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Despite the pre-election Budget being announced just weeks before Easter, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt missed a ‘rabbit’ for businesses and individuals. With the general election possibly round the corner, businesses would have hoped for more supportive measures.

The headline change was reductions to National Insurance Contributions (NIC) for employees and the self-employed both effective from 6 April.

  • Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NIC) will see the rate reduce for employees from 10% to 8%.
  • The rate of Class 4 NIC on self-employed/partnership profits up to £50,270 will be reduced from 9% to 6% from 6 April 2024. This is a further change to the 8% previously announced in the Autumn Statement. For profits above £50,270 you will continue to pay 2% Class 4 NIC.
  • As a reminder, for profits above £6,725, you are no longer required to pay Class 2 NIC.

The other headline grabber was changes to the child benefit charge rules, which will be subject to review from 6 April 2026. However, from 6 April 2024, the thresholds will increase so that tax is only paid on child benefit received once you earn over £60,000 (up from £50,000). The point at which individuals must pay back child benefit in full will increase from £60,000 to £80,000.

The favourable ‘non-dom’ remittance basis of taxation rules will be abolished from 6 April 2025. This is significant and individuals affected by this change should consult a tax adviser about the impact on their personal circumstances.

Some additional good news came for smaller businesses, with the VAT registration threshold increasing from £85,000 to £90,000. However, as the first rise in seven years, it is a less than inflationary rise over that period. Other welcome news is that the 5% freeze on fuel duty will be extended for a further 12 months.

There was bad news for people looking to purchase multiple dwellings, with the relief for Stamp Duty Land Tax being abolished from 1 June 2024. This will impact individuals and businesses looking to purchase two or more residential properties in a single transaction. However, where contracts were exchanged prior to 6 March, it will remain available regardless of completion date.

People owning furnished holiday lettings will see the beneficial furnished holiday lettings regime abolished from 6 April 2025. Individuals who had properties qualifying as holiday homes will no longer be able to claim capital allowances against their rental profits, and will no longer be able to claim the beneficial capital gains tax treatments on disposals.

The capital gains tax (CGT) rate for gains made on residential properties will be reduced from 28% to 24% (with the lower rate remaining at 18%). So, from 6 April 2024, there will be five CGT rates ranging from 10% to 28%.

Should you have any questions on any of the measures mentioned above and what they mean for you and your business, please contact tax partner Masum Ahmed (masum.ahmed@mcbridesllp.com) or Matt Reid (matt.reid@mcbridesllp.com) on business tax.

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McBrides Chartered Accountants