- in the insurance premium tax (IPT) to 12% in 2017, likely to affect all home or car owners most, but young drivers in particular which could affect premiums by £00s.
- Changes for some small businesses using the Flat Rate Scheme which will mean an increase in their VAT burden from April 2017.
- Changes to the tax rules on salary sacrifice schemes, which allows employees to give up some of their salary in return for benefits. New rules will mean benefits such as computers, gym memberships and health services will now incur a tax charge. This may well prompt employers to review whether they continue to offer these benefits.
- The planned increase in the personal tax free allowance will proceed such that by 2020-2021, the amount will reach £12,500.
- The changes to inheritance tax on passing main residence will come into legislation as announced previously, from April 2017. A sliding scale of allowances on main residences will mean a reduction in inheritance tax for many families.
- An increase in the minimum wage to £7.50 per hour from April 2017.
- There were no changes to the previous proposal to change the tax rules affecting non-domiciled individuals. This will bring non-doms who are long term UK residents into line with UK domiciled taxpayers.
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It would be unfair to say there were no tax changes announced in the first Autumn statement, but there was very little of real interest on the tax front which had not previously been announced in some form or another. In fact, the biggest surprise was the announcement was that in future, the Autumn Statement will become the day for the budget announcement from 2017. In hindsight, it is perhaps not a big surprise that there were not radical tax changes announced. Economics teaches us that the market hates uncertainty and following a year which included the Brexit vote, the replacement of the Prime Minister and Chancellor in the UK and Mr Trump being elected US President, there have perhaps been enough surprises. The announcement that the Budget will now be held in the Autumn will bring an end to the frantic panic that often occurs between Budget day in spring and the beginning of the tax year to reorganise individual’s tax affairs, minimise the effect of any changes and the pressure on software providers for the accountancy industry to ensure they get their software up to date in time. Some of the main tax changes announced or re-confirmed included:
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