What can we expect from the Budget on Wednesday?
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has made it clear that he does not have room for big tax giveaways on March 15, as forecasts for economic growth are still weak. His focus will be to continue to clamp down on double digit inflation. An economic forecast from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) will be announced alongside the budget.
Mr Hunt has stated that he hopes to start the process of business tax cuts in his Autumn statement later this year, dependant on the OBR forecasts for the UK.
There are reports that the government will spend approximately £3bn to shield UK households from higher energy bills for the three months from April and that the freeze on fuel duty will continue.
With the war in Ukraine showing no signs of ending, we can also expect an increase in the Ministry of Defence budget over the next two years to buy equipment and weapons.
With government ministers struggling to reach a resolution of the series of public sector strikes, the chancellor has also made it clear that any additional money for pay deals should come from existing departmental budgets.
There is also speculation on a range of measures to incentivise employers to take on more employees and to encourage older workers back into employment, including a relaxation in pension contributions for the over 55’s. Some commentators expect an announcement on raising the state pension age.
Whatever announcements are made on Wednesday we will do the analysis and get you a summary later this week, so you are fully informed of any changes.
Tax Planning opportunities ahead of the new tax year
The new tax year starts 6 April 2023, so you have limited time to consider your options and once we pass this date, the majority of the tax planning options for Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax purposes will cease unless actioned this month.
Do you fall into any of these categories?
- You have or are thinking about a change in your personal status (single, married, separating, joining or dissolving a civil partnership);
- You are thinking about selling a capital asset, such as shares or a property. From 6 April 2023 the Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount reduces from £12,300 to £6,000;
- You or your child’s other parent claims Child Benefit and the income of either parent is likely to exceed £50,000 for the first time during tax year 2022-23;
- Your annual income is approaching or above £100,000;
- You have not yet topped up your pension contributions for tax year 2022-23;
- You are self-employed with a 31 March 2023 year-end;
- You are self-employed and are thinking about the purchase of equipment or vehicles; or
- You are the director and/or shareholder of a limited company and have not yet considered voting final dividends or bonuses for 2022-23.
If you do, we can help you discuss your options ahead of the April deadline!
The above list is not comprehensive, and we specialise in helping clients with all taxes including PAYE, NIC, VAT, Corporation, Capital Gains, Income, and Inheritance tax. Please contact us now!
Taxpayers given more time for voluntary National Insurance contributions
The UK government has extended the voluntary National Insurance deadline to 31 July 2023 to give taxpayers more time to fill gaps in their National Insurance record and help increase the amount they receive in State Pension.
This comes after members of the public voiced concern over the previous deadline of 5 April 2023.
The deadline extension was announced via a Written Ministerial Statement last week and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging taxpayers to ensure they do not miss out.
Anyone with gaps in their National Insurance record from April 2006 onwards now has more time to decide whether to fill the gaps to boost their new State Pension. Any payments made will be at the lower 2022/23 tax year rates.
As part of transitional arrangements to the new State Pension, taxpayers have been able to make voluntary contributions to any incomplete years in their National Insurance record between April 2006 and April 2016, to help increase the amount they receive when they retire. And after an increase in customer contact, the government has extended the deadline to ensure people have time to make their contributions.
UK Tradeshow Programme
The UK Tradeshow Programme offers government support to help UK businesses attend or exhibit at overseas trade shows more effectively.
UK businesses that are currently exporting can apply:
- for support to exhibit at or attend approved overseas trade shows and conferences, and
- to potentially receive grants to cover some costs.
UK businesses can also apply for support if they’re thinking about exporting but are not currently doing so.
Attending or exhibiting at overseas trade shows can help you gain essential market knowledge, increase your company’s brand awareness among overseas buyers, and boost business sales by securing new customers.
Age-Inclusive Business Review
We are all living for longer, which means that the majority of us are likely to be working for longer too. In Wales, one third of the workforce is aged 50 or over and, by 2023, half of all adults in the UK will be over 50 years old.
Both your customers and your workforce are ageing.
So, recruiting, retaining and retraining older individuals in the workplace is essential for businesses and the wider economy. Businesses need to take action now to prevent early exit from the workplace, support later life working and make the most of benefits of intergenerational workplaces.
Business in the Community’s (BITC) Age-Inclusive Business Review is a free, online, self-assessment tool to help identify gaps and highlight strengths in relation to being an age-inclusive and age-friendly employer. It will take approximately 25 minutes to complete, and you will receive bespoke age-inclusion recommendations for your organisation.
Questions and associated recommendations fall under four key themes: Financial Wellbeing; Health and Wellbeing; Work-life Balance; and Workplace Practices (i.e. recruitment, retention, retirement, training).
By developing an effective age-inclusive action plan, your business and its workforce can benefit from a better work-life balance, increased retention, enhanced staff engagement and more satisfied and productive workers.
Business in the Community Cymru in partnership with Age Cymru are delivering the Age at Work Programme, supporting businesses to create workplaces where older workers can thrive.