Posted on: 22 November 2017

As the Chancellor delivers his first Autumn Budget since the reform of the autumn statement, there has been much speculation as to what Philip Hammond will announce.

The speculation has now ended following today’s budget with some key changes that may impact small businesses across the UK.

Here is a summary of what it could mean for your business:

Business

  • The VAT threshold will remain at £85,000 for the next two years
  • Business rates will switch from the Retail Price Index measure of inflation to the Consumer Price Index in April 2018, brought forward by 2 years
  • Investment in digital means an extra £500m will be invested in 5G Networks, Fibre Broadband and Artificial Intelligence
  • The ‘staircase tax’ - £1,000 discount for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will now extend to March 2019
  • From April 2019 income tax will apply to digital economy royalties relating to UK sales which are subject to low tax payments in their jurisdiction
  • £540m to support the growth of electric cars and development of more charging points
  • Online marketplaces and sellers will now be jointly liable for VAT
  • The national living wage will rise from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour

Personal taxation

  • The personal allowance for tax free income is to be raised to £11,850 in April 2018 and the higher rate threshold will be raised to £46,350

Housing

  • A rate of 100% council tax will be applied to empty properties
  • Stamp duty will be abolished for first time buyers purchasing properties of up to £300,000, and for those in more expensive areas, the first £300,000 of up to £500,000 will not be subject to stamp duty
  • The Chancellor has pledged to build 300,000 new homes a year by the mid 2020’s
  • Over the next 5 years the government will commit £44bn capital funding, loans and guarantees to support the housing market and boost construction skills
  • Review of permitted planning applications that have not gone ahead to assess reasons for delays

The economy

  • The growth forecast for 2017 has been revised downwards from 2% to 1.5%
  • An additional £3bn has been set aside to prepare the UK for potential outcomes of Brexit
  • Annual borrowing is down to £49.9bn which is £8.4bn better than was forecast in March and is forecast to fall in subsequent years

Additional points

  • £1.7bn transport fund for city regions
  • Additional funding of £2.8bn for the NHS
  • Duty on wine, beer, spirits will be frozen
  • 2% increase above the Retail Price Index for tobacco as well as a minimum excise duty that will be raised in March for cigarettes and tobacco
  • Fuel duty frozen again
  • Diesel cars that do not meet emissions standards will be subject to a rise of one band in vehicle excise duty in April 2018. Proceeds will fund a new ‘clean air fund’ however this rise will not apply to van owners

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