Thoughts on the 2017 Spring Budget – with later updates

Rather than a full analysis, here are quick points of interest:

  1. The NIC rise hit the headlines and broke a manifesto commitment but is in the (right?) direction of travel on levelling the taxation of employment v self employment v disguised employment v investment income; (Edit: The class 2 NIC issue continues to change – eg summer 2018 – perhaps we’ll see a final firm change in the 2018 Autumn Budget).
  2. Making Tax Digital may be a bigger cost for the self employed than NIC rises;
  3. The dividend 0% tax band reduction from £5k to £2k in 2018 is an example of previous changes impacting taxpayer behaviour;
  4. Anti-avoidance and financial information sharing continues, so the disingenuous “how will HMRC find out?” should (thankfully) cease to be a question advisers are asked;
  5. Some important 6 April 2017 changes previously announced include:
  • £1k Trading and Property income personal tax allowances
  • Lifetime ISAs
  • IHT main residence nil rate band begins to taper in
  • “Non dom” tax changes
  • Interest restrictions for buy to let landlords
  • Although not an area on which I advise…Flat Rate Scheme VAT users (with low costs on goods) – stay in or leave? (Edit: this impacted my business – I left the Flat Rate Scheme)

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