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UK Mini-Budget 2020: Key Points from the Summer Statement

Following on from our most recent live Budget blog, this post outlines the key points from Rishi Sunak’s UK Mini-Budget 2020, which has also been described as his summer statement. The headline news for the housing market is that Chancellor Sunak has announced a temporary Stamp Duty holiday (more on this below).

This blog also highlights a number of other significant updates that were revealed during the Mini-Budget, including:

  • VAT reductions for the next months from 20% to 5%
  • The Eat Out to Help Out scheme, offering discount vouchers for restaurantgoers 
  • The Job Retention Bonus with incentives for employers to bring back furloughed workers
  • A ‘kickstart jobs scheme’ designed to support jobs for younger people
  • The Green Homes Grant (with contributions to energy-saving home improvements).

 

Temporary Stamp Duty holiday

Chancellor Sunik announced a Stamp Duty holiday. Homebuyers will be exempt from paying the Stamp Duty for a property with a value of up to £500,000. This change is only temporary, however,  and Stamp Duty will return to normal as of the 31st March 2021.

VAT temporarily reduced to 5%

VAT is to be reduced for the next 6 months from 20% to 5%. This will apply to a range of goods and services, including restaurants, cafes, pubs, tourist attractions, zoos, attractions, B&Bs and many more. The reduced rate will be introduced on Wednesday 15th July 2020 and will remain until the 12th January 2021.

Eat Out to Help Out

Eat Out to Help Out restaurant discount vouchers will be given to everyone in the UK to use at any participating businesses throughout the whole of August. These vouchers can be used from Monday to Wednesday each week and will entitle you to 50% off your bill up to a maximum of £10 per head. 

Businesses will then claim the funds back through a government website, which will be opened from Monday 13th July (check back then for more details, including the URL for the site). Sunak has stated that the funds will be paid directly into hospitality companies’ bank accounts within 5 workings days.

Job Retention Bonus

In order to encourage businesses to bring back their furloughed employees, the Chancellor announced the Job Retention Bonus. This scheme will reward employers with a bonus of £1000 for each furloughed employee who is brought back to work and employed up until at least January 2021.

‘Kickstart jobs scheme’

To support jobs for younger people, the government announced a ‘kickstart jobs scheme,’ which will help fund six-month work placements for young workers aged between 16 and 24 years old. Employers can apply for the scheme from August 2020 – check back here then for more information.

The Green Homes Grant

Homeowners and landlords will be able to apply for the Green Homes Grant, which is designed to make homes more energy-efficient and is expected to launch in September 2020. Vouchers of up to £5,000 will be issued – and low-income households could get contributions of up to £10,000 for improvements such as wall and loft insulations, energy-saving boilers, and double or triple glazing.

 

Hopefully this post has provided you with all of the information you needed about the UK Mini-Budget 2020. If you’ve got any questions about the issues raised in the summer statement or how we can help your business, we’re always here to help – just get in touch.

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Planning for the New Tax Year

As we near the end of the tax year, it is important if you are self-employed to start planning for the new tax year. This guide explains when the tax year ends and provides a year-end tax planning checklist.

We have provided a summary for the main 2020/2021 tax year changes to help guide you through the main changes that will come in to force. Taking action at the start of the tax year may give you an advantage. Here’s what you need to know about the 2020/2021 tax year. 

What Is IR35 And When Does It Apply?

IR35 is a piece of legislation designed to counter tax avoidance. It is used to decide if contractors are actually contractors or are just disguised as an employee for tax purposes. This article will help you understand the IR35 legislation and provide tips on if it applies to you and how to be compliant.

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How to Complete a Self-Assessment Tax Return

A self-assessment tax return is the form used by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to collect income tax from individuals. Whilst income tax is deducted from your salary automatically if you work for a company, most people who are self-employed must complete one each year.

This guide will explain who needs to complete a self-assessment tax return, when they’re due, and how to complete one (with a handy checklist).

The Guide to HMRC Tax on Dividends

If you’re a shareholder in a company, you may receive a share of its profits in the form of dividend payments. You are allowed to earn dividend income up to a certain amount without paying tax (this is known as the tax-free dividend allowance). 

Equally, you won’t pay any tax on dividends if they don’t push your total income above your Personal Allowance, which is £12,500 for the 2020/21 tax year. In some cases, you won’t have any tax to pay on your dividend income.

Beginning with the tax-free dividend allowance, this guide will go on to cover the current dividend tax rates and thresholds. To conclude, we’ll explain the process of paying tax on dividends and how this varies depending on your total dividend income.

The tax-free dividend allowance

The tax-free dividend allowance for the 2020/21 tax year is £2,000. From 6th April 2018, the dividend allowance was reduced to £2,000 from £5,000, which had been introduced back in April 2016.

Dividend tax rates for the 2020/21 tax year

The dividend tax rates and thresholds are based on the Income Tax bands, so the amount of tax you pay on dividend income above the allowance depends on which band you fall into. Your tax band is determined by your total taxable income (including your dividend income and your other forms of income).

The basic rate is for total taxable incomes between £12,501 and £50,000; the higher rate is for £50,001 to £150,000, and the additional rate is for incomes in excess of £150,000. The dividend tax rates for each Income Tax band are as follows:

  • Basic rate – 7.5% 
  • Higher rate – 32.5%
  • Additional rate – 38.1%

Let’s look at an example. If you have an employed income of £15,000 and in the same year you were paid a dividend of £2,000, no extra tax will be charged on dividends. However, if you had the same employed income of £15,000 and the same year received a dividend amount of £5,000, the extra £3000 would attract a dividend tax of 7.5%=£225. This is in addition to the tax you will have already paid on your employed income.

Paying tax on dividends

The process of paying tax on dividends differs depending on the amount of dividend income you received during the tax year.

Up to £10,000 in dividends

For dividend incomes of up to £10,000, you can either:

  • Let HMRC know by contacting the helpline.
  • Add the dividend income to your existing Self-Assessment tax return.
  • Ask HMRC to update your tax code, so that the amount can be deducted from your wage or pension.

Over £10,000 in dividends

If your dividend income exceeds £10,000, you will need to fill in a Self-Assessment tax return. For those who don’t usually submit a tax return, you’ll need to register by the 5th October following the tax year in which you received the dividends.

Got any questions? We’re always here to help. Give us a call or send us an email today.