VAT, Finance & Tax Changes - 2017
A number of tax and finance changes are set to take place in 2017.
It is important to start planning ahead of time so that you take advantage of any opportunities available.
Some of the changes are in the process of being legislated through parliament and may be subject to change.
Salary sacrifice schemes
Income tax and employer national insurance contributions and the advantages of most salary sacrifice schemes will be removed from 6 April 2017. Pensions, pensions advice, childcare and ultra low emission vehicles will be exempt from the new rules.
From 1 April 2017, the rate of corporation tax will be cut to 19%.
100% rate relief will be available to businesses in England that occupy a single property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less from 1 April 2017.
Auto-enrolment staging dates
Employers will continue the process of auto-enrolment in 2017.
The personal allowance and the higher rate threshold will rise to £11,500 and £45,000 respectively from 6 April. The higher rate threshold in Scotland will be £43,430.
ISA annual limit
The ISA annual allowance limit will increase from £15,240 to £20,000 from 6 April 2017.
Money purchase allowance
The money purchase allowance will be reduced from £10,000 to £4,000 from April 2017.
From 6 April 2017, any person resident in the UK for more than 15 of the past 20 years will be deemed UK domiciled for tax purposes.
VAT flat rate scheme changes
Changes to the VAT flat rate scheme could significantly affect the tax liability of small businesses that currently make use of the scheme.
The flat rate scheme simplifies the process of calculating how much VAT a business needs to pay or claim back from HMRC.
It introduces a fixed rate of VAT and businesses are allowed to keep the difference between what they charge customers and what they pay HMRC.
Currently there are different rates for different professions.
What is changing?
From April 2017, businesses with very low cost bases will be classed as “limited cost traders” if they spend:
- less than 2% of their VAT inclusive turnover on goods in an accounting period; or
- more than 2% of their VAT inclusive turnover but less than £1,000 a year.
Limited cost traders who participate in the flat rate scheme from April 2017 onward will have a fixed rate of 16.5%. This means that work sold for £120 with £20 of VAT will result in a flat rate VAT charge of £19.80.
Who will be affected?
The measure will increase the VAT bill of businesses that are labour-intensive but spend little on goods, such as IT contractors and consultants.