, as it has been reported that some employers are using avoidance schemes to avoid paying National Insurance amounts due.